Digital marketing is always buzzing with something or other development. And this is the thing which I love the most the daily changing environment keeps you motivated for daily learning. If you ask me to talk about digital, I can go hours discussing it. So, let’s leave the broad one and focus on the topic Influencer marketing India, which is a vital part of the digital marketing industry in India.
If we talk of the earlier times, ‘Bollywood Stars’ were only considered to be influencers. This restricted the business owners to a few names Salman, Shahrukh, Amitabh, to list the some. But with so many media platforms and a wide variety of audiences spread, things have become much more complicated. Now companies have to study each of the platforms well, read the audience demographically. Not only these many other factors govern and are to be decided upon while deciding on the influencer. This has given the organizations many options and added to their difficulty. I will try and explain the entire thing in this article. Let’s start with the definition of Influencer marketing.
What is Influencer Marketing?
You could go with the definition of Wikipedia if I were to explain it in my language. Influencer marketing is a type of marketing where you focus on using prominent leaders in the given niche responsible for driving and spreading its message to the broader market. In this method of marketing, you hire/pay influencers to influence the larger audience to engage with your services or products.
As we know, the branches of digital marketing are linked with each other similarly. Influencer marketing is closely linked with content as well as social- media marketing.
Mostly the content for the marketing campaigns is provided to the influencers by the organization’s marketing team. However, there might be cases where the influencer themselves develop the content for the campaign. The influencing campaign is majorly run on social media platforms as we all know how much weightage social media has grabbed over the years.
I want to clarify through social media and content marketing seems to be synonyms of influencer marketing. They are entirely different from one another. Let’s take up other marketing channels and differentiate them from this one in the other media.
Difference between influencer and advocate marketing?
Many of you might even not have heard the term advocate marketing for those; let’s start from scratch.
Advocate marketing is the marketing process were already loyal customers are asked to spread the word through their respective platforms. Like what the Harley Davidson does through its club, it spreads through advocate marketing. In the case of influencer marketing, the influencer may or may not be a prior user of the product.
Differentiating it on a more in-depth aspect, advocate marketing majorly focuses on brand loyalty and not much on the payment basis. Influencer marketing, on the other hand, has payment an essential element to influencer marketing based on which the marketing budget is formulated.
Difference between the word of mouth and advocate marketing?
Word of mouth is what we spread among our family and friends after we feel satisfied with the services of a product or brand. This might be on any platform or might not be but this not influencer marketing. Word of mouth is generated after the first phase of buying is done and what every brand or organization wants to happen for every marketing campaign.
Now that we have understood the exact meaning of influencer marketing, let’s move further.
Importance of Influencer marketing?
Every marketing campaign has a goal to achieve for the organization. Influencer marketing also has a plan to spread awareness about the brand and give the brand a testimonial from the person known in his niche for people to trust.
“According to a report by Nielsen, 92% of the people trust recommendations which they get from individuals they never know.”
“61% of consumers, aged 18 to 34, have at some point been swayed in their decision-making by digital influencers, the consumer survey finds.”
“59% of industry respondents say the purpose influencer marketing serves for their business has changed over the past 12 months.”
Brands have been advertising using just Bollywood Celebrities in the past, but recently Instagram, Facebook, and many others have led to the emergence of specialized ones.
To give an example:
For TV ads, the choices are still Amitabh, Salman, Shahrukh, etc. For Instagram, brands have upcoming youth icons like Avneet Kaur, Khushi Joshi, and many others with whom the youth relate. For LinkedIn, there may be some industry leaders for the same brand.
One significant example of different channels of different influencer marketing is Byju’s.
Now begins the real game
How should we start an Influencer Marketing Plan?
To help you out in this process, I have laid down some points. Follow them, and you will succeed.
Checklist for Influencer Marketing Campaign
- Get the demography of your target audience and get to know there thinking as deep as possible.
A research study shows that 54% of marketers say audience insight data is an essential part of influencer identification.
Research Credit: Influencer Intelligence
This Graph clearly shows what all things the prominent marketers focus on to attain the desired goals set. The audience you cater to is a much important factor, especially in a country like India, where we have such a wide range of audiences. The marketing campaign which is successful in Delhi might be a flop in Mumbai.
You must first understand that “Every Marketing campaign is Different.”
To understand the audiences well, answer to a few questions
- Do you know the location of your audience?
- Do you know the language majority speaks?
- The culture which is followed in that place?
- Do you know the age group the ad will address?
- Whether the ad is gender-specific?
- How did the sample group you selected reacted to your ad?
- What are the rival products targeting?
- How is there ad perceived by the audience?
Answering these questions will surely help you define the demography for the audience well. This makes you have an ideal targeted audience that can be influenced by the advertisement.
