Building long-term collaborations between brands and influencers to build stories

Neel Gogia, Co-founder, IPLIX Media, writes how long-term tie-ups are the best way for both brands and influencers to grow together and make the partnership a success

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Neel Gogia

How many industries can you name that are growing even during this pandemic? There are hardly a few, and influencer marketing is one of them. This industry is growing by over 100%-200% every year and creating new opportunities for various people globally.

I have been closely working in this space since the last three years, have observed the transition where I had to convince and explain brands why they should be investing in influencer marketing. Coming to 2020, now every brand is well aware of influencer marketing and tries to accommodate it in their marketing spends. From FMCG, automobile, tech, fintech, edutech, personal care to fitness brands, we can find multiple brands from every category that are doing multiple influencer marketing campaigns regularly. But not all brands are taking maximum advantage of using influencers to achieve their objective. Let me try and explain this with an example.

There must be at least one influencer that you follow and trust. Imagine that influencer starts recommending a smart-watch brand today and starts using it in his/her lifestyle. You as a follower will definitely consider that brand if you are interested in buying a smart watch. Now, after two months, you see the same influencer recommending a different smart watch brand with same passion and starts using it. You as a follower will definitely doubt the recommendation this time, and what if same thing happens again after another 2-3 months? You might still follow that influencer but might never trust him/her recommendation again. Basically, an “influencer” loses his/her influencer because of certain scenarios.

Does this mean this is the influencer’s fault or brands need to change their strategies before working with influencers? I would say both of them need to understand the importance of collaboration. Influencers lose their influence and brands might waste their money and lose confidence with working with the influencer.

Therefore, long-term collaborations between the brand and the influencer are the best way for both of them to grow together and make the partnership a success. In brand collaborations, an influencer is a storyteller who conveys the communication message of a brand in his/her own way and conveys it to their audience in a period of time. Therefore, brands using same influencers for longer durations can use an influencer’s content all across the year, gains trust from their audience, get brand advocates; people start relating the brand with the influencer (and vice versa) and it also helps them in getting better results from the partnership.

Influencer marketing is the only medium that can provide brands: brand awareness, reusable content, traffic, conversions, helps in getting credibility and builds trust via a single collaboration. Therefore, it’s important for brands to take maximum advantage of it and get the most out of the collaboration.

Various brands in India are already aware of this and creating plans keeping this in mind but still there are less than 10% brands that have signed influencers for year-long partnerships. This shows how this transition needs to happen soon so that this eco-system doesn’t lose its impact and influence. It’s the responsibility of agencies as well to educate both brands and influencers to take this route for long-term partnerships, since agencies are closely monitoring all the campaigns and are well aware of the eco-system.

Neel Gogia IPLIX Media