Content creation: walking with an army of micro-influencers

When snacks and drinks giant PepsiCo India recently forayed into the 1,000 crore flat-cut wafer-style crisps category, launching its “thinnest” crisps, it had the usual dollop of Bollywood celebrities – Alia Bhatt and Siddhant Chaturvedi in this case – promoting the product. But at the same time, Lay’s has also onboarded up to 3,000 micro-influencers to push its new line.

PepsiCo is not alone. For its #DettolSalutes campaign last year, consumer goods giant Reckitt used more than 4,500 influencers, the majority of them micro-influencers.

There has been a noticeable change in the influencer marketing strategy of brands.

After rolling over a few, brands in every category – from beauty to smartphones to food – are now reeling from a veritable army of content creators, who are releasing more authentic and authentic content every day. more relevant.

As Dilen Gandhi, Regional Marketing Manager, South Asia – Health & Nutrition, Reckitt, explains, “Micro-influencers are a key driver in scaling influencer-led campaigns, especially when we reach out to hand to interact with consumers at the local or regional level. »

Gandhi describes how each of the #DettolSaltutes mega-campaign influencers played a part in raising large-scale awareness among his audience. “It’s definitely a bonus that the outcome can be measured and monitored in real time,” he says.

Chips in Shailja Joshi, Director Marketing – Potato Chips Category at PepsiCo India, “Through our recent digital campaign – #TheThinPossibleChip – we engaged with over 3,000 Lay’s micro-influencers and fans, to bring slimming to life. Playful Lay’s Wafer Style Tokens with Fun Illusions and Tricks Consumer response has been truly overwhelming with many netizens joining, performing and sharing the fun and quirky challenge of magic tricks using the Lay’s Wafer style.

Communities and cliques

Payal Sakhuja, founder of Ripple Links, believes this trend will only accelerate across all categories. “Many more brands are now shaping their strategies to involve micro-influencers, and this goes beyond Instagram to other platforms such as YouTube.”

The benefits of using micro-influencers are manifold. Above all, their follower base is a gold mine of small online communities and cliques and gives brands access to these tight-knit groups who swear by each other’s advice. In an increasingly fragmented internet, this is a big win for brands.

It is also profitable because it usually involves a barter deal or a small payment and sometimes also involves an affiliate code for purchasing products and influencers can get a percentage of sales. Sakhuja believes, however, that in addition to profitability, brands want to leverage more authentic and relevant content from micro-influencers and also gain a greater share of voice.

Brands can use micro-influencers as part of a larger campaign, but sometimes their entire campaign relies entirely on them.

Shrenik Gandhi, CEO and co-founder of White Rivers Media, says micro-influencers connect much better with their communities, even if they’re small.

“Often, we have observed that new micro-influencers are supported by the community in choosing the products they endorse. This is a way of giving back the “community love” to the micro-influencer. Also with micro -influencers, many ancillary costs of influencers are completely reduced to zero or negligible, which basically includes an entourage of makeup, security, and other costs related to filming.In addition, micro-influencers are full of jugaad.So, not only can they fire faster and cheaper, but they are also much easier to understand,” Gandhi adds.

But brands aren’t just partnering with this growing tribe for promotions. “We’re also seeing brands leveraging authentic insights from some of these micro-influencers to gauge feedback on their new products,” says Sakhuja.

A leading smartphone player, for example, regularly engages with micro-influencers to source content for its own social media platforms. “It’s much cheaper for brands than setting up their own content studio and it also helps them access diverse and creative content created using their devices,” she adds.

But there are also pitfalls to engaging with micro-influencers, especially since exclusivity is sometimes sacrificed in the arrangement. Ambika Sharma, Founder and MD, Pulp Strategy warns that this could be a double-edged sword. She points out that what a brand gets by partnering with a micro-influencer with a 10% engagement rate is the same as what you’ll get with a big celebrity with millions of followers with a 10% engagement rate. commitment of about 1 to 2%. .

“Take for example: the beauty category. Since micro-influencers have limited opportunities, they may end up associating with one beauty brand after another. In that case, their subscribers may just treat it like any other content, see no differentiation, and disregard their advice,” she adds.

Indeed, if you skip to some of the micro-influencer timelines, you can see them promoting multiple brands of clothing or beauty products. This might work for D2C brands looking for trials, but for mega brands, exclusivity is everything.

As influencer marketing spend in India grows at a CAGR of 25% and is expected to hit the ₹2,200 crore mark by 2025 (GroupM INCA report), the party is just beginning for content creators, who can surely look for more big money earning opportunities.

Published on

February 06, 2022

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Jenny T. Curlee