Brands are shifting to influencer marketing

Tech News


New Delhi: Luggage brand Mokobara partnered with fashion influencer Nagma Mirajkar to promote its products to her 8.6 million followers on Instagram last month. The move was part of the company’s plans to shift a significant part of its advertising budget from social media ads to influencer-driven campaigns.

Mokobara’s campaign is part of the brand’s general souring on social media advertising. The trend, which started about two years ago, is now more mainstream. According to influencer marketing and social media experts, more firms now choose influencer-led campaigns over social media ads.

The move is driven by a drop in the effectiveness of online advertising and how brands target users with personalized ads on social media. In fact, even Meta chief executive Mark Zuckerberg cited “ads signal loss” as a reason for the social media behemoth’s drop in revenue last quarter and the subsequent layoffs.

A July report by Neilsen showed that the return on investment (RoI) for influencer marketing is on a par with mainstream media today. It also said that aided brand recall, a practice where consumers are tested on how much they remember an advertisement, is 70% for such campaigns.

However, the interest in influencer marketing isn’t driven by this effectiveness alone, but also by the fact that many marketers are now having doubts about the effectiveness of traditional media and social media ads.

According to a November 2021 global survey by marketing solutions firm HubSpot, 37% of marketers said social media marketing is becoming ineffective.

Social media ads on platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, have lost some advantages as companies give more control to users over the ads they see, some of which are driven by upcoming regulations, too. Influencer campaigns, on the other hand, offer better brand recall and even allow companies to create communities around their products.

“Brands only wanted to associate with influencers to put out the USP of a product or service earlier. Now, they want to create a community. Influencers have a community, which makes customer acquisition easier for brands,” said Gaurav Jain, a former influencer and CEO of Creators Gram, an influencer marketing firm.

In turn, influencer marketing firms saw increased interest by brands in partnering with creators. Shudeep Mazumdar, CEO of influencer marketing firm Zefmo, said the shift has been picking up over the past two years, and the need for such campaigns is driven by the longevity of influencer marketing campaigns, which is much higher than the social media ads. “A campaign done with the right influencer is also far more effective than targeted ad campaigns on social media,” he claimed.

Further, Bengaluru-based brand consultant Harish Bijoor said marketing budgets are shifting from ATL (above-the-line) advertising to BTL (below-the-line).

abhijit.ahaskar@livemint.com

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