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Here’s why your digital marketing needs influencers in India

Concept art of an influencer taking a selfie while promoting products

Hey there! You have an Instagram notification! Chances are, it’s probably one of the digital marketing influencers you follow going live.

The rise of social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok and YouTube has created a new breed of celebrities known as digital marketing influencers, who can influence the purchasing decisions of their followers. The fact is, at least once in our lives, we have made a buying decision based on the recommendation of our favourite social media influencer. This is a clear example of the importance of digital marketing but also the rise of influencers in digital marketing.

Before diving into creating a robust social media influencer marketing strategy, it’s essential to understand the basics: how does influencer marketing work, does it make sense for your industry and what specific benefits can it offer your business?

Enter the digital therapists at Flora Fountain, a digital marketing company from Ahmedabad, and we will help you understand the importance of influencers in digital marketing through this blog.

Table of content

  1. What is influencer marketing?
  2. The rise of influencers in digital marketing
  3. How can influencer marketing be implemented?
  4. Advantages of influencer marketing
  5. Building an effective influencer marketing strategy
  6. In conclusion…
  7. Frequently Asked Questions

What is Influencer marketing?

Do we live in a hyper-connected world? Are traditional marketing tactics like fliers and hoardings now outdated? Do brands and more importantly consumers, all over the world realise the importance of digital marketing? Do they make decisions based on what they see online?

Well, yes, yes and yes!

Now, to combat these new realities, your business must include not just digital marketing but also channelise influencers in its digital marketing strategy.

Influencer marketing is like the love child of traditional celebrity endorsements and modern-day content-driven campaigns. It involves a collaboration between brands and digital marketing influencers, resulting in campaigns that can drive impressive results in the form of going viral, generating more sales or targeting an altogether new demographic that the influencer appeals to. Using influencers strategically in this way increases the importance of digital marketing for growing your business! In this blog, you will learn how you can make this happen.

The rise of influencers in digital marketing

The very first influencers were probably the Roman gladiators with their faces painted on walls, then came Santa Claus used by Coca-Cola and of course the Marlboro Man. In India too, Bollywood celebrities have been known for influencing people in buying everything from soap to mouth fresheners. However, the landscape has shifted online and we find ourselves amidst a world of D2C (direct-to-customer) products from grain-free pet food to hair growth gummy vitamins to bespoke silver jewellery and more!

A YouTube cover image of a collage of an Indian Instagram influencer reviewing hair colours
Scherezade ‘Sherry’ Shroff is one of the most prominent lifestyle influencers in digital marketing in India

While in the past it was usually the ‘already famous’, like cricketers and movie stars, who would endorse a product and promote a lifestyle, however, the always-watching digital world has made influencers famous for their lifestyles, turning them into celebrities. And with the emergence of social media, “influencing” has transformed into a full-time profession.

Snapshot of a YouTube live session by influencers
Tanmay Bhat promoting Unacademy on his YouTube live stream. Notice the smartly placed visible code below the stream?

Brands too have embraced influencer marketing due to its effectiveness. Indian Edtech company Unacademy had roped in comedian and YouTuber Tanmay Bhat to promote their online courses. Bhat’s live video streams have a large audience of teenagers and people in their early to mid-twenties who are probably planning to get into college or are already in college. The ideal target audience for Unacademy. Bhat would smartly sneak in a commercial line here and there during the 45 minutes long stream and even offer a promotional code like TANMAY10, offering a discount as an additional bait for the viewers.

While such collaborations between social media influencers and brands have been going on informally since the dawn of social media, there has been a remarkable surge in these collaborations over the last few years. McKinsey estimates the influencer market to be valued at $16.4 billion in 2023, across platforms such as Instagram, Tiktok (where available) and YouTube in countries like India, the US, UK and platforms like Pinduoduo and WeChat in China.

Where can influencer marketing be implemented?

Influencers in digital marketing thrive on social media, streaming platforms and review platforms. By leveraging the power of digital marketing influencers on these platforms, brands can effectively promote their products and services, increase visibility, drive sales and foster long-term brand awareness and customer loyalty.

Social Media: Digital marketing influencers have revolutionised social media marketing by creating highly engaging content that resonates with consumers. Tapping into this growing trend, prominent affordable luxury brand Daniel Wellington collaborated with fashion and lifestyle influencers like Aashna Shroff, leveraging their large followings and content around fashion and style to promote their watches. By offering customised discount codes and referral incentives, the brand achieved widespread recognition and increased sales.

Streaming platforms: Remember when we spoke about comedian Tanmay Bhat promoting brands while streaming videos? Platforms like YouTube and Twitch have many micro and mega influencers who regularly stream videos talking about fashion, lifestyle, gaming and pop culture. These video streams are a gold mine for brands to attract customers. While we all know about YouTube, Twitch is popular with professional and amateur gamers, who stream their gameplays for hours at a stretch. One such influential gamer, Ninja, has endorsements from Red Bull, UberEats and Adidas!

