Influencer marketing firms will always be in beta: BuzzOne founder

Sanjay Vasudeva of BuzzOne shares the ticks and tricks of successful influencer marketing

MUMBAI: Influencer marketing is one of the fastest growing phenomena in the marketing mix of brands today. As per ‘The Influence Report’ released by Zefmo Media Private Limited in 2018, 89 per cent of marketers believe that influencer marketing is effective in driving brand message across, and 62 per cent were planning their budgetary allocation towards engaging social influencers.

Peer-to-peer interaction, an influx of trust from people with whom the customers can relate to on a personal level and comparatively lower cost to get engagement on digital platforms are some of the few factors that have been propelling the growth of this medium. To get some more insight into how this whole gamut of social influencing works, what the ticks and tricks of the trade are, and how can the brands make maximum out of this trend, got into a candid conversation with BuzzOne Infuencer Marketing’s founder and CEO Sanjay Vasudeva on a rainy afternoon in Delhi.

Vasudev started BuzzOne Influencer Marketing a few years back as a one-stop marketplace for brands and influencers to create conversations on social media using the great reach the latter had on various platforms. Over the years, the agency has created successful campaigns for a number of brands including Volkswagen, Nissan, Veet, Kissan, Britannia, ICICI and Future Generali, among others.

Since then, it has come a long way. What has made influencer marketing popular today? Vasudev says, “Influencer marketing is social word of mouth. If you compare all the media of communications—be it print, TV, or digital—word-of-mouth has always been considered the biggest and most powerful of them all. I will give you a simple example; when you want to buy a car, you take opinions from your peers or family members who already have bought it and are using it. That’s how most of us make our choices.”

He added that brands want more conversation on social media and influencers accelerate it by conveying the brand message in a style relatable to their followers.

Sanjay contributes this exemplary growth to the dynamism of the industry as well. He mentions, “When we started four years back, influencer marketing was still in its infancy. It was based mostly around Twitter. But now, the spectrum has become so much larger; you have Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and of course newer platforms like Snapchat and TikTok.”

He adds, “Looking at this what I can say is that in the app business, we will always be in beta because platforms would keep changing and also new platforms would emerge. The platforms which were there earlier would become not so popular, for example, we have seen Twitter going down.”

On being asked how does the influencer marketing firm like his keep pace with this dynamic shift, Vasudev says, “We have a propriety tool by which we keep a constant vigil on what kind of influencers are doing what and on what platforms. We then bucket them into various categories and genera. Further, the brands also have a point of view on certain influencers and platforms. We do our best to provide them with the best match.”

Vasudeva also shares the perfect recipe to sort out the best face and medium to associate with any campaign. He notes, “Essentially, the first filter that should happen is to look at in what space the brand is operating and in what space it wants the communication to happen. For example, if an automobile brand wants to talk about the core features of the car, then it will be an automobile blogger’s dialogue. But if the same automobile brand wants to promote itself from the lifestyle perspective, then we will either pick people who talk about lifestyle or sometimes, maybe, fashion bloggers.”

“Also, the biggest trend nowadays is that the content is moving from static images to videos. Thus, bloggers are becoming lesser and lesser relevant as people do not have time to read long write-ups. With content getting shorter, the impact of platforms like Instagram is gaining momentum. Another amazing platform is TikTok. The only problem with TikTok is that it doesn’t have any reporting API’s to keep a tab on the performance of the videos but it is still one of the most used platforms by influencers. It gives greater views at a much less cost than any other platform,” he shares.

On a final note, he said that brands should not try to push their own ideas of the kind of content that influencers should create. “An influencer is very loyal to its audience and knows what kind of content works with them. Thus, brands should be very careful about their demands and should allow them to create content in their own style.”

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