Talent, entrepreneurship, innovation and creation are the primary focus of the Digital Women Awards 2022. Content creation has had a massive breakthrough in this soaring age of digitalisation and the rise in influencer marketing has worked its way up into growth for both brands and audiences. When it comes to women content creators, the transition has been huge and inspirational in a lot many ways.
One of the recent panels of the Digital Women Awards 2022 discussed how women content creators have been breaking barriers as social media marketers, driving business and making a mark in influencer marketing. The panel featured creators and influencers and entrepreneurs, Tanya Khubchandani Vatsa (Mommy Diaries), Shreya Gautam (Four Tiny Feet), and Sonal Agrawal (PinkPepperCorn). Bhakti Kotwal of The Mom Flair was the panel’s session chair that shed light on diverse notions that influence community creation.
Women Content Creators
Women content creators have now become the new sales models driving business as brand collaborators and entrepreneurs by creating their own identities. Bhakti Kotwal, who runs her brand The Mom Flair, is an entrepreneur and content creator in the parenting and lifestyle space. She discussed the space of content creation and the works with the three panellists who had a plethora of experiences to draw from and shared their first-hand accounts of working in this industry that is expanding by the day.
The accidental and conscious choice of becoming an influencer
So what led them to choose this path? Mommy Diaries creator Tanya Khubchandani Vatsa, a healthcare entrepreneur and strategist who also runs a successful IV Therapy and budding skincare venture, carries many experiences. As someone who is also an author and started her brand by writing and sharing details of her personal experiences with motherhood, Khubchandani Vatsa carries a gigantic experience of conversations and real-life understanding. "For me, it wasn't a conscious decision. Nine years ago, I started writing about my experiences during my maternity phase. I created a blog and started penning down my thoughts and one thing lead to another," she shares, adding that her spouse supported her from Day 1, and eventually as she began monetising and finding her purpose in the industry, her entire family came around to encourage her.
Sonal Agarwal, a fashion and lifestyle content creator, who has been creating content for eight years now runs her brand, Pink Peppercorn. "I started creating content eight years back. I always adored fashion and loved being in front of the camera. I started creating and writing, and as followers started growing and I started getting calls for endorsements, I decided to take it up full-time and learned what to do as a marketer. You're a business brand and an entrepreneur. Unless you're devoted to it full-time, it can’t be a profession," she shared.
Shreya Gautam, an entrepreneur who runs a Jewellery business called Arth, also creates inspiring content as a creator through Four Tiny Feet, based on parenting, and lifestyle. Significantly, she also runs the BMI bloggers community she founded in 2019 which focuses on community over competition, bringing together diverse content creators and creating space where they can grow together. For Gautam, content creation happened organically. "I started using Instagram as a medium to vent. I had gone through a rough pregnancy and it was a medium to share my thoughts. I had no idea about events, marketing, or brand collaborations on Instagram. The transition was smooth because I was a stay-at-home mom and I have no idea how I went from being a stay-at-home mom to a full-time working mom."
So, how do they gauge or understand their audience as influencers?
Content creation is never constant, it requires a certain set of understanding when it comes to identifying what the audience wants at what point in life. Agarwal shares that her style arises from the trial and error technique as she believes in experimental content, which evolves with time and acknowledges the demand of the audience. "As a fashion influencer, it's about making a difference in people's lives by engaging them in content that they can identify with."
For Khubchandani Vatsa what works for her best is being communicative with her audience. "I often ask my audience what kind of content are they enjoying. I also get very many opinions following that, which is part of the process. Content over time has become more relatable and I believe sometimes it's the unscripted raw content that does wonders."
How are women breaking barriers as social media marketers and influencers for brands?
Gautam believes that the last three years after the pandemic resulted in women coming out and owning their individuality and personalities, a lot of which culminated in building brands and communities that created huge shifts in this industry for women.
How has fashion influence gained momentum and built trust over the years?
Agarwal drew from her experience of connecting with her audience of eight years and shared, "The audience has started engaging and connecting with fashion influencers because these influencers are regular real-life people like them, they're among them. Celebrities as fashion influencers are looked up to but never followed because it almost feels unrealistic. However, the audience starts to feel relatable with women from among us creating that space of content creation in fashion.”
How important it is to grow a community?
The creators discussed the significance of growing as a community, which is as important as building individual brands. Gautam shared her experience of working together as a community and said, "As a community of influencers, we must bridge the gap between each other so the third party cannot take advantage. You can’t be a solo army and thrive alone, support is required from all spheres." Khubchandani Vatsa shared that it's important to build a community of trust. In her experience, with brands hosting physical events lately, creators showing up to support each other network is great for the industry to flourish. Collaborations are a vast topic and, shedding light on this, Gautam discussed that it's important for creators to be honest with each other when it comes to sharing their quotes and collaborative arrangements.
Advise for new influencers
The three creators shared some valuable advice with upcoming influencers that can help them navigate better listening to experiences these women have accumulated over the years. Khubchandani Vatsa advises the new influencers to never undercut and instead focus on being true to themselves. "Authenticity will help in the long run. Also, developing a thick skin helps because no matter how good you are there will always be someone who will dislike or troll you."
Gautam shared that what doesn't work is faking or imitating something or someone. "Be true to yourself and do what you like to do. Also, being happy while creating shows the positive in the content you put out there. Another message would be to never take shortcuts when it comes to numbers because no matter how tempting it sounds, it never works in the long run and you will miss out on the process never being able to learn the work that goes into building a brand of your own."
Agarwal shares that while content creation today is really pumped considering the algorithms of social media platforms like Instagram with brands on board like never before, it's still important constantly make newer discoveries and shifts in the content that catches up to the present. "I'd also advise that it's important to go beyond the notion of only building your brand without caring about the community altogether. "Glorifying solo brand building won't help, it's important to be aware of what's happening around and support each other as creators too."