The ever-changing world of influencer marketing is always creating new – and often confusing – buzzwords and jargon. Here Simone Stevens, our Senior Influencer Strategist, explains how the latest disrupter is the rise of the ‘content creator’ label.
The trouble comes when the term ‘content creator’ is discussed in the same context of influencer marketing when in fact, the two have very different jobs. To help give you clarity, here’s a brief explanation about the difference between the two roles and how their skills can be used to boost your campaign.
So what is a content creator?
A content creator does just that, creates content. The idea is that a brand works with a content creator when they want to leverage their creativity through photography, art, or design, for instance. But the main aim would not be to influence their audience, which would be the case when a brand works with an influencer.
Instead, the content creator’s work provides a brand identity piece similar to the role of a creative agency might of. However, it means brands can source content creators with a specialist style or subject knowledge at a fraction of the price.
This route is gaining popularity with marketers across the globe. As a whole, it means brands can create relevant and relatable content quickly, which is targeted at niche audiences.
Large content businesses have also been jumping on the trend; stock photo platform Shutterstock supports hundreds of independent image creators and Facebook has launched a video content community for video creators to showcase their work.
Content creators therefore do not focus on reach, audience size or engagement levels but purely on creating content that is, more inspired and can support a brands identity.
And what is a genuine influencer?
An influencer creates content on their social channels which appeals to them and their audience so the difference is the influencer has a following based on their ‘personality’ and therefore has more control of the content they create.
This can mean that their content is varied. It includes their own content, content they are sharing which they believe the audience will engage with and, on many occasions, content created on behalf of, or in collaboration with, a brand they are working with.
Working with influencers in this way gives brands the opportunity to communicate detailed messaging and campaign information in a more appealing way with their audiences that other mediums such as advertising might not allow.
Influencers often have a unique style and tone in which their content is created. This means that brands will choose to work with influencers based on their way of working being a strong fit for their brand or campaign.
With this in mind, authenticity has become a key focus in the industry and as a whole; we are seeing positive shifts towards this way of working. Influencers have the opportunity and power to bring people to a brand and affect a customer’s purchase decision. This is why it has become so important to work strategically with the influencers that genuinely fit with a brand rather on small one-off projects.
Because of this, industry is calling for greater guidance, data and tools to help brands identify the influencers who fit perfectly fit with a brand. This demonstrates the significant shift influencer marketing has taken – it is no longer a simple tick box exercise or trend to work with influencers but a considered part of a brand’s communication activity
So when to work with who?
Both a content creator and an influencer can be an integral part of a campaign or a brand’s identity but play very different parts.
Simply put, brands have control of content creators whereas influencers have control of their own content.
If a brand might want to create a new look for their social channels, it would be the job of a content creator to produce a suite of imagery for this.
However, an influencer would be employed for a brand to leverage their connection with a particular audience. For example, if a brand has a new service offering or product, they may ask an influencer to review it and share their experience on channels where their audience is most active, such as on a live Instagram story, followed-up by a detailed video review on YouTube which includes key messaging, prices, a call to action and their honest opinion on the service.
To avoid confusion, always try to be clear on the objective of the content you are looking to create to decide who is best placed to create this.
If you are interested in learning more about how to work with influencers, email me for more information or guidance.