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The spends on influencer marketing have been growing year on year. According to a report by INCA, the industry is poised to grow at a CAGR of 25% for the next decade, reaching a size of Rs 2,200 crore in 2025.

A trend being witnessed this year is that D2C brands are competing with legacy brands in the influencer marketing space and the industry as a whole is poised for growth, as per experts.

Ramya Ramachandran

According to Ramya Ramachandran, Founder and CEO, Whoppl, they have seen a 25-30% increase in spends on influencer marketing. She said beauty and lifestyle along with D2C brands are dominating the space today. 

Abdul Saud Siddiqui, Alliance and Partnership Manager, Optiminastic Media, said it is estimated that the industry will grow from Rs 900 crore to Rs 1200-1300 crore in terms of revenue in 2022. “With this calculation, it can be said that brands will definitely invest heavily in influencers because of their potential target audience, wider reach and audience engagement,” Siddiqui said.

Vivek Kumar Anand

Vivek Kumar Anand, Director- Business and Innovation, DViO Digital, said it's going to be a good year for festive shopping, and shoppers are likely to be shopping with their feelings and wallets. “In the journey from E-commerce, where people find the product, to discovery commerce- where products find people, the content creator is at the centre of this shift. So, the influencer/content creator marketing will stay and grow for the next few years at least,” he added. 

Mrunali Dedhia

Mrunali Dedhia, Director, Brand Solutions at Chtrbox, said they are seeing a year-on-year increment in brands investments towards influencer marketing. “We have seen this for creators as well. For example, creators who usually get 2 to 3 campaigns on an average in non-festive months, are offered over 5 to 6 campaigns per month on an average in the festive period,” explained Dedhia. 

Various sectors investing in the influencer marketing space 

Traditionally, beauty and lifestyle brands rely heavily on influencer marketing. However, this festive season several D2C as well as FMCG brands are using the space. “D2C brands are heavily investing in influencer marketing. They are investing not only on celebs but they are also investing on nano influencers,” said Ramachandran of Whoppl. 

Abdul Saud Siddique

As per Siddiqui, every festive season, e-commerce, fashion, F&B brands like Amazon, Myntra, Ajio, Max Fashion, Rostaa, Happilo and more, go aggressive on influencer marketing. However, he said EV, smart food/nutrition and start-up brands are the new entrants in the space and will heavily invest in influencer marketing this festive season.

On the other hand, Anand of DvIO Digital said that they are seeing a lot of campaigns unfolding in the banking and finance space. “Personal care, beauty and apparel are categories that have seen a sharp shift during the pandemic and continue to invest, and consumer electronics is growing its investment significantly this year.” 

“Growth in the e-commerce customer base is truly driven by T2+ cities. Rural social media users continue to grow at 2x YoY; hence, the brands catering to these audiences, such as Meesho, Flipkart, Amazon etc., are going big on influencer marketing,” he added. 

What are the latest trends this festive season? 

With the growth in the impact of the influencer ecosystem, the number of creators is also increasing. The competition to get more brands, as well as ensure results (sales), is forcing creators to explore their creativity and come up with new concepts. 

According to Ramachandran, influencer marketing has come a long way since its initial days. “The influencer space has evolved so much that the quality of videos and content they (creators) are posting has a very high level of output. Influencers are upping their game. Komal Pandey has a videographer, scriptwriter, and concept writer so it's almost like they are running a proper small-scale production unit.” 

“The latest trend in the influencer space is running across regional influencers from South or North region. Regional influencers are booming because they connect with their viewers in their regional language which helps the brand remain rooted, real and raw. Regional influencers help the brand to reach a wider audience i.e. pan India. In the near future, regional content creators can do wonders because this type of content is highly engaging and the audience always prefers to consume content in their own mother tongue,” stated Siddique.

He further stated that unlike earlier, the festive season will not be dominated by beauty or lifestyle influencers. “The lifestyle and beauty influencers will not grab high attention this festive season as compared to other categories. To add, in recent times, comedy, dancing and travel content creators are ruling the social media platforms because of their high content engagement, diversification and subtle brand integration. These influencers will definitely grab more eyeballs than lifestyle/fashion creators this festive season. Some of the names to watch for: Focussed Indian, Justneel, Funcho and more,” he added.