Panel decodes what it takes to make a great influencer marketing strategy

The inaugural edition of the Influencer Marketing Conference witnessed an insightful discussion on building brands through influence

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Sep 18, 2021 9:17 AM
influencer marketing

The exchange4media group hosted the inaugural edition of the Influencer Marketing Conference yesterday, the 17th of September, 2021. The theme of the conference was Building Brands Through The Power of Influence. The conference aimed to bring together stalwarts and thought leaders from across brands, agencies and creators who lead the bandwagon of influencer marketing in India. 

Among the many interesting sessions at the conference was the panel discussion on the topic The Secrets Of Great Influencer Marketing. It was moderated by Ajay Gupte, CEO, Wavemaker and the panellists were Sanjay Mehta, Joint CEO, Mirum India; Nikunj Lotia (Beyounick)- Content Creator, Influencer; Dhruv Chitgopekar, Co-Founder and CEO, BigBang.Social/Co-Founder, Collective Artists Network; Sejal Kumar, Fashion & Lifestyle Influencer; Saransh Goila, Chef, Influencer and Arthur Altounian, Sr. Client Development Director APAC, INCA. The panel aimed to decode through the experiences,  wins, misses and challenges of the panellists, what actually goes behind a successful influencer marketing strategy. 

Opening the discussion, Gupte asked the creators to sum up their content creation journey. Lotia shared: “My crew started creating videos on YouTube almost 10 years ago. We didn’t realise it’s going to be this big one day and we could make careers out of it. YouTube used to send us to these panels with brands called speed dating with brands to encourage them to get on digital and make them understand how it is important for their marketing plan. It is been a wonderful journey, having worked with 100+ brands. I am enjoying every bit of it.” 

Kumar, sharing her influencer journey, added “I have gone through pitching to doing brand deck for brands to put money into my videos to today being in a position of being able to say no to brands and say yes to the ones that excite me and it has been amazing. I love the autonomy that comes with the internet.”

Along similar lines, Goila shared: “What has been really interesting as a chef is that there is a whole room for creation that exists for food creators online and that’s the route I chose to be a chef. There is a lot to learn from other creators’ universes as well. To say that chefs only belong in the kitchen would be a lie; they truly are artists online and offline.”

Bringing insight from the agency and brand side of the fence, Mehta added: “Working in the influencer marketing segment has been a learning for everyone and the space is highly evolved.  It started out by educating brands about influencer engagement and the closest they could connect was the brand ambassador space, which was similar, but yet very different.” 

He also mentioned the importance of creating the right balance: “When putting out content on behalf of a brand, there is so much brand equity associated with anything that we do. If a brand requires certain dos and don'ts, they need to be appreciated because there is so much riding on that brand. There are constraints that are applicable and one needs to find the right balance. It's been an interesting journey.” 

Chitgopekar spoke about the significance of the ASCI regulations for the influencer industry and said: “The most exciting aspect of it is that any industry which reaches a certain size and scale requires a certain level of frameworks and guardrails, simply because the scale of the opportunity and reach that it has. It needs to ensure that everyone who's entering the industry knows that it's formalized and organized.”

Altounian spoke of the right ingredients to make influencer marketing really work for brands, said: “Often, when we work with regional or global brands, activating multiple markets, they need some consistency across all markets, and that's definitely something that we'll look at to make, There is a bespoke recipe for making a campaign successful in India, to work with creators who have the passion and the authenticity in the way they work and create content. And this industry is growing, there are millions and millions of creators available, and every day you have new creators, and one of the main requests from the brands is to help them to find the right ones. So when we work on identifying the right influences, the first thing we do is not just look at the face value of the influences but go deep into the data and content.” 

The session concluded with each panellist sharing their recent campaigns and ones whose ethos impressed them

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