An influencer can be a content creator but is not necessary that a content creator is always an influencer.
Technology and social media permeate every aspect of our lives. In the context of social media, one constantly hears the terms content creator and influencer. But, what do the terms mean? What are the differences between Influencers and Creators? What are the similarities? Let’s decode!
Who Is A Content Creator?
A content creator is someone who creates content for blogs and social media (SM) platforms. The content can be:
- text-based posts on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc..
- theme-based images and photographs (Example, Flickr).
- video on YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, etc.
- or audio-based for example, podcasts.
The content that is created is original. It is used to serve as a medium for monetisation, lead generation, or simply creating brand awareness. Content creators may even create and post content online, only with the aim of sharing their talent online. Examples of content creators include creators of professional posts on LinkedIn, bloggers, Insta poets, creators of YouTube video creators, etc.
If you prefer a formal definition, then a content creator is someone who “is engaged in the creation of information for any media – typically, the digital media. Content creators target a specific audience in specific contexts”.
Who Is An Influencer?
A common myth is that anyone on social media with a substantial following is a social media influencer. That is not true!
An influencer is someone who can influence his/her followers and extract some action or behavioural change from them. Like, a fashion influencer may promote a particular brand of lipstick. This further influences his/her/their followers to buy it.
Influencers are able to influence purchasing behaviour. They can even convince their community to buy a product, adopt a certain lifestyle, etc. This influence can be credited to an influencer’s authority, fame, knowledge, or even notoriety.
Such influence is extremely useful for brands to connect with new users to build awareness of their offering/s. But being an influencer also comes with a sense of responsibility and these days influencers are quite picky about the brands they associate with.
Influencers also create content. So in a way, they are content creators. This is where the overlap happens which often creates confusion. Influencers focus on engaging with their audience and promoting a product/lifestyle by portraying a specific image designed to sustain and grow their influence. And this distinguishes them from content creators.
Content Creators and Influencers – The Differences
The differences are subtle, hence the confusion and widespread loose and interchangeable usage of the terms. The foundational factor that sets Content creators and influencers apart is the difference in goals and the strategies to succeed at their work.
Content creators are more focused on creating and posting content. Influencers build a loyal audience and promote brands via the content they share. Content creators develop new content that informs and builds the brand. Influencers share sponsored content as well has sometimes churn out their own content.
Content creators engage with brands, businesses, and other clients to first understand their marketing needs and goals. The creators then formulate content marketing strategies that include social media plans, topic research, keyword research, etc.
Content creators are paid for developing content strategies and the content itself like blogs, videos, podcasts, etc. The content is then uploaded on their own accounts to generate revenue from ads, affiliate sales or say paid subscriptions. Thus, the creators earn directly from a client, or from people who access the posted content against a subscription.
Influencers work and earn money differently. They work by engaging with their followers and building strong relationships. They create engaging posts and create an optimal web presence.
Typically, brands offer sponsorships to influencers to promote their products or specific lifestyle ideas. In exchange, influencers post reviews, product images, sponsored posts, videos, stories, UGC content, etc. on their social media accounts to increase brand awareness which in turn leads to conversions.
In fact, most influencers are largely dependent on sponsored posts as a primary source of income. While some are not in it for the money, but for the fame and exposure being an influencer provides.
Skills and Tools
There is a skill overlap between influencers and content creators, These skills are writing and communicating effectively to engage the audience and the ability to leverage technology to achieve one’s goals. And as also mentioned, both create content. They both work in the digital media space. One commonality between influencers and content creators is also that they both work towards an audience and engagement.
If you are a good storyteller and can churn out engaging content, you can be a good content creator. Additionally, if you are good at SEO and digital marketing, you can reap better benefits.
Beyond these skills, in order to be effective, influencers should understand how social media works and how to garner audience engagement and keep them hooked.
Content Creators use tools like:
- WordPress or Blogger for blogging
- Google Trends for keyword research;
- Grammarly for checking the grammar of the content;
- Audacity for creating and editing audio content for podcasts, etc; and more.
Influencers use tools like:
- Social Media platforms for posting their content and attracting followers,
- Canva for designing engaging and attractive graphics,
- Intellifluence for collaborating easily with brands/agencies, etc.
So who should Brands pick – Influencer Or Content Creator?
For businesses and brands, the decision whether to work with creators or influencers depends largely on their overall goals and motivations. It is seen that brands work with both content creators and influencers.
Businesses targeting a bigger audience. looking for better return on their investments. aiming at brand awareness on a larger scale should opt for influencers and regularly conduct Influencer Marketing initiatives. When a brand wishes to create brand awareness through marketing collaterals, then pick a content creator. As mentioned, the requirement, the end goal, and the approach decides who brand/s should opt for — Influencer or Creator.
And the good news is that it doesn’t matter if you are a Creator or an Influencer or both, you can host your workshops and build courses, etc. on TagMango and monetise your skill-set.
Edited by Rachna Srivastava