DigiPlus Fest 2023: Tenets of building a successful strategy with influencer marketing, ET BrandEquity

by Lindsey Francy Feb 2, 2023 News
DigiPlus Fest 2023: Tenets of building a successful strategy with influencer marketing, ET BrandEquity
<p>Rohit Raj, Bhuvan Bam, Zeenah Vilcassim, Aditya Gurwara and Anirban Roy Choudhury (L-R)</p>
Rohit Raj, Bhuvan Bam, Zeenah Vilcassim, Aditya Gurwara and Anirban Roy Choudhury (L-R)

From an age where parents told their kids to be a doctor, engineer or lawyer, millennials today have the opportunity to say ‘I want to be a Youtuber’. This has been possible due to the significant rise in the influencer marketing industry and its awareness spectrum.

A reliability factor is created by brands over celebrities. In one year, the number of campaigns on TikTok rose by more than 300 per cent.

According to Think With Google’s YouTube star’s influence report, 70 per cent of teenage YouTube subscribers say they relate to YouTube creators more than traditional celebrities. Six in 10 YouTube subscribers would follow advice on what to buy from their favorite creator over their favorite TV or movie personality.

The key was demystified by Rohit Raj, founder,BB Ki Vines Production, Bhuvan Bam, founder,BB Ki Vines, Zeenah Vilcassim, marketing director, and Aditya Gurwara, co- founder-brand alliances.

With changing times, conversations for creators with brands are also changing. From startups to FMCGs, today every brand perceives creators in a different way than they did before.Raj shared, “When we started in 2015, Bhuvan was sure we didn't want to take up brands. But from 2016-2018 we were dealing with startups and my only challenge everyday was to bring FMCG brands on board. But now that whole curve has come on the other side.” He elaborated that, earlier a template used to be provided and it was tough for creators to incorporate topical content. But now a freedom of creativity is given. Speaking from the brand’s perspective, Vilcassim believes if brands are expecting their influencer to do everything which is brand awareness and content creativity, they are going to fail. Brands need to have a proper marketing mix. Then they can take a step back and trust the process.Today, there are 512 million active social media users in India, shared the Bacardi executive. From the viewers' side, consumers that engage with influencers are smarter than ever before. They can easily detect the difference between a brand stuffed content and authentic content.Coming to how the creator economy has evolved over the years, the accessibility to the internet and its widespread reach in every corner of the country, has changed the game. Content creators came to create content in their houses and that changed the whole game.Gurwara shared, “Jio put the power of the internet in the hands of every citizen of the country. It really changed the game. They have put a phone in the hands of every Indian.”“Today you see agencies and creators coming from every corner of the country and from all backgrounds, which is a good example to see how fast influencer marketing is going,” he added.Even if tier-II or tier-III populations have no money to purchase equipment as expensive as established creators, they can create regional content on Instagram, Youtube and reach the masses.Bam recalled, “Seven years ago I used to shoot with a Nexus mobile and then YouTube sent me a Pixel One to shoot on. Ever since then, I use the same phone. People never go for a movie and say 'What a camera!', they always say 'What a story!'. Hence, the content matters and not the medium or equipment of content.”Highlighting the aspect of measurement driven ROI, Vilcassim believes it always circles back to what is the purpose for which a brand is trying to use the influencer. It may work just for the reach perspective, or engagement. For others, it may also be about driving cultural conversations. Hence, it is never important if creators have 25 million followers. What is important is if people really engage with their content because that is what matters at the end of the day for brands to have an edge over their competitors.Concluding the discussion, Bam shared his creativity process for brand integrated content. ”Creativity is a step by step process. I don't create a script and then put a brand in it. I'm not a salesperson. I am just telling people I use this product and you should too via a story.”

There will be panel discussions, report launch, live entertainment, night summit, workshops, and more at the festival.

The brand equity was published on Feb 2, 2023.