Although there is a lot written and spoken about influencer marketing right now but this wasn’t the case a few years ago. This is the most recent and undoubtedly the most effective addition to the modern forms of marketing. Even if we go a decade back from now, the terms which we now refer to as ‘micro-influencer marketing‘. The influencer marketing industry as a trend has started growing since the last 5 years and has never declined ever since.
Since the year 2017, Influencer marketing has been the most preferred option of most of marketers and brands out there. This Report by Talkwalker portrays that 72% of the people surveyed are planning to increase their influencer marketing budget in 2020. Moreover, over 82% of women first surf social media before making a purchase. These stats showcase the potential that Influencer Marketing possesses in a country like India where social media users are increasing day by day.
So, the question arises that what is influencer marketing? Why is influencer marketing trending right now and what is the reason for the exceptional growth of social media marketing in India in the last few years. Keep reading the article to get the answer to these questions.
What Is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer Marketing is the collaboration of social media influencers with brands which leverage the former’s popularity and fan following to endorse their products or increase their brand exposure.
In simpler words, when you see your favourite YouTuber talking about a certain product from a certain brand, chances are that it is an example of product placement through influencer marketing. Also, one would agree that you would remember that product in the future more often than not because of the fact that your favourite influencer spoke highly about it. You might even go ahead and purchase that particular product for the same reason.
This is the reason why Influencer Marketing is suddenly becoming everyone’s favourite. It is 2020 and brands have realized that consumers no longer fall for the paid ads anymore. The rise in the use of social media makes platforms like Instagram, YouTube and Facebook make the internet a great place to advertise. So, why not do it with the people who have a strong hold over the social media game and overtime have developed a loyal audience.
Type of Influencers:
Micro-Influencers are people with about 10K to 100K followers on their social media channels and are generally focus on specific industry. They are often regarded as industry experts. Micro-influencer marketing is regarded to be as one of the safest options to play with as these followers have a strong command over their niche and their engagement rates are also promising. Micro-influencers are the best options to go for if you have budget constraints or want to experiment something new.
These are the social media influencers with over a million followers and they are who we refer to as ‘celebrities’. Their fan following is immense and working with them requires a healthy budget. Mega influencers include Bollywood stars, TV actors, sportsmen, models or even content creators. Theses types of influencers have a diverse audience with varied interests. Your brand authority and brand awareness increase dramatically after working with a mega influencer because these influencers do not just work with any brand for the sake of money. They have a reputation of promoting trusted and genuine businesses.
Reasons for The Rise of Influencer Marketing in India
Influencer Marketing in India has grown tremendously over the last few years. Promoting their product or service through a social media celebrity has become more of a compulsory ritual for a brand. But what is the reason behind this? Why has this form of social media marketing has taken over traditional marketing forms like the TV and the print media?
Let us analyse some of the reasons for the amazing growth of influencer marketing in India.
Increase in The Usage of Social Media
This is the reason that has boosted influencer marketing in India more than anything else. If you look at it logically, obviously now most of the brands look to advertise themselves digitally through social media because it has more active users than ever. With an increase in the number of users and also the usage hours of an average person, definitely the followers and the watch-time of an influencer is going to increase. Also, a greater number of active followers on the page of a social media influencer means higher engagement rates which is what most brands look for.
Social media also gives the luxury of choosing and defining their audience to the brands. This is a big advantage to the brands because platforms like Instagram and YouTube let advertisers target a group of people based on their age groups, geographical location or even their interests. This is unlike in the traditional forms like Television or even the newspapers where you have to advertise to masses.
The Rise of Content Based Marketing
A big reason why Influencer marketing is what it is today is the shift of the brands and marketers to content-based marketing strategies. You may also have seen many Television ads now try to deliver a message rather than selling their products simply. Brands like Cadbury, Tata Sky, etc. have very effectively used this technique and have impressed many people.
Additionally, people have become more intelligent and aware then ever. The consumers now can tell which brand is trying to help them and make their life easy and which one is just trying to sell them. Although both are essentially trying to sell their product but the difference is made in the approach.
