On the second day of the Ad:Tech summit, Sakshi Sindhwani, content creator and model; Shuchi Singhal, associate vice president - marketing, Emami and Shipra Shrivastava, head of media, CRM and partnerships, Spotify, had tips on how brands need to approach influencer marketing and how trends impact the creator ecosystem.
The session was moderated by Aditi Mathur Kumar, associate vice president - content strategy and partnerships, Interactive Avenues.
Staying relevant in the world of changing trends
Sindhwani remarked that she started creating content during the lockdown and had built her audience solely on organic content. She shared, “When I started creating content, it was more about what is performing well on social media and connecting with the audience. It was about maintaining a relationship with the audience and building a community rather than latching onto trends.”
Sindhwani feels that instead of getting caught up in the wave of trends, the goal for any influencer should be authenticity.
“I don’t jump onto every single trend that is existing on the platform. I strive to put out authentic content. When it comes to branded content, I’m a huge believer in defined briefs. When integrating a brand, influencers have to be mindful of the audience, and authenticity should be key," she added.
Highlighting how Spotify approaches influencer marketing, Shrivastava said, “When signing up with an influencer, a brand needs to give them all the relevant information. Onboard them to be a part of the brand instead of just giving them a brief. There should be a synergy between what the brand is thinking of, executing and the influencers' tonality. Give the influencer enough creative freedom to make the branded content pieces credible and relevant to their audience.”
Commenting on trend jacking, Shrivastava feels that Spotify doesn’t hop onto every trend. “We don’t ride on trends, but aim to create our own that embodies the ethos of the brand," remarked Shrivastava.
Context is queen
Talking about how a brand approaches trends on social media, Singhal shared, “Trends are important as consumers are immersed in it. But while putting out trending content, a brand has to be mindful that they are standing for their core philosophies and being authentic. Therefore if the context is relevant to latch on to a trend, it works for a brand because, at the end of the day, audiences are smarter and can see right through a brand that is just cashing in on trends.”
How influencer content is mapped to success for brands
Sharing how Sindhwani views analytics as a content creator, she said, “As content creators, we aim to thrive on the fact that we have to build a community. We are constantly in touch with our community on social media by responding to comments and replying to DMs. Connecting with the audience is the best way to understand what content is working and what isn’t. My audience is sometimes vocal about content that isn’t working, and that is the best way to learn. We keep a tab on the insights social media platforms provide, to ensure our content has better reach and engagement. Connections are the best metric when it comes to analysing branded content as well.”
For a brand like Emami, which has different audience cohorts, Singhal shares how she ensures that the results the brand gets for influencer campaigns are mapped to success. “There are standard metrics that the industry is using. Also, we have agency partners that analyse KPIs for us regarding reach and engagement. But above that, this area of marketing needs more measurement metrics in place, transparency and accountability. Certain new social media platforms have no measurability at all. While we can gauge the reaction of the content through views, we can’t take that at face value and determine the impact on audiences.”
Wrapping it up, Shrivastava voiced, “We try to view influencer marketing as affiliate marketing. We try to integrate influencers with features that are popular with the brand’s audiences. This framework of affiliate marketing for influencers gives us the scale and metrics we desire. Understanding the mutual audience growth a brand has received is also a key area to analyse, after partnering with an influencer. However, there is still a lot of room to grow in terms of influencer marketing metrics.”