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Know the Difference: Influencer vs. Content Creator

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You don’t have to look past the names to tell the difference between an influencer and a Creator: influencers influence others and Creators create content. However, the lines between the two are becoming increasingly blurred as both ultimately share content in a public, digital space. What distinguishes their content and what motivates them to share it? Is there ever any crossover between the two? How can each be of benefit to Brands in a virtual world where content is the hook and consumers are hooked? Working with influencers and Creators is paramount for a fully fleshed and fresh content strategy for Brands. Let’s go through each role with a fine-tooth comb and untangle any lingering confusion.

What Is an Influencer?

Influencer laying on bed.

Influencers are influential personalities online. Their popularity, status, and reputation earn them the admiration, attention, and loyalty of their ever-growing fanbase. Influencers are masters of the selfie and promoters of the self. However, their influence does not stop there. They monetize their power of persuasion by promoting products or services for Brands online. By showcasing a Brand’s offering within the context of their coveted lifestyles, they generate buzz and business for Brands. Influencers tend to compete with traditional media outlets when it comes to securing mass attention and motivating consumer behavior. They inspire action by being who they are and living openly online. Alix Earle is one of the leading influencers today who has risen to online fame by consistently sharing her life with a dedicated fanbase.

  • Focus: Personal brand
  • Role: Popular figures
  • Position: Forward-facing
  • Goals: Audience engagement, lifestyle promotion, online growth
  • Skill: Influence the decision-making of others
  • Actions: To inspire, to influence, to promote
  • Strategy: Community building
  • Strength: Connection, persuasion, reputation
  • Weakness: Content generalists
  • Brand appeal: Exposure, reach, credibility

 

What Is a Creator?

Content creator filming content outside with camera.

Creators predate social media. They are the artists, the writers, the designers, the musicians, the comedians, and the many professionals in the creative categories that remain. In the digital age, a Creator is someone who shares content online and who tends to work within their niche of choice, such as photography or stop-motion animation. Creators are masters of their craft and share their creative expertise in the form of high-caliber content. Influencers and Brands alike can hire Creators to produce their content. Creators engage their audience or the audience of their clients with well-crafted content that can include blog posts, comedy skits, or film photography. Ms Rachel is one such Creator whose music and educational videos have established her as a leader in early childhood development content.

  • Focus: Content
  • Role: Digital creators
  • Position: Behind the scenes
  • Goals: Creative mastery, content execution, education
  • Skill: Create specialized content for themselves and others
  • Actions: To create, to educate, to inform
  • Strategy: Storytelling
  • Strength: High-quality content, niche expertise
  • Weakness: Smaller audience
  • Brand appeal: Creativity, originality, authenticity

 

The Crossover

Hands reaching over a wooden table.

Now that we’ve defined the two roles, we’ll show you how they overlap. While both Creators and influencers post content on public platforms, they do so with different intentions and levels of skill. For Creators, their content is the star of the show. For influencers, they themselves are the stars. Although influencers and Creators use their social media pages to display their work and validate their talents, an influencer’s page is about their lives, and a Creator’s page is about their content. As a result, Creators can still be leaders in their niche with a very small following. However, an influencer needs to grow their following for greater online visibility. There are many cases in which Creators become influential figures and influencers become known for their content style. Bobbi Althoff is one such example. In such instances, lines are more blended than blurred.

How Brands Can Work With Both

Two content creators looking at a laptop.

For a Brand to succeed online, it needs Creators and influencers on its team. Creators create content, and influencers circulate it. Creators make sure content stands out, and influencers make sure Brands stand out. Brands are replacing advertising agencies with influencers and Creators for good reasons: influencers have the reach and Creators have the content. Outsourcing creative work to content creators is an affordable, authentic alternative to studio-backed content. Promoting your Brand with influencers is a surefire way to reach your target audience and earn their trust in ways that transcend traditional advertising.

When it comes to Creators, it’s more about creativity and less about the numbers. Creators don’t need impressive metrics to validate this work, they need content to demonstrate their creative expertise. The opposite is true for influencers. Influencers can get away with lower-quality content because their success is built on their ability to sway their followers. As such, influencers measure their influence through engagement, follower count, and impressions. The greater the number, the greater the reach.

Creators and influencers are social media natives. They can navigate with ease and create content that resonates with consumers. Hiring influencers and creators affords Brands organic content that blends into a user’s feed seamlessly. Brands can work with a Creator to shoot a product, for example, and an influencer to promote it on relevant platforms. Ultimately, Brands will hire an influencer for their expansive reach, social status, and powers of persuasion. If a Brand is strictly looking for custom or supplemental content, Creators are instead chosen for the job.

Influencers and Creators to Know

We’ve gathered a list of Creators, influencers, and hybrids from Glewee’s exclusive Creator community. Let’s meet some of the biggest and smallest social media stars in the space.

Creators

Marko | Art Creator

Instagram: 1.3M

TikTok: 3.1M

Marko is a content Creator known for his functional art. The premise of his posts revolves around turning objects into other objects in creatively unexpected ways.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by MARKO👲🏻 (@markoterzo)

Gabby Bryan | Comedy Creator

Instagram: 62.1K

TikTok: 123.4k

Gabby is a standup comedian and host of the lifestyle podcast L’Podcast. She shares clips of her comedy regularly, routinely entertaining her highly engaged audience.

@gabbyisbryan Almost knocked over all those surf boards 🙂 #standup #youth #mansplanning ♬ original sound – Gabby Bryan

Influencers

Thomas Petrou | Mega Influencer

Instagram: 1.8M

TikTok: 8.4M

Thomas is a social media connoisseur and wildly popular personality. He secured superstardom in 2019 after founding the Hype House with Chase Hudson and Daisy Keech in Los Angeles, California.

 

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A post shared by Thomas Petrou (@petroutv)


Olivia Brenner | Micro Influencer

Instagram: 10.4K

TikTok: 17.4K

Liv is a lifestyle influencer in Chicago with a small, but mighty audience. Her followers tune in daily to catch her Get Ready With Me videos and clothing-haul unboxings.

@livbrenner First time ordering from house of cb… try on + review #houseofcb #houseofcbsizing #houseofcbtryon #houseofcbtop ♬ girls like me don’t cry (sped up) – thuy

Influential Creators

Elliot Choy | Video Influencer

YouTube: 1.26M

Instagram: 188K

Elliot Choy is a massively popular YouTuber who made a name for himself making videos. A master videographer, Elliot built a community of subscribers by documenting his personal life with professional equipment and charm.

Braison Cyrus | Music Influencer

Instagram: 415K

YouTube: 1.79K

Braison is a musician, actor, and Miley Cyrus’ brother. While making music is his passion, his famous family has made him an influential figure online.

Find Influencers and Creators for Hire

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Are you a Brand owner or marketer looking to burst onto the social media scene with the industry’s leading players? If you answered yes, you’ve landed in the right place. Glewee is your all-in-one influencer marketing platform and home to social media’s brightest pre-vetted stars. Discover influencers at every tier—from micro to mega—and Creators in every niche—from music to fitness—on our exclusive Creator Marketplace. From launching customizable campaigns with influencers to sourcing UGC from Creators, Glewee has the tools and talent to reach the top of your target audience’s feeds. Create your free account today, and let the campaigns begin.

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Glewee's Guide to Creator Marketing