The profession requires engaging storytelling, creativity and knowledge of how various social media platforms work
This year, Indian content creator, entrepreneur and actress Dolly Singh will be making her grand debut at Cannes Film Festival in association with AJIO and Brut India. Says Dolly Singh, “From making candles in a small town of Nainital to walking the red carpet at Cannes with AJIO and Brut India, I’ve finally ticked an important milestone off my bucket list.” The girl-next-door from Nainital has become one of the most recognizable content creators in India today having built a Dollyverse of her own, with fun little characters like Raju Ki Mummy, South Delhi Girl, Guddi Bhabhi, Zeenat and Shree. Through social media videos titled ‘Spill the Sass’ where she spoke about affordable fashion, Dolly Singh is adored for her authentic and inclusive storylines, that condemn social stigmas and find resonance with millennial and Gen Z community.
From passive addiction to being a hobby to a passion to a full-fledged profession, digital content creation has come a long way world over. Says Mehak Kasbekar, VP And Editor-In-Chief, Brut India, “Around the world, creators are the new generation of celebrities with a follower base that can eclipse many traditional movie stars. They are innovative and versatile. Most of them started out as writers, directors, actors and producers of their own content. Millennials and Gen Zs, the larger demographic in the world right now, are increasingly recognizing them as their idols and icons. As a global publisher, official media partner for the event, and one that speaks the language of this generation, Brut is proud to invite top creators from India to share space on the red carpet with icons from the silver screen.”
What is the market size for content creators in India currently? Says Chandrashekar Mantha, Partner, Deloitte India, “Content creation moved from niche to local with the advent of platforms that started showcasing content that was generated by users (UGC) and independent creators. Talent was no longer dependent on waiting for a window to showcase it, the small screen opened new doors for everyone. Online video OTT platforms opened a whole new economy for content creators both professional and casual makers. This has helped grow the creator economy to US $ 75 – 150 million in India (Globally $ 1.75 Billion) and it is expected to grow at a CAGR of almost 12.5%.”
Digital stars are the newest celebs in town and digital content creator is the latest profession. They post videos on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, or make Vlogs, Blogs, Podcasts or online tutorials. So which medium is catching on the most? Easy access and ability to shoot and edit a video content were key to acceptance of the mediums. Says Deloitte’s Chandrashekar Mantha, “Before the ban, TikTok was one of the popular go to apps for content creation and hosting. You tube is the market leader with almost 38% market share and it is followed by Instagram at 11%. However how the future unfolds is to be seen with the offerings and Ui/UX changing in a dynamic environment. Recently Twitter has announced that verified accounts will be able to upload videos of up to 2 hours. Changes in offerings may change the market dynamics.”
Where does the future lie. The pace of content generation has undergone rapid transformation, unlocking a realm of exciting possibilities, just with good phones and extending to newer technological possibilities. Artificial intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), and Virtual Reality (VR) are revolutionizing the content development process, offering audiences immersive and captivating experiences. Whereas casual content creators will still keep generating. Additionally, the emergence of the Metaverse holds tremendous potential for artists and communities.
How to Get Started with Content Creation
For those interested in opting for content creation, here’s how to get started as one. Decide what type of content you want to create. Pick your niche and learn about your target audience. Create your first piece of content. Publish and interact with your audience. Consistently make new content that provides value to your followers.
But first let’s define who exactly is a content creator? A content creator is anyone who produces content and shares it with their audience, usually online, although technically applying to any medium. This may include making videos, editing videos, engaging on social media, writing blog posts, and sharing information, inspiration, humour, experiences, or advice with a larger audience through content, usually digital. They may use a variety of mediums to disperse their work. Here are some popular formats: Videos or vlogs, Written articles and blog posts, social media graphics, videos, and captions, Digital marketing and digital media assets, Email newsletters, White papers, Music, Video game streams.
What are the few things creators need to bear in mind while generating content? Says Aditi Shrivastava, Co-founder & CEO, Pocket Aces, a digital entertainment company, “There has to be engaging storytelling, high production quality and relevance to their target audience, plus it’s important to understand the platforms and formats where users are most active. Being mindful of cultural nuances, trends, current events, and the content that consumers engage with throughout the day can help creators develop videos that are relatable and resonate with the audience. Additionally, maintaining a consistent schedule and actively interacting with the audience can foster a strong community and loyal viewers.”
Understand Your Medium and Rule It
Different strokes for different folks. Each social media channel has its own unique positioning. Take the case of a content creator couple -Investment bankers Aditi Randev and Sarthak Ahuja create content on Instagram and LinkedIn, advising on business, brands and fundraising. Say the couple. “Instagram content requires giving a quick business insight in less than 60 seconds. While it allows for Reels to be as long as 90 seconds, with shortening attention spans, we prefer to keep the information to less than a minute. Now, this is great for a quick glimpse on a topic, it’s probably not the best to base a business decision on just a 60 second clip. There’s a lot of nuance that goes into taking any business decision, where more deep dives are necessary. LinkedIn gives a person 3,000 characters to explain the nuance in text – which may also not be enough for areas requiring more depth of study. This is where longer videos (ideally 15-20 mins) on YouTube and in the form of Substack newsletters bring more perspectives.”