Moreover, influencers are essentially content-creators who have built an audience based on the type of content they produce. So, they are naturally, a very good option to implement content marketing.
Consumer-centric Marketing Wins
We are in the era where the product is no longer the king, the consumer is. Brands in India have seemed to understand this and they now implement their strategy around this principle. Influencer Marketing is a great way to give solutions to the consumers. The whole concept of this type of marketing is based around providing a problem-solving solution to the consumer and then eventually make money out of it.
So, as a brand your influencer marketing campaign should be focused on explain people how your product or service will add value to their life. If you are able to convey the message, your brand awareness increases and that is the key to digital success. People-centric marketing also requires the brands to be very careful about the time of advertising. For instance, amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, if you are trying oversell your product, it may have a bad impact on your potential consumers.
Additionally, trying to capitalize on a crisis situation can prove deadly for your brand so better focus helping out the people and, in the process, subtly increase your brand-exposure and awareness.
People Trust Influencers
Social media influencers are people who have build a very loyal audience by impressing everyone with their art and skills. Influencers generally have a command over a particular industry like food, health, fitness, beauty, travel and so on. Their expertise and knowledge over their particular niche attract followers from all around who gradually begin to trust them because of their genuineness and authenticity. So, if an influencer recommends a certain product to his/her followers, there is a great chance that the audience will check out the product. The best part is that even if they do not buy the product, they have at least checked it out which increases the brand awareness.
Secondly, the consumer now has become way smarter and will nit be convinced if the brand directly tells him to buy its product. However, if your favourite influencer recommends you the same product, you will be more tempted to buy it, right? Last year, about 71% of the consumers made a purchase based on the social media.
Tips to Get Started with Influencer Marketing
Collaborate with an Influencer that Goes with Your Brand
Researching for the right influencers is one of the most vital things that you must take care of before kickstarting your influencer marketing campaign. Do not just randomly pick some influencers partner with them. Make sure that they are relevant with your line of products or services.
Set definitive goals for Your Influencer Marketing Campaign
What is the purpose of this campaign? Increasing brand awareness or boosting sales or maybe just staying relevant in the market? Ask these questions to yourself before planning an influencer marketing campaign. A clear goal will sort of give you directions while formatting your marketing and content strategy. Also, you will be measuring your goals based on this only.
Don’t Let The ‘Number of Followers’ be The Deciding Parameter
Do not just select an influencer based on the number of influencers he/she has. Instagram channels have thousands of fake followers and dead accounts. So, better judge them based on their engagement rates, consistency and authenticity.
Get the Influencer Involved
It is really important to take the influencer’s inputs and ideas when it comes to the creative direction and content production part of the campaign. These people have gained thousands of followers over the course of time because of their innovation and creativity impressed many. So, involving them will only do better for the campaigns.
Measure the Results
Marketing is done to achieve certain objectives. See if those objectives have been achieved or not. Take helps of the metrics available to you such as the views, impressions, clicks, sales, engagement, average audience retention, etc. Tracking your results will give you an idea if you want to continue the marketing campaign or not.
Try Out Different Platforms
Social Media essentially isn’t just Instagram or YouTube. I mean, yes, you cannot deny that they are safest platforms to place your bet on, when it comes to Influencer Marketing but one should also not miss on using platforms such as blogposts, LinkedIn and the biggest of them all, TikTok. Yes, the latter is the biggest thing on the Internet right now. The way it is growing day by day in India, the app can prove to be a goldmine for brands who can construct an effective and well-thought TikTok Influencer Marketing Campaign.
Conclusively, although Influencer Marketing has existed in India for quite a few years now but it is still maturing day by day. It is all about creating something new everyday and giving a chance to your ideas. So, are you also wondering about when to launch an Influencer campaign for your brand? Well, RIGHT NOW is the answer!
Get started as soon as possible and see your business grow digitally. Want to share a thought or experience? Do not hesitate on helping others by commenting down below.