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Influencer Marketing in India: Social Media continues to take over the Society

Influencer marketing: an introduction 

Marketing is an age old practice for any business. It is one of the backbone of any business. A good marketing strategy is imperative for the success of any brand. It can make or break a brand. Companies always opt for the most innovative strategies to brand their products. 

Over the years influencer marketing has become one of the most sought after strategies that brands normally go for. This type of marketing rose to fame with the rise of visual mass media. Films and TV brought the spotlight on actors who enjoyed immense influence and power over their fans. This is the very substructure of the more recent and powerful rendition of influencer marketing. 

79% of brands that chose social media influence through influencers use Instagram to market the products. About 46% use Facebook and 36% use YouTube. Confluencr, one of the largest influencer marketing agencies, quotes that 70% of consumers are influenced by the recommendations of their peers.

Influencer marketing has now shifted its focus from more traditional celebrities to other individuals who now share the title of influencers. These influencers are individuals who have amassed a large number of followers on their social media and have gained the trust and loyalty of these followers. They have achieved celebrity status on social media and brands are now marketing their products through them. Social media takeover is a global phenomenon and with that is the rise of influencers. 

Since influencer marketing is largely based on a visual aesthetic the major platform for its breeding is instagram. This is due to the fact that instagram is a visual platform. It serves as a catalogue for people to look through. This happens by default. Some of the most noted influencers are instagram influencers. The kardashian and Jenner clan are the epitome of power house influencers. They can earn millions of dollars per post. 79% of companies that choose social media influencers opt for instagram influencers. 

India’s increased online presence after the launch of Reliance jio, in 2016. After Ambani’s 2016 launch of Jio, suddenly a large portion of the indian population was online. Nooks and corners of India was now part of a social media platform. With this presence the country also trends in social media trends in an enhanced manner. The rise of indian social media influencers are now in parallel to global powerhouse influencers. Thus, creating an experimental and evolving space for influencer marketing.  

The influencer world is so expansive that there are training courses for aspiring influencers. This is not surprising since as of 2020 this industry was worth 6 billion dollars. It is estimated to grow and amass a worth of 24.1 billion by the year 2025. So India’s rapid participation in this growing industry is no surprise.

Influencer Marketing in India: an in Depth Analysis

India has had a very strong online presence over the last few years. It is probably a country with the most used internet users. The presence of social media is unavoidable in our lives. Indian social media allowed indian influencers to gain a more frontal spotlight over the last few years. 

Digital agencies have sprung up rapidly all over the country. These agencies have successfully survived and enhanced the market to provide the best influencer marketing campaign. India has seen some of the best online campaigns over the last 2 to 3 years. 

The growth in the market is the reason for the rise in digital marketing agencies. Confluencr, Plixxo, OPA, Influencer.in, PulpKey and Winkl are some of the top digital marketing agencies in India at the moment. These agencies have successfully created a bridge between influencers and brands that blend into influencer marketing. Their campaigns have been innovative and victorious. These agencies are key for building a trust and relationship between influencers and brands. 

Some of the biggest brands in India like Lakme, PepsiCo and Amazon have opted for influencer marketing in the last few years. There are also certain Indian brands who started their business a few years ago but have progressed enormously with the help of influencer marketing. Plum and Sugar are two examples of such brands. These two cosmetic brands are relatively new to the beauty industry but have managed to collect a significant amount of consumers. Their tactful influencer marketing has helped them to transform from being comparatively new brands to household names. 

According to a survey conducted in 2019 75% of participants marked influencer marketing a pivotal strategy for marketing. The survey was conducted with more than 800 members. The members included PR professionals, digital and brand marketers.

The Covid-19 situation also shifted perspective with marketing strategies. Pre Covid a lot of Indian brands were hesitant about influencer marketing but that changed with the way most influencers delivered a continuous stream of content during the lockdown. With indoors and DIY contents these influencers kept their audience entertained and glued to them. 

According to research Indian citizens spent approximately 3 hours and 22 minutes on social media per day, before the pandemic. This shot up to 3 hours and 54 minutes during the lockdown. Most of the content absorbed was OTT content and social networking. Online gaming was also a big part of the statistics. With the increase in time spent online brands were encouraged to work more with influencers and experiment with this type of digital marketing. The share of influencer marketing stood at 3% in 2017 which accelerated 10% in the year 2020. 

Delhi and Mumbai are the top accommodations for most influencers in the country. Bangalore and Kolkata are also following closely behind. The influencer trend is mostly seen in the metro cities for the time being. Most of these influencers are the youth of the country. With a rough distribution, 50% of them are in between the 18-24 years of age range while the rest are between 24-30 years. The latter age range is the bracket which is associated with capabilities of purchasing power. This bracket drives the sales for most brands as their audience is likely to be close to their age range. 

The influencer market is also a female dominated market where the lifestyle and fashion industry commands. These numbers and facts prove that the youth of India is mostly interested in being self-sufficient and unlikely to take conventional occupational paths. 

Future predictions

India’s influencer market stands at a worth of $75 – $150 million a year and is likely to grow even more in the future. This is a significant amount considering it has only been a few years since the majority of Indians have embraced social media as an important part of their life. 

The rising graph for the indian influencer marketing would likely result in the emphasis of micro influencers. This could also negatively result in stricter advertisement guidelines and online regulations. 

As budgets will be packed, brand marketers are going to be even more cautious about getting more bang for their bucks when it comes to influencer marketing.

In 2021, influencer content will be further leveraged to ensure utmost exposure, investment and reach. It is advised to watch out for amplified influencer content reaching the masses to drive genuine awareness in the noisy world. 

It seems very obvious that the reach and return of investment that marketers get

through influencer marketing is the sole reason for why influencer marketing. But the bigger reason seems to be the fact that this platform is so raw and new that it allows marketers to make mistakes, learn from them and then get back on the game. It is also much easier to bargain for the attention of users because

advertising here is new content and this content is equal to better engagement.

All of it makes the analysis of the influencer marketing industry so interesting

especially considering that it’s just the beginning.

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