How to Find Social Media Influencers in India
Social media influencers – a relatively new industry that has quickly made a serious impact – barely needs an introduction.
- The term “influencer marketing” increased by 325% in Google searches over 2017. This makes it the fastest-growing online acquisition method of the year.
- This trend is likely to continue in the future, as roughly two-thirds of marketing departments are looking to increase their budget for influencer marketing over the next year. Marketers are expected to invest an average budget of $25 000 to $50 000 into multifaceted influencer campaigns this year.
- Generally, their money is well spent. For each dollar spent on influencer marketing, marketers see an average of $7.65 in earned media value returned.
- It is predicted that in less than two years’ time, by 2020, social influencer marketing will be an industry worth $10 billion.
There it is – influencer marketing is making waves and it is here to stay.
What are you doing about it? Are you staying ahead of the curve or being left behind? And how does one even begin to find social media influencers in India?
Under the Influence: The Lowdown on Social Media Influencers
Firstly, we need to understand who and where these people are.
Essentially, it’s everyday people like you and me. People who have something that they’re passionate about – it could be running, politics, cooking, fashion – really, the options are endless – and they aren’t afraid to tell people about it. By posting about their passions on social media, they’ve grown audiences that share the same interests, and have eventually gained internet popularity, allowing them to shape and influence audience perspectives on matters through the content they put out – blog posts, tweets, pictures and videos.
The idea behind the social media influencer industry is that if brands relay a message to a handful of influencers, they will promote it to their trusting networks, thereby creating a quick way to reach wider audiences and potential new customers. In return, influencers are compensated either monetarily or with free products and perks from the brand.
The Delia Effect: Why Influencers Are So Powerful
It’s evident why the industry is a win-win.
Brands have their message sent to massive audiences they wouldn’t usually have had access to (and without even doing it themselves), influencers are given free products from their favourite brands or they’re paid for campaigns (many have quit traditional jobs and can live comfortably on their income from influencer marketing), and the audiences are learning more about the industry they’re passionate by gaining insight from those they trust and follow on social media.
So, what makes these influencers so powerful?
What really sets social media influencers in India apart from other types of endorsers is their relatability. Despite their impressive followings, influencers are still perceived as ordinary people that their followers can easily relate to. They post about everyday life, are easy to get hold of – some reply to every single comment and DM – and they often have age group, interests and demographics in common with their target audience.
Credibility and Social Proof
It’s part of human nature to be swayed by our circles. Consumers are 92% more likely to trust their peers over traditional advertising when it comes to purchasing decisions. So, seeing your peer, colleague or someone from your ‘hood speaking highly of a brand, is likely to make you remember it, and agree with it. The large numbers of followings, likes, comments and shares add social proof to the equation – this gives audiences the impression that it is already validated and trusted by many.
Scouting the WWW: How to Find Social Media Influencers in India
The success of an influencer marketing campaign depends primarily on the brand’s ability to identify and collaborate with the right influencers. According to a study by TapInfluence, the search for relevant influencers is also the major challenge of influencer marketing. The number of influencers and micro-influencers are only increasing, so finding the right ones for your brand is only going to be more of a challenge, as there will be more to sift through. The worst thing you want to do is hire the wrong ambassador, which could waste your time and money and be damaging to your brand reputation.
- Real Influence
As with any big trend, there are people who will want to exploit it. “Fake influencers,” where so-called influencers artificially increase their followers and engagement to seem more influential is, unfortunately, becoming a popular phenomenon.
To ensure the influencers you’re looking at are real, there are a number of things to consider such as looking at their comments and how they reply, looking at who they’re following and who’s following them, and their rate of engagement over following. A tell-tale sign of a “fake influencer” is having a large following – as this can easily be bought online – with either very few comments or lots of spam comments.
An example of local influencer Nidhi Mohan Kamal’s engagement rates on the Meltwater Social Influencer platform.
- Level of Expertise
You’re analysing their social presence and social proof, but remember to Google their name and see how they’re known both on and off social media. You will also need to gain an understanding of whether they are experts in their field to decide how well they will fit in with your brand. Check if they’ve ever been invited to speak at an event, received awards or been recommended by anyone in the industry.
If your influencer has a large following but ends up talking in a vacuum, it’s a red flag. Decipher how engaged their community is – what questions the community asks and how well the influencer answers them. What you want to know here is whether this person is active or passive. The more open to engagement and feedback from their community they are, the more open to collaborating with brands they’ll be.
- The Influencer’s Following
Does the influencer audience match your target audience?
During your research phase, it will be important to analyze the influencer community: age, gender, interests, location – do they get closer to your marketing personas?
An example of local influencer Riaan George’s engagement rates on the Meltwater Social Influencer platform.
Working Together: Creating an Effective Influencer Marketing Strategy
Seasoned digital marketing professional and current Head of Business at Twitter, Kanika Mittal, says in the exclusive Webinar, “How to Build an Influencer Marketing Strategy That Works,” that you’ve got to “work together to create magic together.”
If you are aiming to be authentic at all, you cannot expect your influencer to share exactly what you have handed them – word for word. You should be co-creating content that their followers will enjoy and that resonates with your band followers. You shouldn’t even want an influencer who blindly reposts everything without making it their own – consumers can see right through this.
Influencers should always post their unique content first, followed by the brand’s reposting it. The idea of co-publishing is to decide with your influencer how to publish your pieces of content so that it can reach more and more people.
Once you and your influencer have created and published the content as a team, it’s time to co-promote it. The essence of content creation with influencers is to work on it together, be creative together and boost it together.
Use Meltwater’s Social Media Influencer Marketing Tool to help you quickly and easily find and manage the perfect social media influencers for your business.