One Impression eyes to grow by 10X this year after becoming a $3 million platform in 2019
Apaksh Gupta, Founder and CEO, One ImpressionOne Impression
One Impression was one of the top performing agencies in India last year, it grew at the rate of 900% Y-o-Y and became ...

One Impression eyes to grow by 10X this year after becoming a $3 million platform in 2019

One Impression was one of the top performing agencies in India last year, it grew at the rate of 900% Y-o-Y and became ...
  • With the advent of social media applications such as TikTok, Helo, Firework, there is an increasing demand for influencers.
  • As the influencer marketing industry touches a new peak this year, we speak to Apaksh Gupta, CEO and Founder, One Impression to understand how the agency network has sprung up, what will drive the market’s growth this year, and his plans to launch a new reverse-agency-approach.
Influencer marketing has dramatically grown over the last few years because of its massive reach, ability to garner eyeballs and to cater to the largest age group in India - millennials. It has transformed from an undervalued profession to a $150 million industry in India. With this rising demand, a lot of influencer marketing agencies and networks have sprung up.

One Impression was one of the top performing agencies in India last year. It grew at the rate of 900% Y-o-Y and became a $3 million network. It has connected with 60,000 influencers so far, built a global pool of 12 million people, and maintained a 96% client-retainment score. 25% of its business comes from outside India, which is a mix of US, New Zealand, Australia, East Africa, Malaysia. It will soon launch new offices in Singapore and the US.

As the influencer marketing industry reaches its tipping point, One Impression is aiming to grow by 10X this year. Apaksh Gupta, Founder and CEO, One Impression said the plan to reach its goal is two-fold. The agency will expand its geographical presence and integrate deeper into its client network.

Telling us what will help the network achieve this robust goal, Gupta said, “We are now trying to look at international markets very aggressively. So we're talking to a few partners who could help us integrate into the US market very fast. And two, in India, we work with almost all the large companies from Uber, Paytm, Oyo to Zomato. The goal now is to integrate deeper within the same network and also grow from 150 to about 500 clients within the next financial year. That should take us to a business of about more than a hundred crores rupees for the next financial year, which is what we're targeting.”

One Impression is also planning to launch a new project called One Sponsor. Right now, the brand reaches out to the agency with a brief and they later identify the perfect fit. However, Gupta will now reverse the process. He will come up with a media plan according to the talent’s best fit, pitch to the brand and aim for sustaining the partnerships for a longer period.

This idea came to Gupta after they cracked a partnership deal with Humans of Bombay for a crowdfunding platform, and helped them raise Rs 25 lakh overnight. He followed a reverse process; went to Humans of Bombay with a plan for its influencer and ended up signing a Rs 1 crore contract between both parties.

Elaborating on how this opposite system will be beneficial for both the parties, Gupta said, “Now what we're trying to do is identify a lot of high quality influencers early on who haven’t become stars that everybody knows about, but have very good quality engagements and content. We will essentially take them to brands, when we want to. For example, we will identify a few good influencers, map each influencer to the right 10 brands that would be a great fit for them, and we will go to all the brands and try to partner for a year-long contract with each brand. This also means that brands might not have a specific campaign in mind when we do that, but they will still partner with somebody just because they can become advocates of the brand. It is more of a community building sort of exercise for brands.”

One Sponsor will help micro-influencers to set a clearer path, grow at a faster pace and will make sure that content remains at the core, while the brand later integrates seamlessly.

Revenue Model

One Impression starts by digging deep into the influencer’s social media network and maps out its potential according to the influencer’s reach, consistency in growth and content type. The basic minimum the agency looks for is 1000 followers and doesn’t charge the influencer for becoming a part of the One Impression family. It earns about 10-20% from the client’s budget after the campaign is executed.

Gupta explained, “So when a brand comes to us with a query, we draft a plan that will fit in our network of influencers. After an approval and receiving a budget, we will execute the campaign and the influencers will get paid after that. For example, if we get paid Rs 10 lakh, which is the total cost we might have incurred, the influencer will get somewhere between Rs 8.5 lakh, that they will get paid after the campaign is over. We will get Rs 1.5 lakh from that entire spent.”

One Impression doesn’t interfere too much in the influencer's usual or branded content. Its core role is to crack brand deals and leave it be. However, it does support them if they seek out for help.

“We've seen the best content happening when you let influencers do what they do, until the influencers are curious and need help. In that case, our team has an influencer specialist network, they work with them, and guide them by sharing other content pieces we are creating with influencers,” said Gupta.

Key trends to watch out for

The influencer marketing industry is only pegged to grow. More so in the smaller markets. Gupta says newer categories are realising the potential of Tier II and III markets and influencer marketing is the perfect solution to persuade them.

Influencer marketing has also helped a lot of new social media platforms like TikTok, Helo, Pinterest, Firework grow.

Discussing the foreseeable trends, Gupta said, “I think a lot of new social platforms are adopting and entering India, a lot of regional work is happening. So platform diversification will happen heavily. Regional influencers will become very important.”

He further said that content quality will improve as there is cut-throat competition in the industry and constantly rising consumer expectation, which will push influencers to perform better.

“So far, the influencer content was very straightforward, wherein a brand went with an influencer who advertised but I think that's not being accepted by audiences very well now. Content relevance is important to the money that the brand puts in. Humour will become important, newer styles of content might become important, but content will become more engaging and innovative,” said he.

Last but not the least, Gupta predicts to see more micro-influencers in demand as consumers trust them and the partnerships will extend for longer duration than just a fling.