From the agoras and bazaars of yore to present day online marketplaces, the notions of sales and marketing have come a long way. We are now in the “Relationship Era” where companies prioritize engaging and retaining consumers through loyalty programs and personalized social media content. With the rapid penetration of social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter, India’s marketing scene has also undergone an overhaul as marketers switched from traditional marketing and advertising methods to the digital plane. A notable strategy to have swept across the country was influencer marketing.

Switching focus from trade to technology

India’s social media population is rather young and tech savvy, with a large share following at least one social media influencer. Moreover, a large share of these users relies heavily on social networks to research brands online. Aside from this, the adverse impact of the coronavirus pandemic forced companies to market their products online completely. Marketing professionals also realized the benefit of collaborating with influencers who actively engage in growing their audiences by producing authentic content. These factors combined led experts to predict a 25 percent compound annual growth rate in the Indian influencer marketing industry until 2025.

Performance metrics and consumer confidence

Instagram was the most popular platform among Indian influencers to create content on topics ranging from fashion and lifestyle to education, health, and well-being. Social media influencers with up to ten thousand followers, also known as nano influencers, scored the highest across most platforms in terms of average reach, engagement levels and video view rates. Meanwhile, celebrities and influencers with a similar status accounted for the least interaction with an online audience.

Among the various kinds of influencers in India, the majority of consumers chose to purchase products endorsed by YouTubers followed by actors, and Instagram influencers. Furthermore, the main reason for buying these products was that consumers felt convinced by the promotion . Some consumers also explained that they were willing to purchase any product endorsed by the influencer they followed. Often the reason for not buying endorsed products was unrelated to influencers, rather the customers’ disinterest in the product itself. Thus, influencer marketing presents a viable strategy for most brands and marketing agencies in India.

While the term “ influencer marketing ” may seem new, the concept has been around for far longer. A classic example is Cadbury’s TV commercials starring Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan who endorsed the brand’s chocolates. Not only do well-known brands such as Netflix and Durex invest in influencer relations to engage better with consumers, but influencers have helped niche brands such as Blue Tokai Coffee pace up the establishment of their businesses. Besides this, influencer marketing has penetrated the sphere of advocacy, with creators addressing social issues and promoting sustainable products.


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