The use of influencers and content creators has become key in marketing campaigns. Due to their massive audiences or mastery of content, these people can be invaluable when it comes to producing quality work and getting it in front of a massive audience. However, they’re far from interchangeable.
First, it’ll probably be helpful to define a few key terms.
Who are content creators?
While the term content creator is most broadly applied to YouTubers, TikTokers, and other video creators and personalities, that is not the end-all, be-all of what a creator is.
A creator is…well, someone who creates something. When you refer to a content creator you could be talking about a video creator, but you could also be talking about a popular digital artist or designer, a popular writer, someone who does background music, or animates marketing collateral.
Typically though, when you’re talking about a content creator you’re referring to someone who isn’t a part of your business—somebody that you’re bringing in to help accomplish a certain task not needed for most projects. Content creators work with brands by crafting assets from ideation all the way to delivery.
Hopefully, you can spin this relationship into a long-lasting one and make content creators want to keep working for your brand and producing great material. You can do this by working with them as a partner, not treating them as an employee, and knowing when it’s time to sit back and differ in their particular skill set. Creators have options, and if you micromanage they’ll take their talents elsewhere.
Who are influencers?
Although the terms often get conflated, influencers are on the opposite side of the coin from content creators.
While a content creator makes a product, an influencer is used to sell it. Kim Kardashian-West doesn’t edit her own Instagram posts or other videos, but there is still value to having her or someone of equivalent status onboard your campaign. Influencers have an audience and if you can get them to boost your product via a post, video, or blog, you can get your campaign in front of a lot people who likely wouldn’t know about it otherwise.
Something to clarify: an influencer is NOT a spokesperson. A spokesperson is an element of your campaign who will appear in promotional material. An influencer is usually a one time get who can put your product in front of their audience. Having an influencer promote your business is the equivalent of having your product on a nice display at the front of a store versus it being on the shelf with everything else.