In the last 1.5 years, most of us have spent the majority of our time at home, looking at the various devices at our disposal. While this has led to a massive increase in our screen time, it cannot be denied that social media has helped break away from the monotony. But there have also been times when the content has irked us, felt insensitive and even irrelevant at a time when the world fights an invisible enemy.
But have you ever thought about the process of creating digital content for viewers, especially in a pandemic? How do they connect with the audience? To understand these aspects, indianexpress.com reached out to three digital content creators to know about their lockdown experiences and content-making process. Read on to find out what they said.
‘The pandemic got me serious about content creation’
Aanchal Agrawal, with 179k followers, is an upcoming digital creator. In a bid to post “relatable content that comes naturally” to her, she shares content pertaining to parents, work emails, helping each other during tough times, and more. But the pandemic made her realise the importance of content creation. “Earlier I was into stand-up comedy and acting in TV shows and ad films, etc., which kept me quite occupied most of the time. I wasn’t very regular in posting content. But towards the end of 2020, I realised I have ideas that can be put out there,” she shared.
Agrawal has been active on all her social media platforms, helping spread and respond to COVID SOS calls and requests from those in need. In addition to her regular content, she also started sharing videos on the importance of getting vaccinated, plasma donation, and also pinned a ‘Covid Resources in India’ link on her profile. This, she said, has helped connect with the audience on a personal level unlike before.
“Earlier, when people used to text me, it was impossible to reply to each and every one of them and they did not seem as important or in need of immediate attention as in the pandemic. In the past six months, however, I’ve been replying to almost every single person thinking they may be lonely or in dire need of help. Now, because we’ve been helping so many people, most of the followers we have are sending us leads – verified resources or SOS calls, etc. I feel that when you come together for a common goal of helping each other, you realise that in the end, you’re just human who share similar emotions and connect on a personal level,” she told indianexpress.com.
‘Our content is completely different from what it was before’
Travel bloggers Abhiraj and Niyati used to make videos mainly about travel and culture. But the pandemic hit and travelling stopped. This led them to “focus on bringing positive solution-based content to our audience for which we didn’t have to leave our house.” “Our content is completely different from what it was before.”
The duo now share content like ‘healthy meals for covid patients’, their grandmother’s experience of getting the Covid jab, positive stories about people helping each other in times of need, and other newsy posts. “Whatever content we make comes from our heart. We try our best to add value to people’s lives. People have also appreciated that we try at our level to think of solutions or to put out content we are 100% sure of. They see the effort that goes into making sure we cover topics from all angles and appreciate our different spins on content,” they told indianexpress.com.
“We have to talk in a language that people understand. If we want people to be more educated regarding the things happening around them – we have to reinvent the genre of edutainment. When education becomes entertainment – all of us can grow together,” they added.
“The pandemic has proved once again that content is king,” they said.
“We believe if you have an audience you must use it for something good. A lot of creators have been using their influence and reach to find leads for emergencies and many people have found help through the same! The pandemic has forced us to think that there are many things that are beyond our control. But we must remember that we are not alone and creators sharing medical requests is a good way to do so. I think the only people we must put on a pedestal are medical and frontline workers. They deserve the praise. They deserve our respect, they deserve our adulation,” they shared.
‘I am being sensitive and thoughtful to whatever I’m doing during this situation’
While food trends like dalgona coffee, banana bread and one-minute recipes kept everyone busy at home, the pandemic has not been easy for food bloggers like Sanjyot Keer. He shared that while his content continues to remain the same, the process has become a bit different.
Keer, who has 119k followers, loved his decadent and detailed recipes but has now started sharing easy-to-make recipes for people who don’t usually cook. “We even got a lot of positive comments and feedback from people saying our recipes helped them survive in such a difficult situation. That has been one of my highlights of 2020 — as a chef and content creator. The situation, however, changed when the second wave hit,” he said.
It is then that he started receiving negative feedback on his videos with people saying “how could I upload such content in such unfortunate times”. This made him reconsider how to go ahead with his posts and paid sponsorships. “It’s important to keep the balance because if you don’t pay attention and be sensitive to all these things, the people who watch your content might feel bad about it at a certain point.”
“I have been continuously putting out SOS calls and requests on all my social media platforms. I feel that this is the right time for any creator or artist to use their enormous reach to help out in any way. Everybody, irrelevant of their reach, should use these platforms to offer their help in any way possible. No one should be put on a pedestal just because they’re trying to do their job or helping people in such unfortunate times. Instead one should use that much time to do some good for the people in need,” he shared.