Q] What is the kind of increase you are seeing in brand spends in influencer marketing?
Some categories are spending a lot more. In some categories that were already spending a considerable amount, things have come to a halt. These include fashion and lifestyle brands. However, among essential consumer brands like Dettol and Lifebuoy that people need at such a time, we are seeing more influencer collaboration. Categories like gaming and technology too are spending more on influencer marketing at the moment. Social networks and dating apps too are doing well since consumption on these is high. E-commerce, which was formerly a big spender in this space, isn’t doing a lot though they would like to because of the issue with logistics during this time.
Q] Given that traditional forms of advertising like OOH and Print have taken a backseat, how has influencer marketing helped brands reach out better to consumers?
What we've observed in these past few weeks is that a lot of people are not just investing in influencer marketing but rather focusing on content creation. You need to understand that offline content creation too cannot be done because shoots are not permitted and production houses are not able to function fully. So the only viable option of content creation is influencers, and brands are trying to create a lot of content. So whatever audiences they have on the platform, they’re trying to keep them engaged. We’ve seen a lot of growth in content creation recently.
Q] Are brands that were hitherto unwilling to spend on influencer marketing now devoting bigger budgets to it?
If I were to sum up what the current situation is, I would say that the overall marketing dollars have reduced even though the focus on influencers has increased drastically. As an industry I feel we've sort of moved forward and accelerated by a year or two, because senior decision makers who didn't really give attention to influencers as a channel today do not have much of a choice. So they are thinking about roping in influencers and are exploring options of leveraging this medium. In a way, this is great for influencer marketing considering that people are giving it more attention and are exploring different forms of collaboration. But, overall marketing dollars have reduced. Few categories like the technology-led ones are growing – this includes gaming and ed-tech. If we see logistics open up, then the numbers will definitely look better since e-commerce will also spend more.
Q] How is One Impression dealing and adapting in this current crisis?
We are one of the companies that are still doing great numbers, month on month. Yes spending in some categories has come to a halt but other categories have increased the proportion of their budgets on influencer marketing. Our network globally is around 14 million people and in India that’s about two and a half million. We work with over 60,000 influencers starting with small nano influencers with 1000 followers to the bigger celebrity names.
Q] How important is a platform like TikTok when it comes to building consumer connect in smaller markets in India?
We are doing a lot of content with local flavour that extends beyond the metros, big cities and large influencers. Speaking of TikTok, it is not as big as YouTube is currently. YouTube has a really deep penetration across cities and regions. So I would say regional campaigns are typically divided between YouTube and TikTok. TikTok is a little bit younger and offers shorter forms of content that can be viewed quickly, while YouTube allows more long-form and mature content.
Q] How are you working with influencers to ensure your content remains sensitive and cognisant of the current situation?
One thing we are seeing is that a lot of the bigger influencers are turning down campaigns at this time especially those who specialise in luxury and lifestyle content. The smaller influencers especially those who depend on this income are still staying engaged with their followers and are picking and choosing campaigns that are sensitive to the current situation. If the brand is relevant and the messaging is too, most influencers are still willing to collaborate.