Creators vs Influencers – The difference

difference between creator and influencer

Have you ever considered that Influencer Marketing might just be a “bubble” and one that is possibly about to burst? Well, recent analysis conducted by Buzzoole on the use of #ad on Instagram, shows that influencer-generated posts in 2018 increased by 42% when compared with 2017. 

The general consensus from this research is that Influencer Marketing is continuing to exude growth and drive success for brands. But as we know the devil is in the detail. While conducting our analysis, it became clear that the posts with the best engagement and reach were published by celebrities – particularly The Kardashians – which isn’t at all surprising. However, when comparing these posts with ‘Macro’ style Creators  (sub 1MM followers), there’s a notable difference. Not all Influencers are the same, not all Influencers are Creators.

Not all influencers are the same, not all influencers are Creators.

At Buzzoole, we like to enlist Influencers with creative flair, hence the use of the term: Creator. Not all players in this space make this their priority, many continue to put followers and reach over and above the content that they produce. This is not strictly a bad thing, but it is also the case that smaller Creators are more likely to produce authentic and inspired content to engage and delight their audiences. Moreover they exhibit a greater tendency to refuse campaigns that aren’t aligned with their profiles and could put them in a difficult position with their followers. The reason? Creators have a closer relationship with their fans, who often consider them to be experts in a given field. In fact, Influencer Marketing Hub reported that Influencers are 67% more likely to accept 50% or less of the campaigns that they’re offered. This stat is important because it shows that authenticity is crucial for them: it proves that they are only willing to promote brands that they believe in. It is this higher level of authenticity – together with their highly personal and creative spin – that our clients love, and is also why brands increasingly repurpose Influencer-generated content for other paid media and Out Of Home campaigns. 

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The lower acceptance of sponsorship may also be down to non-celeb Influencers feeling more connected to their audience and in building bonds with their following, more of an unwillingness to sell them just anything. Research by eMarketer showed that Micro-Influencers (10K-100K following) are the most effective tier of Influencers out of Macro (101K-500K), Mega (501K-1.5M) and Celebrities (1.5M+). Furthermore, the IAB found that 44% of Influencers are motivated to work with a brand because the opportunity is relevant to their audience. Micro-Influencers are likely to have a greater appreciation for their audience, as their community is more intimate. This respect for their followers may lead to the production of more inventive, authentic partnerships with brands, driving their success. Buzzoole prioritises working with those who are driven to create beautiful imagery with brands that they love, as these are who we consider to be true Creators.

This respect for their followers may lead to the production of more inventive, authentic partnerships with brands, driving their success.

As we noted, The Kardashians dominated the charts for highest engagement and reach across most verticals. Their content – i.e. the visuals and the captions – isn’t necessarily creative nor is it unique, but their huge followings mean that they can develop tremendous brand awareness amongst a wide non-targeted audience. The frequency of their posts also shows that their likelihood of accepting sponsorships is quite high. Most of the time they are paid to create unimaginative posts in which the product might blend into the background or even disappear. Ultimately creating content is their (sometimes primary) job, but unless they are equipped with a creative team that supports them, their content will simply reflect their (poor) creative skills. They know millions will see their posts regardless, so making the product stand out in the most creative way possible is unnecessary for them, leading it to almost fade into insignificance rather than being celebrated. This might be considered the difference between a standard Influencer and a Creator.

The choice of the right Creator comes down to your goals and surely Celebrities and some Instagrammers can provide massive reach. But if you want to plug into someone passionate about their content, their followers and bringing your brand to life for them, probably a Creator is your best bet. Drop us a line to find out how you can plug into our ever growing database of content Creators and bring your campaign to life through the power of real


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