As brands turn to influencer marketing for the festive season, experts are optimistic about seeing about a 40-50% growth in ad spends
How has the festive season further accelerated Influencer Marketing's growth in IndiaCanva
Experts expect to see a 50% uptick in brands and advertisers

As brands turn to influencer marketing for the festive season, experts are optimistic about seeing about a 40-50% growth in ad spends

Experts expect to see a 50% uptick in brands and advertisers
  • Due to the ongoing festive season, advertisers and brands are going all out to connect with consumers.
  • This year, the number of brands approaching influencers is significantly larger than last year, and there is a good mix of startups and well-established companies.
  • From fashion to home decor creators, brands have partnered with social media influencers to promote their new festive launch before Diwali.
  • So, with Diwali around the corner, we speak to influencer marketing agencies to find out how important is the festive season for creators, what kind of uptick in demand can we expect due to the festive season, response from advertisers so far and trends we can look forward to during Diwali.
If you are sprucing up your house on a small budget or planning to buy new accessories or ethnic dresses for India’s biggest festival -- Diwali, are you using a search engine for inspiration or are you following social media’s top influencers for ideas? If you are active on Instagram, then chances are you are also turning to influencers for festive advice. We all have at least a 100 bookmarked posts on Instagram for rangoli ideas, DIY home decor, or ethnic dress inspiration. According to Facebook’s Festive Marketing Guide for 2021, social media has now become a leading channel to drive brand discovery and purchase during the festive season. Facebook’s report further reveals that half the people said that influencers help them discover new products and 45% added that influencers help them make a purchase decision.

The year 2020 accelerated influencer marketing’s growth, perhaps by a decade, and revolutionised the Indian marketing ecosystem completely. It is because of the pandemic and the consumer’s heavy reliance on social media platforms that the influencer marketing industry has undergone a severe transformation in a short time, becoming a mainstream marketing vehicle. According to the latest figures in the Global Web Index (GWI), the average Indian spent 2.29 hours per day on social media in 2020 and as always, brands are following consumers where they spend the most time. So, this Diwali, from fashion to home decor creators, brands have partnered with social media influencers to promote their new product launches.

Growth so far and predictions for this festive season

GroupM and INCA’s study revealed that influencer marketing has become a top priority for marketers this year. Every other leader indicated a budget growth of more than 25% in 2021. INCA’s report further said that the Influencer Marketing industry is poised to grow at a CAGR of 25% for the next decade, reaching a size of Rs 2200 crore in 2025.

So, with India’s biggest festival around the corner and to leverage the increasing demand, brands have also increased their budget for influencer marketing.

“Influencer Marketing is set to be one of the top choices for brands to enhance the brand value this festive season. In fact, brands have culled out almost 30% of the overall budget for influencer marketing. It has been on an all-time high this year. According to an industry report, brands are likely to spend around Rs 600 crore on influencer marketing. Thus, one thing is definite about influencer marketing this festive season: It’s going to take a big leap from 2020. The primary reason for the rise in influencer marketing is the personalization of content along with the disruption in cost and speed. Influencers are real and relatable for consumers and can deliver real value for brands by offering exciting ways of sharing a brand’s message,” said Neel Gogia, Co-Founder, IPLIX Media.

Festive season has given a further push to the industry’s growth. Experts are expecting to see 50% more brands exploring influencer marketing this festive season as marketers look to solidify their social media presence and reach out to the group with highest spending power, GenZ and millennials.

"The festive season is already looking very positive for the influencer marketing space. We expect a 50% uptick in brands leveraging influencers to connect with their audiences during this season,” said Sagar Pushp, Co-founder and CEO, ClanConnect.

“Since the consumer sentiment had plummeted gravely in 2020, brands are looking forward to explosive growth and pent up demand that will translate to greater sales and revenues this year. Brands are likely to capitalize on this positive sentiment by tapping into the influencer marketing space, which will in turn provide a significant fillip to our industry,” added Pushp.

Apaksh Gupta, Founder & Chief Executive Officer of One Impression also said that brands have increased their budget by 50% this year.

