Elections will take influencer marketing to the next level: Ashutosh Harbola, Buzzoka

Ashutosh Harbola, CEO & Co-founder of Buzzoka spoke about emerging trends, how social media influencers will shape the elections, new-age influencers and more

Ashutosh Harbola

Influencer marketing is a hybrid of old and new marketing tools. It takes the idea of celebrity endorsement and reconfigures it to fit with today’s social media–driven world. Influencer marketing has proven to be one of the most effective forms of connecting with a community. Buzzoka helps us to understand how the ecosystem of integrated influence marketing works. With a strong tech platform backed by a powerful creative team, Buzzoka has managed to scale their business across India and has worked with over 125 clients in the last 18 months.

Buzzoka, which came into existence in August 2017 has been working with leading brands and conglomerates and their work has been commendable. We spoke to the company’s CEO and Co-founder, Ashutosh Harbola about emerging trends, how social media influencers will shape the elections, new-age influencers and more.

Excerpts:  

What are the emerging trends in influencer marketing? 

Peer-to-peer interaction, an inflow of trust from people with whom the customers can relate to on a personal level makes influencer marketing the fastest growing phenomena. The latest trend is revolving around the quality of content and how subtly it can be married to an endorsement as the audience has become intelligent and more informed.

Also, we are seeing a massive rise in platforms like TIKTOK and other shot video content sites. The biggest use case is the usage of TIK TOK influencers by SBI YONO during their latest campaign that Buzzoka executed. Apart from new platforms, we are seeing a downfall of followers’ numbers as an accountable medium of authority and are being replaced by engagement as a better metric.  

How are social media influencers shaping the forthcoming elections?

With the countdown for the Lok Sabha polls, the political parties have geared up their social media engagements and have gone into super active zone. The elections are going to take the influencer marketing sphere to the next level as there is increased usage of influencers in the domain. We are currently working on 10-15 political briefs every week for different parties. This clearly shows the nerve of social media and how influencers are leading it. 

Why and how do you think political parties are using new-age influencers?

2019 polls are going to be the game-changing election in India where social media influencers from different walks of life will play a major role in the campaigns. With this move, political parties are trying to bridge the gap between themselves and voters. Now, the audience wants to see reliable content and not an advertisement. This is the biggest reason why political parties are seeing influencer marketing as a big edge to their communication strategy. An ad can tell about a self-proclaimed saga but an influencer outlook can tell the same story in a more subtle and organic way without making it look like a commercial.

How to make the right choice of influencers?

The right choice of influencers lies in the ability to marry content with an individual. Every individual is unique and even every content piece is unique. The biggest responsibility of an influencer marketing agency is to figure out that marriage.  Content is the king and will always remain! We have seen great influencer campaigns failing because of the weak content and have seen average influencers pulling massive success. Hence, the better the content, the higher will be the ROI.

What is the role of content on social media?  

Since the audience understands the tonality that an influencer follows; we believe playing with that is too risky for both, the brand as well as the influencer. Unlike many other brands, Buzzoka ensures that influencers have freedom over the content. We have seen in the majority of the cases that content freedom given to influencers fetches more reach. The most important strategy is to map your content with the content created by an influencer previously. The more you connect the dots, the better the results.

Any new campaigns in the pipeline?

We are currently working on multiple campaigns for brands across industries such as Fashion, Lifestyle, BFSI and Automobile domain. 

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