A state of flux. That is what the business of influencer marketing has been like since its inception in India. Expected to grow at a CAGR of about 25% in the next five years, it is certain that the only constant is a rapid and swift change. Neither brands nor agencies have the privilege of doing the ‘hygiene influencing’ campaign for broader awareness.
Today, many innovative startups are mushrooming each day, and they are observed to be investing heavily in social media marketing via influencers and content creators. Mostly driven by young minds, every marketing initiative means business to them.
Like startups, today, many leading brands also target direct business and revenue results via marketing. And rightly so! Living in a highly competitive world, why would one not focus on growing financially. After all, every company and brand needs sales for survival. Therefore, be it Instagram Shops or YouTube’s shoppable ads, social media today has truly emerged as a ‘shopping experience’ for consumers and ‘point of sales' for retail brands. From bait and click to influence and click; and cost per view to cost per click, the world of influencer marketing briskly changed over the last few years.
When Influencer Marketing met AdTech
The best things happen when the emotional intelligence of a human and tech-enabled experiences meet. While AR and VR are the leading testament of this in the broader world, shoppable ads and live-commerce are trending examples in the world of influencer marketing. While content creators bring in the emotional appeal, the social media platforms upscale their technology to provide the best experiences for the brands, consumers, and creators.
Shoppable ads come with an opportunity for brands to add a shopping link and provide a complete 360 shopping experience: grab the attention – influence – click – buy. However, while the creator’s role is only to influence ‘clicks’ it is the brand’s UI and UX that ensures the purchase. Hence, to convert an audience to a lead, and a lead to a customer via influencer marketing, it requires – a great story/narrative, a unique purchase link, and immersive UI and UX.
Live shopping is one of the latest disruptions in the world of e-commerce. This concept was first widely practised and accepted in east Asian countries. It started with fashion and beauty creators conducting YouTube and Instagram live sessions to influence and sell a product. Such activity garnered immense response amongst audiences and pushed them for ‘instant buys’ during the live stream. Brands, influencers, and the platform have largely capitalized on the ‘FOMO culture’.
Will Influencer Marketing meet programmatic ads?
Programmatic ads emerged as the most preferred accelerator for brands to get quick and scalable results. Alongside, influencer marketing has thus far helped many brands to build their brand value and awareness. What would happen when two legacy mediums meet? With many startups now creating AI-driven influencer marketing platforms, integration of ‘programmatic influencer marketing’ service will only help in bringing the much-needed disruption. Programmatic branded influencer marketing content will reduce manual labour, scale the brand’s reach and sales, and speed up the entire process.
Challenges we must fight
With the introduction of tech in influencer marketing, creators will have constant pressure to ‘persuade to click’. Hence, the brands will have to be rational with their ask and a common ground of views and clicks will have to be made before each campaign. Brands must understand that influencers aren’t their sales associates and expecting direct conversion from them is unrealistic. Moreover, brands today lay very stringent content guidelines with limited room for creativity. Therefore, pushing creators to create direct selling and TVC-like content will help no one. As it is the content that will lead to clicks, getting room for some creative content creation will be the biggest challenge.
In a nutshell
While social media platforms are constantly evolving to provide direct sales opportunities; influencers, marketing managers, and brands must understand and embrace the correlation between the content, clicks, and conversions. Irrespective of how advanced the adtech gets, the ultimate push factor will be the ‘persuasive content’.Note to readers: Storyboard18’s new Month In Focus initiative spotlights themes and topics that are pushing marketers to reshape and rethink how brands interact with today’s customers. Our theme for this month is Stacks & Strategies, a martech and adtech spotlight on how decision makers and marketers are advancing the adoption of new technologies and tech-driven strategies in the brand marketing ecosystem. From the defining trends and preparing for a cookiepocalypse to how progressive martech strategies help fast track business and brand growth. Catch this special on Storyboard18.