Social Media Content Creator: How Could One Benefit Your Business?14 min read
If you’re doing it right, social media management should be hard. Yes, you can automate lots of things. But a lot of time and manual effort has to go into building a dedicated, engaged community on multiple social media platforms.
If you’re running your own business, there’s only so much time you can dedicate to social media marketing. And you may not have the design skills you need for eye-catching visual content. So, who does?
A social media content creator can produce on-brand posts that you’d never be able to do yourself. But how do you find the right fit for your business? And what results are you hoping to achieve? This guide will help you figure it out.
- The biggest struggle for marketers trying to produce engaging visual content is doing it consistently. 86% of businesses use video as a marketing tool.
- Do you want to encourage engagement? Build your follower count? Find more leads? Have a specific outcome in mind for your content creator so you can track progress.
- Have the answers ready for questions you expect them to ask (e.g. “What’s your budget?”, “Who will post the content?”, “Do you have guidelines or examples for reference?” etc.) This will save back-and-forth and make you seem legitimate.
- Social media content creators put the focus on the quality of their content rather than their follower count. Influencers want to impact other people’s purchasing decisions based on their perceived authority, knowledge, or personality.
- The average open rate for emails in the creative services industry is only 21.39%. So, write a personalized subject line that makes it clear you’ve done your homework.
- Start to build a relationship with a content creator before emailing them. Get familiar with their content, leave some comments, and determine if they engage with their followers.
The importance of visual social media content creation
Which type of content does your social media marketing strategy favor? If it isn’t visual content, it’s time to make a change.
Some social channels are built for visuals (think Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok.) But it’s still important to use them on LinkedIn and Twitter too. Video content is one of the most engaging types—that’s why 86% of businesses use it as a marketing tool.
The majority of marketers reported spending 2-5 hours a week (on average) producing visual content in 2021. Using Canva templates for static social media posts will save a lot of time, but they can only get you so far.
Instagram Stories and Snapchats can also be beneficial for your strategy. Especially if you’re using them for behind-the-scenes sneak peeks or quick live updates. These quick videos usually feel more genuine and relatable than overly-polished branded versions.
You want to include as many different types of visual content in your social media marketing efforts:
- GIFs and memes
- Product photos
- Charts and graphs
But visual content marketing that engages your audience and creates measurable results (like Reels or YouTube videos) will likely take much longer.
The role of a social media manager
As a social media manager, you’re looking to build brand awareness. You need to create a unique, memorable social media presence for the business you’re working for. If it’s your own business or you’re a startup, this task could well be yours.
Social media marketing covers lots of different avenues:
- Using copywriting skills for engaging profile bios
- Quality content writing for social posts
- Building a community with your target audience
- Researching and following a social media content strategy
- Content distribution tactics for social shares (linked to SEO)
If you’re running your own company’s social media accounts, you’ll likely have other business goals as a priority. And the biggest struggle for marketers trying to produce engaging visual content is doing it consistently.
That’s where social media content creators come in.
What is a social media content creator?
Social media content creators can fill the gaps in your team or small business. The creation process isn’t fast—it’s why so many companies struggle to fill their digital marketing content calendars. (That’s also where content curation can help out.)
Here are some important marketing tools you may not have the content creation skills or time for:
- More complex graphic design tools
- High-quality infographics
Engaging content doesn’t happen by accident. Experienced social media content creators know there’s a formula behind it. And they excel at making the media users love to digest.
They’ll also have their own equipment for creating different types of high-quality visual content. This could include:
- A dedicated studio
- Cameras and lenses
- Editing software
- A microphone and other audio equipment
- Tripods and other stands
Their level of expertise and equipment will also be factored into how much they charge. At this point, they sound kinda similar to influencers. But what makes social media content creators different?
Influencers vs. social media content creators
Using influencers as part of a brand’s social media strategy is nothing new. 61% of consumers trust influencers’ recommendations, while only 38% are likely to trust recommendations from a brand on social platforms. So, you can see why they’re a useful marketing tool.
Social media content creators can be influencers too. But they put the focus on the quality of their content rather than their follower count.
Influencers tend to want to impact other people’s purchasing decisions based on their perceived authority, knowledge, or personality.
There’s some overlap, but here are a few key differences:
|Influencer||Social media content creator|
|Can be skilled at content creation, but usually limited to a specific aesthetic or format||Usually professional photographers, videographers, writers, or creative directors|
|Can reach celebrity-level exposure||Known more for their content than personality|
|Prevalent number within every niche on social media||Can be harder to outsource and requires a thorough vetting process|
Everyone that uses social media is technically a “content creator”. But taking a quick photo of your lunch with a smartphone and shooting and editing a twenty-minute short film don’t require the same level of skill.
You’ll find expert content creators on all social platforms, but mostly the visual ones like Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. These are the places where they can put their skills to good use.
Prepare your social media content creation strategy
Before you go looking for the perfect match, you need to know what results you want. “Make me some great content” just won’t cut it. SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. So, follow this structure before you develop your own.
Do you want to:
- Increase sales and conversions?
- Earn social backlinks?
- Encourage engagement?
- Build your follower count?
- Find more leads?
Figuring this out will help you measure the success rate of any campaign. So, have a specific outcome in mind before you progress.
Before they agree to making content on your behalf, creators will have a ton of questions. So, make sure you know the answers to the most common queries before they ask. These could be:
- Do you have any content ideas you’d like to explore?
