Influencing thoughts

Amrita Prasad
Monday, 4 March 2019

Sumedh Chaphekar, co-founder and CEO, NoFILTR that incubates young talent and gives them the resources they need to be the best they can, talks about the platform, trends in social media marketing, among other things

Saying that social media is a powerful tool and social media influencers play a major role in impacting what we buy and don’t, is like saying ‘it snows in Alaska’. Social media influencers and bloggers are no less than celebrities. Using the power of internet they have managed to create a promising career for themselves. But is it all that easy? Perhaps yes, when you have someone like Sumedh Chaphekar, a 22-year-old serial entrepreneur and investor, who believes in empowering humans. To empower young talent and help make them famous on the internet, Chaphekar co-founded NoFILTR that aims at creating a community network that grows together and facilitates personal expression and brilliant content. In this age of internet and social media, youngsters have multiple career options and NoFILTR helps youngsters hone their talent as influencers. 

Chaphekar, who is a graduate of New York Film Academy and is passionate about filmmaking and has immersed himself in technology and content, tells us more about his initiative.

How was NoFILTR conceptualised?
- I always loved storytelling and creating brands but never got the complete freedom to express my ideas, until I stumbled across the power of social media. Whether you’re a writer, director, sound or distribution guy, it is a dream come true.

Is there a specific reason why you chose this name?
- NoFILTR is a popular Instagram hashtag (#nofilter) that lets your followers know, you haven’t used any filters. We, as a company, believe in empowering today’s youth in embracing themselves for who they are which is how the name NoFILTR came about. In the history of the world, we’ve always had leaders, change-makers, people that push humanity forward. But in this new world, these people come from a completely different genre. The people with the strongest influence are those who are great at visual storytelling. There’s a need for a platform that not only represents these new ‘social media’ leaders but incubates them, brings them together, to collaborate and help them in every way possible. We aim to do exactly that with NoFILTR.

- How does the platform work and how does it help youngsters?
NoFILTR is a place where youngsters can pursue their passion and excel in those fields that most appeal to them. We advise all those we represent to be authentically themselves on social media and only endorse those products that they personally believe in. We like to think of ourselves as ethical advertisers through our influencers as they impact millions of people who follow them.

- What are your thoughts on a career as a social media influencer in India?
Over the course of 2018 and 2019, being an influencer has become a significant career option for many. Brands have begun to realise that this a great alternative way of advertising as opposed to the traditional forms of advertising such as TV, print media, billboards, etc. Influencer marketing isn’t an easy career option because of the massive competition in the industry which is why innovation is very important. The only way to make this your career is to wake up every morning and love your job.

- How are brands using influencers these days?
Nowadays, everyone spends most of their time on their phones. Whether you’re at a signal or a waiting room, you’re more likely to be on the internet than read a billboard or flip through a magazine. Advertisers have realised this fact and are trying to target the youth by adopting influencer marketing strategies. To endorse their product, brands collaborate with those influencers who are more likely to be able to reach their target audience. Our influencers use the art of effective storytelling to help brands spread their message.

- Who do you think is a bigger influencer — a nano or micro influencer or a big celebrity?
Imagine Priyanka Chopra advertising a face wash — being the face of the brand she helps generate a lot of credibility and brand value for the product but does that make you go to the store and buy it? You are more likely to buy it when a friend recommends the product to you. Word-of-mouth advertising is by far the most effective form of advertising. Which is why when brands create marketing strategies, they need to keep in mind both brand awareness and sales. Celebrities are great for creating brand awareness but not so much for sales. Micro influencers, who are everyday people, who have 2K, 10K, followers are great for sales but not good at creating brand value, so it must be a mix of both.

* Personal branding: Building personal brands around individuals and help them market themselves. It is essentially the ongoing process of establishing a prescribed image or impression in the mind of others about an individual, group, or organisation.
* Content creation: The platform creates content through video, graphics, stop motion, still photography, 360° videos, amongst other things.
* Content curation: It helps curate content for brands through our influencers for them to effectively market themselves.
* Influencer marketing and brand collaborations:  It facilitates tie-ups between influencers and brands to benefit both and maximise satisfaction on both ends. These tie-ups are based on the brand requirements in terms of reach and target audience.
* Campaign design: NoFILTR designs individual campaigns for brands in lieu of their requirements in association with influencers who would best help meet their branding agenda.
* Campaign execution and analysis: It not only designs campaigns but also executes them through content creation/curation and timely collaboration and coordination with our influencers.

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