Influencer Marketing Trends In India – Results From Our 2015 Survey
One of the things we love doing at Social Beat and Influencer.in is exploring and understanding the depths of how the online industry works and super analyzing every aspect associated with it. Influencer marketing in the online space has flourished at an unbelievable pace. In the last 12-16 months we have seen many interesting influencer marketing campaigns in India run by the likes of Cadbury, Allen Solly, Ford & many more.
Word-of-mouth advertising has always been the most powerful tool and influencer marketing is WOM Advertising 2.0. In the past we have looked at what brands expect from influencer marketing and how can they co-create content with influencers. To understand the industry better from the other side of the coin, we conducted a survey amongst the best digital influencers of the country and the results have helped us gain a crisp view of where influencer marketing stands today. You may also find it interesting to read our book on digital marketing insights, which can be purchased on Amazon.
The above infographic has the complete purview of the state of influencer marketing in India. Mumbai and Delhi are the two metros where most influencers and bloggers are based out of, followed by Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad. A lot of smaller cities are gaining traction and we should see more of this in 2016.
When we dissect the demographic further, we know that most of the influencers/bloggers are young and fall within the age range of 20-40 which clearly points to the fact that the industry is attracting a lot of young talent mainly because it gives them an opportunity to become a brand of their own and has great scope for networking. Blogging is also perceived as a full-time career option according to 84% of the influencers in India.
The survey has also given us lucid understanding about the most popular category of blogging/micro blogging which is Lifestyle and Fashion and considering that the industry is dominated by women influencers (55% as per our survey) at present. Other popular categories are Travel, Food, Entertainment followed by Healthcare and Technology. Over the next few months we would be featuring top bloggers in each of these categories – the first one on Top Food Bloggers in India is already live.
Delving further into the survey, we discovered that the channels or platforms which are highly used by the influencers are Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. Twitter and Facebook continue to be the most popular platforms for influencers to engage with their followers. Instagram is a very visual platform and is popular with fashion, food & entertainment bloggers.Another interesting learning is that the personal blogs account for almost 77.25% popularity amongst the other channels which indicates that as much as it is important to be popular on social media channels, having a professional blog helps in increasing the Klout score of an influencer. Moreover, a blog drives traffic from search engines on a sustainable basis – which can have a huge impact. Our Co-Founder, Vikas shared some ideas at a recent Food Bloggers Meet on how can influencers more shareable content,which can be useful in creating more viral content on the blog & social media channels.
Another interesting learning about the channels was that not all channels are being leveraged by influencers. For example, while Instagram is used by 78% of the influencers, only 63% of them leverage it for influencer marketing campaigns. Similarly, 25% of the survey respondents mentioned that they use Zomato but less than 12% leverage it for influencer marketing campaigns. Such a trend implies that some influencers consider these platforms to be a personal space and don’t want to monetize them. It is likely that they want to keep these platforms neutral – especially in the case of Zomato. These trends might also change since Zomato has introduced their own blogging feature.
The major industries that the influencers engage with in India are FMCG, Startups and Technology followed by Healthcare and many others. FMCG and startups are at par, each holding a stake of almost 56% with the influencers in the country. Startups require heavy word-of-mouth advertising which is why they invest a rather generous portion of their marketing budgets with renowned influencers.
Every industry has its shortcomings and the influencers in our country face quite a few challenges while working with brands. The biggest and most complained problem they face is delay in receiving payments followed by other problems like brands demanding quick results and also undervaluing their work. As the industry matures, both stakeholders – brands & influencers will find a way to resolve this. Platforms like Influencer.in are also trying to solve these challenges so that more meaningful campaigns can be run.
A major aspect of influencer marketing is based on influencer’s experience with the brand which they promote online. About 57% of the influencers use the products of the brands they promote often whereas 24% agreed to rare usage of the same. When it comes to recommending the products to their circle of family and friends, 58% of the influencers do it quite often.
When we asked influencers/bloggers about their favorite brands, most of the FMCG and tech brands topped the charts. Flipkart, Loreal, Lenovo, Dove etc. were some of the admired brands by influencers. Most of them were quite specific and some were open to working with any brand as long as the work and partnership is healthy and interesting.
*The survey had 250 respondents across the country and was conducted in Nov-Dec 2015.