Why influencer marketing is booming this festive season

Experts say the primary reason for the rise in influencer marketing is personalization and it helps in breaking the festive season clutter

e4m by Nafisa Shaheen
Updated: Oct 11, 2019 1:20 PM
Influencer Marketing

With the festive season in full swing, several top brands have been going for major festive season drives through innovative campaigns. Influencer marketing, especially, has been on an all-time high this season.

According to a recent report by Talkwalker, a platform for social listening and analytics software, 75 per cent of respondents look at influencer marketing as a priority tool and 32 per cent said they spend between Rs 1,00,000 and Rs 10,00,000 on influencer marketing every year and 24 per cent spend over Rs 10,00,000.

exchange4media talked to brands and experts on the rise of influencer marketing during the festive season and how brands are capitalising on this trend.

According to Ashutosh Harbola, CEO & Co-founder, Buzzoka, “The festive season is the time when there is a surge in sales and brands have a lot at stake. Innovations start picking up during this period. The time is also conducive for online and offline sales that brands put forward the best possible foot to cater to the rise in demand. Brands have started believing in the success of influencer marketing, hence we are seeing a greater thrust on the same. We are currently working on over 30 campaigns during this phase and it’s synonymous to the upward growth.”

Supporting Harbola’s view, Pranay Swarup, Co-founder and CEO at Chtrbox, said that during the festive season brands are looking to grab attention and maximise sales with their audiences. “The primary reason for the rise in influencer marketing is personalization of content along with the disruption in cost and speed,” he said.

“With the positive ROI brands have been receiving from influencer engagement, it’s a great way to connect with digital savvy audiences,” Swarup added.

“What we have seen work well are campaigns and conversations connecting the brand to family time, or to a special amazing deal going on that you can't miss out on,” Swarup said. Influencers are the best medium to communicate these messages because they are relatable as they tell their own stories for their audience to identify with. Influencers are great to encourage on the spot purchases, he further said.

On influencers’ ability to break the clutter, Harbola said, “Influencers are real and can deliver real value for brands. They are also entertaining and offer new and exciting ways of sharing a brand’s message. When brands convey a message through an influencer, the audience of friends and followers that an influencer has built over the years gets convinced easily. Brands use this as a tool to build their online authority with social media stars. It helps in breaking the clutter in the festive season as millions of content pieces are present across the World Wide Web. The impact definitely results in higher sales and greater brand value during the festive season.”

Citing an example, Harbola said a TV ad could be relevant to a set of people but the Gen-Y who is always on Instagram is drawn towards internet celebs. Hence, the trend is picking up efficiently due to mapping of the audience.

Pragati Basu, Marketing Manager for India, Talkwalker, said, “Traditionally, marketing budgets have always been the highest during Diwali and the IPL season. Therefore, the increase in influencer-related content during the festive season doesn't come as a surprise.

According to Basu, influencer marketing has always been a big part of the Indian marketing diaspora and brands are doing much more than just having celebrities endorsing their products. “It’s more about creating content that really resonates with the audience. For instance, Asian paints has created a web series where influencers invite people into their homes for a sneak peek or Pantaloons which has invested in a regional campaign for Durga Puja in Bengal.”

Influencer marketing has really evolved over the last few years because people aren't as easily influenced by celebrity endorsements as they used to be, she said. “The main consumer during the festive season is the millennial group, the ones who are the most sceptical about ads but don't mind content from their favourite digital influencers (according to Forbes). These brands understand that times have changed and they are adapting their marketing strategy accordingly because ultimately the goal is ROI.”

Giving a different take on the trend was Nitin Passi, Managing Director, Lotus Herbals Ltd, who said, “We take influencer marketing with a pinch of salt. However, despite not being a fan, I know that influencer marketing works and we do tie up with some influencers.”

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