TL;DR: Content creators vs. influencers: content creator is an umbrella term, and influencer is a subcategory of it. Campaigns work best when brands collaborate with creators who are also influencers!
Are influencers different from content creators?
Who should you approach for building a community of influencers?
These are questions every brand should ask. Why? Because there is a difference between content creators and influencers, and it may be killing your influencer marketing campaigns!
Content creators vs. influencers: the contrarian guide
Content creators are people skilled at creating high-quality content in one particular field. These can be painters, singers, book enthusiasts, or everyday Joes and Janes who create content on a specific topic like gaming or sustainable living, i.e., bloggers, YouTubers, etc.
It is not necessary that content creators have a huge following. However, their opinions are widely respected amongst their modest followers as they have established credibility.
Influencers don’t set out to create content specifically. But any content they post on social media influences a lot of people. Also, influencers tend to have a massive following. A perfect example of an influencer and not a content creator is Elon Musk. He is influential but doesn’t make content.
We’ve written more about who is an influencer here. The post also has a video by a young professional, wife, and mother who battled an aggressive breast cancer form that eloquently explains the meaning of the term.
Difference between content creators vs influencer
In most cases, the engagement and conversion rates of influencers are higher than those of content creators. Nevertheless, content creators’ opinions are valued more by their followers. That’s why it becomes difficult for brands to choose between content creators and influencers.
However, there’s also a group of creators on social media that have managed to find a balance between content creation and influence. They not only create high-quality content but also get huge engagement. These are the people that brands need to identify and approach to reap the benefits of influencer marketing.
When brands work with creators who are also influencers, they get content that:
1.Is cost-effective, unique, and diverse branded content at scale.
2.Is original, relatable, and trustworthy.
3.Outperforms brand-created content, building brand awareness and converting.
Checklist for finding the right content creator and influencer
Identifying a content creator who is also a good influencer is time-consuming and not an easy task.
Why? Because you have to differentiate influencers from content creators and identify those who do both. So, how do you do it? Well, the easy way is to use an influencer marketing platform.
The longer approach is to sift through the following metrics of each influencer to find the right content creator for your long-term influencer marketing:
1. Engagement rate
A content creator is considered a good influencer if they have approximately a 2-4% engagement rate for every 100,000 followers. If you are planning on approaching micro and nano-influencers, then this engagement rate has to be higher since they have a small number of followers. Think: 5 to 10%.
2. Consistent content
Consistency is of utmost importance. An influencer who hasn’t posted for a month is obviously not in touch with their followers or the current trends.
As a brand, collaborating with them puts your dollars at risk, as they probably will not yield results. So work with a creator and influencer who actively engages with their community and posts content with a maximum gap of 2-3 days.
3. Follower type
Campaigning with a creator whose demographic is 70% male doesn’t make sense for a lingerie brand or a cosmetic brand. So, when deciding which creator to work with, look at their followers. Moreover, look for signs of fake followers because they will not garner likes, views, shares, or sales for you.
In a nutshell, instead of approaching an influencer solely based on its engagement or follower count, conduct an audit to get a deeper insight.
4. Camera comfort
Creators who confidently speak in front of the camera have an edge over others because they keep the audience hooked till the end. So, when finding the right content creator + influencer, search for one who can smile and talk about your product in a way that’s interesting and aligned with your values.
A nervous face could easily kill a compelling message, whereas a confident voice has the power to sell an average product.
5. Previous collaborations
While this is not a hygiene factor, it is a good precautionary measure because not every creator is skilled at creating a compelling story. Evaluating past collaborations will tell you if the creator can generate sponsored content that fits well with your brand’s story.
Of all the factors that can help you decide which creator to partner with, brand fit is the most crucial. Pick a creator with an aesthetically pleasing, cohesive, and on-brand feed. That way, you’ll be able to repurpose the content across channels!
So, who should a brand hire: content creator vs influencer?
A brand needs both content creators and influencers to market products in the right way to the right people. Look for creators who are skilled at creating influential as well as quality content.
And if you’re still unsure about which influencer-cum-creator to work with: