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Blog Working as a Digital Creator in 2022 – The Last Guide You’ll Need to Read

Working as a Digital Creator in 2022 – The Last Guide You’ll Need to Read

The world of content creation is becoming more and more diverse. From YouTube videos, Instagram photos, and podcasts to live streaming on Twitch; there’s an entire plethora of digital creators building careers out of sharing content with their audience.

A lot has changed in the digital industry over the years. But one thing remains constant: the need to create something entertaining for audiences who enjoy consuming information through different channels such as social media platforms (think Facebook or TikTok). It’s not just about being interesting anymore. You also have to show your audience some love by creating engaging posts/videos which they will hopefully share with others.

Whether you’re considering becoming a content creator or you want to hone your content creation skills, this guide will help digital creators navigate the online world in 2022. Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is a Content Creator? 

The definition of a content creator is a person who produces knowledgeable, entertaining, or educational digital material that is distributed for consumption online

With an entire industry dedicated solely to content creation, content creators, also known as online educators, contribute to various mediums and channels and create digital assets like videos, posts, blogs, tutorials, or how-to guides, comprehensive online courses to mention a few.

 

Content Creator vs Influencer

What is the difference between a content creator and an influencer? The biggest difference is that a content creator creates and shares content to educate, inform and entertain, while an influencer creates and shares content to promote a product or a brand and influence their viewers purchasing decisions.

Content creators use their specialized knowledge in a certain field to create in-depth content that answers the user’s questions. On the other hand, influencers use their fame and personality to create viral media and convince users to make a purchase or follow a brand.

Content Creator vs Influencer Venn Diagram

Both content creators and influencers are tech-savvy, have excellent time management, self-management, and writing skills. But their focus is different. Content creators are educators and they often spend a lot of time researching, working, and editing a piece of content before posting it on the internet. Influencers are masters of audience engagement and their priority is to be followed for their personality, looks, and possessions.

Influencers build their following over time and attract new followers or subscribers by being charismatic, by sharing personal details of their lives, and constantly engaging with their audience through multiple social media platforms.

Content creators usually only focus on one or two social media platforms that offer the best medium for the content they create. Since the nature of their content is educational, they don’t always have a loyal audience; their content is often consumed by one-time visitors who are there to have their questions answered or learn something new.

Here’s an example of a content creator on Youtube: 

Sean Tucker

And an example of an influencer on Youtube:

Valeria Lipovetsky

Here’s an example of a content creator on Instagram:

@1bike1world

And an example of an influencer on Instagram:

@hannahcrosskey

So what falls under content creation?

Businesses need content creators to attract new customers and engage existing ones on the brand’s behalf. Sometimes, content creators work on building their own brand, hence all the traveling and delicious 9 AM Margaritas that we see on Instagram. Everyone’s selling something. In order to sell, you need compelling content that will attract followers. Seems pretty straightforward, right?

So, what exactly does the term “content creation” mean? 

Some types of content include:

Content-creating channels include:

Content creator examples 

Joe Rogan is a great example of a successful content creator.

He saw the huge potential of free audio and video podcasts and created “The Joe Rogan Experience”, which had over 190 million monthly downloads in spring 2019. In addition to his podcast subscribers and YouTube viewers, Rogan has 10.3 million followers on Instagram, 2.6 million likes on his Facebook fan page, and 6.4 million followers on Twitter.

Now, how much would a brand pay for these numbers? Ask Spotify. 

With so many niches, audiences, and types of content you can create, there are many, many ways to be a content creator.

Here’s a list of digital creators for inspiration.

Content creators on YouTube

1. Lindsey Adler 

Photographer Lindsay Adler creates and shares content on photographic education.

2. Nerdwriter 

The Nerdwriter is a weekly video essay series that covers everything from iconic TV shows to famous painters.

3. Vlogbrothers 

The Vlogbrothers are the OG content creators on youtube and the pioneers of vlogging.

4. Paige Wassel 

Paige Wassel is a US-based prop stylist who dabbles in content creation via her youtube channel where she discusses everything interior design.

5. CGP Grey 

CGP Grey is the father of educational digital creators on Youtube where he tackles sundry concepts in elaborate videos.

6. Veritasium

Veritasium is a famous youtube content creator who shares videos on science and education.

7. Justine Leconte 

Justine Leconte creates in-depth Youtube content that revolves around style, fashion and design.

