Kinnect, India’s leading digital marketing agency reflects tremendous growth momentum with its Kinnect Outreach vertical. One of the first agencies in the country to develop an in-house influencer marketing team, Kinnect Outreach ensures that its meticulously designed campaigns match the brand to the right creators, influencers, and celebrities. Kinnect Outreach’s data-driven approach helps select the right influencers intelligently. We use many industry-leading tools to find the right influencers, monitor campaign performance, track competition, listen through mentions, and optimize social media performance. With a vast network of 100,000+ influencers across categories and geographies, the Kinnect Outreach team is primarily driven to strategize creative campaigns, promote content, and steer brand engagements across all social media platforms. The company believes in detailed reporting and analysis so that you instantly know if your influencer marketing campaigns are delivering relevant results for your brand. The key to better ROI on influencer marketing is a data-driven approach to choosing influencers and assessing their performance in real-time. With the help of several state-of-the-art tools, they are able to deliver data-driven intelligence for their campaign performance at all levels — influencer and content performance, audience impact, and industry benchmarking.
The influencer vertical thrives in creating path-breaking campaigns based on strong strategic insights. Breaking the clutter of festive campaigns, they came up with a crafty campaign for HDFC Bank that no one could miss- ‘Add an Ad’ where they ensured that every brand influencer promotion story on Instagram was followed by an Instagram story speaking of a festive offer from HDFC.
In an exclusive chat with Medianews4U Kejal Teckchandani – VP – Kinnect Outreach speaks to us on how the influencer landscape has changed in the past few years and much more…
Influencer marketing has been around for a while. How has it changed, and where is it today?
Influencer marketing in India picked up steam in 2015 and has come a long way from there. What started as campaign-specific engagements over limited platforms in the current context has proven to be so effective that it has changed the way brands engage with influencers. Today, brands and influencers liaise together to create solutions and experiences that help build long-term, multi-platform relationships, eventually resulting in the creation of non-invasive delivery of the brand message.
Particularly in the new normal, growing skepticism around advertisements has compounded and altered purchase patterns and brand perceptions; influencers exude authenticity and help consumers in their decision-making process. People today are online more than ever, and at least 70-80% of their content on social media platforms is creator content. We have seen significant evolution in the last 5 years. Influencers being used primarily to amplify content are central to campaigns today. Influencer marketing has become a data-backed approach to hand-pick influencers and celebrities with high audience resonance and map their followers’ demographics to align with brand goals.
With influencer marketing taking up a substantial portion of the marketing budgets, return metrics and ROI tracking are key to ensuring that the monies deployed are utilized appropriately and brand objectives are achieved in every journey.
Another celebrated campaign was “ValarHotstar’- the launch of the last season of Game of Thrones on Hotstar Premium was taken to the next level with treasured collectibles and an invitation to watch the first episode with the biggest fans in the nation. The event, which took place at 6:00 am in six locations, was the most spoken-of influencer association that one can remember.
Talking about Disney+Hotstar, ‘Subscriber Hijack’ is yet another unmissable campaign by the agency that drove subscriptions for the streaming service during the Indian Premier League 2020. The campaign advertised to the masses in the least intrusive way possible and contributed towards doublingDisney+Hotstar’s subscription base in a short period.
Also, ‘Assisted Shopping’ for Amazon Prime Day, for which the agency executed a one-of-a-kind 12-hour InstaLIVE featuring influencers as category experts and celebrities to launch the deals and offers audiences could avail during the Amazon Prime Day sale.
Evolution of influencer marketing from the days of YouTube and Facebook to Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok
Influencer marketing was once synonymous with a couple of platforms. Selecting a relevant platform is an essential consideration in devising an influencer campaign. The platform selection depends upon the target audience, the brand communication, and the brand’s output. We use a data-backed approach combining quantitative and qualitative analysis.
Given the messaging, categories of influencers also become paramount. For example, Instagram is inspirational and aspirational in the fashion world, and YouTube is where one can find gamers. The target audience and category are inextricably linked. So, if the brand’s target audience is Gen Z, the first platforms that come to mind are the ones Gen Zs are spending the most time on – Instagram or TikTok. However, if I want to engage with Indian moms, I’ll include Facebook in the plan.
Also, with the declining attention spans, you see an increasing interest in short-format content consumption. This has also resulted in the growth of many short-format content apps. Especially for campaigns that require regional targeting, we need an intelligent mix of these short-format content apps and platform giants like Facebook or YouTube to drive better results. Given the use of diverse platforms, continuity and consistency across the messaging are important while also retaining the key characteristics and utilizing the native features of each platform.
What does that maturity look like for clients, and how is it reflected in the marketing?
Influencers comprise a significant share of voice on digital. They understand the pulse of their audience; have mastered the platform and know-how to utilize it best. Clients have amazingly moved towards using influencers’ deep understanding of their audiences and brand perceptions to co-create solutions and shape brand messaging through influencer marketing.
As influencer experts, it becomes our role to define a broad framework from a brand POV which the influencers can work within. For that, the outreach and the creative teams liaise together to co-create solutions that bring out the brand messaging most uniquely and engagingly. We tap into the active segment of online users to ensure the content brands leverage is authentic and relevant within the market.
With news guidelines from ASCI, how has it affected the communication by Influencers?
I see them in a good light. The guidelines have helped bring awareness and better compliance, but the onus is on the entire ecosystem to ensure they are being followed. At Kinnect, we have seen brands responding positively and ensuring all guidelines are complied with. It has become increasingly important to creatively craft the message to ensure that the audience is engaged in branded posts.