The Year 2019 has been a crucial one for social media stars and influencers. With focus shifting from writing long blogposts to making quick 1-minute videos to micro-blogging on the go, the industry has witnessed a huge transformation from its early days. Creating branded content has become just as professional as shooting a film- the crew maybe small in number but the location scouting, recce, outfit planning, lighting, hair and makeup is now just as imperative for the new age bloggers. Devina Malhotra Chadha, a first-generation lifestyle and fashion blogger shares her take on the changing digital trends and blogging industry. Devina founded www.guiltybytes.com back in 2012 when blogging in India was at its nascent stage. She firmly believes that having a huge fan base or large number of likes on your social media photos has nothing to do with the user engagement in 2019. The audience is constantly bombarded with content which is why they prefer selective engagement. Having said that, content invention still remains the key- the more creative, original and authentic your content is, the better fan base you'll build in the long run.
Blogging as Business
"Whether its investing in high end equipment or building a small team that understands the nuances of a blogger's personality, influencers are leaving no stone unturned to co-create campaigns that their audiences can relate to", says Devina who is also known as @guiltybytes on Instagram. Setting up a home studio is a new trend and that by the way also calls for brand collaborations and other logistics investment that every blogger today aspires to create. From brainstorming an idea, working on the financial sheets and arranging for a shoot day to finally closing post production is a full 4-5 days of hard work. Devina Malhotra Chadha also shared that blog awards do add a feather to the cap, but the audience doesn’t focus on your previous credentials. Having won three major blog awards for her blog Guiltybytes.com, Devina adds, "An idea has to be treated like a business. You have to plan, produce and execute it right on time to garner maximum visibility".
Being A Value Addition
With the great amount of exposure, the internet brings in, the users or the blogger's audience is on a look out to absorb valuable content. As for the brands, what really works is the ability of the creator to produce unique content that's social media worthy and captures the key messaging in under a minute (sometimes). Devina has been working with many brands to create social media content that requires her to produce videos in under a minute or 2 minutes maximum through different mediums such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and more. The audience is not always keen to buy new or try new, but they do want to find ways on how to use their existing products especially when it comes to fashion. The rise of fashion solutions category, or styling videos is a proof that everyone is becoming penny wise. Devina's audience absolutely loves her saree styling series called as the #sareestyling101 and her recommendations are often picked up by many of her users on Instagram or her blog who eventually end up buying products that she uses or endorses.
Master of all trades
Each blogger in 2019 is striving to be a jack of all trades simply because it’s all about building an individual brand. The bloggers are their own directors, producers, marketers and publicists as well. "It can get overwhelming for some at times but at the end of the say you have to learn to multi-task to make it big", quips Devina Malhotra Chadha. Whether its a makeup artist or a digital illustrator or a chef, knowing technical know-how of digital marketing will only help the artist grow their business online. The industry today has become extremely challenging and competitive. Reaching out to large users online in 2019 isn’t just going to help, the message needs to reach out to the right audience that gets influenced with the creator's content. Devina also suggests that picking up a summer internship with a social media agency or an online magazine can help the ones who are starting out to understand the blogosphere better so that they can take the digital world by a storm, one idea at a time!