Many would have thought that content creators and influencers are the same, but they are actually different. Here we list down 10 distinct differences between content creators and influencers.
Do bear in mind that some content creators are also influencers, and the other way around. Influencers are sometimes known as KOL (Key Opinion Leaders) too.
1. YouTubers vs Instagrammers
Content creators are generally active on YouTube while Instagram is the de-facto showroom of influencers. Therefore, content creators are generally YouTubers while influencers are mostly active on Instagram.
Even before the era of YouTube, content creators already existed in the name of bloggers who post articles. Influencer, on another hand, is just being coined not too long ago.
2. Long-form vs Bite-sized
Be it articles or YouTube videos, content creators are used to developing long-form content. On another hand, influencers usually post photos with carefully crafted short captions.
In comparison, bite-sized content on Instagram can be produced in minutes while a YouTube video might take hours or even days to produce.
3. Variety vs Limited Topics
Due to its long-form content nature, the range of topics for content creators is very wide, from baby playing toys, gaming shows, cooking recipes, travelogues to anything you can think of!
In contrast, topic categories for influencers are not as wide as content creators. Influencers usually post content related to fashion, beauty, travel or “lifestyle” (whatever it means).
4. High vs Low Entry Barrier
Content creators need to be creative at the same time technical, either in writing skills (bloggers) or video shooting and editing skills (YouTubers), not to mention the investment in video equipment.
On another hand, a smartphone is good enough for influencers to shoot photos or videos. Influencers (or their accomplices) are usually creative in photography, with mood-setting and all.
5. Content Marketer vs Self Marketer
A content creator has to be damn good at a certain topic, and master the art of presenting the content and telling the story. Content creators tend to talk about the topic more than about themselves (perhaps with the exception of certain vloggers).
Influencers are self marketers, they enjoy being at the center of attention. Some influencers are willing to share their personal life, it is the personality why people follow them in the first place.
6. Behind The Scene vs Glamour
There are many content creators who do not front or show faces on their YouTube channels for various reasons. Some of them are just happy working behind the scene.
As for influencers, it is best if they live an interesting life, at least in front of the camera (for example, renting a grounded private jet). Anyway, brands like to work with influencers due to their strong personality on social media.
7. Gold Creator vs Mega Influencer
The holy grail of any YouTuber is to achieve the gold creator status, a.k.a gold play button, which will be awarded if the YouTube channel hits 1M subscribers. Here’s the list of YouTube gold creators in Malaysia.
While there is no official award for the influencers, “mega” influencer is coined for those who have more than 1M followers. The lesser tiers are grouped as “macro”, “micro” or even “nano”.
8. Team vs Individual
If your ambition is to become a YouTuber, you can either choose to become a solo YouTuber or work with a team, be it your co-host, co-talent or production crew. Many successful YouTube channels are operated by a team, not a one-man show.
Influencers especially those who are not yet “mega”, usually work alone. However, many mid-tier influencers appoint a manager (sometimes their boyfriend) to manage sponsorships or even as their photographer.
9. View Rate vs Engagement Rate
Besides the number of subscribers or followers, what other metrics are important for YouTubers and Instagrammers? Total views, watch hours and view rate (average view percentage of video length) are the performance index for YouTube channels.
As for influencers, they are usually measured by post reach and engagement rate (likes, comments) on Instagram. Some of the influencers are also active on other platforms like TikTok etc.
10. Direct Monetization vs Sponsorship
Last but not least, how do content creators and influencers make money? YouTubers are able to monetize directly via AdSense from Google / YouTube ads shown on their content. Find out who are the richest YouTubers in Malaysia.
Influencers on another hand can’t really monetize directly from Instagram. Most of them generate revenue from sponsorship deals by promoting the sponsor’s brand, product or services.