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14 May, 2020 - brands

Social media influencers get ‘vocal for local’ businesses

India's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, recently addressed the country to reveal the steps that the government will be taking to fight the Coronavirus pandemic. During his speech, PM Modi emphasised the importance of going local and becoming a self-reliant economy.
While the pandemic has been the source of an unwanted phase of chaos and uncertainty for several business owners, this step proves that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Local brands now have the chance to revive their businesses, and piggyback on the patriotic sentiment to create a preference over global labels that they’ve constantly competed against.
While traditional marketing efforts will undoubtedly continue, it will be social media influencers who will truly lead the ‘get vocal about local’ narrative, creating preference and garnering support for Indian businesses, one story at a time.  

How influencers will support brands to get vocal:

  1. Customer advocates rather than brand marketer
A slowdown of the economy will reflect in consumer spending habits. People will be more conscious of the decisions they make regarding the products or brands they choose. It is likely that consumers will go through several marketing touchpoints before they decide to purchase a product. Influencers will prove to be a crucial touchpoint because they can help brands build trust. At the same time, they act as customer advocates rather than brand marketers. Many consumers find this to be useful when they are trying to learn about a brand. Influencers could be the first or last touchpoints that help consumers make the decision to purchase from a particular brand.
  1. Communicate brand beliefs and values
Collaborating with influencers can help brands build a reputation for their brand online and reinforce the values they represent. From ethical fashion, organic beauty, not-for-profits through to any business that stands for, or wants to communicate its purpose, can depend on influencers to shout out about the brand values and garner support from the right audience. The trick here will be to find influencers who are actually aligned with the causes they are endorsing. For example, a vegan, sustainable food brand will be better off working with a vegan food blogger who champions conscious choices in food, rather than a celebrity chef. The key is to identify credible influencers who can portray an honest picture of the brand or product.
  1. Target communication to suit regional markets
In an earlier post, we talked about the growing power of regional influencers and their ability to help brands target local audiences. With PM Modi’s speech fueling the whole country to move towards local brands, we can see how local influencers will become an even more important part of brand marketing strategies. Businesses can work with regional influencers to create highly targeted campaigns that consumers of that particular city or town will relate to and identify with.
  1. Suitable for businesses big and (very) small
Top-tier influencers such as Jahnavi Dasetty (@mahathalli), Kusha Kapila (@kushakapila), and Kritika Khurana (@thatbohogirl) to name a few, can reach out to thousands of people through a single post. Brands can engage their audiences and help them follow their brand or website to increase conversions. But for small businesses, where purse strings are tighter, micro and nano influencers, with audiences as little as 1,000, are accessible, and are already accelerating the rate of growth for several brands. They support a company’s marketing efforts by providing audiences with authentic content, that audiences believe and most importantly, buy into.

Influencers will play a critical role in shaping communications for businesses coming out of lockdown, but the success of their efforts will only be measurable if brands take an educated, and considered approach to identifying the right influencer to support their campaign and cause. 

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