Reviews: Curated reviews are another highly impactful way of influencer marketing, where a brand can get the influencers to have a positive conversation started around their product or service. No, we’re not talking about getting fake reviews, but getting influencers to talk about their experience of staying at a hotel, a spa treatment or dining at a specific restaurant. A good example of it is the website Curly Tales, led by Kamya Jani. They tie up with lifestyle, food and travel brands and promote them via articles, listicles and videos. As an SEO company in Ahmedabad, we usually help travel and food brands explore such collaborations through guest blogging and social media reviewing.

Advantages of Influencer Marketing

Influencers in digital marketing in India have emerged as a powerful strategy with numerous advantages for brands. Here are three key benefits that make influencer marketing a valuable tool in your marketing arsenal.

Increased Brand Awareness: Collaborating with digital influencers can significantly boost brand awareness. Their large and loyal following provides access to a wider audience, allowing your brand to reach potential customers who may not have been aware of your products or services otherwise. Through authentic and engaging content, influencers create a buzz around your brand, increasing visibility and capturing the attention of their dedicated followers.

Higher Engagement: Influencer marketing offers the advantage of higher engagement rates. Influencers have built a strong connection with their audience and when they endorse your brand, their followers are more likely to engage with the content and take action. Whether it’s liking, commenting, sharing, or even making a purchase, influencer-driven campaigns tend to generate higher levels of engagement compared to traditional advertising methods.

Cost Effectiveness: Influencer marketing can be a cost-effective strategy for brands, especially when compared to traditional advertising channels. Collaborating with influencers allows you to tap into their established platforms and dedicated fan base without the need for expensive production or media buying costs. Additionally, influencer partnerships often offer a higher return on investment (ROI) due to the targeted nature of the audience reached and the authentic trust built between influencers and their followers.

Building an effective influencer marketing strategy

Your brand is your brainchild and only you get to pick how you want your consumers to perceive it! When deciding on an influencer marketing strategy it is important to understand how it will add to your brand’s value and vision. Below are some strategic steps to build an influencer marketing strategy:

  1. Define your brand’s goals and what you want to achieve through that marketing campaign.
  2. Identify your brand’s target audience and what social platforms they use most.
  3. Select the right digital marketing influencer that specialises in your brand’s niche and can help you create the right content.
  4. Develop a campaign brief which clearly states expectations for an influencer and the kind of content you want them to create for your brand.
  5. Measure the campaign’s performance and identify what worked well and what didn’t to feed the strategy for your next influencer marketing campaign.
  6. Build long-term relationships with your influencers in a manner that helps build trust with your audience and increase the effectiveness of your campaigns over time.

Additionally, you can also hire a digital marketing agency and a graphic design agency to meet your brand’s digital and marketing goals!

In conclusion…

Influencer marketing is an ever-evolving and growing field and your brand must adapt to its strategies proactively to stay ahead of the curve and reach new audiences. As a branding agency in Ahmedabad that also specialises in creating a digital strategy, including using influencers in digital marketing in India, we can help you grow with influencer marketing collaborations. If you are ready to get started just say hello@florafountain.com

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Influencer Marketing in Digital Marketing

An online influencer is an individual or a page who/that has built a significant following and influence on various digital platforms. They have the ability to impact the opinions, behaviours and purchasing decisions of their audience through their content and recommendations. Influencers come in different types. Those with 1K to 10K followers are nano-influencers, while those with 10K to 50K followers are micro-influencers. The ones with 50K to 500K followers are mid-tier influencers while those who have a following ranging between 500K to 1M are macro influencers. Anyone beyond 1M followers can be categorised under Mega Influencer or celebrity.

Influencer marketing helps in expanding brand awareness by reaching a wider audience through the influencer’s following. It enhances customer engagement and trust as influencers endorse products/services, creating authentic recommendations that resonate with their followers. Influencer marketing can lead to increased sales and conversions, as the influencer’s recommendation can influence their followers’ purchasing decisions.

Start by identifying influencers who align with your brand’s values, target audience and industry niche. Look for influencers who have a highly engaged and authentic following, as well as a track record of producing high-quality content. Tools like social media analytics and influencer marketing platforms can aid in identifying suitable influencers. Collaborating with influencers who genuinely resonate with the brand will ensure a stellar partnership.

Vasim Samadji is a partner at Flora Fountain, where he leads the Business and Marketing Strategy divisions. He is a seasoned professional with an MBA in marketing and over a decade of experience working with multiple MNCs. Vasim is a firm believer in the power of creation and he is...

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