MAM

Influencer marketing back in vogue amid COVID-19 lockdown

The industry may not be immune to the financial ripple effects

https://indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2020/04/13/Influencer%20marketing.jpg?itok=n-aQKf9_

NEW DELHI: It was just a few months back that the marketing industry was in the process of re-evaluating the perks of influencer marketing against the many losses it carried, including fake influencers, low conversion rates, and the omnipresent nature of it taking away its novel charm. Many argued that this could be the time when influencer marketing will lose its momentum.

However, the current times have made, once again, influencer marketing a popular phenomenon amongst marketers. Be it the government using Bollywood celebrities to promote hygiene and urging people to follow the lockdown or brands using them to promote various products, influencers are a raging phenomenon once again.

The Maverics founder and CEO Chetan Mahajan notes, “COVID-19 has left most of us with a lot of spare time, anxiety and depleted avenues of earning. The internet has been the saviour both for news updates and entertainment. Staying connected has never been more important, with people and businesses relying on social media to stay connected with friends and consumers, apart from being entertained. Facebook and Instagram have seen a 40 per cent increase in usage due to COVID-19.”

Surely, people are increasingly relying on digital mediums to keep themselves sane and kicking in these tough times. As per BARC and Nielsen, time spent on smartphones by a single user has gone up by at least 6.2 per cent, while video-on-demand apps have gone up by at least three per cent during the lockdown period.

Television has also attained popularity in these times, with Doordarshan, to the envy and surprise of many leading the game, gaining upper hand. However, most advertisers are not able to cash in on the opportunity, given the market uncertainty.

Do Your Thng founder Ankit Agarwal explains the phenomenon. “The COVID-19 pandemic has two direct impacts. One is that the global spend on TV, print and OOH ad market declined. This has compelled companies to prioritise digital strategies. Two, the consumer began devoting extraordinarily more time to social media and creators who dominate the platform. This led to the realisation that there is no better, unobtrusive way to stay on top of consumer’s minds right now than cashing in on creators.”

He adds, “As a consequence, influencer marketing has seen a significant upturn. The Drum even predicts a more than 22 per cent increase in social media spending because of the pandemic.”

Media Moments MD Sandeep Sreekumar contributes further, “The outburst of COVID-19 has gripped almost every sector and brands are battling it out to retain their position in the market. In a scenario such as this, it is essential for brands to stay relevant to their consumers. Brands are leveraging influencer marketing more to keep the customers engaged. Brands are involving influencers at a faster pace than before to churn out significant content laced with key brand messages that are high on ROI and specific in terms of targeting.”

Brands are also relying on the great connect and goodwill that these influencers have among their followers to drive positive messaging. Not every plug is an ad, but is, in fact, a positive contribution towards keeping the society educated and motivated.

Everymedia Technologies Pvt Ltd CEO Gautam B Thakker highlights, “The brand’s approach to the audience has become more sensitive and relevant with the aim of helping the situation. They are mindful of tone and messaging now more than ever. As the COVID-19 pandemic has unfolded, we’ve seen influencers help spread the message, first on social distancing and then on self-isolation.”

“We could see brands getting more involved in these types of influencer partnerships going forward or enlisting influencers to promote their own initiatives which aim to spread a positive message as well as generate funds for those in need,” he said.  

The Marcom Avenue director Divanshi Gupta believes that the trend has also earned the influencers the right to better pay. “Now, brands have to highly depend on the creativity of the influencers they are in collaboration with and expect them to produce content and weave storytelling in their branding. This add-on responsibility on the influential celebrity (be it nano, micro or people with huge followership) has earned the right to better pay, regardless of the volume increase in the opportunities.”

However, Agarwal feels that influencers are not free from the ripple effect of the crisis and might bear a brunt on their fees.

Sreekumar agrees that with all organisations deploying strategies to reduce costs, the budgets allocated by the brands for influencer marketing might still be restricted considering the uncertainty of the situation.

“Few brands are also considering other means of engagement such as half-barter and half-paid in order to mitigate the situation,” he says.

Mahajan says that renegotiation and re-strategising are going to be the natural outcomes of this situation like any other financial crisis. “Most of the marketers will go back to the drawing board to rehash their marketing strategy for the post-COVID-19 world which is likely to be very different from where we left it in February 2020. Influencers who are creative and get high engagement will emerge as winners while others will bear the brunt of renegotiated contracts.”

