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Successful brand collaborations rely on a middle ground where both the brand and content creator find a common understanding, content creator Prajakta Koli said. She also highlighted the essential role of open dialogue in laying the foundation for a fruitful partnership, as this collaborative approach paves the way for brand success in content creation.

In a panel discussion, “Influencer Accountability: The Social and the Branded”, during GroupM’s Brew 2023 event, Koli and Kunal Sawant, Business Head at GOAT, explored the intricacies of brand collaborations. They emphasised the mutual advantages that creators and brands can unlock by establishing common ground, fostering transparency and authenticity in brand partnerships, and delving into many more valuable insights.

On being asked, what is her preferred platform among YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook for posting content? Koli said that it totally depends on the content.

"If it is long-form content, which I love, then it is always going to be YouTube. I have also been putting out a lot of short-form content lately. So, currently, my preferred platform is Instagram," she added.

Sawant also asked Koli to share her real creative process and the way she plans to put out her content every day on social media.

"I don't consider myself a comedian, so I don't write jokes. Instead, I draw inspiration from everyday life. I don't have a fixed writing process; it's more on-the-go for me. I keep notes on my phone or in a notebook and build on interesting ideas. Over my nearly 9-year journey in this field, I've formed a team to collaborate and expand on ideas. There's no secret formula to my creative process," Koli replied.

Sawant said that now that it's clear there are no cheat codes or secret recipes to unlock Koli's creativity and content, the focus shifts to the delicate balance of staying authentic to her audience, doing justice to the brand she represents, and effectively conveying the message.

Furthermore, he asked her to share some behind-the-scenes stories of working with brands and crafting organic videos.

Koli said, "I have been incredibly fortunate with brand collaborations in the past nine years. I have worked with like-minded individuals who met me halfway. This approach, rather than following a rigid process, has proven effective. By meeting in the middle and understanding each other's needs and contributions, it's been a successful journey."

"For example, I have had the pleasure of collaborating with Gillette for nearly four years now, and it's evolved from a natural partnership into a close-knit family. Our constant communication involves product launches and various collaborations. It's not just a brand video anymore; it's become a consistent part of my content. I have been incredibly fortunate with these collaborations," she added.

Sawant asked, "Consider the important elements of transparency and authenticity in the dynamic between influencers and their followers, as well as between influencers and brands. Achieving the delicate equilibrium of transparency while preserving authenticity is the challenge at hand. So, how do you strike that right balance of transparency with both parties and yet remain authentic?"

Koli said that it has become fairly simple for her now. Today, influencer marketing, or digital marketing, is not really a new concept for most brands. So, many brands today understand where the creators are coming from and where they themselves are coming from.

"At this point, I'd say, it is a great time for creators to work with brands because the conversations are fairly transparent. As long as the creator and the brand are on the same page and believe in the same things, I think it should be very easy for them to get that forward. There is a reason why our nation stands as the world's largest digital market, drawing significant attention and investments. This is an excellent time to be a content creator,” Koli said.

“For brands, a successful collaboration with creators hinges on finding common ground. Two key points to consider in such partnerships are: first, it's crucial to meet midway and foster a meaningful dialogue to understand both brand and creator perspectives. Second, if you hold a position of influence, especially in discussions about issues like climate change and inclusivity, it's vital to simplify these important messages. Ensure that these critical messages from corporate boardrooms resonate with students and young audiences in colleges and schools. To do that effectively, break down complex ideas into easily understandable terms,” she added.