Enter a new breed of influencers: The professionals

Payal Sakhuja, Co-Founder and CEO, Ripple Links, writes about how the professionals such as doctors, dermatologists, and more, are helping brands add the much-needed credibility and believability in the brand message, helping build brand value and better recall

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Payal Sakhuja

With the growth of influencer marketing, celebrities aren’t the only ones doubling up as influencers. There are a large number of professionals who are offering their insights and expertise to their fan following through social media.

Professionals from diverse fields: doctors, lawyers, radio jockeys, dermatologists, nutritionists, pilots, educators are making engaging content on their industry vertical and posting on their social media handles. Some of the popular faces include macro influencers RJ Karishma, Air India pilot Captain Zoya, dietitian Dr Siddhant Bhargava, dermatologists Dr Aanchal and Dr Ankur Sarin, and even financial expert and chartered accountant Rachana Ranade.

Influencer marketing saw a huge acceleration during the pandemic when physical life had virtually come to a standstill and our life had moved completely to the digital world. That crisis made the world turn towards social media for even basic information. Given the prevailing healthcare context, a major contributing factor for the social media exploration included medical research to seek data on safeguarding themselves and their families.

But unfortunately, much of the information online was also unverified false data. That’s when professionals stepped in to dispel false information and deliver crisp and clear facts by generating content that was directly curated from their own expertise or authoritative sources like the World Health Organisation (WHO) and National Health Portal of India (NHP).

The period saw the world choose authenticity over blind hype and people began to realise the value of certified information. As a result, functional experts became credible influencers carving out their own niche.

These influencers put in a lot of time, effort and energy to curate data and information from authentic sources and package them into easily understandable and snack-able content. These influencers end up wearing several hats, in addition to their being physicians, lawyers, financiers, marketers, and coaches for their own empires.

With increasing collaborations between brands and professionals, the latter’s expertise adds a layer of credibility to any brand messaging. Authenticity of their posts increases trust in their social capital, thus enhancing their connection with followers. Due to this, brands are engaging with such professional influencers as they have a higher impact and greater ability to influence compared to celebrities and other influencers.

Let’s take a look at dietician Pooja Makhija’s recent collaboration with Colgate. Sharing her tip on how to extract better nutrition from all her food, Makhija positions the importance of strong teeth and how Colgate Strong Teeth ensures that.

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A post shared by Pooja Makhija (@poojamakhija)

Similarly, child nutritionist Pooja Banga’s Reels showcased how Colgate Strong Teeth provides users with a calcium boost.

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A post shared by Diet plans by Pooja Banga (@poojabanga_nutritionist)

Social media users are always on the lookout to replicate looks from their favourite celebs and stars. Building  on that thought, Toni & Guy recently collaborated with celeb hairstylist Aanchal Morwani - who has worked with Jahnvi Kapoor and Disha Patani - to demonstrate its latest range of haircare products that aims to provide salon-like solutions to users in the comfort of their homes.

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A post shared by Aanchal Morwani | Hairstylist (@hot.hair.balloon)

According to a Reprise study, digital content serves as the main driver to engage with new buyers and holds more value than personal recommendations, owing to the content’s brand recall value. With professionals doubling up as influencers, they are a critical medium that brands can use to influence their target audience, with their expertise and their knowledge in their respective fields. This creates a sense of trust and adds to the factualness of the brand’s claim or promised outcome.

This trend of brands engaging with professionals, will only see an upward trend as audiences look forward to more established and relevant sources, which these expert influencers can provide.

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