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The Influence of ‘Influencer Marketing’

Gone are the days when social media was just a way to connect with people. Social media has now become a content hub, where you can scroll for hours and get entertained by byte-sized content that is light on your brain, which has also forever changed the way we consume content. 

Short-form content has been all the rage for the past few years, slowly eating away our attention span and creating mental health issues. That is not it, the constant bombardment of content has messed up our dopamine levels, which is directly related to depression.  

As people are always on social media and are badly addicted to their phones, companies have understood this, (capitalism 1, consumers 0) and are making it count, that’s why you see so much sponsored content, ads between YouTube videos, etc.

 In a nutshell, mostly what you see on social media in one way or another is trying to sell you something or will sell to you in the future. There is nothing wrong with it as these creators get paid to promote their products. Before Meta and YouTube came in with new user guidelines,  users weren’t even aware that the video that they just saw was an ad, (a paid promotion) but now based on the new guidelines the creators can be fined if they don’t specify it as an ad when promoting a product. 

So why are businesses going gaga over influencers?

Ghar Soaps, a startup born in 2019, has been aggressively leveraging influencer marketing for the past 2 years. “Earlier we spent ₹5,000 to ₹10,000 a month on influencer marketing. But soon we realized that it helped us grow our revenue threefold and we started spending up to ₹50 lakh a month collaborating with around 40-50 creators”, said Sunny Jain the cofounder of the soap brand, which now has a turnover of ₹5o crore. 

Affordability and Better Targeting 

MSMEs target micro or nano influencers in their niche. Micro or nano influencers have fewer followers than say a mega influencer but what they lose in followers they make up in engagement. These nano and micro-influencers have the highest engagement rate and a close-knit community. Also, they are more affordable and the best bet for companies who want to drive sales and not just brand awareness. 

Compared to traditional advertisements like outdoor or commercial TV, which can cost anywhere around ₹1-10 crore monthly, are only pushing MSMEs towards social media influencers as it doesn't require upfront investment and results can be directly seen in the sales. 

Recommendations and Reviews have a direct effect on sales 

In this era of new-age marketing, the product’s life cycle has changed a lot. Before deciding to buy a product, a buyer will likely research the product, check reviews online from the creators they trust, and then make a purchase. Other times they are looking for product recommendations, so they can directly buy the products their favorite influencer recommends. 

Non-urban Areas Too Are ‘In’ On Influencer Marketing 

With growing digital literacy and language-enabled devices, users and influencers from non-urban areas are on the rise. People are using social media to express themselves creatively while also monetizing their reach and content. Consumers connect well when communication is done in local languages and big companies like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Byjus, etc are using platforms like Moj and TakaTak - the top short-form content platforms that are famous in tier 2 and 3 cities that are emerging as important markets to access. 

Social media has changed us completely, from our content consumption habits to the way we purchase things, it has impacted all aspects of our lives in one way shape, or form and the same can be seen in marketing and advertising, which is also migrating towards digital as more and more people get access to digital devices and internet. 

(Author - Karishma is a content writer at Techdoquest. She offers refreshing and youthful perspectives on whatever she writes about.) 

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