Industry stalwarts scurtinize the capabilities of influencers and creators to drive commerce and how they can contribute to festive sales.
The panelists spoke at an insightful day of the Festive Marketing Week, a platform for Indian Marketing Professionals to gain insights on optimizing their strategies to produce efficient results in the high-spending period.
- Lakshmi Balasubramanian, Co-Founder, Greenroom Network
- Ayush Guha, Head – Business Development and Strategy, HYPP, Times Internet Limited
- Neel Gogia, Co-Founder, IPLIX Media
- Aarushi Sethi, Business Head, Pollen (Zoo Media)
- Vinay Pillai, VP – Clout, Pocket Aces
The Role Of Influencers & Content Creators
The role of influencers and content creators in marketing strategies has always been debated and their participation in a stage of the funnel and the value they can bring to a festive campaign is also a subject the panelists touched upon.
Aarushi Sethi, Business Head, Pollen (Zoo Media) mentions that while influencer marketing holds around 15% of media spends for most brands the association is now also extending to the influencers being the face of their DVCs.
Lakshmi Balasubramanian, Co-Founder, Greenroom Network reckons influencer marketing can largely be used for amplification which can also be automated, and content creation needs its own trait unique to each campaign.
Ayush Guha, Head – Business Development and Strategy, HYPP, Times Internet Limited, shares the ability of influencers to reach an audience has already been tested, and it is a part of media spends for several brands, but the amount of money poured in recently has been more.
Neel Gogia, Co-Founder, IPLIX Media mentions that influencer marketing has also created engines for extension of campaigns, more case studies of such campaigns will provide more clarity on what expectations can we have with such integration, especially how D2C brands leverage them.
The Perceptions On Influencer Marketing
Discrepancies in the collaboration between brands and agencies and influencers may hinder the performance of a campaign, in spite of being well-conceptualized, the professionals spell out such perceptions that brands can avoid to leverage a collaboration at its optimum level.
Lakshmi states that more often than not if a brand manager does not recognize an influencer they are more likely to not go ahead with them, even if they may be a good fit for the campaign. Furthermore, influencers may have a style that might not appeal to the brand but would appeal to the audience, this element blocks the collaboration too. Such instances and getting the influencer out of their space could be detrimental for the brand and the influencer.
Vinay Pillai, VP – Clout, Pocket Aces, shares that two-way communication yields better results in influencer marketing, and different content styles are meant for different brand objectives and work across the funnel.
Ayush mentions influencers and creators are not distribution networks and there is a lot of unstructuredness in the market, along with the unacceptance of changing rate cards in the market.
The Drivers Of Commerce
Lakshmi shares that every creator has its style, niche, and personality which brands need to use well. She explains with an example when we see a post for the first few times she may be aware of the brand but may not buy the product, but with a certain frequency and reach there is a sale that happens, it’s not always immediate, or at the top of the funnel.
Neel states that creators can drive commerce given the brands are able to refine data and set up an efficient distribution network for the videos and create customized funnels. He further cites ShopTube (shopping space on YouTube) as an avenue for direct conversion through creators.
Aarushi shares that creators of educational content such as in the genre Finance have a higher believability and may lead to productive campaigns. Vinay points out semi-entrepreneurship wherein creators are not just collaborating with a brand for content but are also partaking in (for example) product development for a limited edition range is another way creators can drive commerce.
Advice To Creators For Festive Season
Create as much organic content as possible, to keep a balance of sponsored and organic content.
Take some downtime to not be overworked and have some level of inventory.
Go local, bring out the culture in your region or home.
Plan for operational nuances and the backend.