The Difference Between an Influencer and Content Creator & When to Leverage Each for your Brand

January 24, 2020

You’ve probably heard the buzzwords “influencer” and “content creator” floating around recently. With this new realm of social media, you might be wondering what these mean and how to leverage these collaborations. In this blog, we’ll go over the difference between an influencer and content creator. We’ll also differentiate and define when to leverage each for your brand.

Let’s start by defining the difference between these two types of groups.


What are Influencers?

An influencer is defined by Business Dictionary as “An individual who has the power to affect purchase decisions of others because of his/her (real or perceived) authority, knowledge, position or relationship.” 

An influencer can be a celebrity, blogger, TV personality, micro-influencer, YouTuber etc. Perhaps this person is a content creator as well, but the key factor in defining his or her a person as an influencer is his or her social media following (typically on Instagram) and relationship to his or her audience. 

For example, people like to hate on Kim Kardashian. However, with a whopping 143 million Instagram followers and no signs of stopping, Kim K is bound to have some influence on her audience. The people who love her, love her, and therefore are influenced by her content and go out and make purchases accordingly. 

Another facet of this space is the “micro-influencer.” Micro-influencers, by Later’s definition, are those with a following of less than 100k, but despite the smaller following, they have proved to have the highest engagement rate on Instagram.* At Casual Fridays, we find this to be the sweet spot for the brands that we work with. 

What are Content Creators?

While a content creator may also be categorized as an influencer, the key priority in their line of work is creating high-quality, beautiful content

Take Kurt Tilse for example (@kjtilse). While he does have a high Instagram following of 232K followers, his primary focus (as you can tell from his stunning Instagram feed) is pushing out beautiful content, whether on his personal feed or for brands he works with. The first descriptor in his Instagram bio is broad: “Director || Photographer || Videographer.” To contrast that, his YouTube-famous girlfriend, Sarah (@sarahsday) boasts a following of 1M (more than 4x that of Kurt) but could be considered more of an influencer than a content creator. Her content is centered around and specific subject (fitness), and she publishes lengthier, more engaging captions on her posts in order to influence the purchasing decisions of her fans. The first descriptor in her Instagram bio is topic-specific: “Holistic Health Princess.”

Content creators can be especially effective to partner with if your brand is in need of updated photography to help tell your story via your social media platforms. Depending on the contract you have with your content creators, you can even negotiate marketing rights beyond social media usage. To note: Each content creator has a different look and feel, so finding the ones that fit your aesthetic and vibe is critical. 


When You Should Leverage Influencers and Content Creators

Now that we’ve defined the types, let’s talk about when you should leverage these partnerships for your brand. 

An influencer campaign is beneficial for:

  • Growing awareness of your brand or business
  • Leveraging an already engaged audience 
  • Increasing your page’s reach

A content creator campaign is beneficial for:

  • Obtaining high-quality content you can use in multiple marketing efforts. 
    • If your contract includes it, you can even utilize creator content for other marketing efforts. By combining a photo shoot and content creator stay, you can save money on asset creation.
  • Building a library of lifestyle content and reducing the reliance on day-to-day content capturing

An influencer can also be a content creator and vice versa, for as long as they fit the parameters we defined in the descriptions above.

Ways to Use Content from Creators

This is subject to your contract and the permissions you negotiate in your partnerships.

  • News Feed Content
  • Stories
  • Social Media Ads—we’ve split tested ads that feature professional photography vs. content creator photography and found the latter had a higher rate of link clicks and engagement 
  • Website Galleries
  • Digital Campaigns
  • PR Materials
  • Magazine Covers—yes, one of our hotel clients utilized a content creator for a print shoot!
  • And so much more…

Ready to find the perfect partnerships for your brand or business? Click here to contact us.

*Top 8 Influencer Marketing Trends Coming in 2020—