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From AP Dhillon’s ‘With you’ music reels to silent and ‘Get ready with me’ videos, people collaborating and grooving to Kaavaaala (Tamanna Bhatia) and ‘Shayari’, it so often gets overwhelming for content creators and brands to keep abreast with social media trends.

To be on top of the trending video games, many times, we see videos where the music or the content trend doesn’t even align with the brand or content creators’ objective and voice.

Adding to the FOMO, there is always a piece of advice out there on the web that will tell how to capitalise on social media trends to grow the audience. 

Take a deep breath! Why do we forget that brands and content creators do have the liberty to not follow social media trends?

However, this decision should be based on a careful assessment of their brand identity, audience, and long-term goals. It's essential to strike a balance between staying true to your content and brand's values and adapting to changes in the social media landscape when it makes sense for your business.

Kulbir Sachdev

Kulbir Sachdev, Founder and CEO, Voxxy Media, said, “While creating content around trending music and videos can be important for staying relevant and reaching a wider audience, it's equally important to ensure that the content aligns with the brand or creator's personality and values.

He added, “Simply using popular music or videos without any connection to the content or the brand's identity can come across as inauthentic or opportunistic. It's crucial to maintain consistency and authenticity in order to build a strong brand image and connect with the target audience on a deeper level.”

Himanshu Arora

As per Himanshu Arora, Co-Founder of Social Panga, brands and content creators must resist the temptation to take the easy path by using generic music and tunes. “Ensure that your choice of music genuinely reflects your content and brand and resonates with your profile and identity. Authenticity is key, as people can discern when it's real. Original content cannot be faked with just addons of trends and music,” he commented.

Arora further said, “Building a content strategy solely around following trends is not advisable; it should serve as a tool to enhance your content. What truly matters are factors such as content quality, consistency, and elements like storytelling. Occasionally incorporating trends can help you stay algorithmically relevant, but your content strategy should not hinge solely on them.”

While following trends can be beneficial, some influencers and brands aim to create something unique and original that has the potential to become a trend itself.

However, as per Voxxy Media’s Sachdev, this can be a risky strategy, as it requires a deep understanding of the target audience, the ability to stand out in a crowded digital space, and the willingness to take creative risks.

A few creators BuzzInContent spoke to also have the fear that if they don’t follow the trending video, they might lose engagement, viewership and discovery.

Seconding, the fear of the content creators, Rajat Dahiya, known as Kaal YT in the gaming content world, shared, “If we don’t follow trends of social media, we might get downgraded on social media. On the other hand, other creators creating videos on trends will garner more engagement with the audience and subscribers. The audience will be more interested in watching trendy videos rather than our regular common videos.”

Shilpa Chaudhary

Shilpa Chaudhary, Content Creator and an actor with over 1.2 million followers on Instagram believes that brands and influencers can always take the risk of following the path less taken, i.e., by not jumping on the bandwagon of trending videos.

Chaudhary said, “It's a risk, but that can lead to trend-setting ideas. It's all about creativity and risk-taking. That's what sets trends! Innovation often means stepping out of comfort zones. It's a gamble, but can pay off big. Original content can also attract views. It's all about understanding your audience. Unique content can be a powerful magnet for engagement. It's all about being true to oneself.”

Sachdev suggested that the influencers and brands that have a strong and loyal following may have more leeway to take such risks. “Their audience trusts their judgment and is more likely to embrace their unique content. However, for newer influencers or brands, it may be more challenging to deviate from popular trends and establish themselves as trendsetters.”

Ultimately, it's important for influencers and brands to carefully consider the potential risks and rewards of each approach and make informed decisions based on their unique circumstances.

Kalyan Kumar

Kalyan Kumar, Co-Founder, Klug Klug India, emphasises that while from a discovery perspective, following trends is important, in the longer run, staying true to your content voice always works.

“At the end of the day, if you want to be someone popular, you will have to follow the least common denominator. For that, any content piece should always be a mix of art and science. The art part of any content is bringing in creativity, authenticity and originality. The science part is tactically using those aspects of content that are trending and bringing your own twist to it.”

But can a person not increase engagement and views without following the bandwagon of trends?

Devdatta Potnis

Devdatta Potnis, CEO, Animeta, answered, “Every rule has an exception. Every exception makes a rule complete in a way. In the context of content creation, adhering to trends, brand guidelines, and platform best practices can be strategies for emerging creators to establish salience. When one speaks at an industry level we have to use standard examples, which are applicable to the average and not really the outliers who defy. Beyond a point, the act of defying certain things ends up following the same pattern. Those who continually defy norms may eventually find themselves trapped in a pattern of predictability, blurring the lines between rule and exception.”

Shivani Kapila

Shivani Kapila aka Little Glove, digital content creator and entrepreneur, believes, “Trends are most important; they basically give your videos a path to run. For a creator, trends help content to surface and bring the probability of engagement higher, but it’s not necessary to only create content on trending videos.”

Simran Balar Jain

For Simran Balar Jain, Sex ed content creator and co-founder of UnBound, creating content around trending music and videos can be important for brands and creators, but it must be done thoughtfully. “While following trends is important, it's not the only way to increase engagement and views. Unique and authentic content can also gain attention if it resonates with the audience and showcases the brand or creator's personality effectively,” she said.

Arun Nair

Arun Nair, Digital Content Creator, seconded, “Following social media trends is crucial for both brands and creators. Trends can skyrocket your content's reach and engagement. It keeps your audience engaged and attracts new followers. But one can increase engagement and views without always following trends. He said, “While trends offer a quick boost, building a loyal audience through unique, niche-focused content is equally effective. Authenticity and consistency in your content can create a dedicated following that engages with your content regardless of trends.”

The trick is always in bringing in your X factor to the trending content and creating something that your audience likes, concluded Klug Klug’s Kumar.