In 2020, amidst all the troubles caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, eCommerce and the use of social media both increased. Sensible, as many people were forced to stay home, and with the social media uptick, more opportunities for internet marketing came to existence as well.
Social media has been the source of a lot of internet lingo, and “social media influencer” and “content creator” are two of these terms that are quite popular. Some argue they are the same, some argue they are different, but it seems to be more of a perspective than an actual difference in what they deliver to the social media masses – videos and images.
Some people say “I like movies” and some people say “I like feature films.” Generally, the latter has a more polished palate for Hollywood creations, but at the end of the day, both people are watching actors act on a screen. The influencer versus Content Creator seems to share many similarities with the movie/feature film comparison.
Those who make the case that the two things are different point to content creators as being individuals who make full productions and share them on social media. Generally, this includes things like proper lighting, camera equipment, and even paid on-screen talent.
The counterargument often made is that even someone on a selfie camera can make some pretty quality videos, at least from the layperson’s viewpoint.
Self-proclaimed content creators often say they make their money based more on what they create, rather than who is on the camera. Cartoonists, musicians, scriptwriters, etc. often like to wear the content creator title rather than the influencer one, as they are often not what is featured in the video. Ultimately, the dollars are based on how many people consume the content, regardless of what that content is or who is or is not appearing, though. Revenue from advertisers is almost always from pre-content, independent commercials for creators, and that may be the biggest difference between the two, as influencers have more opportunities to get paid.
Those labeled influencers tend to be the stars of all their content, and though some do take pride in creating productions worth of praise from film students, most still take the most pride in being front and center. This is where brand influencer marketing presents opportunities to marketing teams, where a similar opportunity probably doesn’t exist for most people who are strictly content creator types.
Musicians and athletes tend to be the hybrids that can fall into either category, as live events and music videos certainly qualify as content, and some music videos and sports highlights have literally billions of views. However, they also tend to always “star” the same people.
Most influencer marketing involves the content of a social media star utilizing a product or service as the whole post, but smaller opportunities like athletes wearing branded clothing do exist with the “normal” content these individuals share (videos, highlights, live streams).
Though social media is still full of misinformation, hate speech, and more negativity, statistics show that people are ready for a change, and many are moving away from things like Facebook to more content-heavy mediums like Snapchat and Instagram. Which in retrospect are relative to Facebook anyway.
The brand influencer marketing trend is expected to continue as well, and marketing teams should definitely seek out niche markets based on a given influencer’s followers.
At a standard price of about $10 per 1,000 followers, finding influencers who are very popular within a given niche, but perhaps not household celebrities tend to give marketers the biggest ROI.
Social media is an ever-changing world, but since the rise in YouTube popularity more than a decade, creators and influencers have been able to find money and fame using the mediums, and they don’t look to be going anywhere anytime soon.