Influencer marketing has become one of the hottest career trends among Indian youth lately

By Ritesh Dhawan

For over three decades, television has been the preferred medium of entertainment and communication for the Indian masses. From its humble beginnings in the 1980s to 2010, television changed the lives of Indian consumers and brands. For those who lived through that period will vouch for major brands that have helped develop an entirely new way of consumerism, unimaginable in the print or radio era before that.

After 2010, new media (internet media) started to rise. The growth in viewership and engagement changed in India after 2015 with the telecom and data boom coupled with the mass adoption of smartphones and affordable data, ushering India into a new era where television viewership started to decline and a critical mass Indian consumers began to spend excessively more time on social media and video streaming platforms.

With its current contribution of over 30% of total ad spend – digital media, it has three major vertical markets: social media ads, search and display ads, and digital inventory ads. But unlike the non-interactive conventional media, the digital media thrives on interactivity, engagement, and cognitive responses that have taken media planning to a whole new level. The fact is that social media advertising offers the best of all three attributes and is probably the reason for its ‘ultra’ status with advertisers across the spectrum.

But that’s the growth of the vehicle, led by adoptions, there’s another tectonic shift that’s taking place, which is the shift in outlook towards typical/sponsored posts.

Digital viewers have a negative view of sponsored posts

Even in the TV age, ad breaks were commonly used for quick convenience, attending conversations between our favorite soap operas, cricket matches and others. However, the dumb box would provide no escape from sponsored posts. As a result, the advertising community at large relied on creating entertaining, stylized, and exceedingly likable content for brands perceived as “bigger than life” or “creatively liberated,” downright far-fetched to keep us on the line.

But that all changes now! New media consumers now have two very powerful options to filter/cancel sponsored posts – “Skip and Scroll”. As is common practice, most sponsored posts are canceled in 5-6 seconds unless vigorously played out by media platforms at an additional cost. Regardless, the engagement and response of these posts is highly questionable and is a major concern for advertisers.

Brand experiment and develop new media for an effective cost model

Lately, new-age brands have achieved astonishing results in replacing creatively liberated communication with real, testimonials-based communication through individuals who largely share their opinions via social media. A few notable campaigns not only responded with over-engagement and adoption, but it also gave brands another chance by developing a cost model unlike the previous generation of advertisers.

The new media and organic communication are shifting the spending matrix to a more economical and effective model compared to conventional media. Mamaearth, in our opinion, is one such brand that has used such communications to their advantage and created tremendous value for themselves. The Mamaearth case study has not only been recognized but further promoted by several other brands that see the light of day with this new influencer marketing vehicle we are talking about.

While most agencies and brands focus on recreating their own ROI matrix, they’ve missed one of the most important aspects of marketing communications: creative control.

Influencer marketing, a panacea for skip-and-scroll phenomena

An average urban consumer is exposed to more than 5,000 means of communication through new media every day. The fact is, most consumers typically keep less than 1% of it. In doing so, we endorse the repeat viewership provided by social media platforms. However, influencer marketing campaigns have seen higher audience adoption, engagement, response and action, putting creative control back in the advertiser’s hands. We believe this is just the beginning of a mega-revolution that fuels brands themselves and cleverly creates ways to engage with customers and promote consumerism in a very different way. A way that is amicable, non-intrusive and acceptable to the new media audience than the one we normally skip or scroll away.

Compared to the global scenario, India is currently far behind in the value of the industry (Global – $8 billion / Indian – $133 million). We also believe that the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on new media adoption has been one of the main reasons for this growth. Even more amazing is the fact that there are only about 25,000 professional influencers in the country. This number is clearly insufficient to reach a billion Indians.

High adoption by leading brands on content marketing/influencer marketing

Influencer marketing has recently become one of the hottest career trends among Indian youth. We believe that one in eight urban youth in India, between the ages of 18 and 28, wants to become an internet influencer. At the same time, most brands in India are already involved in the content economy in one way or another through social media to ensure that consumers in general receive adequate testimonials, opinions and experiences based on the actual use of their products and services. Unboxing videos, drive tests, comparisons, testimonials or DIY content creators and other influencers are taking the communication baton and how.

A new revolution has begun and brands are fueling it in an attempt to access the top spot in the collective consciousness of this modern age and this time the public is loving it even more.

The author is CEO of Opinions expressed are personal.

Also Read: Taproot Dentsu Wins Creative Mandate From BIBA

follow us on TwitterInstagram, LinkedIn, Facebook

This post How Indian brands are fueling influencer marketing tool

was original published at “”