Content Creator Vs. Influencers, that is the question.
The phrase “content creator” and “influencer” have become interchangeable over the past few years and what many creators and influencers do not understand is if you mislabel yourself, it could cost you a lot of money. So let’s dive into the differences and similarities between the two, and who gets paid more so you can position the correct way to brands and get paid what you deserve.
What is a content creator?
In simple terms, a content creator is someone who creates content. But to dive in deeper, content creators are normally experienced photographers, videographers, and copywriters that are skilled at creating high-quality content.
While Content creators post on social media, they don’t focus on growing a huge social following or building a community as most of their work is used for advertising campaigns, which doesn’t need a large fan base to land deals.
What is an influencer?
While an influencer makes online content, they focus on the personal connections they have with their audience in order to influence purchase decisions based on their authority in their niche.
The content is not as high quality or “artistic” but is used in an interesting and relatable way to build a following and grab the attention of their audience to increase engagement through comments, likes, shares, or even DMs.
Keeping engagement high and growing a large following is important for influencers because it increases their reach and the possibility that brands will work with them and pay them more.
How do brands decide who to hire?
A brand will use content creators and influencers in different ways.
A content creator is for more behind-the-scenes work and is usually hired for the sole purpose of creating content for a brand’s campaign needs so it can be used for all their advertising needs such as commercials, ads, or website design.
A good example of a content creator who works with brands on higher-level advertising is Peter Mckinnon who just recently worked with Hyundai and created their Christmas commercial.
It’s easier for a brand to partner with a content creator to work on their advertising and campaign needs, as it is more cost-efficient since a full production team is not normally needed, while still keeping the artistic and professional quality needed to capture a consumer’s attention.
When it comes to influencers, brands play on the fact that the influencer has established authority in their niche, has created a bond with their audience, and their audience trusts their recommendations which is why you will see product placement in their content with the influencer as the face as the content, instead of just the creator behind the content.
Now of course there is a third creator no one really talks about which is the hybrid. This is the influential content creator who makes high-quality content while having a large engaged following and the power to persuade buying decisions, a good example of this is Alen Palander.
This is a powerful combination for a brand as they can increase their return on investment as they only have to pay one creator vs paying a content creator to make the ad and the influencer to promote it.
So who makes more and which path should you choose?
Payment really depends on your level of expertise as a content creator, your following and engagement size as an influencer, and the brand’s budget. From personal experience, I’ve been able to make more money as a content creator even when my social media account had less than 10k subscribers.
But, it comes with the extra pressure to get every small detail correct and although I have made more with content creation and love the creative process behind the work, sometimes taking a selfie with my favorite smoothie and having a conversation with my audience is just as rewarding.
Deciding if you are a content creator or Influencer really depends on your overall goals. If you want to work with brands like Hyundai and film commercials or shoot pictures for billboards then content creation is the way to go.
If you are more into having a platform to share your message, grow a following, and recommend products you love while getting paid, then being an Influencer is perfect for you.
When deciding which path to go down, there really is no wrong answer. Being a content creator and Influencer are very similar and the biggest difference is one relies on creative expertise to land jobs while the other relies on their following to land work.
The best advice I can give you is to really learn your craft so you can become a hybrid. As a smaller influencer who may not have a large following, being able to create content for a company will jumpstart your ability to make money in your business, then as your following grows, you can market yourself as both the creator and influencer and increase your income even faster.
Let us know in the comments below if you consider yourself a content creator, influencer, or hybrid.