With consumers turning to ‘real life’ brand allies to learn about products and services before they loosen their purse-strings, the emergence of influencers is eventually shifting the historical brands’ obsession with traditional forms of advertising in India. And as influencers continue to bring the much-needed relatability and authenticity to the table, consumers are finding solace in them and are giving them a listening ear because they are making conversations personable and congenial. Influencers have metamorphosed into new-age celebrities and with brands finding proven success in associating with them, they have become a crucial organ of brand marketing.
As the creator economy emerges as one of India's most promising sectors, largely revolutionizing the way brands engage with their audience, collective artists' network Big Bang Social - an Indian creator marketplace connecting brands with influencers, is scaling up it's efforts to bridge need gaps in the space while allowing penetration across the length and breadth of the country. They have recently launched the City Ambassador Program that aims to use relevant regional influencers to grow its network of micro to nano influencers to create new growth avenues for creators and provide a deeper reach for them to showcase their talent.
The idea is to empower this fresh crop of talent by bringing them best in class opportunities to showcase their content and monetise the same.
Vijay Subramaniam, Group CEO and Founder, Collective Artists Network explains, “Engaging with influencers is an effective way to grow and maintain brand reputation by building trust in the right audiences’ vis a vis the followers of the right influencer. Its soon becoming the most effective way to grow a group of advocates for the brand. By making the process of executing large influencer campaigns seamless and swift – it’s a tool that can cut time and effort by a great degree and provide effective and tangible outcomes.”
“Also, without a solid process to it, any influencer marketing campaign means the burden of finding the right fit, curating the right content and getting it out to the right audiences falls on both the brand and the influencer. This is a nationwide issue that we want to address, and that’s why we’ve incorporated a strong tech infrastructure We’ve taken this long, arduous process and effectively taken out those hurdles. It cuts down the effort and time of both parties significantly. For brands it means quicker execution with more cost transparency and for creators it means finding and benefitting from on the best opportunities in the market.”
Emphasizing scope in the sector, Vijay says, “The pandemic led to a definite increase in digital marketing spends and we witnessed significant growth in ad budgets allocated to creators. In the world of creator marketing, we have consistently grown about 80-100 percent over the last two financial years. Our network today is of a carefully curated list of 18K+ influencers that have been hand-picked and catalogued with rich data insights and analytics, richer than any other platform in the market today.
The scope is endless from where we stand today, right now influencer marketing is the buzzword but I’m of the firm belief that its only one vertical of the creator economy. We are going to see the evolution of creator commerce. Today Big Bang Social is the only platform in the country that has skill development and new monetization avenues built into the product along with influencer marketing. We have also made a few acquihires in the space and plan to double down on expanding the team across the length and breadth of the country.”
When asked about Big Bang Social’s revenue model, he elaborated, “We currently charge brands a platform fee, along with a subscription model there is also an offline fee model. With the influencer market growing at its current rate, we see it hitting half a billion dollars in the next three to four years.
Betting big on the future of sector, he believes that while the pandemic may have given rise to a fresh wave of influencers, this is not a passing trend.
“Some aspects of it are bound to change but the ‘Influencer’ is here to stay even if platforms change. I especially think it brings great opportunities for artists, who often struggle to pursue their passion and hold a steady stream of income at the same time.”
“Platforms like Big Bang Social can help them grow their audience and generate a revenue stream at the same time,” he concludes.