Emergence and importance of Influencer marketing

Our past 5 years have involved being more digitally influenced in our decision making, from work-from-home/anywhere to metaverse, the world as we know has been constantly reshaping itself. Tiktok is one of the key mainstream influencing platforms today, podcasts are part of daily lives, Instagram has now moved from just images to a video-first content sharing platform which has already started testing subscription models. This is the democratic era of content and media where consumers choose to opt out of ads and listen, hear, watch – what they relate with/ what makes sense to them and they can trust. This growth of the digital landscape has given rise to the influencers globally. A new form of exchange of information where brands reach these influencers to attain customers attention with entertaining content.

Influencer marketing is a form of social media marketing. When a brand markets to, with and via influencers to reach your targeted audience, drive the message of their product/ brand, build awareness or build curiosity.

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These influencers can be from a wide range of backgrounds, it can involve individuals, groups, associations, brands or even a place. These influencers have an engaged following and they directly advertise to these engaged audiences via different social media platforms aiding the brand to generate new sales leads, improve their brand awareness amongst other things. The sole reason influencer marketing is so successful is because consumers on the social media platforms are willingly, actively participating and engaging with produced content and sharing widely what they believe in.

Here are some of the key people from India/ of Indian origin who have carved their own path into the influencer world via different social media platforms to reach the status of most celebrated influencers that brands are reaching out for their marketing strategies:

Bhuvan Bam: Comedian, writer, song-writer, influencer
His journey started with YouTube, a creator who enacted eccentric characters on his channel BB Ki Vines, Bhuvan has surely come a long way. With close to 25 million subscribers on his YouTube channel today and over 14 million followers on Instagram, Bam today has built his own legacy that has taken him to various popular TV channels in India as well.

His approach has always been to form a direct to consumer connect, which is also represented by him in Youthiapa, a brand he co-founded with his friend. Picking up from his most popular and viral one liners from his YouTube video, Youthiapa indulged in merchandise-based products picking these popular one liners to sell to the audience. The brand later transitioned into an everyday fashion label that appeals to a wider audience.

In his wide portfolio of brand endorsements, he has been seen promoting brands like Lenskart, Pizza Hut, Myntra, Winzo, Arctic Fox, Mivi among others.

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Masoom Minawala Mehta: Influencing style
Over a decade ago, a young girl set up a fashion blog coined Miss Style Fiesta and became a popular blog to follow on the internet in the Indian fashion enthusiasts. This blog captured a wide range of audience and soon became Masoom’s tryst with fame. With close to 1.2 million followers on Instagram, she is a popular face in the fashion industry wherein not only fashion and lifestyle brands, but also high-end celebrated designers have collaborated with her for their new collection launches, ramp walks, product promotions and more.

Known to have collaborated with more than 500 brands today, she has also represented the Indian community at Cannes festival and won the Most Authentic Fashion Influencer Award in 2022 at Cannes.

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Saransh Goila: Celebrity Chef
A rather well-known and celebrated chef, Saransh found his fame via his famous Mumbai-based restaurant ‘Goila Butter Chicken’. He also won the Food Food Maha Challenge and is an author of the acclaimed food focused travelogue – India on my Platter.

His growing fame over social media got him invited to MasterChef Australia in 2018 where the contestants had to make his version of Butter chicken. With over 600k followers on his Instagram, he has always been a crowd favorite for the way he connects with his audiences. He has partnered with MerchBay to sell his line of branded merchandise that includes stickers, sweatshirts and t-shirts.

Kusha Kapila: Content queen
Counted among the top content creators and writers in the country, Kusha is fluent in sarcasm, comic timing and connecting with people on social issues. Known to connect with her audience with her honesty over multiple societal issues including one of body shaming, she has built many fictional characters inspired from the Indian community. Some of her famous caricatures are on South Delhi girls, one that of Billi Maasi – known to have gotten her the global attention.

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With a following of over 2.4 million on Instagram, brands like Netflix, OkCupid India, Lenskart, Vista Rooms and many others have collaborated with her to reach a set of targeted audiences that engage with her content. She is also a known face in the Bollywood industry and has been seen interviewing many celebrities on the IIFA red carpet in 2022.

Lilly Singh: Superwoman indeed
What started 10 years ago as Superwoman on YouTube today is a strong force to reckon with and a source of inspiration for millions. Her humble beginnings and fame from YouTube lead with her wit, comedy, acting got her to become one of the only queer woman of colour to host late night show on American television – A little late with Lilly.

Her comic sketches have a direct consumer connection as she got the attention of millions of brown people with their everyday home stories. Not simply one community, but her constant attempts in connecting via women based issues, relationship issues connected with a global audience. Today, she has 11.8 million followers on Instagram and 14.7 million subscribers alone on YouTube.

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Influencer marketing is surely a strong tool today that helps you with a targeted approach, enhances your brand content, boosts audience engagement, aids to build consumer trust and confidence in the brand and also helps improve your conversion rates. In our world today, brands that are willing and open to embrace new strategies will make impressive market gains, and influencer marketing is also set to become bigger with metaverse in the making.

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