“You’re a social media content creator, right? Doesn’t that make you an influencer?”
If you are working as a social media content creator or at least aspiring to be one, I bet you get asked a similar question every once in a while.
Well, sure, being a content creator has its perks – flexible hours, getting to work from home wearing in your PJs, and not having to put up appearances in front of others.
But that’s only half of it.
It’s actually staying up till three in the morning scratching your head for better ideas; it’s having cup after cup of coffee trying to get your brain to keep working.
That’s why today, I’m going to help make your life easier.
I’ll even give you a list of social media content tools I personally use to make my life 1000x better.
But before we dive into the question “what is a digital content creator and what essentials steps to take to become one,” let me clear one of the biggest misconceptions people have about social media content creators:
We are not all “influencers.”
Influencers vs. Social Media Content Creators
Influencers can be social media content creators but not all social media content creators are influencers.
When you think of an influencer, you think of flashy IG feeds with perfectly curated photos of food, travel, outfits, landscapes, etc. You think of makeup gurus in YouTube or comedy sketches and daily vlogs.
While you might naturally think that an influencer and social content creator is one and the same, they’re not. Think of it this way:
Influencers give form. Social media content creators provide substance.
Behind a single influencer, there could be one, two, even five people producing his or her creator content. This “team effort” is what brings viewers the best content.
Just like in a play or a movie, there will always be people running the show behind the shadows. That’s exactly how social media content creators work.
They decide when to raise and close the curtains; they create the scripts, organize the set, and get the audience to participate in order for the show to run successfully.
If you are that person, or if it is your goal to become that person, then this article can help you out. Let me teach you exactly where to start and how to get to where you’re going.
How to be a content creator, you ask?
Here’s what you need to do in order to start building your career:
1. Understand Where Your Talents Lie
The very first rule of content creation is to know what you’re talking about.
We are living in an age where people have unlimited access to various sources of information online. You can’t just say something in a “matter-of-fact” way and hope people would accept it as the truth.
Trust me; they’d go digging.
And when they realize that you are creating content in a half-hearted manner, with no clear knowledge about what you’re talking about whatsoever, they will no longer see you as a person of authority.
In other words, you can easily lose your audience’s trust when they find out that you are not the best person to talk about a certain topic or issue.
This is why the number one rule in content creation is to only talk about things that you know you are knowledgeable and passionate about.
That’s right – passion and expertise always go hand-in-hand.
As a content maker, your outputs must emanate both qualities. Choose a niche that you are personally interested in, and also have the credentials for.
Brad Mondo, for instance, mainly creates video content related to hairdressing and hair styling.
He reviews other people’s attempts to work on their hairstyles at home, gives sound hair care advice for those who wish to personally style their hair, and he also creates videos of him experimenting on his own hair.
At this point in time, Brad has 6.3M subscribers on YouTube, 1.7M followers on IG, and another 6.7M TikTok followers. The biggest secret to his success? His authority on the subject matter.
On top of his charismatic personality, Brad is a professional hairdresser – and he loves everything about hair. He took his expertise (hairdressing) and his passion (teaching people how to style their hair) and made content that is fun, exciting, and most of all, genuine.
You might think it’s “just hair” but when you really think about it, hair is something all people have in common – it’s something we all struggle with at some point in time. Thus, it is relatable, relevant, and important to most people.
2. Get To Know Your Audience
Now that you understand that you have to find your “niche” in order to write effective and compelling content, the next step is to find the right audience for it.
Not everyone will share your views; not all people will find your passions interesting and worthy of their time. Thus, in order to save your own time and efforts, you need to have your content show up where people who would appreciate it the most would be.
Identify and infiltrate – this is what you need to do.
- First identify what types of people you would like to connect with – what they do, what their interests are, who they follow, etc.
- Once you identify the profiles of the people you want your content to reach, what you need to do next is infiltrate their hangouts.
- Where are they most likely gathering? (Are they more active on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok? Identify where these people are likely to go for new content and join them!)
Pro Tip: And once you do, you can start carrying out profitable Facebook Ads marketing. (Here’s the comprehensive guide!)
More often than not, people with similar interests tend to follow and get followed back by the same people; it’s as if that they exist on an invisible sphere inside the internet. You have to get into this circle and slowly introduce your own content.
By doing this, you increase your chances of getting positive responses from your audience – as you know that they’re bound to be interested in what you’re talking about anyway!
3. Commit To Following Trends
Being a social media content creator is similar to being a stalker.
You stalk people, pages, groups, websites, etc. You are creeping everywhere trying to get hold of new information that can help your campaign.
I know I’m making the role sound a bit sketchy, but it really is what it is.
To survive in the ever-changing online community, you have to stay on top of everything.
Since you are creating content for people, you need to be the first to access information that they would want to know about and translate it for them in a manner that’s fun, entertaining, and relatable.
To make sure that you are at the top of your game 100% of the time, you can subscribe to high-authority websites in your niche.
4. Be Authentic & Speak With Sincerity
When you’re in sales and you try to pitch a product you don’t personally believe in, you will most likely end up not selling anything.
