Delving into the minds of content creators fuelling the influencer ecosystem
With the growing digital media consumption, the distinction between content and promotional advertisements has become critical, and hence, a greater transparency in influencer marketing. The pandemic times has seen brands increasingly pivot towards social media influencers. Digital marketing agency AdLift pegs India’s influencer market at $150 million in revenues per year and recording double digit growth. Keeping in mind the growth of influencer marketing, earlier this month, the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) unveiled the final iteration of its Influencer Marketing guidelines that focus on disclosure of paid collaboration by influencers. Along with the MoneyBrighter.com & guidelines, ASCI also aims to develop an inclusive educational approach to shape the narrative of influencer advertising.
The influencer/ creator space has now matured to a stage where it is a multi-faceted economy. With multiple channels of distribution/ growth, a wide array of monetisation opportunities and also a growing support structure of people and companies who work with these creators to help create-amplify and monetise their content. This maturing will enable it to show higher growth and capture a bigger chunk of both media as well as brand investment money.
The influencers, on their part, are putting up purpose driven content and how they have pivoted keeping in mind the current sensitivities. Adgully spoke to a cross-section of social media influencers to get a clearer perspective on this burgeoning ecosystem.
"The core need right now is to use whatever social reach/ equity we have to amplify and help in any way possible."
Varun Duggirala, content creator, podcaster, entrepreneur, and personal development pundit, pointed out, “The core need right now is to use whatever social reach/ equity we have to amplify and help in any way possible. This is a human crisis and what influencers have is human reach and this needs to be authentically utilised to help. And that’s the core way to look at it.”
Over the last couple of years, influencer marketing has evolved into a complete industry of its own. There are macro, micro and nano influencers across so many different categories that help brands amply their reach with their target audience. An audience that constantly craves for fresh and engaging content every time has also increased the competition among the content creators.
"Viewers are just like us, everyone is feeling the same highs and lows and everyone is looking at social media or OTT platforms to provide some respite and restore normalcy, even if for a few minutes during the day."
Commenting on the viewership behaviour, Slayy Point said, “Viewers are just like us, everyone is feeling the same highs and lows and everyone is looking at social media or OTT platforms to provide some respite and restore normalcy, even if for a few minutes during the day. This has led to the audience feeling even more connected to us as people and the understanding + engagement has been greater than ever before.”
"In terms of strategy, I feel up till a point you can revamp your strategy to grow, but honestly, this affects your mental peace."
Talking about the competition, Mythpat said, “People have been confined to their homes and entertainment has become a big factor in order for people to stay indoors. I started posting a lot of videos to keep my audiences entertained. My frequency of content creation had increased quite a bit and we saw a considerable amount of growth in the lockdown. In terms of strategy, I feel up till a point you can revamp your strategy to grow, but honestly, this affects your mental peace. You wish to put out at least five videos a week for your audiences who are now solely relying on your videos for entertainment, but then you realise that due to this pressure on creators, one is unable to spend quality time with family. For me, it is essential to take time out for myself and my family. Games and videos will keep going on, with or without competition. It is imperative to give yourself a break from time to time.”
With the increasing digital media consumption, the marketing landscape is transforming, and influencer marketing has become mainstream, especially during the pandemic.
"The whole pandemic has been a wonderful journey for my content creation business, as it makes people shift towards an environment-friendly approach, and as soon as they thought about promoting their environmental-friendly/ sustainable products and services they reached out to me for tie-ups."
Speaking about brand associations during the pandemic, Aakash Ranison, a sustainable and responsible Travel Influencer, Climate Change Activist, and Author, noted, “The whole pandemic has been a wonderful journey for my content creation business, as it makes people shift towards an environment-friendly approach, and as soon as they thought about promoting their environmental-friendly/ sustainable products and services they reached out to me for tie-ups. Starting from automobile giant Jaguar from the house of TATA for the launch of their new Electric Vehicle I-PACE in India, to the leading alternative dairy brand Sofit for their Soy Milk campaign, to Adidas Original’s Stain Smith’s Premium range, 100% Vegan and made from recycled plastics, or textile industry’s one of the most famous and wide spared brands Pepe Jeans London for their new Wiser Wash Jeans Campaign. This list goes on – of the brands I’ve worked with in the past, many good brands I couldn’t work with for various reasons, and many more are in the pipeline, soon to be rolled out.”
(Edited and additional inputs by Shanta Saikia.)