Hailing from Pune, Varun is the digital marketing manager of No Broker based out of Bangalore. Previously, Varun had worked with The Label Life and Kapsica Media. A seasoned digital marketer, Varun joined No Broker as an early stage startup in a very small team. He did some amazing work as a single man army in the last couple years and helped the company scale up. Now that the team has grown, he looks after overall digital marketing in No Broker.
Avik: “What’s, according to you, is the biggest reason for influencer marketing to have picked up at such a rapid pace (You can state more than one reason as well)? Is it expected to stay for long or is it going to be short-lived?”
Varun: “The biggest reason for this I believe is the increased penetration of internet and social media. Also, the mobile revolution has made your every customer into your biggest influencer. So more than ever, now is the time for brands to keep an ear to the ground and carefully strategize. As more and more people come online & be a part of social media, the traditional behaviour will be observed online & in the social space. I think it’s here to stay.”
“Influencer marketing has just started growing in India. There is a lot of scope for streamlining & making it more structured. But it’s definitely becoming increasingly prominent as a channel. In the next 5 years, I see it becoming a strong tool with brands not only including it in the overall marketing strategy but also putting a dedicated focus on it.” – Varun
Avik: “Do you think marketers should increase their budget for influencer campaigns in a coming couple of years?”
Varun: “I would say instead of treating it as a standalone or seasonal channel, it should be a part of the overall strategy. Dedicated budgets will definitely help the channel perform its part in a more effective way.”
Avik: “What are the challenges a marketer comes across while running an influencer campaign.”
Varun: “As I said earlier, the scene is still growing in India & requires streamlining. The actual value or social value of an influencer along with it being a good fit for the brand is where the marketer gets stuck with currently,. More clarity on this front will definitely help marketers in better planning and execution of influencer campaigns. Blindly going by just number of followers is not the right way to assess the worthiness of the influencer for the brand. Whether the influencer is a suitable fit for a brand in terms of the product category or TG for that matter is something that needs to be checked & agencies can help in that.”
Avik: “As a marketer, which social media channels do you prefer in running influencer campaigns? Why?”
Varun: “I believe that it totally depends on the nature of your business, the product being sold & the TG. For a business like NoBroker where a good customer experience is our ultimate objective, Facebook is the right channel where the experience posted will get good amplification & will reach more relevant TG. While as that for a brand like Chumbak, the medium could be Instagram which is more visually appealing & with a young TG.”
Avik: “Is it better to go for long-term relationships with influencers, or do short-term campaigns hold the key?”
Varun: “Well, again the product being highlighted matters in this case as well. But, yes long-term association with an influencer will create a bigger sense of trust in the audience.”
“Two things are important while selecting the right set of influencers for your brand: 1) Someone who resonates with what your brand stands for. 2) Someone who is a trusted source of knowledge for the vertical you are in i.e. organic followers.” – Varun.
Avik: “Which KPIs do you take into account while planning and analyzing an influencer campaign?”
Varun: “Increased awareness of the brand, which could be metrics like likes/follows or could be the number of enquiries coming in. It can be achieved only if the influencer has relevant presence & strong domain influence. So those would be the KPIs to plan & analyse it.”
Avik: “I guess there’s still a lack of cutting edge analysis and reporting in influencer marketing when compared with other paid channels. As a marketer, how do you negotiate with that?”
Varun: “As of now, it’s being done with the help of the analytics of that particular channel where activity is being carried out to a certain extent. We are hoping you guys will soon help us with something better.”
Avik: “How do you think influencer marketing is going to help small-scale businesses and startups?”
Varun: “Influencer marketing can be very effective if executed with precision and in-depth planning. A small business might not have funds to afford a big influencer or a film star. But that’s where the beauty of influencer campaign lies, a well-planned campaign with a few micro influencers can give you some really impactful results even with a small budget. For e.g. I had a chance to work with The Label Life, which is now one of the biggest lifestyle brands in India. When I was working with them the brand was still growing. There we used influencer marketing very effectively. We used to work with medium & micro influencers/bloggers & that really worked well for us.”
Avik: “What role, according to you, should influencer marketing agencies like Greenroom play?”
Varun: “Trust factor & streamlining. To begin with, if agencies can help in finding the right domain expert influencer with some data to back it up- then you’ve nailed it. Secondly, more streamlined strategic advice on how to include the channel along with others.”
Click & Earn, the brainchild of Siva Prasad, Director – Marketing, Nobroker.com. The campaign was to generate crowdsourced owner leads i.e supply for the portal. Anyone who submits the photo of a To-Let board will get 100 bucks on his/her Paytm account if the lead is accepted.
Anyone with a camera phone could participate but more defined TG would be college students who can earn pocket money doing it.
At a glance:
So we started talking about it through social channels with messaging targeting college students & revolving around their life. It was an instant hit, with students being influencers amongst themselves it caught on quickly. We have some users who have earned thousands through this.
ROI was fantastic. This did help us in building a supply at a nominal cost. This has become our one of the strong supply channel with a decent number of owner leads coming in daily.
Leading marketers like Varun stand as testimony to the success influencer marketing can achieve. Keep following us for more #MaxROI talks.