How Indian brands are fueling the influencer marketing vehicle
Influencer marketing has become one of the hottest career trends among young Indians in recent times
By Ritesh Dhawan
For more than three decades, television has been the preferred vehicle of entertainment and communication for the Indian masses. From humble beginnings in the 80s to 2010, television has transformed the lives of Indian consumers as well as brands. For those who lived through this period, they will vouch for the renowned brands that have contributed to the evolution of a whole new way of consuming, inconceivable in the era of the written press or the radio.
After 2010, new media (Internet media) began to develop. Its growth in audience and engagement shifted gears after 2015 in India with telecom and data boom coupled with mass adoption of affordable smartphones and data leading India into a new era where the TV viewership began to decline and a critical mass of Indian consumers began to overspend. more time on social media and video streaming platforms.
With its current contribution exceeding 30% of overall digital media ad spend, it has three key verticals: social media advertising, search and display advertising, and digital inventory advertising. But unlike conventional non-interactive media, digital media thrives on interactivity, engagement, and cognitive responses that have taken media planning to a whole new level. The thing is, social media advertising offers the best of three characteristics and that’s probably the reason for its “ultra” status with advertisers from all walks of life.
But it’s on vehicle growth led by adoptions, there’s another tectonic shift happening which is the shift in perspective towards typical/sponsored messaging.
Digital viewers have a negative perception of sponsored posts
Even in the era of television, we generally used commercial breaks for quick convenience, attended calls between our favorite soap operas, cricket matches and the like. However, the mute box would not provide an escape from sponsored messaging. As a result, the advertising community as a whole has relied on creating entertaining, stylized, and overly affable content for brands seen as “larger than life” or “creatively liberated,” which is clearly overkill to keep us glued. .
But all that is changing now! New media consumers now have two very powerful options for filtering/removing sponsored posts – “Skip and Scroll”. As is common practice, most sponsored posts are canceled within 5-6 seconds unless forcefully broadcast by media platforms at an additional cost. Either way, the engagement and response to these posts is highly questionable and a source of great concern for advertisers.
Experiment with the brand and evolve new media for an effective cost model
Lately, new-age brands have had amazing results replacing creatively liberated communication with true testimonial-based communication through individuals who are seen to be sharing their opinions largely through social media. During a few notable campaigns, not only did consumers react with excessive engagement and adoption, but it also breathed new life into brands by evolving a disparate cost model from the previous generation of advertisers.
New media and organic communication are shifting the spending matrix to a more economical and efficient model compared to conventional media. In our opinion, Mamaearth is one such brand that has leveraged this communication to its advantage and created immense value for itself. The Mamaearth case study has not only been recognized but also propagated by several other brands that are emerging with this new influencer marketing vehicle we are talking about.
While most agencies and brands focus on recreating their own ROI matrix, they’ve missed out on one of the most important aspects of marketing communications: creative control.
Influencer marketing, a panacea to jump and scrolling phenomena
An average urban consumer is exposed to more than 5,000 new media communications per day. The fact is that most consumers usually keep less than 1%. Thus supporting the repeat audience offered by social media platforms. However, influencer marketing campaigns have seen higher audience adoption, engagement, response, and action, putting creative control back in the hands of the advertiser. We believe this is just the start of a mega revolution as brands themselves smartly power and create customer touchpoints and promote consumerism in a whole new way. A more affable, non-intrusive and palatable way to new media audiences than the ones we normally ignore or scroll through.
Compared to the global scenario, India is far behind on the industry value to date (Global – $8 billion / Indian – $133 million). We also believe that the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on new media adoption has been one of the most important reasons for this growth. Even more surprising is the fact that there are only around 25,000 professional influencers in the country. It is clear that this number is insufficient to reach one billion Indians.
Strong adoption by major brands of content marketing/influencer marketing
Influencer marketing has become one of the hottest career trends among young Indians in recent times. We believe that one in eight urban youth in India, between the ages of 18 and 28, wants to become an internet influencer. At the same time, most brands in India are already involved in some form or another in the content economy through social media to ensure that consumers as a whole receive adequate testimonials, opinions and experiences based on the actual use of their products and services. Unboxing videos, drive tests, comparisons, testimonials or DIY content creators and other influencers take over communication and how.
A new revolution has started and brands are fueling it in an attempt to rise to the top spot in the collective consciousness of these modern times and this time the public loves it even more.
The author is CEO of Influenzr.life. The opinions expressed are personal.
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