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Influencer marketing to revive post-Covid-19 lockdown, says India Influence Report 2020

Over 95% influencers foresee dip in earnings in 2020 due to Covid-19 impact; 72% confident industry will find its feet after lockdown. Influencer earnings crossed $1 billion in 2019 in India, making it a viable profession

The third edition of the India Influence Report conducted by Zefmo Media Private Limited, an influencer marketing platform, says 72% respondents surveyed expressed their confidence in the revival of influencer marketing by leading brands of the country.

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In addition, the survey said influencer earning in 2019 crossed $1billion in India to become a viable profession for millions of people in the country.

However, the outlook for 2020 remains cautious as over 95% influencers foresee a dip in earnings due to the Covid-19 impact on the overall industry.

The survey insights are relevant in the current context as the industry will grapple with viable options to regain the market once the lockdown is lifted. It substantiates influencer marketing as a potential vocational avenue for millions of digitally connected and socially active Indians to make an earning while creating meaningful content.

As part of this annual survey, more than 1,500 influencers participated in a nationwide survey to gauge the pulse of the influencer landscape in a world that is under the shadow of lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, 83% influencers indicated that working from the confines of their homes will not be a constraint in creating new content and will not hinder their ability to improvise since they are not able to venture outdoors. At the same time, 92% of the respondents are either already innovating or plan to innovate their content creation strategy in wake of travel and public gathering restrictions across the globe.

An overwhelming section of the influencers, about 77%, have created organic Covid-19 related content in support of the nationwide fight and close to 80% plan to continue creating content to spread more awareness around the pandemic.  

“In the third edition of the India Influence Report, we focussed on the influencer community, whereas the first two editions leaned towards brands. The survey findings clearly tell us that well-thought-out, and co-created content by influencers can boost the quality of content for brands during uncertain times. With the lockdown in force and lack of other marketing channels,  influencers are confident that the brands will lean on them to deliver contextual content to keep audiences engaged amid the Covid-19 crisis,” said Shudeep Majumdar, Co-Founder, and Chief Executive Officer of Zefmo Media Private Limited. “While influencer earnings in 2020 will be impacted, more number of millennials will find their calling in influencer marketing than anywhere else in the world. This is truly democratisation of independent content creation which can be commercially remunerative as well.”

The influencers indicated a number of challenges when it came to content creation. A majority of them, about 55%, find it tough to shoot and edit photos or videos in the absence of readily available professionals to do the same. Perhaps because of this, almost half of the respondents, about 49%, are also reskilling themselves in audio and video editing among other skill-sets, thereby reducing their dependency on outsourced professionals.

Erratic cellular data network and broadband speed is a major issue faced by 64% of the influencers; two out of three respondents citing internet connectivity as a major issue belong to non-metro areas.

Above all, due to the lockdown, product reviews have completely stalled, but 47% influencers have indicated doing reviews of older products or doing more detailed feature reviews to sustain the connection with their followers. As brands will adjust their marketing spends to limit the outflow of cash, 73% influencers feel brands will engage them on longer-term contracts rather than one-off paid posts, thus driving economies of scale in addition to the audience connect. In terms of technological adaptations, 58% influencers have either embarked or are currently evaluating live sessions and webinars on a periodic basis to engage with their audiences in real-time.

The survey was able to gauge a shift in trend towards the emergence of newer genres of content creation by influencers — 64% of the influencers are open to trying out a new genre to keep themselves relevant in the ‘social universe’. The top-10 content genres that are likely to emerge in the current scenario include (1) health and wellbeing, (2) food and nutrition, (3) comedy and satire, (4) do-it-yourself (DIY), (5) music and dance, (6) training and education, (7) fashion and makeup, (8) career and personal finance, (9) motivation, and (10) mental health. These emerging genres are an indication of the adaptability quotient of the influencers as part of their efforts to sustain their content-flow while recalibrating their social persona.

For more information, please visit www.zefmo.com


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