Consumer-creator ratio is growing in Digital media: Bhuvan Bam

Instagrammer of the Year Award winners Bhuvan Bam, Pooja Dhingra & Sejal Kumar along with Saket Jha Saurabh, Head, Entertainment Partnerships, Facebook India, speak about influencer marketing and more

e4m by Priyaankaa Mathur
Updated: May 6, 2019 8:08 AM

Instagrammer of the Year Award 2019, in its second edition, has recognised seven social media influencers on the platform. The list includes actor Priyanka Chopra, as the ‘most followed’, cricketer Virat Kohli as ‘Engaged Account of The Year’, actor Deepika Padukone as ‘Storyteller of the Year', actor Sara Ali Khan as the ‘Rising Star', and social media influencers Bhuvan Bam for ‘Entertainer of the Year’, Pooja Dhingra for ‘Food Account of the Year’ and Sejal Kumar as ‘Fashion Account of the Year’. 

The awards were on the basis of Instagram's internal data for the period January-November 2018, based on criteria like total views, highest number of followers, growing record and total number of likes. 

The awards, which were held in Mumbai, brought out interesting insights about influencer marketing, how it helps brands and how the world of Instagram works in conversations. 

We caught up with Saket Jha Saurabh, Head, Entertainment Partnerships, Facebook India, and winners Bhuvan Bam, Pooja Dhingra and Sejal Kumar.

Edited excerpts:

What was the idea behind the genesis of the awards?
Saurabh: The seven award winners are basically creators on the platform who are celebrities and also content creators. It’s a way for us to reach out there and create a world on the Instagram Spooch community. These awards are a good way to tell what Instagram stands for and what is good about the platform and that is the mission behind the Instagram Awards. 

Who is your audience as an Instagrammer?
I have always wanted to reach out to people who can relate to you in day-to-day situations that I try to portray in my videos. People do relate to the problems we face every day in our homes. 
Pooja: A lot of people who want to get into the profession and want to be on the food path are my audience.
Sejal: My audience is someone in the age bracket of 18-25, and is into fashion and lifestyle. 

How is influencer marketing on digital media platforms helping brands?
Influencer marketing, in general, is becoming increasingly important because the advertisement market is highly cluttered. Audiences and communities relate with things and people they trust in life. That's where the influencers come in. If brands are able to find meaningful partnerships and it's not a forced fit they will find great salience. In a cluttered media environment, where there is so much advertisement money, movement through influencer marketing is a smart way to develop relationships with your core audiences. I think smart brands have realised it and that’s why they are coming on Instagram both to build their own community and also to work with the influencers where they reach their target community.
Bhuvan: I think digital platforms as a complete space has given creators like us a voice. Three to five years ago, anything apart from Bollywood was not considered something special. But now things are changing for good. Today creators like us have our own content, our own voice. We feel lucky that brands see our potential in our content and they come to us for endorsements through our windows.
In terms of brands, are you working on any partnerships?
Today brands are looking at engaging with the audience big time and look at the full marketing funnel. So it could be about creating awareness about a product or assurance that there is an intent to buy. One can also get an insight on the transactions as what they might need to work on. So they find authentic engagement and a great value with Instagram across audience and age groups. Also, we are excited about creators having opportunities where they can be used for brand-related partnerships.”

Tell us about IG TV and when will it be launched in the Indian market?
Facebook recently launched IG TV, where users will get to know about stickers, stories, IG live and everything that we are working on. It will eventually come to India and some products have already been launched in the test markets. I think it's only a matter of time when the right products come to India. I think the community in India is right and vibrant, is thriving and we will keep launching new products. 

So what makes for a good or a bad post on Instagram?
We cannot say what a good or a bad post is, but we do have certain community guidelines. Our main focus is that we make Instagram a safe and healthy community. It’s a platform to share experiences so we cannot actually define what is good or bad.”
Sejal: As creators, we need to act really mature, so how a video gets a response should be treated that way. So when a post is good you have people liking it, while if things are absolutely wrong followers will wake you up by not responding."

How important is maintaining consistency with regard to posting videos?

Bhuvan: Well, it’s important to have consistency in posting videos, but doing it for the sake of it is not advisable because today media’s transparency is dangerous. If the followers like it, it’s good but if they don’t then it can be detrimental. It’s important to play safe and not post anything and everything. It’s important to take your time and also to let people know that you need some space to churn out something interesting.”

Do you think the Digital media is taking over other media?
I think it is growing rapidly as more and more creators are creating and consumers are consuming too. So the consumer-creator ratio is growing and it's a healthy space now.

What is the Return of Investments on this platform for brands?
The reason brands are approaching Instagram and creators are embracing the platform is because it is creating value for both sides. It could mean different things for different people.

Any tips to be a good Instagrammer?
It’s important to be authentic and confident about something that you want to pursue and share. You need to be communicative with your followers and just have fun.

Bhuvan: It’s important to enjoy the freedom that the platform gives to your own voice. Your opinion and thoughts need to be communicated responsibly. Enjoy it as a creator to create what you want to rather than what people would like to see."

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