We have heard several stories of small-time startups disrupting billion or trillion dollar industries, but the recent years have witnessed a massive surge in the popularity of social media influencers also referred as 'micro-influencers' who have collectively disrupted the complete marketing premise, especially digitally. Often brushed aside by many as amateur content creators, these influencers are the new favourites of current generation of millennial for whom social media is a way of life. More than an advertisement, the consumers today choose to trust a fashion or lifestyle blogger while making their next purchase. They find it easier to believe the words of someone following whom on social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook is their own choice.
The best part of this novel approach is that it’s cost effective and skips the need for traditionally expensive push marketing. The trend is even more prominent in markets across the world during the pandemic era, which has pushed the need for brands and businesses to reach out directly to consumers. One of the most effective tools to leverage influencer marketing to the best of its capability is through online campaigns.
According to Indian baby and mother care brand Mother Sparsh, which has banked on influencer marketing in the pandemic times, the route yields instant benefits if right set of relevant information is communicated to the consumers via popular influencers. Mother Sparsh Co-Founder and CEO Dr Himanshu Gandhi says, “In 2020 we launched a #PlantAndPure campaign while this year we conducted an #AyurvedaForHairHealth, with a pool of nearly 5000 influencers and mom bloggers. Noted celebrities such as Bhumi Pednekar, Neena Gupta, Tisca Chopra, Sameera Reddy, Meghna Sundar Raj and Veebha Anand were also brought onboard to amplify awareness as well as our outreach.”
“These campaigns and activities got an overwhelming response, and in fact we registered a 20% growth in revenue of our then newly launched product range while our last year’s campaign registered an outreach of nearly 8 million. Influencers have truly disrupted the digital marketing space due to the word-of-mouth connect consumers feel with them,” he added.
The other major reason for the emergence of influencers as a major marketing tool, especially in India, is increased internet penetration and adaptability to smartphones. As a matter of fact, the popularity of some of the social media platforms in interiors of the country surpasses that in metro or bigger cities.
Prerna Goel, Co-Founder and CMO of influencer & talent management agency WhizCo, says, “The biggest strength of influencer market is its phenomenal outreach. Not just in metro cities, but the influencers and social media celebrities are watched by millions living in tier 2 and tier 3 parts of the country, ensuring maximum eyeballs for any business or brand. As an influencer management firm, our foremost challenge often is to make sure that right set of content pool is created for the right purpose.”
She further said that “there has to be a direct connection between a product or brand and the influencers, so that maximum people relate to the content. Though a few traditional brands continue to under rate the potential of digital or influencer marketing and allot major chunk of their budget toward print or TV, the space is now expected to grow at a faster pace than ever”.
Lifestyle influencer Shreya Jain echoes the sentiments, opining that most of the brands invest a huge chunk of their marketing budgets on influencer marketing and some have benefited a lot from the same.
“These days every brand from fashion to home decor is available on online platforms likewise we can find influencers in every category in every niche on social media. Every brand has a different requirement and has a different target audience. Some brands just want awareness and some are looking for revenue from the influencers. Accordingly, the brands strategise the right set of influences for their target audience,” says Shreya.
She adds that “these days social media is more about following the ongoing trends where breaking that pattern and introducing your brand to people watching social media for fun and entertainment has become a challenge but it can be achieved with proper strategies and if you’re targeting the proper audience.”