A lot of brands mistake influencer marketing for advertising: Kritika Goel
In conversation with Kritika Goel, who aims to entertain and inspire with her travel vlogs; she shares how her hobby turned into a full-fledged YouTube Channel.
Having worked four jobs in the past, Kritika‘s journey has been an eventful one. She shares her two cents on the future she foresees for her personal brand, her USP in the cluttered space, and more.
Looking back, where did it all begin?
It all began as a hobby, three years ago when I started my blog. I was working a full-time job at the time, but just wasn’t feeling satisfied with the work I was doing. Deep down, I think I always knew I wanted to be working for myself.
I’ve actually graduated in Economics from Lady Shri Ram and went on to do a post-grad in Advertising, have had four jobs in the past, and was always a topper in school. Because of all that I felt like I couldn’t really pursue creative fields, so I just started my blog as a fun side project along with my job and also posted regularly on Instagram. A year into blogging, I decided to start my own YouTube channel, as I felt I was a more visual person, and that changed my life! I enjoyed it so much that I eventually decided to quit my job and give YouTube a real shot.
What’s in the name?
My blog was called Blog of the Things, a name I came up with because I wanted to write about everything (I’ve always disliked the idea of sticking to a niche and found them restrictive). But over time, I liked YouTubing better and just built my personal brand, so it’s just Kritika Goel everywhere now.
What is your USP in this cluttered space? How does your content give you an edge?
I think each creator is unique in his or her own way. I try to make my videos both fun and informative so that people get some value out of the time they spend watching my videos.
Please take us through your content creation process. How do you stay relevant and relatable?
It starts with coming up with a good idea, which is one of the most important parts (and something that I skipped doing in my initial days on YouTube). Once that’s done, I just get down to filming. Since most of my videos are vlog style, they are quite spontaneous and I usually don’t have a script in place. But I do have an idea of what all to say, things to cover and the shots I want to take so I work with that vision in mind. Once that’s done, then there are just endless hours of editing, starting with trying to find the right music and then just creating a good story out of all the content you have. Apart from this, I post on Instagram every day so I make sure to take good photos and capture stories every day as well.
How do you make moolah with your efforts?
At first, it was mostly through YouTube monetization. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t actually make too much money through YouTube ad revenue (especially if your audience is primarily in India). But as my channel started to grow, brand deals and other opportunities began to come in, and they make for a major part of my revenue now.
How do you maintain editorial objectivity with the influx of brand briefs?
I’ve honestly been quite picky about which brands I choose to work with. I give my personal brand’s integrity the most priority, so if I feel the brand I’m collaborating with isn’t something I’d use myself, or if I don’t agree with its values, or feel that I’m not the right fit for it, I won’t promote it. For every brand deal that I accept, there are several that I turn down. I think it’s important to keep your audience’s trust if you want to be in this game for the long haul, though it does pinch you a little every time you turn down money. But I think it’s totally worth it and it’s something all YouTubers/bloggers should try to follow.
One instance/experience that made it all worthwhile
I get messages/emails on a daily basis from subscribers telling me how my videos have helped them, pushed them to travel the world, and some people have even told me my videos helped them deal with their depression, and honestly, there’s no better feeling than knowing you’ve made some kind of difference in people’s lives.
Apart from them, I get to travel a lot for my work, which is pretty awesome!
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Weirdest brand brief/request ever
I find it very weird when brands ask me to review their products and showcase them for 3-4 minutes in my videos. Those kinds of offers are turned down straightaway. A lot of brands mistake influencer marketing to be just like advertising when in reality, I think it only works when it’s subtle and more organic and creative, or it’s just going to bore your audience.
If not an influencer, you would be?
I’ve had jobs in advertising, finance and marketing and none of those worked for me, so I really don’t know, but I think I would definitely be pursuing something creative.
A day in your life…
The beauty of what I do is that no two days are alike. A lot of times I’m traveling and filming content for my channel, but when I’m not doing that, I’m usually at home editing videos, replying to emails, coming up with video ideas and doing all the behind the scenes stuff that you don’t really get to see on my channel. Although I must say, the best part about what I do is the freedom of location and time that I get, so I can work from anywhere in the world and at any time (though I feel like this job is a lot more demanding and time-consuming than any of my previous jobs).
Message/tips for upcoming bloggers
My biggest advice would be to find that sweet spot between creating videos that both you and your audience enjoy and get value from. I think that only comes from experimenting, so don’t be afraid to make different types of videos when you’re starting out and see what works. It’s also very important to stay consistent so try to post at least once a week. And just have fun with it, because when you don’t, it really shows in your work.
Your Favorite Influencer
Too hard to pick just one and my favorites keep changing but people I’ve currently been loving watching are Cody Ko, Dolly Singh from Spill the Sass, Ashley from best-dressed, and Casey Neistat (all-time favorite).
The Future you foresee for your Personal Brand
At the moment, I’m concentrating on growing my YouTube channel and creating content that isn’t just travel vlogs.