Will influencers now move to YouTube & Instagram?

With the ban on TikTok, experts foresee a significant spike in the number of YouTubers and Instagramers as influencers are expected to start working on building a more omni-channel presence

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Jul 1, 2020 9:04 AM  | 5 min read

The Indian government’s ban on Chinese apps seems to have put a natural and abrupt end to the ongoing tussle between YouTube and TikTok influencers. While the trend of influencer marketing is here to stay, influencers are expected to make a shift between platforms now.

Industry players foresee a significant spike in the number of YouTubers and Instagramers as influencers are expected to start working on a more omni-channel presence.

Impact on overall influencer marketing

Honey Singh, CEO and Co-founder at digital marketing firm ARM Worldwide, says brands will shift back to YouTube for regional outreach. “TikTok helped change brand perception since marketers have recently started experimenting with the platform for influencers and paid media.”

Gopa Kumar, COO Isobar India also names Instagram and Snapchat, apart from YouTube, as popular platforms for creators and influencers that will drive engagement. "There are many Indian apps which are now coming up as an alternative, though to get engagement and interaction at the level of TikTok will take some time. For brands as I mentioned best platform will be Instagram and YouTube if they are working with influencers," he added.

According to Viraj Sheth, Co-founder and CEO at influencer management company Monk Entertainment, “The younger and budding set of creators from the hinterland will find it difficult to build their audience on a different platform. Hence it will be a test of patience and persistence for them.”

Experts add that the more established creators will gradually go to YouTube and Instagram to make up for their branded content income.

Speaking about how this will impact brand endorsements on the app, Radhika Bangia, social media influencer, actress, and model said: "At the moment you can’t open the app at all, hence brand endorsements will completely be stalled until further notice, TikTok endorsements made for about 15-20% (sometimes more for a certain creator) of social media income. Hence, this will come off as a disappointment to some of the creators who were very established on the platform. Although over a period of time, I feel they will recover their income through other platforms they’re already active on."

Bangia further said a lot of Indian apps are going to fill the gap of a short video platform. “We’re already seeing that with Chingari."

Impact on current campaigns

According to Ranveer Allahbadia, YouTuber and entrepreneur, “Brand endorsements on app will be paused for the time being since no one can actually access the app. Hence, the revenues on the platform or the TikTok influencers make through that will come to a complete standstill.”

While it was recently removed from the Play Store listing, existing users having the app installed can still access the platform. While there are no clear guidelines or clarity, brands should complete planned commitments with an additional post on linked channels like Instagram.

Influencer sentiment

Bloggers and influencers are all now looking at an omni-channel presence with the focus to be on YouTube and Instagram.

“When TikTok emerged two years back, it suddenly emerged as a big platform for content creator and took away a lot of shine from Instagram. Now that TikTok has been banned by the Indian government I feel Instagram will be back with a bang once again in a big way. Also there have been talks about Instagram launching yet another platform that is in the lines of TikTok. So, that might just come as a replacement for TikTok, at least in India,” said social media influencer Shambhavi Mishra.

Influencers are looking forward to adding more platforms to their kitty.

“Instagram was already big among brands and bloggers and influencers. So I would say alongside Instagram, Snapchat too will gain prominence if TikTok is going to be banned for good. Apart from that, new Made in India apps will emerge soon and gradually gain relevance for brands and us,” said blogger and influencer Shishta Maurya.

On the ban affecting reach and following, Allahbadia said: “The ban won't affect us much since we have a presence on multiple platforms and that's how I believe one should approach the social media game - by spreading out and exploring multiple platforms since it makes things safer and the growth comparatively easier.”
TikTok’s loss will thus be a gain for other apps working on the same influencer marketing model, said experts.

Allahbadia also said that Instagram will get more prominence now. “YouTube will also start getting a lot more traffic; a surge in new audience since they will try finding their favourite Tiktokers on these platforms primarily. We may also see a lot more apps that will come in and try to take over the TikTok content space. Although, I'll be surprised if only one single app takes over that space because I feel it'll be multiple social media apps that will fill the void.”

According to Harikrishnan Pillai, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, at TheSmallBigIdea, “From a long-term perspective, Indian apps have a great opportunity to grow. ‘Revenge Download’ will lead to a sudden spike of Indian apps. Whether they manage to be sticky and effective, time will tell,” he said.

With inputs from Noel Dsouza and Ruhail Amin

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