The same thing goes with content.
You see, people can sense authenticity.
They know when the message you are trying to convey reflects your actual feelings. It’s not a superpower, really. I think people, in general, have a gift for this – for spotting the fake disguised as genuine.
If you want to make a wave of impact in your chosen niche online, you have to find your voice and learn how to use it effectively.
You have to take what’s already inside you, materialize it, and show it to the rest of the world. To understand what it is that is in your core, ask yourself:
What do I hope to achieve by creating content?
Who do I want listening?
By sharing this, am I adding value to my audience – to the world?
Is this something that resonates with me as a person?
“Faking it” just to garner the approval of the majority will only give you the opposite effect. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind – the right people will naturally gravitate towards you.
5. Actively Grow Your Network
“Your network defines your net worth.”Tim Sanders.
You are basically an accumulation of everyone you meet – and others will view you the same way. In the end, the people who belong in your circle will define your social standing in the digital content development industry.
Thus, to become an effective content creator, you must also surround yourself with the best content creators. Makes sense?
There are two ways you can grow your network: Online and Offline Networking.
To grow your network online, you must consistently put effort into making your existence known.
Follow influencers and top content creators that receive great feedback with their audience. Engage with their content – either by liking, commenting, or sending them a message referencing to their published posts.
Build these relationships, nurture it, and make an effort to let everyone know you exist in their sphere of influence.
This can be done offline, too.
As you may already know, media creators also hold social events in the real world. This may come in the form of conferences, social gatherings, vertical meetings, etc.
Make sure that you show up whenever you can and participate in conversations that are essential to your practice.
By actively doing these things, you open more opportunities for yourself which can be anything from collaborations, partnerships, or even just simple peer-to-peer support.
In the world of marketing content creation, it pays to have colleagues who understand what you do and could give insights to your work.
6. Never Stop Writing
In real life, miracles don’t happen overnight. You can’t pick up a pen and know how to write a book perfectly. The same goes for creating content for social media.
You can always just use social media content generator apps to help you create generic posts that would fill up your newsfeed with activity daily, but that certainly won’t help you convey sincerity to your audience as we discussed in the previous point, right?
The only real way to get better at digital content creation is to keep doing it.
Even if your social media contents don’t work, even if it doesn’t give you the results you want the first time around, the only way to improve and enhance your skills for creating content for social media is to tirelessly and relentlessly write digital media content every day.
By growing your knowledge through effective market research, testing your new outputs across different digital content platforms, and working out the bugs from your previous attempts, you are one step closer to becoming a content creator that is competent, effective, and well-versed in his craft.
This is the most cliché thing to say, but practice makes perfect – does it not?
7. Invest In Tools That Work
Just like how an artist pours money into his craft and how a chef invests in quality kitchen knives, you must also be willing to shell out a little on tools that can help you in your role as a digital content creator.
You don’t really have to pay for tools 100% of the time. There are many freemium apps and programs online that can help you plenty.
However, if you feel that a certain tool, even if it’s paid, can bring value to your practice and ultimately make your life easier, it wouldn’t be so bad to spend a little extra on it. The returns will likely compensate for that investment.
For a digital creator, grammar and plagiarism are two likely problems you’ll encounter so I would say getting these content creator software would be worth the money.
8. Learn Which Social Platforms Works Best For You
A digital content platform is an umbrella term we use to refer to websites that allow you to post marketing copy – be it in the form of texts, images, videos, infographics, etc.
The four I mentioned above, in fact, are some of the biggest digital content platforms we have on the internet.
We have a few honorable mentions as well, such as Snapchat and LinkedIn which have their respective niches, but it is safe to say that the four above are what you should be focusing on as a web content creator.
There will always be developments in the world of digital media content creation, which is why you should know how to find the most strategic point of entry for your campaign.
Where should you show up and when? What hours of the day is your target audience most active?
9. Improve Your “Hashtagging” Skills
All these content creation tools and modern marketing strategies, but the basics of written copy remain the same.
Hashtagging, for instance, is still a fundamental part of content creation for social media. It is the language of the internet, after all.
When choosing hashtags for your post, it is important to do relevant research.
What hashtags is your target audience most likely to search about?
How many media contents use the same hashtags?
What would be the most strategic placement for these hashtags?
Only after you do your research can you create effective marketing copy.
Of course, there are tools that can help you out like Hashtagify.me (I’ll talk more about how this works later). However, it is also best that you know how to conduct your own hashtag research.
10. Track Performance Closely
You can’t do all the preceding points, follow them to a tee, and just leave everything up in the air.
There is one thing common all successful social media makers have: They know their numbers.
One metric that you will want to keep track of is post engagement (obviously). How your audience responds to your published posts in the form of likes, comments, views, etc.
If you are running ads, monitoring click-through rates and opt-ins is also necessary to make sure that you are not losing money in your campaign.
The growth of your followers and subscribers, as well as the places where they’re coming from should be closely observed as well.
This will tell you what type of audiences your content is most likely to attract and where you can find them the next time around.