- What range of pricing and rates will be within budget?
- Are you looking for a single post or a campaign?
- Who will be responsible for posting content?
- What type of messaging or call to action do you want included?
- Do you have guidelines/examples or will you give the creator creative control?
- What are your measurable success metrics?
Being prepared will save a lot of back and forth and means you can get the creation process started faster.
Where do you find social media content creators?
Being a social media content creator is now a legitimate career path. And full-time creators will charge more than those who do it as a hobby. Just like searching for the perfect influencer partnership, finding the right creator takes time.
You need to make sure you find someone with these traits:
- Charges a rate you can afford
- Can create the right aesthetic for your brand
- Has experience in the platform you’re interested in
- Has a portfolio of work they can show you
- Has worked with other brands in the past
So, where do you find these high-quality social media content creators? Well, it’ll depend on the platform you want content for. But here are a few sure-fire ways of locating them:
- Put up a post for applications with a job description and let them come to you
- Search through Fiverr, Upwork, or other freelance sites
- Ask your network for recommendations
- Search through relevant hashtags
- Join content marketing Slack and Discord groups
- Join freelance Facebook groups
- Use sites like Pearpop or TikTok Creator Marketplace
Putting time into this stage and vetting creators can prevent issues arising down the line. Even though you’ll most likely be working remotely, you need to treat the relationship as a partnership. Don’t work with anyone you wouldn’t be comfortable hanging out with in person.
Before reaching out to social media content creators
You can contact social media content creators the same way you’d reach out to micro-influencers. But before sliding into someone’s DMs, you want to try and build a bit of a relationship. As well as getting on their radar, you’re starting the vetting process by getting familiar with their content.
Follow them on the platform you’re interested in and engage with their posts. Note down the answers to these questions:
- How often do they post?
- Do they engage with other accounts?
- Are they active on multiple platforms?
- Do they respond to questions from followers?
Test your theory by leaving thoughtful comments and questions under posts you like. The creator is a lot more likely to respond to your future request if they recognize your name from their feed.
Micro-influencer Nikiya Palombi highlights the importance of a brand leaving comments. “It shows that a brand actually took the time to look at my photography style and makes me feel like they are truly interested in what I bring to the table as a creator and not just mass emailing.”
While social media content creators and influencers can work differently, they’re all still people who appreciate the effort of meaningful outreach.
How to ask to work with a social media content creator
Once you’re ready to reach out, choose your medium carefully. Email is a lot more professional than social media messaging when contacting a creator. Their DMs are likely full of messages they haven’t read. Plus, if they don’t follow your brand, it could end up hidden in the “Requests” folder.
The average open rate for emails in the creative services industry is only 21.39%. So, how do you write a compelling email that’s got the best chance of being opened and replied to? Well, it all starts with the subject line.
You need to make it clear from the get-go that this isn’t a generic template. You want to personalize it and (ideally) introduce yourself too. Here are some examples of what I mean:
- [Brand Name] and [Social Media Content Creator Name]: A perfect partnership?
- [Brand Name] x [Social Media Content Creator Name] paid collaboration 💰
- [Social Media Content Creator Name], [Brand Name] needs your photography skills!
- Hi [Social Media Content Creator Name], let’s collaborate
- We want you to be [Brand Name]’s featured creator! ✨
Some people love to use emojis in subject lines. Others hate them. While they can inject some personality, some studies have found adding an emoji to an email subject line increases the negative sentiment by 26%. (You may want to split-test both versions.)
Once you’ve got your content creator’s attention, you should include a few things in the main body:
- Personalize everything, so it doesn’t look like a mass-produced template
- Prove why you believe you’ll be a good partnership
- Make it clear you’ll be paying
- Give your brand some background
- Explain the type of content you’re looking for
Basically, you want to preemptively answer as many questions as you can in the one email. That way, you’ll be taken more seriously.
Example email for social media content creator outreach
Here’s an edited example template taken from Statusphere:
Subject line: [Name], we love what we’ve seen on Instagram! 👀
Hey [Content Creator’s Name],
We’ve been following your Instagram account and really love your post(s) about [insert topic]. [Insert personalized compliment about their content].
My name is [Your Name] and I’m the [position] at [Brand Name]. We [insert summary sentence of your product/service and unique selling proposition].
Since [insert how their content aligns with your brand], I wanted to see if you’d be open to a collaboration. We’d love for you to create three 30-second videos featuring our [insert product] for our feed.
Let me know if you are interested (including your rates) and I will send more details.
Once you hit send, don’t expect an answer back straight away. (You might not even get one at all.) Sometimes it can take two or three attempts for a response. But don’t be pushy or annoying after that.
You should spend time building a list with several options of content creators you’d like to work with. Just don’t email too many at once in case they’re all interested.
You can’t afford to be missing out on the conversions and revenue high-quality visual content can bring. Just because you don’t have the skills to create it doesn’t mean you can’t reap the rewards. You can still take your posts to the next level by hiring a social media content creator.
Make sure before you jump into outreach that you have a strategy. Know your measurable success rates and any details the creator might need. Then create a personalized email with a subject line they can’t ignore for the best chance of success.
Have you ever used a social media content creator before? Which platform do you think you’d get the most benefit from? We’d love to hear about your experiences on our social media channels.