“Last year, brands had spent very little on their marketing efforts because of the pandemic restrictions and other factors, but the curbs are now eased out and traders are expecting a boost in sales. To put things in perspective, last year we saw brands spending about Rs 20-25 lakh [average] on their influencer campaigns, but this year we expect it to go beyond Rs 50 lakh [on an average] during festive seasons. Additionally, during the pandemic, we also witnessed a boom in the creator economy, and brands have taken note of it. Social media platforms have enabled brands to reach out to a wider audience with the help of influencers who help in putting their messages across, in a more personalized and creative manner, what we nowadays call as snackable content.”

This festive season, a diverse set of brands are upping their spends on influencer marketing

After going through a lull for a year and a half, startups like MamaEarth, Slurrp Farm to established brands and FMCG giants, all key players are leveraging influencer marketing for better visibility and consumer attention. There’s another interesting shift in the industry after the pandemic. Brands are leveraging influencer marketing not just for brand awareness and engagement but also for performance marketing and driving customer acquisition through relevant targeting.

Sharing which categories are the biggest spenders this time, Viraj Sheth, Co- founder and CEO, Monk Entertainment said, “FMCG brands, e-comm players, and FinTech clients I believe will be massive spenders. Brands that are selling products that are best suited for festive gifting will be heavy spends and FinTech clients that help buy digital gold or provide buy now pay later schemes will be in demand as well.”

Avantika Mohan, Travel, Lifestyle and Fashion Influencer, represented by WORD Talent, has also seen more lifestyle brands coming her way lately. She said, “I’ve noticed an influx of briefs focusing on fashion (particularly festive wear), online shopping portals and jewelry; brands across these categories along with technology and cosmetics are investing heavily in this festive season, which should go on till the end of the year. Festivals also become an excellent opportunity for brands to offer additional discounts and offers to drive up sales hence brands work with creators to spread the word on the same. It’s an exciting time. Brands are willing to not just work but also allow the creativity of the influencer to drive the content. Brands now understand that the content that creators push can drive real value for them and their products. Our niche allows them to connect with their target audiences directly with content that is fun, relevant and most importantly seasonal. The air is already abuzz with celebration and brands are pushing their seasonal marketing ideas and products that creators are exhilarated to deliver.”

Brands with smaller budgets are also partnering with nano-creators. Dharika Merchant, COO, Alchemy Group & WORD said, “Brands are now dedicating special budgets for their influencer marketing campaigns which have resulted in a lot of new brands entering the space. Brands earlier would focus only on large creators but now they’re happy to have smaller spendings but are willing to explore relevant nano or micro influencers for the same. So as we move forward, we are forecasting a more focussed approach towards influencer engagement as compared to before. Brands are now becoming conscious of which creator they want to work with, what kind of content they want to push out and majorly why the creator’s creative process shouldn’t be hampered with. Secondly, we are expecting more brands focussing on micro or nano influencers. These influencers usually cater to a very specific niche and have a higher rate of engagement. As brands start to realise the importance of content over numbers, this is a trend we’re very excited about.”

Instagram or home-grown apps, which medium is getting the biggest piece of pie?

As brands vie for consumer’s attention this Diwali, which is divided into different mediums, where are brands investing the most?

“2021 is seeing comparatively more inclination towards influencer marketing strategies. We are seeing a growth upwards of 75% in the influencer marketing industry.

Instagram is still the leader when it comes to influencer marketing promotions. YouTube would be the other platform that has gained momentum over time. Even some of the newer short video apps like Josh, Taka Tak and Moj are also being experimented with, by the brands. Increasingly we are also seeing brands leverage content created by creators for performance marketing with Instagram Branded Content Ads and Youtube Creator Promotions for maximum reach and conversion,” Arushi Gupta, Head - told Ad and Media Insider.

GenZ and millennials do not consume a lot of television. They either spend their free time scrolling on social media or on an OTT platform. They are looking for authentic content that keeps them engaged, entertained and informed, which happens to be influencer marketing’s core offering. Therefore, influencer marketing is becoming a pivotal marketing tool for brands and its significance is only likely to grow in the future.