Tech-savvy GenZ: YouTuber, blogger or social media influencer.”
The difference in ideologies is quite evident, right?
While this clichéd question or the way it is asked has not changed a bit over the years, the aspirations of GenZ sure have.
The career paths for the modern-day generation are no longer traditional and a major credit for it goes to the evolution of the internet. With just a click of a button, we can do the things our parents could barely imagine in the ’80s, ’90s or even during the early 2000s.
Today, by scrolling through a few reels on Instagram, you can find a GenZ influencer explaining how to do away with anxiety, how to become experts in data science, how to provide the best care to your skin, from where to get the most stylish clothing, how to deal with your rigid boss…. The list goes on. In short, not a single concern goes unheard on social media, and this is exactly what young individuals are monetising on. Above all, they have very smartly aced the idea of generating relatable content. This means they know what the viewers want to hear and see. And we all can agree that relatability is the key to reaching the masses in India or anywhere around the world.
Now, let’s understand this – GenZs are not just using social media to accelerate their online presence. They want to transform their content into a sustainable way of making money. Needless to say, this is by far the most entrepreneurial generation.
However, their vision of establishing a business is a little different than that of their predecessors. They are not creating any special products to entertain the consumers. Rather, they are converting their own identity into an irreplaceable brand. In simple words, they plan to make money from the content shared online on social media platforms.
According to a survey conducted by Adobe Inc in 2022 that covered more than 9,000 influencers and creators across nine countries, about 45% of GenZ creators (born after 1997) who were surveyed said that they wanted to become business owners and make money by generating online content. These surveyed influencers said they have a following of more than 5,000 on their primary social media platforms.
But, how exactly do they cash in on their content?
Do you also wonder if it is actually possible to earn thousands to lakhs a month just by uploading comic, informative, or therapeutic short clips or reels? If you do, you are not alone, because that’s the dilemma of every layperson who is addicted to social media but still finds it hard to comprehend its money-making angle.
To begin with, influencing is no longer just a passion or hobby. Those who are masters of this art know very well that it’s worth ditching your conventional 9am-to-5pm setup. However, in the current highly competitive market, it’s not at all easy to create a loyal fanbase overnight. It takes hours of labour to produce content that is short, crisp, relatable and impactful. Mind you, when we say short it means that the content should be 15-30 seconds long. Besides, as the interests of viewers continue to evolve, you are expected to refine your content accordingly.
Now comes the question “how do they get paid?”. Earlier, influencers used to generate money primarily through YouTube and Facebook. These platforms offered them money based on the number of views each video generated. However, in 2020, Instagram completely overtook the others by launching Reels in India after the TikTok app was banned. Since then, it has been offering multiple cash-generating modes on its app to influencers. On Instagram, creators can earn money through IGTV ads, badges, branded content, affiliate marketing, sponsored content, fan membership or by becoming consultants.
According to experts, the influencer market is divided into 4 distinct categories based on the number of followers they have — nano (1,000-10,000 followers), micro (10,000-100,000), macro (100,000-1 million) and mega (over 1 million followers).
Although it’s not possible to know the exact revenue of each category of influencers, recent reports claim that any influencer can make Rs 5,000 to Rs 3 lakh and more per post, depending on a plethora of factors. These may include:
- Total number of followers (more followers, more income)
- Engagement rates
- Content’s niche (fashion, beauty, finance, fitness and food are the most popular ones)
- Marketing tactics
- How frequently you post (You should post at least 4 times a week and 16 times a month to boost traffic)
Three mantras for budding GenZ influencers to swear by
- Focus on collaborations: Brands are more than eager to promote their products through influencers. So, seize this opportunity to grow your social media handle. This year, we can expect influencers to engage more in long-term partnerships with beauty, fashion, and a whole lot of other brands. This is beneficial for both parties. Moreover, one way to gain the trust of brands, as well as the viewers, is through authentic and honest product-promotion reels or posts. Your audience believes in you and your opinions, so be genuine with them at every level.
- Keep it real and filter-free: The audience no longer wants to see their favourite influencers all glammed up 24/7, shooting content at high-end locations. They wish to get a glimpse of the real you, your humble dwellings, and connect with your unfiltered version. Your content should make them say things like “How are we all so similar?”; “I want to do exactly this right now”; “Ah! Even my parents don’t let me do that” or “Hey girl, that’s so true”.
So, if you want to expand your reach, make sure you don’t pretend. Let yourself shine through your imperfections. The famous Kaushal brothers (Vishnu Kaushal and Govind Kaushal) offer you just that and more. They post such fun, filter-free and relatable content that makes us laugh. And, they do all that just from different corners of their house.
3. Be consistent and rely on stock content: It has been said time and again that uploading content on a regular basis can help you retain your target audience. However, we also can’t deny the fact that even influencers have mental breakdowns and suffer from days when it’s not easy to appear on camera and interact with the audience. For such phases, it’s advisable to pick something from your phone’s stock.
It could be you simply stepping out to enjoy a cup of coffee, making an evening snack, watching the sunset or going for a walk. In short, videos where you don’t have to speak or interact but the aesthetics are enough to keep the audience engaged. Also, nowadays, it’s very normal for influencers to share life updates with their followers, or talk about why they will prioritise their mental health for the next few days.
GenZ influencers you need to learn from, or collaborate with
- Krutika, or you might know her as “Themermaidscales” (6.8 million followers)
- Vishnu Kaushal (2.4 million followers)
- Govind Kaushal (361,000 followers)
- Niharika NM (3.2 million followers)
- Sakshi Shivdasani (372,000 followers)
- Shantanu Dhope (47,200 followers)
- Agasthya Shah (413,000 followers)
- Apoorva, or “the.rebel.kid” (660,000 followers)
The way forward
The Indian influencer industry is only going to grow in the coming years. According to reports, it is predicted to be valued at Rs 2,200 crore by the end of 2025. Whether you are a GenZ, millennial or Generation X, the influencer market is flooded with woke and inclusive individuals. So there is room for everyone. It doesn’t cater to any specific age bracket. While GenZs are the youngest to establish their own successful empires through social media, we also know of many millennials who have made it big through the same path.
So, now the question is how you as an individual can plan to make a space for yourself in this thriving influencer market.