Friday, December 1, 2023

Creator economy coining disruption in the communication industry


Creator economy is the new term that has been disrupting the brand and media communication industry for over a decade. The rise of social media, availability of cheaper internet, the emergence of social media influencers and bloggers have created a whole new ecosystem. How they are shaping the new-age communication industry?

The creator economy is significantly changing the way the communication industry works. The traditional method of interaction between the brands and clients has been disrupted massively by the influencers, especially social media influencers

I feel lucky to have witnessed the rise of something that we had not thought of, was possible with the digital medium, but it rose higher and has become, what we call today, the Creator Economy! It almost feels like storytelling to me. I remember it was somewhere between 2010-2011 when we started using the term – Blogger and blogosphere.

We would tell our clients; bloggers are the new age editors. Have them over for your events and gatherings, make them friends of the brand. And then by 2012, we realised everyone was using the term – influencers which gradually became digital content creators. Today, there is segregation under macro, micro and nano influencers. Today we have influencer management/marketing firms for this mammoth and a crucial task of engaging influencers for brand activation. It has been a very interesting evolutional journey.

As marketing experts, as brand experts, we saw this new age medium taking shape and gaining so much popularity, power and share in the space that all our marketing efforts shifted focus from the traditional media campaigns to something which gave us an open format to re-think and be creative with our copy, concept and content. I guess everyone started to enjoy roping in influencers for a new brand launch or for particular campaign activation.

Online video user base in India has increased to more than 350 million people, growing 24% in the last three years.

~ Bain and Company

Like having a strong social media presence became more important than the website look and feel, Instagram became your web address.

Let’s decode this bubble a little. It ain’t as rosy as it looks. Let’s start with bursting some general perceptions around the new age influencers.

  1. They have worked hard and have been consistent with the content they produce to achieve the followers they have today. It did not happen over night for them. Yes, there can be a debate between an organic/non-organic growth and the relevant number of followers but that is still miniscule.
  2. Influencers get freebies. Yes, they do. Loads of them and infact they are bombarded with PR packages and kits. But that’s the decision that brands are making. Creators also, do not just randomly accept products and post stills. They read up, understand it, try it on and study it first. The content follows.
  3. They just look good and pose prettyand falsify a lot of real-lifeissues. They are just doing their work. You yourself will skip a post or story which is not pleasing to the eyes. We all want to see all rosy and pretty. Ask yourself! Yes, they get ready for their shoots just like how we get ready to reach our offices. Their life also has the same/similar issues but Instagram or YouTube is not the place to express that. Nor would you want to see someone sobbing or wash their dirty linen in a story or IGTV.
  4. They are not professionals especially because they started too young and do not understand most of it. – You will be surprised by how witty and smart this Gen Z is! They work smart, prioritize, cut out the part they do not have to bother about and focus on their work. Yes, some of them are a bit young and might take longer to get to the desired messaging and concept for the shoot, but they eventually do. They are one of us.

Initially, there was a lot of talk around how these influencer bubbles will burst one fine day and it will all come crumbling down. After all, it is a 900 Cr industry we are talking about. The market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25% till 2025 to reach a size of Rs 2,200 crore. (Source: GroupM INCA’s India Influencer Marketing Report.)

According to Bain and Company, the online video user base in India has increased to more than 350 million people, growing 24% in the last three years. Today, Indian smartphone users spend about 4.8 hours on their devices daily, of which a staggering one hour on average is spent consuming videos, said the report.

Things that brands and marketers should keep in mind when engaging influencers –

  1. A single post or story association is not a very good option. A slightly longer engagement will reap better results
  2. A brand got to nurture the content creators in any way possible. Even a small gesture of involvement will make them feel a part of the team. Do that.
  3. Filtering out the influencers who would really work for your brand is also a key step. Start small but relevant. It could be a public figure, could be a chef who has huge fan following, an activist, an instagrammer, a start-up founder, a coffee connoisseur. Choose
  4. It is a very measurable exercise, so make sure you do that accurate
  5. You can totally have control over the content, messaging, script. It is your project
  6. Don’t let the over smarties in

The best part is that, here, pilots are possible. We can test the waters with a small activity and see if it helped us in reaching the TG. If it did, we can go for it again and then assess that too. I feel this creator economy has given us a broader spectrum to be fun, creative and go all out with our content.

We all seem to be enjoying the flexibility of how we want to reach our TG, how we want to be seen. We are able to present a very relatable brand image for our customers. It is working for us for now and let’s all make the most of it while it rules the digital media hemisphere.

Social media, all the way!

Also Read: Women entrepreneurs in a so-called man’s world

(Geetika Gulati is the founder and CEO of ZIVComms, a boutique PR firm.)

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the author’s and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.)


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