8. VSauce 

Vsauce is yet another educational Youtube content creator who answers both deep and simple questions in long-form videos.

9. Physics Girl 

Physics Girl is a digital creator who demystifies tough-to-crack physics questions.

10. Simone Giertz 

Swedish inventor Simone Giertz is a youtube content creator who films herself building innovative things.

Content creators on Instagram

1. Katie Jane Hughes 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by KATIE JANE HUGHES (@katiejanehughes)

Katie Jane Hughes teaches her Instagram audience how to put on makeup and how to achieve creative dozens on different looks.

2. Sean Tucker 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Sean Tucker (@seantuck)

Sean Tucker is a seasoned photographer and a content creator who shares his photography knowledge on Instagram and Youtube.

3. Humans of New York 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Humans of New York (@humansofny)

Humans of New York is an Instagram account created by Brandon Stanton who shares the stories of people he crosses paths with.

4. Marques Brownlee

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Marques Brownlee (@mkbhd)

Marques Brownlee is primarily a Youtube content creator but he also shares his tech and gadget reviews with his Instagram audience.

5. Language Nerds 

Language Nerds creates and shares content on Instagram that revolves around puns, alliteration, and witticisms. No sponsored content here!

6. Pronunciation with Emma 

This content creator’s Instagram account is self-explanatory. Pronunciation with Emma dedicates her content to teaching us all how to correctly pronounce words.

7. Money with Katie

Katie is the Instagram content creator behind Money with Katie; she imparts her spending, investing and tax strategies knowledge with her 68,000+ Instagram followers.

8. Dr Shereene Idriss 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Dr. Shereene Idriss (@shereeneidriss)

Dr Shereene Idriss is a New York-based dermatologist by day and content creator by night. Her Instagram content focuses on skin issues and the best treatments.

9. Doctorly 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Dr. Muneeb Shah (@doctorly)

Doctorly is made up of Dr Shah and Dr Maxfield who educate their Instagram followership on taking care of your skin and appearance.

10. How to Renovate a Chateau 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by LE FLEUR (@le_fleur_honfleur)

The Normandy-based married couple behind the How to Renovate a Chateau Instagram account is documenting and sharing their efforts of bringing an 18th-century French castle back to its original glory.

Content creators on TikTok

1. Physicsdude @physicsdude
@physicsdude Physics specialization slander #physics #slander #PerfectAsWeAre #fyp ♬ some slander audio lmao – Heh

2. Bill Nye @billnye  
@billnye They say cooking is art – but baking is #science! #StepByStep #TikTokPartner #LearnonTikTok ♬ original sound – Bill Nye

3. Caitlin Reilly @itscaitlinhello
@itscaitlinhello SHE NEEDS TO FIND THE EQUATION #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #thisphoto #weekendtrip #scifiart ♬ original sound – Caitlin Reilly

4. Olivia @biologywitholivia
@biologywitholivia 20 secs revision for everyone coming on tiktok to escape biology #alevelbiology #gcses #school #year11 #exams2022 #gcses2022 #studytok ♬ Toxic x Pony – ALTÉGO

5. Dr Julie Smith @drjuliesmith
@drjuliesmith 👉If this makes sense to you like and leave a comment ❤️ My new book is out now and packed with tips. See link in my bio available worldwide #mentalhealth #burnout #stress #stressrelief #breakdown #mentalhealthawareness ♬ original sound – Dr Julie Smith – Psychologist

Bloggers

1. Minimalist Baker 

2. Downshiftology 

3. Backlinko 

4. Aleyda Solis blog 

5. Alison Greene

 

A talented content creator is the mastermind behind what we read, watch, tag, save, share, and interact with. Content creators play an essential role in growing the brand’s online presence. According to the “Content Marketing. Behind the scenes” report by Planable, 45% of marketers produce over 5 pieces of content per week and publish over 11 social media posts during the same amount of time. Users are hungry for fresh content. And brands are willing to satiate that hunger. That being said, those same brands have to be ready to credit content creators properly using some sort of author bio.

Content marketing industry report

What Does a Content Creator Do?

For businesses, content creation can mean crafting newsletters, emails, digital marketing materials, brochures, social media, articles, annual reports, advertorial, editorial, and company communications, and more.

Is content creator a job?

Yes! Content creator is a job. You can make money through a wide variety of avenues: by making YouTube videos or podcasts, by monetizing your blog or by selling your course.

What is it like to be a content creator?

