“A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is — it is what consumers tell each other it is.” — Scott Cook
When you think of top 3 Indian Instagram influencers, which names pop up in your mind?
If you ask me, I’d name Komal Pandey, Kusha Kapila, and Danish Sait in a heartbeat. These are the names that rule the roost (and our Instagram feeds) among other Instagram influencers in India who regularly collaborate with brands to promote their products and services.
So, does that mean brands that are looking forward to leverage their business with influencer marketing are in luck? Especially due to the fact that Indian Instagram influencers have more than 16 million fake followers.
Let’s probe this further, shall we?
Why do brands choose to work with influencers?
The influencer marketing industry is getting bigger with each passing day, being worth just under 15 billion dollars.
The Indian influencer marketing industry to be specific, is valued at Rs 900 crore and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 25 per cent to reach Rs 2,200 crore by 2025.
According to a Rakuten Insight study (Oct. 2020), about 72% of respondents from the age bracket 25-34 years in India admitted to following at least one influencer on social media.
Working in close quarters with influencers gives brand marketers the wings to reach their target audience in the quickest and easiest way.
Reach Relevant Audience
With more people spending their time online, brands can collaborate with influencers to bridge the gap and reach audience relevant to their niche/industry. The key here is to understand the demographics, the content consumed, and identifying the platform on which the audience is available most of the time.
And then, the net is cast!
Google India for instance, collaborated with digital creator with the handle @AiyyoShraddha to reach their targeted audience segment in the country.
This is the perfect example of how a brand penetrate the trusted communities, attracting potential users and getting more bang for their buck!
Create Credibility and Build Trust
Every self-made Indian Instagram influencer knows one thing. It takes time to build trust with their fans/followers/subscribers.
Since the influencers have already done the groundwork, building a steady network or a community over the years, brands just need to hop on the bandwagon and earn credibility. No sweat!
Brands just need to ensure that they form partnerships with genuine influencers having a command over their niches.
Related post: know how to prepare a Instagram Content Plan
Broadens the Reach
Consumers find influencers as their trusted allies and value the opinion and suggestions offered.
Here’s an apt example.
Consider Indian Instagram influencer Komal Pandey, who, along with her Siddharth Batra have lit up the fashion scene on the platform. They keep pushing awesome content that resonates with the target audience. As such, any brand that partners with them to promote their content will definitely get an upper hand by reaching millions of followers in one shot.
It’s difficult for brands to pull off this feat on their own. When they form partnerships with influencers, their reach automatically broadens.
This one’s a no-brainer.
Any good influencer worth their salt, keep churning out great content. They are passionate about their work and regularly engage with their followers. This amplifies their appeal online.
How does this help brands?
Well, they can save time to create the content themselves and just share the requirements with the influencers. Also, because people will take the influencers’ word for considering a product or a service, it also reduces the sales cycle, making it a win-win situation!
Influencer marketing is less Expensive Than Traditional Ads
Are you thinking influencer marketing in India is only about collaborating with the topmost influencers and celebrities, who may not fit your budget?
Well, the good news is that you can leverage influencer marketing without your marketing spend hitting the roof. There are nano/micro influencers with a modest follower count who’ll be well within your budget. Their engagement rates are incredibly high, giving brands the traction which they’re seeking.
How to find influencers to work with?
Irrespective of where your brand is located, you can still connect with Indian influencers to collaborate on brand partnerships. Here’s how:
- Check whether their audience matches yours.
- Follow their content regularly.
- Do a fake follower check.
- Negotiate and seal the deal
Easier said than done, there are some challenges which make it difficult for brands to zero-in on the influencers to work with.
Related post: How to find Influencers to work with on Instagram
What are the challenges of influencer marketing?
Remember Bethany Mota? The influencer agreed to promote a skincare brand in one of her YouTube videos. While she promised to create the videos for the brand in exchange for a fee of $325,000, the content was never delivered. Ultimately, the brand had to file a lawsuit against her.
That’s just one of the examples when influencer marketing’s ugly side reared its head up.
Here’s a lowdown on some of the other prominent challenges that brands face while dealing with influencers.
- ROI is not guaranteed. Rarely, influencer marketing translates or guarantees direct sales for brands. Even when they work with big influencers, there is no assurance of getting the returns for the investment. If it clicks, it clicks. And this is one of the major pitfalls or risks of working with influencers.
- Haphazard content creation. A lot of influencers in India collaborate with brands not knowing how to promote the content effectively. Likewise, several brands choose to work with influencers at random, and therefore the brand mentions and product placements seem completely out of place and fail to strike a chord with the audience.
- Negative brand image. As much as influencers are likely to drive positive reviews, buys and publicity for a brand, the opposite is also possible. Suppose a celebrity influencer endorses a product but gets embroiled in controversy. This will have an adverse effect on the brand as well, completely pushing it out of the game.
- Skyrocketing Expenses. As mentioned in the section above, influencer marketing is an expensive ball game, especially when brands choose to work with big names in the industry. More often than not, influencers with a significant number of followers want to negotiate their way, putting the brands in a soup. They may end up charging rates that are on par with celebrities.
Biggest challenge: difficulty in monitoring the actual results and ROI on the influencer marketing campaigns
Mirror mirror on the wall, which is the biggest influencer marketing challenge of them all?
Marketers have named ROI as one of the most difficult things they deal with in the influencer marketing campaigns. According to a report, 84% of marketers feel that proving the ROI of influencer marketing is a challenge.
For instance, they may spend their budgets on roping in a great influencer. But at the end of the day, their posts get high impressions and engagement, but don’t translate into sales. The figures look dismal, and don’t exactly fulfil the targets.
The Solution–Machine Learning (ML) driven Influencer Marketing Platform
DRIM is an ML-based influencer marketing platform with a flagship analytical system, which scouts leading influencers across eight social networks. With a database of over 100K+ nano and micro-influencers and 1000+ managers, brands can scale their campaigns and get the results they deserve.
We work on a cost per sale model, where you pay influencers only when you get the results. This is a stark contrast to working with macro influencers who demand a fixed amount for any post, with no results guaranteed.
For instance, they may place a coupon code for a product or offer a service in exchange for tagging 10 friends. These are the steps that can be the metrics to measure the success of a campaign, and also, is the best way to ensure that brands don’t lose out on money and get the results they deserve.
So, leave the hard work to us while you focus on your business. Get in touch with our team to understand how we can help you.
Example of how our influencer marketing strategy platform works
The action is always pre-defined. Say, for instance, there’s a shampoo brand working with a nano or a micro influencer. The action defined can be –
- Get followers to use the discount coupon to make a purchase
- Get followers to tag 5 friends in a comment
Instead of being lopsided, both brands and the influencers in question get to hold the reins in the CPA revenue model with low risks altogether. While it rewards the influencers, brands can get returns on their investment in terms of better traction. Simple.
Compare this with the Cost Per Post model (CPP)–there’s no end to the posts created by influencers (who are anyway paid based on the follower count among other variables). Brands, on the other hand, keep paying for posts without conversions. It’s a dead end, to be honest.
The best part about CPA metric is that it fits all brand size, is scalable, provides measurable outcomes to brands and is a meaningful exercise for the influencers.
Got piqued? Now let’s get to the meat – understand how to make your mark as a social media influencer with some actionable steps.
Get in touch with us, if you want to receive calculations for the best strategy working with the influencers for your brand.
Happy to help!