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Guest Column: The role of influencer marketing in the upcoming elections: Sanjay Vasudeva

02-June-2018
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Guest Column: The role of influencer marketing in the upcoming elections: Sanjay Vasudeva

In the upcoming elections, influencer marketing will surely take up a major role during the political campaigns. Innovative social media campaigns such as “Chai Pe Charcha” wherein 1000 people were engaged in a video chat across 300 chai stalls created a benchmark and generated positive response across the country. This season of elections will definitely see more of such ideas along with some additional trends such as, adopting to a subtle form of communication instead of direct communication and the influx of troll accounts, micro influencers, publishers and mainstream/offbeat celebrities. Devising creative campaigns will create a greater impact on the public’s mind.

Although, as a political party, it is important to understand that it is not practical for the campaigns to depend completely on influencer marketing strategies for results. While designing a campaign for elections it should be kept in mind that although the influencer will increase traction for the campaign; the initial phase of a well thought out plan, research and time required to shortlist the appropriate influencer is of utmost priority. Certain factors which must be kept in mind while finalizing an influencer are, his/her consistency in support to the party, his/her social image which must resonate with the parties ideologies and a strong base of followers who identify with the influencer. While political parties are constantly increasing their budgets on digital campaigns, it's purely by accurate research that we can bring the brand advocates on board. . Also, transparency in communication between political leaders and influencers will help maintain clarity and avoid any form of disruption.

As for the influencers, unlike brand campaigns, it is generally advisable not to participate in any political campaign unless one is completely aligned with the ideologies and views of the party. Hence, carefully shortlisting the right campaign is a prime factor for the influencer since such decisions will in turn create an impact on one’s market value. The influencer must display consistency in his/her support to a particular political party throughout the season. These collaborations can usually give rise to the risk of getting trolled socially and being subject to the opposition’s criticism. Thus one must keep in mind that the campaign should be approached on the basis of facts and info graphics instead of emotions. An influencer must always communicate post verifying the credibility of the data being shared to avoid any public or political backlash.

Take for example the current and one of the most talked about political social campaign, #HumFitToIndiaFit is by Rajyavardhan Rathore which is a challenge tag about fitness has created the right kind of buzz for the influencers. Celebrities such as Anushka Sharma, Hrithik Roshan, Randeep Hooda and cricketer Virat Kohli also participated in the campaign apart from Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Hence in spite of involving celebrities/publishers/influencers directly with the campaign messaging, a subtle form of messaging to shape public opinion is widely acceptable wherein the influencer marketing or creative agencies design the campaign and execute the same flawlessly.

In conclusion, it is by the joint efforts and a 360 degree approach of having involved print, television, radio and on ground efforts wing a strong political campaign. It is vital to have consistent opinions run across all platforms regarding a political campaign for its complete success. Hence the decision of choosing the appropriate platforms and influencers should be carried out with utmost care. As much as the campaign budget remains an imperative concern maintaining strong relations and using tactical methods will play a significant part in the upcoming campaigns.

(The author is Founder & CEO, Buzzone)

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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