Content creation is often fast-paced and dynamic. Depending on your workload or client portfolio, you might spend your week between pitching new ideas to existing clients, executing your latest projects, waiting for feedback, and meeting with potential new customers.

Content creators are often the most creative people in their company. They need to be patient and think outside of traditional ideas if they want success, but it’s worth all that hard work!

What makes a content creator successful?

The ability to provide their audience with high-quality, engaging material that gives the viewer something worthwhile. The success of a content creator can be measured in a few different ways: metrics like views, time on page or watch time, likes, shares or comments.

With so many digital creators out there, now more than ever it’s important to be genuine and authentic. Whether you’re sharing content on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube or Linkedin, followers, viewers, and subscribers nowadays are savvy and picky about what they watch and consume. They can see through poorly disguised ads and sponsored content. So they’re increasingly demanding transparency in exchange for their time and loyalty.

How to Become a Content Creator

Most likely you’ve heard about content creators on Instagram. A lot of influencers describe themselves as content creators. Like those digital nomads you see traveling the world, taking breathtaking pictures, drinking cocktails, and producing video content for thousands of followers. Livin’ the dream. La vida loca.You get the point.

On the other hand, there are also big companies looking to hire content creators. They’re supposed to grow the brand through flawless articles or high-converting explainer videos. But aren’t these the same content creators who’re busy traveling the world and uploading amazing videos on their extremely popular Youtube channels? I thought that was their full-time job. It’s a bit confusing, isn’t it? Doesn’t have to be. Let’s take it step by step.

What is the process like to become a content creator?

Whether you want to start your own business or dream about working for a cool brand, these tips will come in handy. 

  • Education

Content creation isn’t just about posting pretty pictures on Instagram and finding the right hashtags. Becoming a good content creator is no walk in the park. Like any other role, this isn’t for everybody. I’d say the key to achieving success requires you to have an audience-first mindset. EssayTigers specialists advise to do thorough research, study your audience, understand what they’re looking for, come up with something fresh and useful, fail many times, improve your strategy, repeat, and succeed. Great content creators don’t exactly produce the content that they or their friends would enjoy and hope for the best. They go for what the target audience needs in order to click on that subscribe/share/follow/buy button.

  • Find your niche & voice

Here’s the deal. You can’t know everything about anything. The good news is that no one expects you to be an omniscient guru. You just need to figure out what makes you lose track of time and explore that. 

For example, Swedish YouTuber, PewDiePie started his YouTube channel back in 2010, primarily posting Let’s Play videos of horror and action video games. Over time, his style of content diversified, but he started by creating content that he was genuinely interested in. The Youtube content creator now has 106 million subscribers.

PewDiePie YouTube channel

Finding a niche may not be easy, but it’s worth it. People crave authenticity. They trust recommendations that come from thought leaders. This is why brands turn to influencers who can suggest products and services to their loyal audience. With more than 25 million businesses using Instagram to reach their potential customers, content creators can trust that there are potential collaborators out there for whatever they choose to specialize in.

Yeah, sure, you may not reach Camila Coelho’s number of followers if you decide to go for an Instagram account in fashion. It’s a crowded space. That doesn’t mean you can’t find a niche inside that niche and still get to add those wonderful shoppable tags that make buying featured products (too) damn easy.

Camila Coelho Instagram

This is also true for brands. At Planable, we believe in being absolute specialists. Our specialty? Collaboration. You wouldn’t use your pocket knife for a job that required a precision drill, would you? You wouldn’t use a collaboration tool for your analytics either. Our laser-sharp focus is on keeping our customers’ workflow as smooth and seamless as possible. On minimizing wasted time. So our content naturally focuses on marketing teams, efficient collaboration, and social media. We’re great but we’re not for everyone. And that’s ok.

After deciding on your niche, don’t hesitate to let your personality come through! People appreciate genuine content. Whether you’re working on a company’s brand voice or your personal Youtube channel, remember to keep it simple. It’s not always about finding the biggest words. It’s about adapting your message and tone of voice to the audience you’re after. Try communicating your ideas as naturally as possible. It’s what sets lovable brands apart from fads.

  • Check yourself before you wreck yourself

I didn’t say anything about flawless grammar, hands-on experience with content management systems, or familiarity with SEO. The list is long, my friends, but I trust you already know the most obvious requirements. I really believe that having an audience-first mindset, staying curious, and flexing that content creation muscle will get you far.