This way, you can target the right audience for your content more accurately and learn how to create content for social media according to their preferences.
11. Do All Of The Above Consistently!
Last but not least is to do all the points mentioned above frequently and consistently.
To answer your question “what does a content creator do,” it’s to keep creating content – no matter how many attempts have flunked – until you find that perfect flavor your audience will love.
Or, until you find the perfect audience for your content. It goes both ways, really.
Anyway, remain consistent and always be HUNGRY for more. You can always outdo your performance yesterday as you keep learning something new.
I think that’s the best content creator definition I can give you.
Bonus Feature: 17 Tools That You’ll Need As A Social Media Content Creator
- Hashtagify.me – If you are at a loss as to which hashtags to use, this free tool can help you do your research fast and easy. You can simply do a search on a hashtag you are planning on using and the app will generate the metrics for you, such as how many posts have used the same hashtag, top influencers who frequently use it, common placement, etc. They also offer paid add-ons if you want more comprehensive and timely reports on the most popular hashtags of today.
- SlideShare – If your business appeals to professionals and LinkedIn is a platform your content strategy is most active in, using SlideShare will help you create more engaging and visually appealing presentations. They are now owned by LinkedIn too, so syncing content between the two platforms has been made super simple.
- Grammarly – Not all of us social content creators have professional editors to look after our work. This is why Grammarly comes very handy, especially those who focus on written content. The app doesn’t just correct spelling and punctuation marks; it also gives insight to how your content sounds. It gives you suggestions as to whether your content sounds too bland, too serious, too hyped, etc.
- Typeform – Gathering multiple information from viewers doesn’t get easier than this. Sure, you can always just launch polls on social media. However, if you want to ask more elaborate questions, Typeform is an ideal tool to use. It can help you create quiz-like forms and gather responses for up to 100 people for free. Their premium offers allow you to tap to a bigger audience, so if that’s what you’re going for, it’s worth checking out.
- Anchor – Planning on launching your own Podcast series? Anchor can help you make high-quality audio content for free. Whether it’s just for short video/audio clips or an hour long Podcast, this tool is bomb.
- Typorama – There are other similar digital content creation software that you can use to create amazing graphic and image content online, but Typorama takes the cake when you are used to editing in your mobile phone. The app is built for mobile use so you can easily create unique designs anytime, anywhere.
- PowToon – If you are fond of those cute animation videos that other multimedia content creators share, then it’s about time you meet Powtoon. This marketing content creator can help you create engaging videos without having to pay a remote video production team a hefty sum of money.
- Animoto – Here’s another contender for the video-making category. Just like PowToon, this tool features a library of stock images and videos for you to create compelling video content in a matter of minutes! Starting price is $16/month – not a bad deal, if you ask me.
- Placeit – This video editing app takes things to another level by allowing you to manipulate the setting in which you want yourself or your product features. You simply take a snap of yourself or product and choose your desired background template with it (e.g. full white background, in an office, at the mall), and the app will “place it” for you seamlessly. This is exactly how a social media account creator should roll!
- Canva – Just because you create content for social media doesn’t make you a wiz at using Photoshop or other advanced editing tools. So here’s Canva, a unique content creation software that allows you to make beautiful graphics and video ads even when you have the skills of a beginner. I personally think it’s one of the best content creation tools out there.
- Crello – As a website content creator, it’s hard to miss apps like Crello. It’s similar to Canva – and is also free for the most part – but this time, you get to choose from 10,000 design templates, and a humongous library of stock photos and videos to create your content. It’s a great tool that teaches you how to create social media content easily.
- Hemingway App – Another thing to look out for when you are creating social media content, especially when you’re heavily focused on written copy, is the readability of your content. You have to make sure everything flows naturally, and it’s not heavy for users’ eyes to digest. The Hemingway app is the perfect digital media tool for this.
- Copyscape – Among the social media content creation tools we have listed today, this one probably sounds most familiar. Nobody likes copied content – much less an online content creator. I mean, we do exist to create digital content that is unique and compelling. To make sure that your copy is 100% original, Copyscape is your best friend.
- NinjaOutreach – Here’s a tool for the social networking maker. If you’re not too sure how to expand your sphere of influence, and don’t know who exactly you should reach out to for network growth, this tool can help you search and connect with the right people.
- Word Counter – Do you send out tweets several times in a day? Then you should probably add this content creator app to your list of useful tools. Twitter’s character limit may be up to 280 instead of the 140 limit they had in place before, but it’s still easy to lose count when you don’t have the appropriate tool to monitor your writing – thus, Word Counter.
- Coschedule Headline Analyzer – In order for your posts and published content to have more impact, a compelling and catchy headline is necessary to have. This headline content generator and analyzer tool can help you create the most effective headlines for your copy.
- Writefull – This digital content creation software can help you monitor your writing in progress. It’s a free tool that lends an extra pair of “eyes” to spot common errors in your writing. It’s a pretty nifty tool since you can just download the app on your phone and continue with your content creator activities on the go.