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Brands venturing into tier 2, 3 cities rely heavily on influencer marketing

Apaksh Gupta of One Impression talks about subjective and objective filtering of influencers

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MUMBAI: Influencer marketing has been picking up the pace at an unpredictable rate for the past two years. 2019, in fact, saw it touching a new high. Influencers found themselves not just at top business conferences but also participating in bigger projects on television, films, and OTT. Influencer marketing firms also gained much prominence as they tried to streamline this haphazard industry.

In India, one of the top performers was One Impression, a Gurgaon-based influencer marketing and branded content solutions company. Founder Apaksh Gupta told Indiantelevision.com that 2019 was so far the best year for One Impression. It recorded revenue growth of around 900 per cent and managed to create an influencer network of 12 million people globally.

Gupta noted that brands became more aggressive and started taking the channel of influencer marketing more seriously. “Influencer marketing became first channel of marketing for at least some of the categories. I agree that there was a lot of discussion around the pros and cons of the medium but eventually came out shining, giving a great ROI to the brands. So, the brands are increasing their budgets for the medium," he said.

He added that new categories that have started investing in influencer marketing are technology companies like Uber and Zomato and fintech companies like HDFC Bank, which used it for launching its new range of credit cards.

“With influencers penetrating the tier 2 and tier 3 cities, newer categories are investing in the medium. We are doing campaigns for companies like Uber on Tik Tok who are trying to acquire new consumers in tier 2 and tier 3 cities now. We are also seeing a lot of gaming companies investing in influencer marketing. For example, we are working closely with PubG for their influencer marketing programmes,” he added.

With so much clutter in the influencer marketing arena, One Impression has come up with a more streamlined and scientific method of helping brands connect with the right faces and voices. It uses a complex mix of data and manual segregation to handpick the right influencers who align with the brand image.

Gupta elaborated, “What happens is that the agencies usually have a pool of 1000 to 3000 influencers and they try to fit in the same pool into the requirements of each brand. But we have introduced an objective and subjective filtration in the process. The objective parts include if the influencers' audience is aligned with the target consumers of the brand. That’s where our data team comes into play. The data team is able to filter our pool of over 3 million Indian and 12 million global influencers by looking into the audience of the influencer.”

He added, “Now, the subjective part is handled manually where we look at the influencer’s personality, pricing, and availability. As a company, we have our own pricing algorithm that helps us pick the right influencers for each branch.”

The company expects a 40-50 per cent year-on-year growth for the influencer marketing industry in the coming times. To tap on that, the company is looking to strengthen its influencer pool and data abilities. It will soon come up with an app called One Sponsor for micro-influencers to develop a niche audience and help businesses identify the right partners early on.

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