There was a time when a few media channels controlled the creation and distribution of content. They decided which audience should watch, which day and when. At that time, thousands of brands were vying for seconds in prime time, and only a few celebrities such as movie stars and cricketers supported all kinds of brands ranging from cosmetics to cars.
But the Internet, social networks and smartphones have changed everything. From now on, the public decides what they want to watch, on what day and at what time. Brands have 24 X 7 location options on popular YouTube channels. Millennials and Gen Z audiences spend a lot of time on social media and are more influenced by digital content creators than traditional celebrities.
The popularity of top digital content creators is evident from the fact that some of them have more social media followers than many venture capitalist-backed startups, publicly traded companies, movie stars, and even movie stars. media. They’ve built their audience empire with content that matches the expectations of Millennials and Gen Z. With the digital audience base growing with each passing day, you can imagine creators are more likely to have an impact on consumer buying decisions in the immediate future.
A popular marketing approach is for brands to advertise where their target audience is and communicate their message through influencers who grab the audience’s attention. As audiences gradually change, marketing budgets are shifting to new-age channels and digital content creators. However, discovering, contacting, selecting suitable creators and managing relationships with them takes a lot of time. So, marketers are feeling the pressure created by this change. So here are some tips that could help marketers participate effectively in this new world:
Hire a reputable talent management agency
Talent management agencies have access to different types of creators – urban and rural, mass following and niche following, English speaking and vernacular, etc. They help marketers select relevant creators based on specific criteria (number of subscribers, demographics, specialization, etc.), negotiate contracts, plan brand campaigns, and perform post-campaign analysis thorough.
Partner with multiple creators instead of just one
Generally, the cost of collaborating with a digital content creator is less than the cost of associating with a movie star. Thus, within the same budget, a brand can collaborate with several creators instead of a single celebrity. Mega creators with a larger follower base can help you reach a wider audience and increase brand awareness. However, many micro creators can increase audience engagement, which leads to a better conversion rate. For example, in addition to having Janhvi Kapoor as her brand ambassador, Nykaa has made extensive use of a network of around 3,000 creators, including beauty, fashion and lifestyle bloggers and makeup artists, to connect with its target audience.
Choose designers strategically
Understand which creators have the greatest overlap between their followers and your target audience? For example, if you’re marketing a financial investment product, a creator with a large audience of working professionals is better than a creator with a large student audience. Another example is that if a brand wants to enter Tamil Nadu, it will have to partner with Tamil language designers, as Hindi language designers might work very little in the South.
Define your campaign objectives
Social media channels offer an extraordinary number of data points that might impress you – likes, views, comments, etc. But without a defined goal, they can be useless. Define the objectives of your campaign, for example are you looking to increase awareness of your brand? Or achieve sales goals? Or shape people’s opinions? For example, an automotive brand might hire a creator to communicate a special offer and get leads for the test drive, or a mutual fund brand might hire a creator to educate young people about financial investments in a friendly way.
Decide on the engagement pricing model
Pricing varies by type of engagement, creator niche, and influence. One way is to pay a flat fee according to a fee schedule for posts on various social media channels. Another way could be to spend based on performance metrics like number of views, lead generation, peak web traffic, number of app purchases or downloads, etc. For example, Myntra has onboarded Bhuvan Bam as its digital brand ambassador. A few years ago, for Yatra.com, Prajakta Koli created a fortnightly property called Mostly Yatra on his channel. Fashion designers ask Team Naach to try on their costumes, and music labels approach Team Naach to choreograph their songs. These are all different types of commitments.
Treat creators as partners rather than advertising mediums
Content creators have invested a lot of time and effort into building friendships and building trust with their audience. They understand what clicks on their audience and prefer to embed a brand’s message in an authentic way. Thus, marketers should listen to creators as partners rather than shoving words into their mouths and controlling their creative process. For example, a few years ago when HealthifyMe approached Kabita’s Kitchen to develop healthy recipes, the brand’s goal was to gain exposure and achieve app downloads. However, Kabita’s Kitchen suggested the brand do a 360-degree campaign rather than a single video and tie the campaign to New Year’s resolutions, rather than the original November-January campaign timeline. The result was fantastic. The video has reached over 10 million views and the brand’s app has had thousands of downloads.
Each advertising channel has a lifespan. There was a time when television, newspapers and billboards worked well. There was a time when phone calls and texting worked well. There was a time when email, banner ads, search ads, and social media ads worked well. But little by little, the old advertising channels are running out, and new channels are emerging. Without a doubt, content creators are in high demand by brands right now. The market will inevitably be crowded with many creators promoting brands, and this channel will also be exhausted. Smart marketers invent, adapt, and ultimately abandon advertising channels. If you’re not an inventor, adapt before your competition and dump it before the channel runs out.
The writer is author of “Booming Brands” and co-author of “Booming Digital Stars.” The opinions expressed are personal and do not necessarily represent the views of any company.
The thoughts and opinions shared here are those of the author.
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