To announce the launch of Chilli Chizza, KFC India roped in rapper Baba Sehgal. The fast food restaurant chain said that by using fun and unique humour in a rap, the rapper helped the brand create tremendous consumer engagement. Today, with constant consumer exposure to content, branded or otherwise, it is not enough for brands to just push out a marketing campaign. For every new tool or medium that lets marketers reach out to consumers, there is an equal number that allows consumers to hide or block content that they don’t care about.
Influencer marketing is on the rise and marketers are beginning to understand the tremendous potential of social media celebrities and mavens towards generating positive word of mouth for their brands. Says GetEvangelized founder Lavin Mirchandani, “Consumer brands and a few B2B brands are leveraging influencer marketing. We have partnered with some creative teams to deliver creator engagements for brands such as Fastrack, Cadbury Silk and Truly Madly.”
He added that these brands get the fact that influencers are not advertising banners or billboards and engage with them creatively to unleash their potential.
However, even today, some brands rope in the biggest celebrities commanding social media following in millions and spend big bucks on social promotion, claiming digital success. While these celebrity campaigns have ensured ample brand buzz and social media discussions, along with a few case study features and positive PR, the overkill button has been pressed way too often, and the millennial consumer is growing wary of trusting these ‘paid’ advocates.
“As marketers recover from the hangover of ‘reach’ as the campaign success mantra and instead shift focus on creating authentic, high-engagement content that benefits consumer decision making, micro-influencers are making their (digital) presence felt in a major way,” says Praanesh Bhuvaneswar, co-founder and CEO, TeraReach.
Hence, today, there is considerable investment and effort that goes into the influencer programme by brands across categories. “With the arrival of social media, the new-age influencers have the ability to connect in a different way with our consumer,” says Sean Van Wyk, senior marketing director, Adidas, India.
Brands have been known to invest 5-15% of their campaign spends on engaging influencers. And as digital spends are growing north of 25%, native advertising and influencers marketing will increase their share of the digital pie as other channels hit a ceiling in their growth.