Difference between influencers and creators (and how to work with both)

The terms creator and influencer can be used synonymously, but there's also important differences.
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The terms ‘creator’ and ‘influencer’ are often used interchangeably in the digital world, but the two are very different roles.

They have different approaches when it comes to content creation and brand promotion, and it’s important for marketing and communication strategists to understand the difference from the outset. 

When you know what the differences are, then you can really fine tune your marketing strategy. So in this post, we delve into the things that set influencers and creators apart by exploring their characteristics and offer insights into how brands can collaborate with both creators and influencers to maximise marketing efforts.

What’s a creator? 

Creators craft content across various digital platforms, including social media, blogs, websites, and more. They produce content that aligns with their niche interests, passions, and expertise.

As the name suggests, creators create content, such as articles, videos, music, and visuals, which are then shared with their audience and readers. Unlike influencers, creators prioritise the creation of content over generating masses of followers, so their content reflects their artistic vision and passion for their subject matter.

 TikTok’s Coach RAC is a perfect example. He uses his love of baseball to educate and entertain his readers, and he has a genuine dedication to creating valuable content. This shines through his posts and platforms, and it reflects an authentic commitment to his niche.

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What’s an influencer?

Influencers are social media personalities who shape their followers’ decisions and actions through their personal brand. They share their daily lives and experiences, and endorse products and services that resonate with their audiences.

The content provided by influencers aims to inspire followers, getting them to engage with brands and products that the influencer endorses. Their followers trust their recommendations, so influencers are an invaluable bridge between brands and potential customers. 

You can also get microinfluencers. These are influencers with smaller audiences, who focus on a very specific niche. They’re highly engaged and love their chosen topic. They’re authentic and gritty, and working with them can be a very powerful way of building brand traction.

Jackson Olsen is an example of a successful TikTok influencer within the baseball community. He blends engaging content with lifestyle, sports, and branded content to create an authentic connection with his audience.

He subtly promotes brands like Savannah Bananas and Major League Baseball, and his influence underscores the value of influencer-driven marketing. His promotion of these brands has gained them traction with his followers and they’re now synonymous with his brand. 

The key differences between an influencer and a creator

Before we dig into the differences, it’s important to know the similarities between the two. Both influencers and creators create user-generated content (UGC), which is essentially any content created and shared by customers and individuals rather than by brands themselves. You can find out more about UGC, and how it can benefit your brand and campaigns, in our in-depth blog post.

01: Intent

Creators prioritise the creation of valuable content. Influencers focus on building a personal brand that inspires and influences followers’ purchasing decisions.

02: Content quality vs. brand endorsement

Creators believe in high-quality creative content that engages their followers on a creative level. Influencers incorporate brand endorsements within their content to promote products and services.

03: Engagement vs. reach

Creators engage deeply with their followers and foster strong connections. Influencers aim to reach a wider audience and drive action through their recommendations.

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Why should brands collaborate with creators and influencers?

Considering the differences between a creator and an influencer, the reasons why you’d engage with them will differ depending on what you want to achieve. Each one offers distinct benefits to brands and enhances their marketing strategies in unique ways. 

Collaboration with creators

Quality content creators prioritise just that – quality. This means that everything they create resonates with their audience and reflects their creative vision. They bring a deep niche expertise to their social media platforms, and this makes them the ideal partners for brands looking for legitimacy and authenticity.

Creators also have dedicated followers that trust their recommendations, which leads to higher conversion rates for the products and services they endorse.

Collaboration with influencers

Influencers provide you with an opportunity to increase brand awareness and to reach a broader audience, so you can extend your brand visibility beyond your current market. They also have followers from diverse demographics, so your brand can connect with audiences that you may not have otherwise been able to.

Influencers have a personal brand, which encourages engaging interactions with their followers and often leads to impressive conversion rates. 

The synergy between the creator and the influencer

There is no reason why your brand should choose between a creator and an influencer. You can leverage the strengths of both to enhance your marketing efforts.

When you collaborate with creators, you can develop valuable evergreen content that aligns with your brand values, educates consumers, and establishes brand authority. Influencers, on the other hand, can amplify your brand reach and introduce your product to new audiences while fostering a sense of trust and authenticity.

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How to work with creators

When you work with creators, it’s important to find those who share your brand values and who genuinely like your brand. This will forge a relationship of trust and will allow both you and your chosen creator to deliver content that’s authentic and relevant to their followers.

You need to trust in your creators when it comes to how they serve the content and how they present your brand (without compromising on your brand identity) as they know their audiences and how best to speak with them.

Thanks to their commitment to their markets and their niches, creators are growing in popularity as they have a creative vision and their online presence is relatable and authentic. Creators are generally not presenting unattainable lifestyles to their audiences – they’re grounded and their lives are achievable – so don’t equate huge followers with success, rather look at how engaged their followers are and take it from there.

It can be tough for organizations to relinquish creative control to a creator, especially if the creator is using different emotions, such as humor or vulnerability, to communicate the brand’s message. However, it is possible to find a balance between your brand style and the creator’s approach.

How to work with influencers

Influencers often have a different approach to creators. Ranging from high-end celebrities to accounts followed by millions, influencers do what their name says – influence people. Their endorsements and lifestyles attract followers and make the brands they recommend appear desirable and high profile. 

Influencers now also have different follower bases, with microinfluencers and nano influencers often having followers in the thousands instead of the millions,  but these followers are usually loyal, and they’re passionate about the lifestyle that the influencer portrays. Influencers generally expect a decent fee, but they work with brands to create campaigns that align closely with brand identity and expectations.

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Capturing the perfect harmony

In the dynamic world of influencer marketing, it’s important to understand the difference between the creator and the influencer when creating effective marketing strategies.

Your creators are there to prioritise the creation of content as an art form. Your influencers are there to use their personal brand to inspire action.

When you harness the expertise of creators and the reach of influencers, you can create a potent marketing cocktail that resonates deeply with your target market and has a measurable impact on your brand’s growth.

Using your understanding of these two roles, you can navigate the influencer landscape confidently and transform your marketing campaigns. You’ll soon recognise each one’s different strengths, so you can manage your approaches and fine tune your marketing to get the best possible results.

Finding the right influencer or creator for your brand 

There are hundreds of thousands of creators and influencers out there, so finding the ones that really resonate with your target audience can be tricky. However, using a platform like Vamp makes the process considerably simpler, and means you can manage and track your influencer and creator marketing campaigns with ease. 

Discover how Vamp can transform your creator and influencer campaigns

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