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How brands are betting big on regional influencers and the way forward in 2024

Influencer marketing in India is not old enough to formulate a set methodology or approach. The way this modern-day digital advertising operates is merely on a trial-and-error basis and one such outcome is tapping regional markets with regional influencers on board.

The fact that one cannot generalize a set of influencers to cover pan India has been clearly understood by the brand in recent times and hence the move to regional markets to connect with local audiences is becoming a necessity.

Between 2018-2020, when the concept of influencer marketing was just starting, brands preferred well-known names across India to promote their products but as this progressed to becoming a larger marketing strategy with high money involved, an observation was made. It was noticed that there is no emotional connection or recognition towards these influencers as the content put up was generalized and not region-specific.

Post-COVID, tapping the regional markets has become a more enthusiastic approach. Brands have observed that campaigns done by regional influencers have been more impactful and result-driven than otherwise. As a south-based agency, we at The InterMentalist have always communicated the need to tap regional influencers on different forums. I am glad to see that this realization has finally happened, and things are changing for good.

But as with any new thing that comes up, there are a set of challenges here also. While brands are now understanding the importance of tapping regional markets, they are not able to understand how to tap. India is a multi-lingual country. Not only do we have more than 100 official languages, but we also have different dialects. Brands are not able to filter when they reach this stage and hence decision-making process to devise the right strategy and pick up the right influencers is tough.

When it comes to statistics, influencer marketing has shown significant growth. As per our analysis for the south market, between 2018-2020, influencer marketing spending occupied a mere <5% of the marketing budgets of the pan-Indian brands. Regional and local brands had no budget allocation for this. Since 2021, the number is at least 5x to 6x when it comes to pan-Indian brands. Regional brands have also started investing in influencer marketing at small levels and has started to become an integral part of marketing strategy.

This trend will continue to grow and strengthen in 2024. There is a positive and upward sign in terms of adaption sentiments as well as budget allocations. But it will continue to stay chaotic more or less because of the global situation and internal events of the country.

The tendency of regional influencers is expected to increase and evolve further in 2024. Brands are expected to recognize the unique benefits that regional influencers bring to their marketing efforts as social media landscapes continue to change. The reliability, cultural awareness, and trust generated by these influencers in their local communities will become even more important for marketers looking to connect with specific target groups. One can anticipate an increase in collaborations that go beyond traditional advertising, with brands actively involving regional influencers in content and collaborative campaigns. As technology progresses, interactive content with regional influencers may become more common, increasing audience engagement. By collaborating with local influencers, brands show that they understand and appreciate diverse cultures, strengthening their relationship with the audience.

On tapping regional markets, the right way

For one of us our client – TVS Emerald, we handpicked influencers based on perception analysis. The idea was to promote a premium property using those who are perceived as premium in all aspects like lifestyle choices, fashion choices, and food habits. This garnered great attention from the viewers and followers alongside caught the eyeballs of other real estate players as well.

Not just this, every shot and angle was well planned in a way that put both the influencer and luxury of the property on the same pedestal and synced well with the final output. Likewise, for their property in Karnataka, we handpicked influencers that would play an important and help in delivering visually appealing content.

Influencer marketing is no more about promoting anything straightforward. People like to see the intent and aesthetics. Brands need to realize this and ensure the right emotions and appeal are communicated to the viewers alongside stunning visuals.

This article is penned by Shivashish Tarkas, Founder and CEO, The InterMentalist.

Disclaimer: The article features the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the stance of the publication.

Source: Social Samosa

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