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During one of the sessions at the Creator Day event hosted by Instagram, content creators discussed how brands and influencers can work in tandem and benefit each other from partnerships.

The session titled ‘Brand ban gaya Frand’ was moderated by Roxanne Chinoy, Strategic Partner Manager, Instagram, India. The panellists were influencers and creators such as Viraj Sheth, Sakshi Sindwani and Ashish Chanchlani. 

Chanchlani started off by saying that one of the most important things to look out for is to build a healthy relationship with brands.

“It’s important to have a long-term vision to move forward with the brands and not just focus on a one-time deal. It’s crucial for creators to respect the brands’ work and make sure they get the right engagement. At the same time, it is also important for the brands to give the creators the creative liberty that they desire. At the end of the day, they know their audience the best,” he said.

Sheth said though brands have been giving creative freedom to creators, there is still a long way to go. “Brands should introduce the creator to the product and its USPs and let them come up with ideas and concepts that will cater to their audience. When it comes to hiring an agency, I think it is important for creators to learn the process by themselves in the initial stage and then rely on a third party,” he said.

Speaking along similar lines, Sindwani said, “The process of brand integration is tedious. There's a fair possibility that the communication might get lost. It’s extremely crucial for brands to give the creator creative freedom because it all comes down to building a relationship with our audience as well as the brand. I personally like to connect with the brand, before, during and after the creative process so that they know what my ideation is and suggest changes during the process itself.”

The one thing that differentiates creators from celebrities is the relatability that they’ve established with their audience. Talking about it, Chanchlani said, “We need to personally delve into the product experience before endorsing it to our audience. They know what is organic and what it pushed.”

Sheth added, “Creators too should not do brand integration just for the sake of it. It's important for them to be as enthusiastic about a paid piece as they are about an organic piece of content.”

The panel concluded with the consensus that one is never too big, neither the brand nor the creator, and so it is important to be grounded and relatable.