Indian brands are showing unprecedented confidence in influencer marketing. The increasing influence of influencer marketing in India can be well understood from the recent report that highlights that over a third (33%) of Indian brands increased their social media influencer budgets by more than 50% in the last year.
According to Kroll, a valuation advisory firm, India’s obsession with social media has led to its content creator market growing 25% to $290.3 million by 2025. The report further states that influencer marketing helped brands reach large audiences at low costs after the covid-19 pandemic, which sparked widespread digitization.
Divyanshu Sing, COO – JSW Sports COO, told Kroll that marketers in India are convincingly spending over 10% of their digital marketing budgets on influencer marketing in order to quickly penetrate the regional areas where these influencers have a presence. He also believes that companies are actively engaging influencers to tap into the markets which are remote and can be penetrated much more effectively with local language campaigns.
Today, India boasts nearly 80 million content creators. This includes bloggers, video streamers, and influencers.
Another study from iCubeWire highlighted that 35% of the respondents’ decisions were influenced by reels and influencer posts on social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube and Facebook.
Kroll’s report stated that influencers are more popular than A-list celebrities because they offer a higher return on investment. Experts believe they have the potential to increase brand awareness.
Prajakta Koli and Kusha Kapila were among the first to make it into mainstream entertainment. But others – nano-influencers and micro-influencers – are still in the game.
For example, Rupal Singh Chauhan creates content in the fashion, accessories, lifestyle, food and drinks sectors. She has collaborated with brands such as Farmley, Thela Gaadi and B Burger to create content in the fashion and accessories, lifestyle, KIA India and Vogzy sectors.
Yash Chokshi, a lifestyle and travel photographer, has a 145% engagement rate on Instagram. He has collaborated with top brands like Apple, Sony, Lonely Planet and FujifilmX India.
According to data from affable.ai (an artificial intelligence-powered influencer market platform), nano-influencers were those with less than 10,000 followers and attracted the most engagement on Instagram in 2022. Despite having a smaller following, micro-influencers had the highest engagement on Instagram and YouTube.
However, the strengthening presence and influencing capabilities of these influencers also pose a bigger challenge to unsuspecting followers. Many over-aggressive influencers cross the line to attract more eyeballs and advocate things that have all the potential to go viral but are far from reality. Hence, experts advocate that to avoid misrepresentation of facts, India’s influencer-marketing industry must be regulated. India’s consumer affairs ministry declared in January 2023 that misleading advertising could result in a fine of up to $60,000. and a suspension of accounts for up to two years.
“Influencers will need to self-regulate and participate in policymaking to ensure a positive impact on the industry,” Vijay Subramaniam (CEO and founder of Collective Artists Network), a talent management company, stated.
With each passing month, more content creators are entering the space. As a result, the number of influencers will increase in 2023, and so the competition among them. It may lead them to adopt a more aggressive approach and fall into the trap of going viral at any cost. The possibility of internet users getting surrounded with misleading information is all-time high now. Therefore, it is a time of “more conscious and mindful collaborations”, as creators are more open to entrepreneurship roles or being part of a brand team.
Influencer marketing spending in India has created new earning streams for individuals. Brands are finding ROI that could cheer about and are willing to spend even more money than ever before.