  • Practice everyday

Wanna write the best converting articles? Write some more. Try new tools like AI writing assistants and research tools to help you go the extra mile. Wish you could take awe-inspiring photos? Put that camera to work. No one was born with amazing video editing skills either. So practice practice, and then practice some more. Consistency is key and no doors are gonna open for you if you don’t knock every day. I just made that up, but I’m sure it makes sense. For some. 

Don’t be afraid to ask for people’s opinions on what you’ve done so far. Feedback is a powerful tool that you can use to improve. You’re creating content for strangers. You don’t have the luxury of pretending that you don’t care what others think. 

Build a routine. Here are a few things you could include:

  1. keep an eye on what your audience is sharing
  2. set aside some time to learn (it can be anything from taking an SEO course to reading at least one marketing article every day)
  3. actively engage with your audience through comments & messages
  4. monitor brand mentions and trending topics
  5. update old content from time to time 

How to Grow as a Content Creator

Use social media to connect with your tribe

This is where your audience hangs out. If you look closely, they’re literally showing you everything you need to know. What they wanna wear, where they want to go, the conversations they wanna have. Their struggles and their happy moments. 

Listen to them, engage in their conversations, offer solutions to their problems. Use content as a way to address their needs. If you wanna sound like everyone else in your industry, go ahead and just make broad assumptions of who these people are and what they want. 

Badass content creators focus on providing value. To reach that point, follow these simple steps:

  • ask relevant questions

there are currently over 400 online experiences on airbnb right now. as that number grows, we’d like to know: what experiences would you like to see?

— Airbnb (@Airbnb) June 26, 2020

  • encourage your audience to express their opinion regarding your brand (ask for reviews or create a hashtag so you can easily follow everything they share)
  • incentivize people to do what you want by offering giveaways, discounts, or free resources

Now that you should have some valuable info on what people want from you and think of your brand, it’s time to create something useful. It can include tutorials, tools, blog posts, infographics, downloadable guides, mini-courses, webinars, helpful email sequences, and much more. Of course, as you start to engage with a lot of people, remember to follow online safety guidelines such as not disclosing information that can compromise your location, and keeping your IP address hidden with VPNs. With all that out of the way, you can go ahead and let your creativity roar!

Stay curious 

How do content creators manage to stay up to date with everything that’s both fresh & useful? This question leads us to skill number two. Curiosity. You’ll want to stay in the know about everything new and exciting that’s happening in your industry. Constantly read about trends, regulations, opportunities, and obstacles. The more you know, the more you can put yourself in your followers’ shoes. This is how you’ll be able to create a valuable piece of content that will be the answer to all their problems. Even the ones they didn’t even know they had. 

flex that content creation muscle. If you don’t use it, you lose it. Joe Rogan’s podcast has over 1500 episodes. On average, each episode lasts more than 2 hours. Let that sink in. Success doesn’t come overnight. Writing’s no different. Research by Orbit Media shows that bloggers who write more (either in length or in frequency) are more likely to report strong results. The bottom line is that practice makes perfect. It doesn’t even have to be perfect. Just show up and flex that content creation muscle. You’ll see the results soon at some point.

Content Creator Jobs

If you want to make content creation your regular job, it’s time to open LinkedIn and dive in. The first thing you’ll notice is that there are very different job descriptions for each content creator role. Some employers want someone who writes, others think only about video. Often, companies wish for an all-in-one kind of person. Someone who writes during their morning coffee, edits a video ‘til noon, takes a couple of instagrammable photos after lunch, and edits everything before sunset. It’s your call. 

Some of the main responsibilities include:

  • research and plan out effective and engaging content ideas for industry-related topics

How much does a Content creator make?

According to Indeed, the national average salary for a content creator is $49,114 in the US. However, based on your skills and experience, the social media marketing services price varies quite a lot. For instance, some businesses are more specific and look for “social media content creators”, “video content creators”, “visual content creators”, and so on. Think about what role suits you best and explore that.

content creator salary in the US

Content Creator Tools

So we’ve decided that using social media to connect with your audience is a must. The good news is that there are tools out there that make your work easier. You’re not alone in the social media game. Everybody needs a little help and these platforms offer just that.

