Give content creators creative freedom: Kunal Vijaykar
The food writer and actor went on a rant about why influencers should be called ‘content creators’ and also what he expects from brands at ASCI’s #GetItRight summit
Feb 28, 2023 09:50:00 AM | Article | Raahil Chopra Share -
Food writer and actor, Kunal Vijaykar, urged the world to stop using the term ‘influencers’ and instead label those in the business as content creators.
Vijaykar was talking during the Advertising Standards Council of India’s (ASCI) #GetItRight Brand Influencer Summit 2023, during which he spoke about how brands and content creators can get it right by being authentic.
“My journey on social media has been shorter than my broadcast days but I’m greatly encouraged by the response,” said Vijaykar who now hosts the show ‘Khaane Mein Kya Hai’ on YouTube which has 2,69,000 subscribers.
Power of an idea
“Whatever we create is a piece of creative work. A piece of creative work means creativity and the process of creativity is two-fold. One is the idea itself and then comes the execution of the idea. Largely, if you’re looking for eyeballs, you need to have an idea that’s better than everyone’s,” said Vijaykar.
Vijaykar emphasised the power of authenticity and stated that one must not follow trends just for the heck of it.
“There’s a huge movement towards following trends. My team keeps telling me about them and why we should follow them. We as content creators can create trends and that’s what creativity is about,” he explained.
He added why it’s important to know one’s audience and cater to it specifically.
“Be true to yourself, find out what turns you on and do it. Create a story that resonates with your brand and concentrate on the execution as much as the idea,” he said.
Vijaykar, who also hosted a television show, The Foodie, urged content creators to be flexible when it came to formats and not stick to preconceived notions.
“Don’t believe that Twitter is only for people to argue and fight on while Facebook is for old people. Your audience can be explored. Be open-minded and creative,” he said.
He stated that while the ultimate goal for one is to make money, collaborations should only be when they’re honest and real.
“It’s like a marriage and should be chosen carefully. Use great visuals, write great copy, and even follow trends, but above all this, be true to yourself. On social media, you’re naked and people can look at you in real-time, while in cinema because the camera is so far away, you can lie. When people are honest, it makes for great content,” he added.
The numbers game
Pressing home the need for honesty, Vijaykar added that content creators can turn out to be ‘bad influencers’ if they’re playing for numbers.
“If one’s chasing numbers, then the way one looks to achieve them becomes unethical. I tell brands the same. Don’t chase numbers because likes and followers can be bought. It’s better to have fewer followers while being honest,” said Vijaykar.
With that Vijaykar shifted his focus to brands and had a rant for them.
He urged brands and creators to have clear expectations in terms of messaging and content along with the results expected.
“The best relationships between brand and content creators have to be based on trust,” said Vijaykar.
He added, “Influencers should to a certain degree also believe in the product or service, or else one will be caught out. If you believe in the product or service, your content will be genuine.”
He ended his talk by calling on brands to give content creators freedom while working on the content.
“You don’t want to make the piece of content look like an advertorial because then the whole idea of working in such a partnership fails. It’s better to mention a brand four times during a video which has 1.5 million views than mention it 17 times and only get 10,000 views. This will give the brand a better rub-off. It’s not a TVC,” surmised Vijaykar.