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Instagram Reels and upping content game: suggestions from Celebrity PR managers and Influencer Marketing Agencies for TikTokers

Jul 20, 2020, 10:00 IST
Instagram Reels/BI India
  • The ban on Chinese video apps has left a void in the life of TikTok stars, who are now looking for a new home to showcase their talent.
  • We reached out to celebrity PR managers and influencer marketing agencies to understand how they are helping former TikTokers in navigating the challenges of finding another platform and what is the strategy that PR managers are following to help TikTokers gain users from scratch.
  • Experts said they are advising TikTokers to not lose hope and just keep doing what they do best -- create crispy content on new mediums. They also said that so far, Instagram Reels is the most preferred medium.
After the ban on TikTok, many replicas like Instagram Reels, Mitron, Chingari, Bolo Indiya, Roposo, have cropped up. It opened up an opportunity for Indian video apps to come to the forefront and they have seen millions of downloads in the past two weeks.

However, former TikTok influencers who worked really hard to build their profiles and widen their reach on the medium -- some of them even quit their job to pursue video making as a full-time career, are still looking for a permanent home.

We reached out to celebrity PR managers and influencer marketing agencies to understand how they are helping former TikTokers in navigating the challenges of finding another platform, what kind of response they are seeing from brands and what is the strategy that PR managers are following to help TikTokers gain users from scratch.
Parul Parmar, Independent PR Professional said that the recent ban has come with a silver lining. It has made influencers realise the importance of staying platform agnostic and that it's the manager’s prerogative to always ensure that the creators don't place all their eggs in one basket.

Parmar said, “Some of the smart ones have already started to replicate their clout on other apps such as YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and so on because regardless of the platform, it's the creator's talent which will always pave the way to success. A creator's identity and value is solely basis the content and stories they produce and the communities that they have built across platforms. In the case of TikTok creators (given the situation), PR will be a defining factor now to boost their visibility and credibility. Especially for the following categories: Superstars with insane numbers and following -- the likes of Riyaz, Mr. Faisu, Radhika Bangia, Jannat Zubair. The unique ones like Hydroman, Yusuf BMX and Baba Jackson.”

While many apps have been launched to eat into TikTok’s void, Neel Gogia, Co-founder, IPLIX Media opines that every influencer marketing agency must be trying to take former TikTokers to Instagram Reels.
“Instagram is a go-to platform if you consider in terms of fan base. With the launch of Reels, this is a perfect opportunity for all TikTok influencers to take advantage of this because they have more experience and expertise of creating short 15 second videos and they know the successful recipe for a short video, since they have already achieved that success on TikTok. Whereas for Instagram influencers, it is comparatively a new thing and they are still trying it out and seeing how it works,” said Gogia.

He also stressed that timing is an important factor that can help TikTokers gain back their followers.

“If TikTok influencers can quickly step into reels and follow what works on Instagram, this is the perfect opportunity for them to regain their follower base. Though it will take some time, this is a good lesson for them as well to not invest their content only on one platform and they should be using different platforms for their content based on the criteria every platform has. They will have to stay consistent, have trust on their content and give it 4-5 months. If they still create good content that is relevant for their audience on these platforms, they can quickly come back to the game," added Gogia.
Talent management, PR and Influencer Marketing Agency, Peoplekind’s Founder - Praachi Kapse said every digital creator should be agile and open to change as digital is the most dynamic medium that there is.

Kapse said, “The digital world is a dynamic space, one which keeps creators on their toes. It keeps that rush of ideas and creativity going. Content curators have over the years harnessed the ability to tune in to a platform’s ethos and understand and drive consumer engagement. Content is king, and change is constant; The digital world has seen the rise, fall, plateau effect and innovation of everything from blogging, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook profiles and Instagram, to even snackier content like Snapchat, Insta stories, Musically, TikTok and now Instagram Reels. It is a challenge that drives content curators to constantly keep innovating themselves. That’s both the charm and the tipping point of social media platforms”

But have TikTokers stopped receiving brand deals?

Experts said no. The mediums might change but the empires of influence they built on TikTok remain unaffected by the ban.

However, Gautam Madhavan, Founder & CEO, MAD Influence told us that investing ad monnies on TikTok was cheaper than Instagram or YouTube. It will be a task for media planners to come up with a budget-friendly solution that offers as massive reach as TikTok did.

“TikTok Influencers have not really lost anything. Most of them have a follower base on their other channels i.e., Instagram and YouTube. Hence, their loyal fans are still there and brands are still willing to work with them. The only difference is the duration of content - be it branded/non branded. What TikTok had to offer in terms of reach and visibility at an affordable cost is now a task for all media planners. Instagram and YouTube are expensive when compared with TikTok. But we are committed to working a way out on Instagram and YouTube as well, because at the end of the day every brand has to promote itself irrespective of the platform,” said Madhavan.

Parmar also highlighted how visibility and reach are two important factors for any influencer to woo brands. She said PR can prove to be a very effective tool in getting that back.

“Visibility is of utmost importance to them than ever before at this point. Their success stories on TikTok/uniqueness of content or rather just their presence in the content ecosystem should reach the right ears in the industry via traditional as well as new age mediums to sustain their brand. These creators should now be busy creating interesting narratives of their adaptability, resilience, innovation and community building. This is enough material for their proactive PR. Most of them have stayed away from reactive PR and it's understandable. But coming back to visibility with a robust strategy to tell their story is vital going forward. It is the age of disruptions and there will be enough opportunities for everyone at hand,” said Parmar.

Celebrity Managers and influencer marketing agencies are advising TikTokers to not give up and keep creating content to grow on whichever medium they are on.
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