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Achieving ROI through Influencer Marketing is hard, top Indian brands spent $200 million (₹1,600 Cr) on influencer marketing in 2022 with just 10% returns.
In 2022, Indian brands spent $200 million (₹1,600 Cr) on influencer marketing. An average series A plus company is spending as much as 10% of their marketing spend on this influencer marketing.
So, if so much money is being spent on a channel, it must be working for brands? Not really - very few brands have been able to get a return on investment. And, that’s exactly what we are going to solve for.
Fundamentally, an acquisition channel works or doesn’t work for your brand isn’t the channel problem. It’s a product <> channel fit problem.
In the history of advertising, it is said that the Queen and the Pope used to advocate the use of medicine by common people. We can consider them the first known influencers. We have come a long way from there into the 21st century.
Religious influencers today aren’t alone. We have graded influencers who are “influencing” opinions, perception & decision making about things that matter for most humans. Here’s a snippet view of kind of influencers we all are surrounded by.
Let’s go one layer deeper into few of the above segments. Politicians focus on changing flow of money/ resources & human progress over few decades. While religious leaders influence interpretation of the holy books & guide people practicing a specific religion.
Religious influencers can do things that even politicians can’t touch with. For example, no one asks for money in return of work that they do for a religious organisation (say a temple trust) but stretch that to a political rally - I guarantee you that no one works for free who are part of these rallies. It’s legit circular money flow ecosystem.
I’m going to take a lot of inspiration from historically proficient influencers and translate those learnings into this playbook - disclaimer - I don’t represent/ support any political ideology / religion whatsoever. Look at this playbook purely from a science POV.
Influencers are mis-understood : They aren’t gods, but merely catalyst who can nudge an individual or a set of individuals to do a certain contextual action. Try using them as gods for your brand growth & you are going to struggle like anything.
"Don’t think of influence as something magical. It won’t happen over night, but it’ll compound first slowly and then all at once."
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But, it’s logical. Let’s understand this process really well before we get into specifics of the influence framework for your brand.
Remember, the first time you consumed some content of your favorite influencer, it had an interesting hook that made you stop the scroll (say on Instagram/ Twitter). For finance influencers like “Finance with Sharan” it was the “humor filled skits”. For Johnny Harris, it was “Borders episode of Vox”, you get the point.
None of your “influencers” produce less than 1 content piece every freaking day, take Prime minister modi’s YT channel for example which builds so much frequency. His channel doesn’t want you to buy something but indeed his approach towards “Public policy” keeping in mind influence on next elections.
You won’t listen to someone you trust except if you want to contradict them. Read the last line again, please - it’s important. Building trust has few core components. Some apply more than others and you need to push all cylinders to create a solid basic trust level.
Your brand should change the way your audience thinks about something. It could be a different angle, could be something trivial or something that most of your users have a myth about. Until you do this, you won’t be able to hook them for a longer duration.
First things first, you can’t just magically create an influence network in a day, it’s slow, non-sexy but it compounds - it’s hardly linear, and that’s what I like about the influence framework.
Before we begin the framework, it’s important to know who you are, I mean what do you stand for. For example, RedBull stands for adventure sports. But, it’s really upto you on what your brand should/could stand for.
Once you understand “what your brand stands for” - the next decision is to understand what you want to influence. For example, a fintech company that stands for “helping Indians create compounding wealth” would want to influence “money decision” especially on how they “save / invest their money”. Take a moment and really ask yourself - “What do I want to influence about my target audience?”
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