Thursday, July 18, 2024

Social Media Influencers Set to Redefine Marketing in 2024

In the fast-changing marketing landscape, a big change is happening, and it is all about ‘Influencers.’ As we have just entered 2024, social media influencers are ready to shake up how brands reach their audiences, making traditional marketing a thing of the past.

Influencer Impact in 2023

The term ‘influencer’ embedded itself in our vocabulary in 2023 and this year promises an even more significant impact as the growth of social media platforms continues to skyrocket. Influencers are people with lots of followers on social media and they have a big impact on what their audience thinks as well as does. This power is harnessed through endorsing, using, or reviewing products, brands or celebrities, giving birth to what we now call influencer marketing.

Economic Landscape of Influencer Marketing

The Advertising Standards Council of India estimates the social media influencer industry at a staggering $150 million, approximately Rs 1,200 crore. Experts say that influencers have become highly popular because they can reach a lot of people, are relatable and are good at making real connections between brands and their followers.

Ankit Baiyanpuria: A Case Study in Influencer Stardom

One noteworthy example from 2023 is fitness influencer Ankit Baiyanpuria, who soared to fame when Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared screen space with him during a nationwide cleanliness drive. By aligning himself with Baiyanpuria, Modi tapped into the influencer’s massive following of over 7.6 million on Instagram and a substantial YouTube audience, effectively conveying a message to a vast and engaged demographic.

Power of Unscripted Influence

The magic of influencers lies in their authentic and unscripted connection with their followers, cutting through the advertising clutter that often accompanies traditional marketing. Manish Solanki, co-founder of the social media marketing agency TheSmallBigIdea, emphasizes that influencers allure brands with their word-of-mouth appeal, serving as trendsetters who guide brands through cultural currents.

Political Influencers

Even political figures like Congress leader Rahul Gandhi have embraced the influencer route, giving interviews to YouTubers such as Kamiya Jani during ambitious campaigns. The trust-centric era we live in demands genuine connections and influencers, whether mega or micro, act as conduits facilitating these connections between brands and audiences.

Powerhouse of Influencer Marketing

As more people rely on social media for info and fun, influencers have become the go-to for brands. Journalist-cum-Instagrammer Arun Singh notes that brands have realized the power of influencer marketing because that is where the people are – on platforms like Instagram and YouTube.

Instagram

With over two billion users on Instagram, brands are hitting the jackpot by using short videos like Reels for influencer marketing. Paras Sharma, Director and Head, Content and Community Partnerships at Meta, India, highlights the exponential growth, stating that Reels plays exceed 200 billion per day across Facebook and Instagram.

Success Stories on Reels

Tanishq, Maruti Nexa, and L’Oreal are among the brands showcasing the success of Reels, proving that this format is not just entertaining but also delivering significant business results. Meta’s commissioned Global Media study by Ipsos reveals that 58% of respondents in India consider Instagram as the place to build relationships with brands.

Projection: India as the Epicenter of Influencer Marketing

Meta expects India to become the largest base of social media content creators globally, with the figure crossing 100 million this year. As social media takes center stage in communication, influencers’ impact is expected to become even more dynamic, shaping the evolving landscape rapidly.

Influencers in Cinema Marketing: A Fresh Approach to Promotion

The influence of social media stars extends beyond product endorsements to cinema marketing, with actors opting for YouTubers and podcasters over traditional media outlets to promote their films. This trend has made interviews more fun and interactive, giving followers the power to directly impact actors’ visibility and success on social media.

Smaller Influencers: Niche Spaces and Micro-Endorsements

In this evolving landscape, even smaller influencers find their niche spaces. Individuals like marketing executive-turned-crocheter Kunal Chaurasia are approached by big brands for collaborations, showcasing the democratization of influencer marketing. Chaurasia, new to the world of influencer marketing, notes that two big brands approached him for some branded content that will add to his income from selling crocheted items.

Verdict

As we are into 2024, influencers are set to have an even bigger impact, transforming the marketing game and offering more opportunities for a diverse range of content creators. The impact of influencers goes beyond being a trend. It is a significant shift in how brands connect with their audiences, ushering in a new era in marketing.

Influence is no longer limited to traditional advertising, but it is now widespread, empowering individuals and communities overlooked in the past. Brands, celebrities and even political figures are teaming up with influencers, recognizing their unparalleled ability to connect with and influence large audiences. This marks the arrival of the influencer era, causing ripples across industries and reshaping the marketing landscape in unexpected ways.

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