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How Will Creators Compete For Attention In The Ever-Crowding Influencer Space?

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The word ‘Influencer’ had already become a catch phrase when the pandemic struck and the number of content creators just sky rocketed. The result? The content creator economy is booming, creators are being paid handsome amounts for social media posts, stories and videos and with each day a new name is heard on the scene. For many what started off as a passion turned into a full time job and these days youngsters boast of an intimidating number of Instagram followers which most of us gasp at.

This area is constantly buzzing with all sorts of activity. According to a recent report by Singapore based creator economy start-up Animeta, the annualized growth rate of creators for India is over 115 per cent and in the next three years 1 million creators in India would have at least 100K subscribers/followers, which means they would be able to have a steady digital income, comparable to a full time job. The sectors which are booming are several- entertainment, lifestyle, retail, technology, apparel, health, finance, food, gaming and more. Exclusive content creator cafes are popping up all over, like Paper & Pie in Bangalore, which has a built-in and fully equipped podcast room with a conference room. Mental health initiatives for the community are being taken, such as the one by IPLIX Media, offering free unlimited mental health therapy sessions for its content creators and employees.

But with all these developments and an ever increasing number of content creators, how will all of them compete in a space that is getting crowded by the day? This was the topic of discussion at the Tech And Innovation Summit 2023 organised by Entrepreneur India in Bangalore recently, which saw several movers and shakers of the digital world sharing their views,

“Currently we have maybe around 100 finfluencers. Tomorrow these numbers could go upto 500. What is important for each of us as content creators to remember, however, is that why the audience is sticking to us. What is our distinguishing factor from the rest? You know you have a loyal audience when they feel that they would want to hear you everyday. So this a code that we all individually need to crack and keep working on as the years go by. That is the only way to be sustainable,” expressed finance content creator Chandralekha.

Health content creator Diksha Chhabra had a similar thought as she said as content creators they need to know what the audience wants. It takes time to understand that, but it can only happen once you involve yourself in what it is they want.

Ayush Wadhwa, Founder of OWLED and a podcaster himself listed out a three step framework which he follows. “First you need to pick a niche and stick to it. Second is always have something apart from content creation that backs up that content. Personally I don’t resonate with those create content about a topic that they personally don’t practice. We preach a lot online but also need to ensure that we are practicing it too. Thirdly, content creation in itself is very simple, but if you can combine and education and entertainment, which equals to valuable content, then you have a very good mix. If you pick any successful creator and backtrack their journey, you will see a mix of these three,” he explained.

But not all feel that we need to run after people’s attention. Finance influencer Anushka Rathod believes that we should not compete for attention. Instead, she believes that it is important to compete for engagement. “I have identified the kind of audience I want to target and instead of me chasing them I let the algorithm do that for me. What happens because of this is that tomorrow if there are 1,000 other finfluencers it will not worry me, as there is only going to be one of me. At the end of the day as a creator you are creating a community, and that’s what brands come to you for. Brands do not come to you for attention, and even if they do, tomorrow they will end up going to someone else,” she said, illustrating her point.

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