The rise of social media influencers has brought a new dawn for brands and companies alike. These micro and macro influencers have become the dominant brand endorsers and have changed the face of media marketing. Major brands across industries have realized this shift in consumer behaviour towards media, and leveraging these influencers and technology has been the major catalyst in this prodigious shift.
As more than 40 per cent of the world’s population access social networking platforms, the horizon of marketing has expanded by leaps. To win customers, marketers are under constant pressure to produce large amount of content with high frequency as every platform and its audience demands fresh content with compelling visuals. Influencer marketing has become a trend that erupted a few years ago and has engulfed marketers to successfully fill the content deficiency faced by them. A survey suggests that Google search for ‘influencer marketing’ has shot up by 1,500 per cent in the past three years.
Influencer marketing has emerged as an important activity for brands to boost revenue. As per the latest analysis, 86 per cent of women in India make a purchase after reading the product's reviews posted by influencers on one or the other digital platform. Additionally, more than 70 per cent of brands have already adopted the influencing method to emphasise their brand’s value. Even though experts claim that influencer marketing is saturating, the growing investment into the field suggests a different story, and many layers of the trend are yet to be unfolded. A study estimated that the growth of influencer marketing would touch $20 billion in 2020, up from $4.6 billion in 2018. Brands are pumping big investments into influencer marketing to engage with the target audience in the desired manner.
A micro-influencer typically has close to 10,000 followers while a macro influencer who has followers in the range of 50,000 to 300,000 on a particular social media channel. Besides spreading awareness on a particular brand or its products or services, an influencer successfully attracts a new set of audience for the brand. For instance, Baggit organised a small-scale bloggers’ meet and ran #PlayTheLifeGame campaign on Twitter. The event updates, hashtags and product pictures on Twitter by a small number of bloggers garnered over 5,531,042 impressions and more than 2.8 million unique Twitter accounts were reached within a few hours.
If given a chance, people would ‘skip’ watching advertisements. However, views of an influencer are welcomed by the masses, and they pay complete attention to their favourite influencers.
While India has 22 listed languages but as per census report 2018, India is home to more than 19,000 raw mother tongues. A large number of languages spoken in India make the country a dense market. Another study suggests that more than 80 per cent of online users in India prefer to consume content in regional languages. Further, the reach of smartphones in India is far greater than any other digital medium of communication, and it will continue to open up new avenues for brands to tap new markets. Therefore, it becomes vital for brands to produce regional language content to establish brand appeal and compatibility with local people. By roping in regional influencers, brands will be empowered to perform hyperlocal marketing campaigns with high return on investment.
2019 has been turning page for influencers, as many brands came forward to take influencer marketing to the next level and on-boarded Internet celebrities as brand ambassadors. Bhuvan Bam, a 25-year-old young YouTuber and the first Indian YouTuber to have crossed 10 million subscribers mark, has been appointed as the brand ambassador for Lenskart.com, Pizza Hut and others. While the association visibly establishes brands’ youth-centric focus, it also marks and strengthens the supremacy of Internet celebrities as ace influencers.
The online platforms have gifted the world famous personalities, who are more relatable to the masses. The brands all over the world have realized that the best way to reach out to masses today, both in metro cities and rural areas, is via social media influencers. Hence, it is consistently surging as a viable and cost-effective mass communication digital alternative for brands. In the future, the adoption of influencer marketing will optimistically increase further.
Thus, reaching customers across various social platforms is critical. Social media Influencers behold a huge potential for brands to propagate the whole idea of brand and imparting brand values to its target audience. Brands should take resourceful approach and rightfully use influencers, and gear up to truly engage with their target audience to make the most of it their brand stories.