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The rise of influencer marketing in the overall marketing mix of brands

Guest Column: Neha Puri, Founder & CEO, VavoDigital, suggests that influencer marketing, a hybrid of old and new marketing & advertising tools, is everything that a modern-day campaign needs to be

by Neha Puri
Published - Feb 10, 2021 8:41 AM  |  4 min read

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Imagine if we’d told you ten years back that we’d be living in a world where your next-door neighbour could be a voice of reason for thousands of people online, or that your teacher could also have a side hustle as a fashion blogger? It wouldn’t have sounded plausible, correct? Well, the times have surely changed now!

In this new reality of digital and social media marketing, we’ve seen influencer marketing explode as a way for brands and companies to get their products and services introduced to new markets.

An influencer is anyone who has influence over a particular set of audience and has the ability to impact their purchasing behaviour through endorsements and product placements. The influencer marketing industry is expected to be worth up to $15 billion by 2022, compared to $8 billion in 2019, according to Business Insider Intelligence estimates. The growing market size suggests that influencers are more likely to drive and impact consumers’ buying and spending decisions going forward, as social media becomes pervasive and functional beyond communication.

According to eMarketer, 84% of marketers are leaning towards launching at least one campaign involving an influencer; more so in times of a pandemic where people are spending most of their time on their phones or laptops. Furthermore, Marketers who have already launched influencer campaigns are impressed with the results, with a whopping 81% calling this form of partnership quite effective.

Businesses have been using celebrities and iconic figures to promote their products and foster relatability. But as more and more brands realise just how much people trust other people’s opinions over everything else, a new pool of influencers has opened up.

A hybrid of old and new marketing and advertising tools, influencer marketing is everything that a modern-day campaign needs to be. It’s less about selling your wares directly and more about becoming one with the offering; an almost verb of sorts like “Let’s xerox it” or “Let’s Swiggy it”.

Some statistics and pointers to show the growth and effectiveness of influencer marketing:

  • According to a report in 2019, about 65% marketers and strategists shared that Influencer marketing helped in increasing brand awareness and 50% also agreed that it is effective in managing brand reputation.
  • The new findings also indicated that 76% brands are looking to increase their budget this year in 2021 compared to 62% than last year.
  • In the B2B sector, 34% of businesses have pushed promotion via third-party media or influencers
  • Companies around the globe collaborate with 660 million creators each year
  • 75% of respondents ranked Influencer Marketing as a Key strategic Priority
  • 71% of consumers make purchases based on a social media reference.
  • 57% of beauty and fashion companies use Influencer Marketing as part of their Marketing Strategies.
  • Traditional marketing techniques no longer suit the millennials who are now turning into financial decision makers in their own right. This is why influencer marketing in BFSI is on a steady rise, HDFC’s recent #MoohBandRakho campaign is a prime example.

Every business works on data and the entry of data analytics and data-driven technology has taken over the influencer marketing industry that digs deeper into the loopholes present in the industry. According to reports, 54.3% of brands engaged in influencer marketing use some kind of agency or self-service software to manage influencer relationships

As the world continues to progress and audiences become smarter every day, it’s obvious that now is as good a time as any to unwield the true potential influencer marketing has to offer. At the end of the day, influencer marketing might not be right for every brand, But for those where it fits the bill, it can work alongside a well-balanced and successful digital marketing strategy to shift voices and shine that much-deserved spotlight!

The question here is: What would you as a reader prefer to see the influencers and the brands leveraging their influence to do?

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of exchange4media.com

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