Know how to edit your content as per the medium. Says Aditi Randev, “While we create both short form content, as well as longform (a 350-pager book already published, and another due for release next month), we know that short form gives a creator way more reach, and long form helps build credibility and show expertise through deeper dives. Regardless of whether one creates videos or texts, the use of “hooks” in one’s content is essential. It’s the first two lines of a written content piece, or the first 6 seconds of a Reel that piques a viewer’s interest and makes them want to watch / read more.”
A Steady Stream of Income: Content Creation
Today there are organisations such as Collective Artists Network, India’s leading creator marketplace which help create a steady flow of income for the creator community. Says Vijay Subramaniam, Group CEO and Founder, Collective Artists Network, “Content creators have various opportunities to earn money like advertising revenue, sponsorships and brand collaborations, affiliate marketing, merchandise and product sales, and even the live business which is slowly opening to them in avenues like speaking engagements and workshops. While it has become a viable profession for many individuals who have built a strong online presence and a dedicated audience, it’s important to note that success and regular income as a content creator require consistent effort, quality content creation, audience engagement, and strategic monetization strategies. It’s a combination of passion, talent, hard work, and entrepreneurial skills that can lead to sustainable income generation as a content creator.” Subramaniam cites the work of Bhuvan Bam, who started as a YouTube comedian and now has his own show on Hotstar, and Beyounick (Nikunj Lotia), a former bartender from Maharashtra’s Dombivli who now has his own consumer brand KRA.
Podcasting And Vlogging
Popular podcast creators are an influential lot, shaping opinion with chatty conversations focused on a topic. Podcasting is a type of content creation. What kind of content is a bestseller in today’s world and any genres in particular or the style of writing/presentation. Says Amit Doshi, Head, IVM Podcasts- Pratilipi, “Comedy, business, history, politics, culture are among the most popular. People enjoy both conversational style shows as well as things which are more documentary style in nature. Teams can be as lean or as beefed up as needed. We typically have a producer, audio engineer, video editor, graphic artist and social media team member support the podcast host.”
One learns by doing. There are many options for tools, whether mics, or editing software that one can use. Says Doshi, “I think a willingness to learn from any source available is essential to working well in the space. A content creator is an individual or entity that produces and shares original content across various platforms. They can be professionals, amateurs, or enthusiasts, but they often wear several hats including but not limited to ideating, planning, researching and production, not to mention marketing and branding as well.”
Has it moved from passion to profession? Says Abhijeet Kain, Content Creator and vlogger on Instagram, “It’s definitely a profession, I’d say a difficult one because finding content on a daily basis is not as easy as it looks. One has to be in it for the right reasons, money has always been a by-product for me, I’m a creative person. Music is an important part of everyone’s life, being able to interpret it in a comic way and relate it to one’s own life is what my audience craves for and it’s what I thrive on.”
It’s important to stay relevant in this field and tracking data can help immensely. By analyzing data through social media trends, search patterns, and audience behaviour, creators can identify topics that are gaining popularity and incorporate them into their content. Says Pocket Aces’ Aditi Shrivastava, “I believe that relevant content creators for digital entertainment companies are those who possess a unique blend of creativity, authenticity, and an understanding of the digital landscape and also need to be adept at understanding data. This helps to stay relevant in a fast-paced digital interactive landscape with the masses.” In this competitive ecosystem, what makes for a good creator is someone who can hone their skills with continuous learning. Essential skills include being able to tell a story, as well as technical proficiency in video production, editing, and digital platforms. It’s crucial for them to stay updated with the latest trends and techniques in vlogging, digital marketing, and audience analytics which will help them make better material.”
What is the future of content creation? Artificial intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), and Virtual Reality (VR) are helping content creators in their creativity. By analysing data through social media trends, search patterns, and audience behaviour, creators can identify topics that are gaining popularity. “I think AI will be a big boon for content creators like me. Technology definitely makes things easier for all of us and AI can help save a lot of time and money, not just for content creators but almost everyone,” says Faisal Khan, an automobile influencer and the founder of MotorBeam and FK-R portals.
How much money can a content creator make? The information below has been compiled by Animeta, an AI-powered Creator Tech company which aims to bring about a ‘studio model’ in the creator economy business, with a view to bringing about a greater degree of organization into the space.
|How Does One Earn
|Revolution per minute
$ 0.5 (Rs 41.34) per 1000 views
500-10,000 per post/ reel
Micro 15,000- 1 lacs= 25-50,000
Mid 100,000-500,000= 75,000-2 lacs
Macro Range 500,000+= 3 lacs+
|Revolution per minute
$ 0.25 (Rs 20.67) per 1,000 views
Credits: Animeta, an AI-powered Creator Tech company