Influencers or Promoters?

by - 08:37

This blog is written after many years of experience of dealing with influencers in India for brands.

Should influencers in India be termed as Promoters? My reason for such a strong statement is the over abused term ‘influencer outreach/influencer management’.

Not convinced? Ok, let us look at the primary reasons for hiring influencers in India for brands:

  • Promote tweets that are either based on launch of a product or a new announcement
  • Make the hashtag trend
  • Increase the reach of an engagement (contest, tweet chats, event etc.)

What more? Well not many, if I observe Twitter timeline even today:

Analyzing the Twitter trends

Apart from the promoted hashtag on the top, let us look at the non-promoted hashtags - the other four hashtags are used by brands and promoted by so-called influencers. Let me define an influencer for Indian brands today:

’18-30 years of age, has many followers, plays all sorts of contests, has no target audience, and has no particular interest’

It is very sad state of affairs for growing digital industry. Reason is as simple as possible – the above are NOT INFLUENCERS, they are merely the ones promoting your brand’s current message (along with tweeting about 5 other brands at the same time) and at the same time these young kids are harassing brands like how, for not receiving their due (read prize or money) or breaking the embargo of the brand to release the news first or sometimes promoting false message about the brand.

To give a due credit to ‘Who is an influencer’, according to me:
  1. Age is not a requirement; but experience is must
  2. Definitely needs to have their defined interests or have carved a niche in a segment
  3. All sorts of contests is strictly No-No but if it is in their area and if they are hired for a continuous engagement which also involves this contest, then it is fine
  4. High number fans or followers is usually preferred but not mandatory. I have observed people who are experienced in a particular field, are recognized within industry, their message has better reach even when they have less than 3k followers.
Coming on to the final leg of this blog – the blame game:
It is a chicken and egg story as to who can be blamed for making a promoter out of an influencer– brands, agencies or the promoters themselves?
All three of them– Brands are consuming them for their benefit, agency is merely meeting the demand and supply and promoters are enjoying! Enjoying the easy money that is flowing in by gaining few followers, playing few contests. While some may have put in real money and effort to gain fans and also set up the system by tying up with other promoters, but still they are not selective.

My vision for 2017 is contributing to improve the scenario and appealing to other brands to watch how well the entire ‘influencer outreach’ is managed in matured countries.

Influencers are thought leaders for brands who become strong pillars of outreach for a defined period

‘This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

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