Content creators include the photographers, videographers, writers, and artists you might bump into on your Instagram feed.
These folks are making great stuff for the sake of content, not necessarily to gain followers or build a community.
Because there are so many content creators on the internet, the bar is set high if creators want to stand out.
For example, anyone can snap a pic of their cat. But the Suki Cat Instagram account takes cat photos to the next level, complete with a talented cat and an equally talented photographer/graphic designer.
In the real world, this means the more high-end creatives tend to have a ton of followers anyway, even though that’s not a requirement to be a successful content creator.
As a brand, you shouldn’t be interested in a creator’s follower count; you’re interested in their work. (Of course, if you can find an amazing content creator who also has a large following, that’s even better.)
Brands like partnering with content creators because they’re able to farm out creative work, like product photography, for a fraction of the cost.
Don’t bother with a pricey photoshoot for your new product—give it to your favorite creatives to get the content you need.
It’s important to remember that, although content creators aren’t in it for the likes or follows, they can also be influencers if their audience is large enough. Keep in mind that a creator’s focus isn’t necessarily on audience engagement, but beautiful content.
Influencers are different from content creators because their focus is on engagement and community-building. They tend to have large followings (100,000+) that trust their recommendations.
So yes, influencers are also content creators. The sticking point is that the quality of this content differs from person to person.
While content creators are in it for the art itself, influencers build communities for the purpose of connecting and helping their followers, which means occasionally influencing an audience’s purchasing decisions.
Influencers have authority and, well, influence over their audience because of the relationships they build on their platform.
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, the Kardashians have a huge following of millions of people. Any time they promote branded content, brands tend to get a lot of traction because they tap into the Kardashians’ authority.
But you don’t have to work with a mega-huge celebrity to get results. Micro-influencers, or influencers with 100,000 followers or fewer, influence purchase decisions for niche audiences, too.
At any rate, if you need to drive brand awareness, click-throughs, and sales, influencers are a good option.
These folks directly promote your brand or product to their audience with a clear call-to-action, as opposed to content creators, who churn out gorgeous photos of your product.
The Pros And Cons of Content Creators Versus Influencers
Content creators and influencers commonly get thrown into the same bucket. Even though they have some similarities they do have key differences.
Depending on your brand’s needs, you may need to partner with a content creator instead of an influencer, or vice versa.
Keep in mind that there are hybrid content creator-influencers out there, but you need to have a sharp eye to locate the right person for the job.
Let’s break down the advantages and disadvantages of content creators and influencers so you can partner with the right person for your brand.
Content Creator Advantages
Outsource your brand’s photos, videos, and more to a content creator. You’ll enjoy sweet wins like:
Quality content: This is the number-one reason to work with a content creator. The quality of their content just can’t be beat.
Multifaceted talent: Content creators tend to be jacks-of-all-trades. If you hire a photographer, they’ll likely know how to edit and add graphic design elements of photography, too.
Save time and money: Don’t train your unpaid intern on how to use a DSLR. Relying on a content creator saves your brand time and money, tapping into someone else’s expertise while you focus on running a business.
If you need a magazine cover, social media ad photos, or video for your next Instagram story, partner with a content creator to churn it out in no time.
Content Creator Disadvantages
While content creators make pro-level creative for your company, they do have a few disadvantages:
Fewer promotional opportunities: Content creators don’t have the following or community engagement that influencers have. If you also want to promote your product to the creator’s following, it’s less likely to get a ton of traction.
A lack of process: If you partner with an inexperienced content creator, they may not have a process in place for working with brands. That could lead to some misunderstandings that delay the project. Make sure to vet creators carefully before agreeing to a campaign.
Influencers might not know their way around a fancy camera or editing software, but they have a close rapport with their followers. When you partner with an experienced influencer, you enjoy benefits like:
Finding more followers: Need more followers? Influencers are the cure for whatever ails you. Partnering with an influencer can boost your web traffic as well as your social media following.
Niche-specific targeting: There are a lot of influencers out there, and that means you have your pick of the litter. Choose an influencer in your industry or niche to connect with more customers more quickly.
We love influencers, but they might not be right for your brand. Consider these disadvantages carefully before partnering with an influencer.
Limited content expertise: Influencers know people, not content. While some influencers are skilled at content, some are so-so. If you want to repurpose visuals from your influencer campaign, choose your influencer wisely. They need to demonstrate content expertise, and some of them aren’t content experts.
You need to carefully vet them: Not all influencers are created equally. You have to do the legwork to make sure the influencer’s audience is truly engaged, and that they’ll be receptive to your branded message. If it comes off as spammy or irrelevant, you won’t get the results you paid for.
But who says you can’t have your cake and eat it, too?
Fortunately, you can tap into the best of both content creators and influencers.
Remember, influencers and content creators can be one in the same.