- Set feasible goals that you would want to achieve with the campaign
The goals you set for the organization are what decides the campaign budget, The influencer selection criteria, and many others. According to research, nearly 40% of the companies spend approx—50% of their marketing budget on Influencer marketing.
Some of the common goals for influencer marketing campaigns which are run by brands are:
- Brand Awareness
- Get people to try a product
- Gain Social Media followers
- Increase sales
Increasing Sales is definitely what every brand wants and the main motto behind any marketing campaign. Still, there are other goals that a brand wants to achieve. Access Your goals first. Also, while accessing see to it, how would you measure the success of the campaign.
Based on the goal, only the measurement matrices are laid down.
- Choose the influencer based on your niche
Influencers are nowadays in numerous on any platform, and this has increased the complexity of how actually to choose the right influencer.
If you are advertising for baby diapers, Kareena Kapoor would be a much better choice than Amitabh Bachchan. This could be an argument, but this depends on your storyline.
So First, I would suggest that you see the storyline of your brand and match it with that of the advertisement.
Now that you have done the matching its time to search for the influencers. Ways of finding influencer are:
- Google: You can easily search for influencers and influencer managing agencies. You have to do a bit of research, go through the quotations from various agencies, analyze their quotes, and form a spreadsheet to contact.
- Site Scrapping: Scrapping is an art where you can extract the publicly available data. Many plugins and extensions on Google or other search engines will help you in this process. One of the drawbacks of this method is you won’t verify the correctness of the data as some are fake or outdated.
- Networks and Market Places: These are mostly used as these offer a authenticate and less time-consuming work. The databases which they have are up to date, and the prices are too negotiable. The difference in both is of a middle man; the network has one market place does not have one.
Types of Influencers
Influencers can be classified under various categories one such classification which has been prevalent for a long time was:
- HQ Content creators
- Buzz creators
- Advocates or employees
These categories are classification of Influencers in the past, which is still there, but nowadays, the radar for influencers has become much more specific.
Nowadays, with the popularization of Instagram and YouTube in the audience, influencers’ classification is also changed based on the number of followers they cater to.
Types of Influencers in terms of Instagram:
- Nano: Under 5k followers on Instagram
- Micro: 5k – 100k followers on Instagram
- Macro: 100k -500k followers on Instagram
- Mega: 500k – 5 million followers on Instagram
- Celebrity: 5 million+ followers.
Credit: Linqia case study
So, choose your influencer wisely, focusing on the goals of your organization and marketing campaigns to get the desired results.
- Have a good workflow and see that no blockages are present in the execution of the campaign
After the goals are set, influencers are finalized, and the ad is made, but the work is not finished yet> Now, you must choose the right channel to advertise the campaign. Also, not only media, you should see that the process is streamlined to improve the consumer experience in the end. This is process is similar to SEO as you have to continuously refine the distribution channel to get more and more outcomes from your campaign. Use the ads correctly, and you will see multifold times the result than you would be having without proper channeling of the advertisement.
- Track the matrices of the campaign and optimize it for further campaigns
Now, this is the last and most important in terms of any marketing campaign. Here what all you have done so far is analyzed to see whether or not the desired results are achieved. This is important as this makes you aware of the reasons where the campaign lacked. This helps in driving reforms in the process of improving the process for other marketing campaigns. Marketing managers should access the real-time multi-channel tracking system for blogs, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and other social channels.
The matrices must have various parameters to judge upon like reach, views, engagement, total media value, rate, and ROI. Everything can be visualized using multiple visualizations to bring out the actionable insights for future campaigns.
Where should the industry be for Influencer Marketing India in 2020?
With the increasing usage of social media platforms, there has been a rise in Influencer marketing specialists in India. Every industry that has a down phase. Influencer marketing also had one near around 2018 when there was a media outcry against the ad campaigns. But the sector survived it and is growing at a reasonable speed. But still, there are some points which should be addressed to keep this influencer consumer relation maintained.
Some of the suggestions from my side are listed below:
- Authenticity should be maintained, and the ‘Keep it Real’ should be followed for brands to rise in the natural, credible advocates and employees.
- There should be better data and matrices, which help in tracking the performance of any marketing campaign.
- Human influence might be challenged by a digital impact like the digital supermodel Shudu. So, AI has found its way in this segment as well, and everyone needs to be on toes to fight their survival.
- Brands should invest in building influencer and marketing skills internally, which will give a sense of trust to consumers. Also, the influencer will have a better grasp of what the requirements of the brand are.
- No tolerance rules in terms of Governing of the industry must be firmer for companies to plan well.
So, this was a detailed explanation of Influencer Marketing in India and where should it be in years from now. For more articles, keep following and supporting.