A report from IBM found that the pandemic accelerated the push towards e-commerce by 5 years.
Similarly, in this time, digital consumption increased dramatically with digital advertising clearly establishing this trend. ‘Digital advertising grew faster around the world in 2021 than in any year since 2007, a period where digital advertising was a mere 8% of the size it presently is,’ found a GroupM study.
More than ever before, users turned to influencers for a host of reasons – from entertainment to product recommendations and so much more. According to a Deloitte analysis, in US 70% of Gen Z, 66% of Millennials, and 54% of Gen X spend more time than they intended engaging with user generated content. 46% of US consumers were found to be spending more time watching user generated content than they used to six months ago. And 41% of consumers are spending more time watching user generated content video online than TV shows and films on video streaming services.
In past few years in India, certain categories have seen a sharp rise in popularity and one category that experienced exponential growth is the space of regional creators and influencers. Let’s explore the two primary reasons for this evolution.
The first, is Authenticity and Trust, which is the cornerstone of any successful influencer campaign collaboration. Regional creators tend to be extremely open with their audience, sharing snippets from their day, their experiences and their families. This draws their audience closer to them and with the use of local idioms and subject matter, they are perceived to be extremely authentic and that lends the association of trust to the brands that they work with.
The connection created through the utilization of Local Languages is the second. Audience prefers to watch content in a language they can relate with more. Google research finds that only 16% of Indians prefer to view videos in English language while it is 54% for Hindi language.
Many creators have become extremely popular in certain regions such as the South or East. Some of them have made a mark for themselves providing certain category expertise. Creators such as Aiyyo Shraddha and Wonder Munna have built strong audiences who appreciate their brand of comedy in the South and East respectively. Jahnavi Dasetty, popularly known as Mahatalli and Beauty YouTuber, Jovita George have made a substantial impact in the Andhra Pradesh/ Telangana market and Kerala market, respectively.
With this growth of regional creators across categories, a number of top brands such as Parachute, Colgate and Mamaearth are now able to target region-focused activities, building regional relevance and reach, depending on specific products and messaging. Through these activities, they are able to build stronger connections with their target audiences, communicating and building value through the utilization of local nuances and relatable content.
In the near-future, many brands would employ a dual strategy when it comes to influencer marketing, doing away with a one size fits all strategy. They would explore one that would target the pan India audience and one customized to include a regional focus- which would engage regional influencers to attain targeted reach and relevance for their messaging. In this new wave of influencer marketing, brands will be able to bank on the trust that these creators have cultivated in order to have more meaningful engagements with their audiences. And this will only lead to the further growth of regional influencer space.
Article is authored by Payal Sakhuja, Co-founder and CEO, Ripple Links.