At #SAMMIE2019, influencers Ankush Bahuguna, Radhika Bangia, Roshni Bhatia and Viraj Ghelani discuss facets of the job at a panel on Cutting Through Crowded Timelines: Lessons from India’s Leading Creators. The panel was moderated by Viraj Sheth, Co-Founder, Monk-E.
Influencers often face heat for producing content that looks and feels like an advertisement. There are many factors that make it happen, say influencers. Brands that put across specific instructions on the size of the logo and minutes of brand integration are the ones to be blamed, say influencers. “The onus needs to be on the brands to ensure influencers get the creative room they need to create content,” says Roshni, creating a flurry of agreements among the influencers on the panel. “Brands should be integrated into the video and the video should not exist because of the brand,” adds Ankush at #Sammie2019.
When the integration feels forced, neither is it fun to create the content nor do we get good engagement on it says Radhika. “The video that was created with the brand, is it still entertaining without the brand? It is an important question to be asked,” chips in Viraj Ghelani.
It takes effort to find a common ground between what you wish for people to see and what they are there on your profile to see. You can’t be too experimental, says Roshni, adding that bits and pieces have to be put in a way that people would be interested in consuming the content. “You have to keep up with their expectations as the audiences’ perspective is really important,” she explains. “You give them what they are there for and then you slip in what you want them to see because it is important for them to see a new aspect of you,” adds Ankush.
Viraj explains the process of testing: “My Instagram profile worked as a testing platform for the content we put up on bigger platforms. We checked the content for three aspects — who would share is? Who would tag others on it? Is there a community for this?”
I don’t think numbers are that important for what matters is engagement. “There are times when we don’t get as many likes but the feedback in the comments is really good,” says Roshni. Taking the conversation forward, Radhika adds that there needs to be a greater awareness among influencers that the numbers don’t matter as much as they are made out to be.
However, there is a need to have a system of evaluation. “Numbers are important because data need to exist. If not in the form of likes, there has to be some other system,” adds Ankush.
To conclude the discussion, Viraj said: If you are a content creator, you should share your experience, not your imagination. The comment was well received by every one of the panel as well as the audience, summing up the discussion for the night.