- The year 2020 was tough for all of us and 2021 hasn’t been easy either but thankfully, we had content creator
Vishnu Kaushalwho channeled our (and his) anger into creating highly relatable videos.
- In today’s episode of
Influencer Adda, we will be tracing Vishnu’s journey, from him uploading his first video to launching his own merchandise.
- We also discuss the future of influencer marketing, how brands can connect with GenZ audiences better, one thing he wishes could change in the industry and his real purpose behind making content.
Digital Content Creator Vishnu Kaushal worked at a beverage start-up as its Social Media Manager before he quit his job in Chandigarh to move to Delhi and explore content creation. He has been making videos since 2015 and has experienced many ups and downs in his career trajectory, like many other content creators. But he found his peace in making videos and in spreading smiles on social media through his content. During the first lockdown last year, one of his rant videos ‘The most annoying questions people ask about quarantine’ went viral and garnered around 1.3 million views and he has had many viral moments since then.
On how creators can keep their audiences engaged after they go viral, Vishnu said, “In the eternity of the internet, it has never been easy to go viral but a lot of people lose out on that attraction because they don’t have a follow-up plan. By the time I went viral, I had so many videos ready to be uploaded, 17 to be precise. Once you gain a pool of followers, let’s say around 20-25k, you notice patterns and have an understanding of what works and what fails. I had been working on my videos for so many years that when I got my chance, I kept uploading videos consistently and people started liking me. So, it is very easy to go viral but it is so hard to sustain it. It is a struggle every day and a lot of the mega content creators will tell you that because there are so many people creating great content every day. But you have to keep aside that competition and do your thing so well that when you get your opportunity, you have the resources to go all in. The Internet is a big place and there’s space for everyone, so keep doing your thing.”
So, as per Vishnu, once you go viral, it is important to stay consistent, replicate what the audience loved before, and most important and challenging of it all, be authentic.
Ticket to Bollywood via stop social media?
Before Vishnu started making content, he auditioned for a Bollywood movie. While he didn’t crack it, Santu Misra, who took his audition, advised him to explore social media.
Social media platforms have also opened up avenues for struggling actors who found it difficult to get into Bollywood otherwise with no contacts. Influencers like Dolly Singh, Kusha Kapila, Prajkata Koli recently got to showcase their talent on the silver screen and fulfill their dreams. Vishnu is also a part of a soon-to-be-released web series. So, can struggling actors find their way through social media?
“It is definitely easier to get into Bollywood but if you start from a point that ‘I want to get into Bollywood and that’s why I am making content,’ then it doesn’t work out. What happened with Kusha, Dolly or me, is a bonus because we love making videos. We are having fun making videos, people also like that we are having fun and they want to be a part of that fun. I feel people who are creating content right now will eventually find out that there are so many things to explore. After you have been working on content for a long time, you feel like content is a great tool to explore new things in life, acting is one of those things, cooking, dancing are a few more examples. So, I don’t know if I will end up being an actor or not, I am just exploring myself and my options,” shared Vishnu.
As Vishnu explores his wide options and looks for new things to learn, he follows a simple litmus test: is this new path challenging enough and is it making me uncomfortable? Anything that he is scared of exploring or feels under confident about, he does it.
Over the years, Vishnu has stopped worrying about the audience’s response to his content. Instead, he focuses on how the process of making that video and its topic made him feel. He also believes that humans constantly evolve and we shouldn’t stick to one thing forever. He says that you don’t need to have one favorite colour for life, it can change.
On finding his purpose and true calling, Vishnu said, “When I started out, like a lot of content creators, I believed that my purpose is to make people happy. Now I feel, let's cross that, first I wanna be happy and that will result in people around me being happy. If that happens, it is a bonus. Exploring new things, designing, having conversations with people makes me happy. So for now, my purpose is to create content and explore as much as I can through content till I find my next purpose.”
Future of content creation and influencer marketing
After Vishnu hit 1000 subscribers on YouTube, he bagged his first brand deal. It was a barter deal of sorts with Ustraa. He got his first paid brand only in March 2020, after his videos started going viral more frequently.
Today, content creators and influencers are molding the marketing industry and its future. GroupM and INCA’s recent study had revealed that influencer marketing has become a top priority for marketers in 2021. Every other leader indicated a budget growth of more than 25% in 2021. INCA’s report further said that the Influencer Marketing industry is poised to grow at a CAGR of 25% for the next decade, reaching a size of Rs 2200 crore in 2025.
So, as a GenZ consumer and influencer himself, Vishnu shared a few pieces of advice for brands to connect with their audience better. He said, “What brands mostly miss out on is getting the perspective of the influencer they are collaborating with. All marketing campaigns are designed for the masses by people who are quite older than us GenZ. So, I often feel that there’s a missing block of relatability and connectivity. For example, if you see a 20-year-old nano influencer drinking coffee every day for a month, that will have a stronger impact than a campaign that says, ‘Khushboo zinda hai.’ For a certain kind of audience, that messaging just doesn’t sit right. No GenZ kid will care to remember a slogan or a campaign hashtag of a brand. So, to be able to connect with today’s generation, you can hire interns and empower them enough to share their opinions. If seasoned marketers could understand GenZ culture with GenZ interns, that would be great.”
From his experience of content creation and branded collaborations thus far, Vishnu had one message to share with brands.
He said, “Brands should try to communicate directly with influencers as well. There are too many layers from the brand to the creator and by the time the idea reaches the creator, it is completely different from its origin. So, be more involved, come on the sets and see for yourself if the creator really matches your vision. Sometimes my ideas don’t sit well with the brand, not because I am wrong or they are, but we are on different pages. So it is not always a match. It is important to really understand their audience through the influencer -- people you are trying to market to.”