Thakker feels that even influencers are willing to rework their rates given the nature of the market. “Marketing budgets, in general, are being tightened exponentially with every penny spent being much more scrutinised. Campaigns are definitely being paused and influencers are reducing rates.”

Latest Reads

https://indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/05/26/Annum-Waris.jpg?itok=GgEO8snM
Made in lockdown: The story of Airtel's ad film

NEW DELHI: Covid2019’s impact on ad houses and production companies has been massive. It’s been quite challenging with all shoots halted for more than two months now. However, many production houses showed great resilience against the odds, drafted newer ways of working and came out with some...

MAM Marketing MAM
https://indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/05/25/ramesh.jpg?itok=3XhJJkGi
Siyaram’s sets a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDSR achievement for ‘Most Viewers For A Retail Management YouTube Live Stream’ during its ‘Textile Mahakumbh’

Siyaram’s, one of the leading textile brands in men’s fashion for over four decades, hosted its first-ever unique online initiative ‘Textile Mahakumbh’ that brought together textile retailers from across India to address the challenges faced by the industry during the Covid-19 crisis. The ‘Textile...

MAM Marketing MAM
https://indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/05/25/frsh.jpg?itok=uAtf4Yc7
Salman Khan launches personal care brand Frsh

MUMBAI: Bollywood actor and entrepreneur has announced the launch of his personal care and grooming brand Frsh, with the launch of an eponymous sanitiser. Frsh is co-created by Scentials Beauty Care and Wellness Pvt, a beauty brand co-founded by former tennis professional Mahesh Bhupathi. ...

MAM Marketing MAM
https://indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/05/25/zirca.jpg?itok=_eBprZkF
Zirca Digital to represent Fandom in India

Mumbai: 360-degree digital solutions provider Zirca Digital Solutions has been appointed as the exclusive advertising sales representative in India of global entertainment platform Fandom. As part of the partnership, Zirca will work towards maximising Fandom’s advertising revenue potential, build...

MAM Marketing MAM
https://indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/05/25/sunil.jpg?itok=SXma8Gje
NxGn Sports Interactive appoints Sunil Chhetri as brand ambassador for Twelfth Man

MUMBAI: Sunil Chhetri has been announced as the official brand ambassador of Twelfth Man – a fantasy football platform by NcGn Sports that allows users to compete in a large variety of contests against other users for free or by paying entry fees to join a prize pool. Contest types include DFS,...

MAM Media and Advertising People
https://indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/05/25/meera.jpg?itok=-nC5U4dv
Meera reminiscences the good old times with popular ‘Velikizhamai’ advertisement from the 90’s

In these unprecedented times of COVID -19, as we are all locked up in our homes for a major part of the time, it is becoming increasing difficult to cope with the stress arising out of this uncertainty. Meera, one of the flagship brands of CavinKare strongly believes that tradition encompasses...

MAM Marketing MAM
https://indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/05/25/ss.jpg?itok=Jv_xp07R
Shoppers Stop celebrates EID across its online channels during Lockdown 4.0

National: While COVID-19 has created an unprecedented challenge for brands to connect with their target audience, Shoppers Stop has been consistently engaging consumers with meaningful and entertaining initiatives. The leading retail brand has taken a unique and well-thought-out approach to stay...

MAM Marketing MAM
https://indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/05/25/Arvog.jpg?itok=Mc1dEZiF
“Daudega India” by Arvog perfectly sets the mood for an India waiting to rise above the pandemic

The world is in the throes of great change and understandably, it has been a challenging few months. With great uncertainties over almost everything, people are looking for hope, faith and comfort. Arvog’s scintillating song “Daudega India” is like a shot in the arm for a society that’s waiting for...

MAM Marketing MAM
https://indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/05/25/aa.jpg?itok=wMB8jWTO
Being self-reliant means much more than just going vocal for local

A country must be self-reliant irrespective of a pandemic, TERI School of Advanced Studies vice-chancellor (Actg) Manipadma Datta told Indiantelevision.com while sharing with us his thoughts on the “Vocal for Local” initiative of the Indian government.

MAM Marketing MAM

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required