It’s everywhere around. The perfect song that can picture today’s influencers (especially these digital ones) is ‘All About U’ by 2pac. It’s true, when you have a mobile with a damn good camera – It’s All About U. Don’t get blurred with vloggers that are showcasing their daily life and scooping out millions of views. But you can treat the situation as irony. Talking business, it's a whole new vertical and there is no age bar. Everyone who has a potential audience or reach and if it’s nurturing profits and creating impact (regardless of everything), YOU’RE AN INFLUENCER.

From Queen and the Pope (1890) advertising medicines for public benefit to Nancy Green to Marlboro Man and down to Kardashians, we have come a long way. It’s more than a century.

Influencers’ influence remained strong not just because they were public faces. But instead, the public waited every time they come or post something. Can’t you recall the crowd apocalypse outside “Mannat”? People love ‘em, follow, and sometimes worship them blindly. That’s the power!

A report on India’s Influencer Marketing industry by GroupM and Exchange4media Group says more than 400 million Indians had access to social media before the pandemic. This number has skyrocketed and there is a significant shift in consumer behavior. The top 4 categories i.e., Personal care (25 percent), F&B (20 percent), Fashion & Jewellery (15 percent), and Mobile and electronics (10 percent) contribute 70 percent volume of influencer marketing. Celebrities contribute 27 percent while influencers contribute 73 percent and nearly two-thirds of the Indian population follow an influencer. – Forbes India

The penetration rate of influencer marketing is increasing with every passing day. And to give a word to describe today’s influence, it’s ‘Innocent’. Per se, a mother just gave a review about the diapers she liked for her baby, and the video went viral. People are putting on the cuteness of the baby but the diaper brand unknowingly witnesses a sleek rise in sales from that location. And this thing gradually grows with time. Plus, there is a growing pool of people becoming influencers (like mentioned above sarcastically) for easy social media money. But the big bang is for everyone, it’s just ‘Dalal Street’ or ‘Wall Street’, investing something low and making profits over time. At the same time, it’s not for everyone.

How it’s going?

For a brand to associate with influencers, choosing the right platform defines success. Looking at the influencer’s reach and type of audience also makes a significant impact on the brand’s ROI. Customer behavior shift is an add-on to look after.

Celebrity bytes are now common on the internet. Brands and consumers can take a byte from the platform at affordable prices. Similarly, agencies that are into providing influencers to brands across various industries are on the rise (5x)* for a few years.

Online-to-Offline (O2O) campaigns have felicitated the growth and demand/supply of influencers in marketing as an opportunity.

Go Small or Go Broke or Make Big

From Nano, micro to macro sizing and pricing of influencers. Brands are either reaping profits or failing in their strategy. But doing small and making big is a literal skill. There are brands in industries that have made that mark by maximizing their ROI.

It is not surprising that brands and companies interested in skipping agency fees are more attracted to online solutions because of the digitalization of the marketing ecosystem. To deal with this, many agencies have also built proprietary markets and offered access to them.

Thus, there is an increasing number of standalone and agency-owned marketplaces. Do agencies risk becoming obsolete as a result? The short answer is no. The need for hassle-free influencer management will continue to exist as long as businesses rely on all-in-one service providers.

*figures are in approximate values