Content creator vs influencer… does making money through content automatically make you an influencer? Let’s look at what the differences are!
The glamorous life of an online influencer is enough to make anyone envious. Enjoying premium products in luxury locations, whilst sharing their experiences online. Often, they’ll make money through Instagram, or other platforms like TikTok. But, lots of people assume this is the lifestyle of content creators across the board.
Whilst social media influencers are content creators, not all content creators are influencers. It’s like how all Jacuzzis are hot tubs, but not all hot tubs are Jacuzzis (for the purposes of this example, please ignore the fact that Jacuzzi now probably also makes products other than hot tubs). The daily routines, responsibilities, and roles of a content creator vs an influencer do differ. Whilst many of the tasks and activities each undertake can be largely similar, it’s the intent that distinguishes the two. What do we mean?
A content creator could be a hobbyist, or they could be a freelancer, or employed by a company. The type of content they create can range from videos to blogs, and involve visuals or be mostly text based. Content creators could focus on making and sharing media for social channel, websites, or YouTube. Or all of these!
Someone who creates a YouTube channel with the hopes of making money through their videos is a content creator. They would share videos about their life, hobbies, interests or skills. This may predominantly be done for pleasure, but taken seriously and employing strategy. If working for a business, someone who creates content for YouTube as part of a marketing strategy will aim to promote the channel, either with brand awareness or profit goals in mind.
Content creators generally have the freedom to share their own personal views and opinions. This means if they’re reviewing products or games, they’re more likely to be unbiased and honest.
Much like a content creator, an influencer can share content on platforms like Instagram or YouTube. When we think of influencers, we tend to think of fashion, beauty, or fitness. Whilst an influencer can operate in any niche, these are heavily product-based industries that fit influencer marketing nicely. Marketing being the key word here.
An influencer’s main role is to, well, influence. An influencer could have started out like any other content creator, and eventually managed to gain a substantial following. Otherwise, an influencer will be someone who already has widespread popularity and a large public platform. This is what makes them attractive to work with to businesses and large companies.
Brands will partner with influencers to promote something – usually a specific product. This means that any photos, videos, or other content shared by influencers should be taken with a pinch of salt. Influencers, whilst claiming to share their genuine experiences and opinions, have motivation (financial) to say a certain thing about whatever it is they’re reviewing.
Making Money Online
So, content creator vs influencer, which one is seeming most attractive to you now?
As a content creator, you enjoy more freedom to express yourself authentically. If you’re an influencer, you have more obligations to meet. The main difference is that you can’t really just decide to become an influencer like you can a content creator. You can, however, work towards influencer status.
How do the two make their money, then?
A content creator will either be paid on a freelance basis, or by the company that has employed them. If they’re a solo content creator, making money through YouTube will involve gaining subscribers, so they can then join the YouTube Partner Programme. Doing this allows them to generate income via ad revenue.
Influencers will partner with brands for a fee, and often be given freebies to help flog. The level of popularity of an influencer usually dictates the size of the fee. The bigger the following, the bigger the influence, and so the bigger the fee. Typical examples of influencers are reality TV stars, media personalities, and models.