1. Planable

With Planable, you can create, preview, approve, schedule, and publish your social media posts. As a successful content creator, you’ll most probably end up collaborating with other stakeholders. Let’s say you’re an influencer and the brand that’s sponsoring your post wants to approve it beforehand. Or you’re a content creator working for a multinational company and the legal department would reaaally appreciate it if they could review the posts before going live. Whatever the situation, Planable makes collaboration ridiculously easy. Give it a spin.

Price: $9/month/user billed annually

Free plan available ✅

2. Hashtagify.me

If you’re active on Twitter & Instagram, this tool resembles your future best friend. It allows you to find the best hashtags to reach your audience, gives you custom suggestions, and helps you get to know your influencers and competitors better. Fun fact: since April 2011, hashtagify.me analyzed 8,472,311,405 tweets, collecting data about 12,412,106 hashtags. 

Price: 29$/mo +VAT

7-Day free trial available ✅

hashtagify tool
3. Canva

It’s one of the most popular tools for creating social media graphics out there. And there’s a good reason for it. Canva allows users to create high-quality images quickly using layouts, templates, and design elements. Designing cool images for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and even your email newsletter is definitely easier with this drag-and-drop tool. 

Price: $9.95/user/month (billed annually)

Free plan available ✅

Canva tool

4. Animaker

Animaker is the best tool to create animated & live-action video content in a matter of minutes. Anyone can create high-quality videos like a pro without prior experience. Creating video content for any use case like Business, Social Media, Brand Awareness, Invites, etc., for different platforms gets simplified with this tool. In short, it’s the one-stop shop for your video needs! Do check it out!

Price: $10/Month ($120 billed Yearly)

Free plan available ✅

animaker tool

Emerging Trends – what the future holds for content creators

We went through the ABC of becoming a content creator, had a look at some useful tools, and talked about $$$. High five! To end this article in (my) style, let’s grab some popcorn and look at what the future holds.

  • The rise of video in content creation

I bet you saw that one coming. Video is effective, so it’s here to stay. According to The State of video marketing 2020 report by Wyzowl, 80% of video marketers say video has directly helped increase sales. YouTube remains the most widely used platform, with 85% of video marketers having used it in 2019.

The number of businesses using video as a marketing tool, overall, has increased from

61% to 85% since 2016. This means there are lots of opportunities for video content creators to leverage.

video marketing report

Photo source: Wyzowl

  • Ultra-targeting

There’s no shortcut here. You have to do proper research. There’s nothing more annoying than a business that sends you the wrong message because of bad targeting. Like a brand assuming you have children just because you’re 30 and bombarding you with baby gear-related ads. Ok, maybe some things are more annoying than that. 

Ultra-targeted content involves hours spent stalking your audience. If you wanna create content that speaks to them on a deeper level, do the work. We, at Planable, know the frustration that comes with messy spreadsheets, back and forth emails, and chaotic workflows. We can relate to our audience’s struggles because… well, we’ve experienced them ourselves. But we also talked to a lot of marketing teams. So we use that in our content to reach more people with the same problem.

  • Personalization 

So you’ve studied your audience. You know what those people like to have for dessert, what their nickname was 15 years ago, and where they like to shop. It’s time to craft some personalized content that will make them wonder if you actually stalked them. 

Don’t focus on what you want from your audience. Focus on their needs and interests. According to HubSpot, 74 percent of online consumers get frustrated with websites when it shows content that has nothing to do with their interests. Why do we love Netflix and Spotify? One strong reason is that they provide recommendations based on what you’ve watched and listened to in the past. We feel understood.

90% of the most successful content marketers put their audience’s information needs first over their promotional message, according to Content Marketing Institute’s B2B report. It’s time to start creating content that’s tailored to your audience. Respect their time and you’ll soon enjoy the benefits.

I’ll leave you with a nice scenario that Jesus Meca of Real Focus Marketing mentioned:

“If you create the right message and help your customers create video reviews for your brand, you will create an army of mini-influencers that will help you create more exposure for your brand.”

Enjoyed the virtual popcorn? Me too. Before we say goodbye, I just wanna add something. I really hope you reached the end of this article thinking “hey, that was useful. And sometimes, somehow funny… Mostly useful though”. 

Alright. My job is done here. Now go ahead and flex that content creation muscle.

Raluca Cirjan
Raluca Cirjan

Raluca Cîrjan, Digital Marketing Specialist @Planable.io. Advertising and social media enthusiast, fast learner & ailurophile. I believe that one joke a day keeps the doctor away. Feel free to share a funny story with me.

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