e4m Content Jam: 'Genuineness & consistency is the way forward for influencers'
Nikunj Lotia, Larissa D'sa, Nikhil Sharma, Atul Khatri, Dhvani Bhanushali and Gurpreet Singh discuss 'Leveraging Influencers to Drive Brand Purpose'
exchange4media Content Jam saw Nikunj Lotia aka BeYouNick, Content Creator Larissa D'sa, Content Creator Nikhil Sharma aka Mumbiker Nikhil, Content Creator Atul Khatri, Stand Up Comedian and Dhvani Bhanushali, popular Singer and Influencer discuss 'Leveraging Influencers to Drive Brand Purpose'. The session was moderated by Gurpreet Singh, Co-Founder & COO, Onedigital.
With Influencers and content creators being sought after by brands even more than ever now, the demand for digital content has reached new skies. A lot of people have been wondering if content creators and influencers have also faced a dearth in the work during the lockdown.
However, this lot has been busier than ever. For Nikunj Lotia, this has been his golden period, going back to the basics when be just began his journey of content creation. "I'm making more content than ever. I used to do everything through learning on YouTube, which used to be tough initially, since I would travel all the way to Thane to shoot with Prajakta. Right now, I'm posting one video almost every day and I am enjoying my time. I'm in constant conversation with my team and I have been refurbishing my old content and I've gained a lot of followers in this period. I post around two old videos for my new followers and two new ones, in a week." He is also states that he has enough content to survive the lockdown.
The perks of the current situation is that it had pushed content creators to be more experimental and explore areas that were untouched in normal times.
Content Creator Larissa D'sa is of view that the audience has become very sensitive towards content creators and are accepting different genres. Speaking about her own property,she said, "I've built my brands as Larissa D'sa and people are loving it since they are home and there is a lot of consumption. Followers are increasing like crazy. It's important to create content at this point and it's possible since we're home."
D'sa believes that it's a the best time to create a mark with the audience and in the industry as well.
Dhvani Bhanushali explains the workings for individuals who are more into music video shoots than content creation.
Bhanushali started her journey with videos on YouTube. "People are looking at a story when they look at music videos. That is not possible for me right now. I can't do a music video every week."
The singer-cum-Influencer also recorded and shot a video titled 'Jeetengey Hum' at the start of the quarantine. Like most other Influencers, Bhanushali is also putting up light-hearted fun videos like cooking, make-up for her audience, just to engage with them on a personal level.
Nikhil Sharma on the other hand saw the start of the lockdown as a means for relaxation and a break from his routine life. "I realized I'm so addicted to shooting just about anything and being in front of the camera. I live alone and so I started using this time as an opportunity to talk about the lockdown and was reviewing my old videos.
Not everyone on field starts with a career infilled with passion. An IT engineer-turned stand-up comedian Atul Khatri tells us how his career switch turned out to be the best decision. "Since the age of 44, I was the CEO as well as did stand-up, but in 2016, I become entirely a stand-up comedian."
Speaking about his experience in the Lockdown he said, "I realised that stand-up comedy as a genre would be the last to start. I started doing these series at home called only positive news, which gave me a lot of routine and normalcy. I'm doing a lot of other small scale things. We're never on social media entirely, except to connect with our fans and sell tickets. We don't create content especially for social media. It was difficult for me but I quickly learnt it. I got a few brand deals too."
Khatri has done around 74 sessions as part of his positive news series and is of strong belief that if you enjoy doing a video, it will automatically garner followers. He himself has acquired around 25K followers close to the lockdown, adding that consumers understand if you're being fake or true.
However, a lot of content creators have also seen a 20% dip in work. It has been a better experience for them post the first phase of the lockdown. Even though everything is mostly Digital, creators have seen the big change.
Like most media, creators and Influencers also face risk with regard to the sentiments of people, which gets intensified during times like these.
"If you don't say anything, it means you're not standing for it. Sometimes, the content you put can backfire. Even though you're not doing anything, you're doing a lot," Khatri said, adding that the best way to deal with negative situations is to see positive things. "I want to be around positive people and make people laugh."
Celebrities are generally expected to live up to the expectations of people. In such a situation, Khatri urges people to realise that these people too have families and emotions. "We will talk about a situation when we're passionate about it. There's a lot of fake news doing the rounds. I talk about news only after I read all the facts. Even the Kerala animal incident went from an animal to communal issue." He also explained that he generally doesn't worry about brands and says what's on his mind.
Audiences have become more sensitive and a lot of creators have been dealing with an increase in trolling, with everything being contradicted.
With an unending pool of content available these days, telling the difference of good from bad becomes highly difficult. Bhanushali feels that the quality is extremely subjective and varies from person to person. However, it needs to meet the course of guidelines and restrictions.
Speaking on the uptick of Tiktok as a platform to share short format content, Lotia experiences most artistes in favour of doing stuff on TikTok. "Even the biggest actor is on Tiktok. When I was in LA, I did a lot of videos on TikTok and I've gained a lot of following there too. I'm concentrating on YouTube, Instagram and on TikTok. I create separate content on tiktok."
On the other hand, Sharma is neutral about the usefulness of the platform.
"I have no love or hate for Tiktok. I just don't like the way it works. I am very satisfied with YouTube and Instagram and have no problem with people using Tiktok." Sharma believes that what matters at the end of the day is how long one can sustain himself without making consumers reach a saturation point, which according to him generally comes faster with a platform like TikTok.
"Tiktokers who do well eventually come on YouTube and instagram, but the YouTubers who are doing well don't need to come on Tiktok."
Contradictory to this, Lotia is of belief that one needs to be a creator on every platform.
D'sa believes that the ones who are creative are the ones surviving in the current situation, since they've started off by doing everything from scratch and now what works and what does not.
"Every platform has its own audience. On YouTube, they want my stand-up clip which is long. If your material can work across every platform, that's great," said Khatri.
In a message to all aspiring content creators and Influencers, the participants of the Webinar had messages of their own to give.
Addressing aspiring content creators, Lotia said, "If you want to post content, start doing it, don't do a lot of research. You should like doing it and have fun while doing it. People see that you're doing it because you love doing it and not just to get views. If this video comes on your wall, would you like it? If the answer is yes, then make it and post and I'm sure you'll find the audience. Collaborate a lot with someone who has a similar vision with you."
"Put your own style to your content. People start loving my content more when I added humour to it. Adding your own essence is super important along with consistency at this time." said D'sa.
Lastly, Khatri asked all aspiring new age media creators to follow their passion, be original and true to themselves. "At least for comedy, come out and watch live stand-up. Don't watch it on Netflix. Entry level barriers are very less. Do what excites you and not what gets you followers."
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