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Opinion: Content-led e-commerce to drive the growth of influencer marketing

Archisman Misra of Studiobackdrops.com talks about influencer marketing, how it is evolving, its trends, potential, future and more.

The buying behavior of the modern customer has changed, no one is browsing through catalogs or look books anymore. After the initial spike of e-commerce in 2020 & 2021 due to restrictions, things have slowed down. People have returned to the Brick & Mortar stores because they want to be sure about the quality, craftsmanship, and specifications of a product before making a purchase.

The only way e-commerce can provide prospective customers some assurance that they’re buying the right product is by building 360-degree content around their products. The 360-degree content approach includes extensive and high-quality product images and videos along with customer and social media reviews. These coupled with influencer reviews and endorsements are facilitating renewed growth in e-commerce after the previous temporary decline.

Customers conduct their own product research before deciding to make a purchase. There are entire subreddits on Reddit that are dedicated to help customers find out the best deals and the right products for their needs. There is also the recent trend of ‘What I ordered vs What I Got’ that has been very useful for customers to understand the quality of the products and the service commitment of the brand. They are choosing to be dependent on self-analysis and judgment. If the content created directly or indirectly by the brand in question reaches the customer during their research, that is an ideal scenario. This is why it is crucial to have good content, it helps customers form relationships with the brand while also gaining pertinent information about the product they are looking for.

The Differentiating Factor

The ability to create good-looking content used to be a costly affair. Brands needed to reach out to production houses or agencies to create the right content for their audience. The filming and photographing equipment was costly and mostly inaccessible to smaller brands, who would then have to hire a team on top to create content around their product.

Influencer Marketing became an easy solution for these brands because the influencers have their own teams and equipment and can easily create content for such brands and promote it to their audience. Meesho x Fashion Haul and Morphy Richards’ #CookWithATwist are some prime examples of such collaboration campaigns. Tanishq also recently launched its brand Mia by collaborating with influencers like Mithila Palkar and Krithika Khurana. Brands like Mac have also collaborated with influencers like Shreya Jain and created an entire range of products that cater to their audience. This was a ‘kill two birds with one stone’ moment for a lot of brands out there. In the beginning, only the established and successful influencers had top-of-the-line equipment, but with the introduction of brands like StudioBackdrops.com, and the availability of products on marketplaces like Amazon, Flipkart & Croma, even the newcomers have access to quality and budget-friendly tools to increase their production value. The smaller influencers are also now able to create content that looks as good as the best influencers on the planet. This has led to massive growth in the potential of influencer marketing.

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The Growth

The Indian Influencer marketing industry is currently predicted to grow at a CAGR of 25% and is being catalyzed by flexible work hours, remote work, and renewal of passion pursuits. While initially, the influencers were mostly earning from the monetization of their content, and the platforms themselves were keeping a disproportionate amount of the wealth generated. This is expected to completely change in the next 5 years, and it will diversify the creator economy and lead to a new era of content-led startups and SMEs built around creating consumer trust.

The continuous growth of influencer marketing and brands looking for content-led e-commerce solutions has resulted in the creation of a whole new sector in the marketing industry called Influencer Outreach Platforms. These influencer outreach platforms like GoodCreatorCo, NoFilter, and Influencer.in, usually take on the role of negotiators or middlemen in the influencer marketing cycle. They help brands easily onboard influencers for particular campaigns and make sure that the campaign is executed properly. This has brought further value to the creator economy and with the increased ease of working with influencers, more and more brands are opting for influencer marketing.

 The Future

The fact that influencer marketing and creator economy based content marketing gives more agency to the customer, it is unlikely that its growth will stop anytime soon. The convenience, creativity, and clarity of learning about a product or brand offered by influencer marketing have no current equal. And since such marketing is not completely dependent on algorithms for monetization but rather direct payments, even the creators can choose what content or brands they take on.

Even the newer and small influencers have a slice of the pie, as brands, both large and small, are actively seeking out smaller influencers, hoping to engage with more niche audiences. We are even seeing a rise in Virtual Influencers created by teams of people adding even more value to the industry and creating more jobs. It is then safe to say that as more and more brands release products, be it those that can be found on shelves of brick-and-mortar stores or those sold directly to consumers, influencer marketing will definitely have a key role in marketing it. As long as the content made by the influencers around these products continues to give the customer a better understanding of their prospective purchase, the customers will keep coming back.

This article is penned by Archisman Misra, Founder and CEO, Studiobackdrops.com.

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

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