What do we usually think when we hear the word “influence”? Is it an inevitable effect of something, produced by another, or is it just an unauthorised control over human minds. Advertisers and corporations have been using iconic personalities for promoting their brands for a long time now, and actors, athletes, singers and well-admired personas are usually signed by luxurious brands to drive inbound marketing operations and sales.
And now, since we have everything and everyone online, especially on social media, it gives power to the layman to at least have a look at those inspiring personas who are already enriched with wealth and lavish life. Not only have a glance but follow them as well and keep a minute to minute tab of how their life is going on or how they are spending their weekends or what products are they using for their daily care?
Understanding the power of attention is very significant here, we all have an extraordinary smartphone to have a look at, spend our time for better awareness of our surroundings or at least of our friends, making us more attentive to those in video ads or in social ads that we might give our precious time to.
But when a product is undoubtedly addressed by an actor or any other well-admired personality, we somehow unknowingly develop a sense of honour for that brand.
Online influencers include a decentralised availability of influencers over social and web platforms, and it can be anybody who has enough followers to leverage.
Across the period of one year, while I was working in Boldkiln, I got the opportunity to work with hundreds of middle widget influencers, for promoting brands through influencers. Consumer electronics had a significant win because it has so many content creators who are devoted to technology, and ultimately, helping brands to get things across the audience through someone else.
And one day, there I was, scrolling my bumble bizz and there I met Anubha Shukla, who has relevant experience of 3 years being as a Software Engineer and a social media influencer with 100k+ audience reach on various social media platforms, where she has partnered with various big brands over the last few years to promote their products like (Daniel Wellington, mCaffeine, Fab India, Kai India, Wella Professionals to name a few of them) not only that, but she also decided to put both of her experiences together to build something great.
She is also the founder of Social Bolbola, helping brands/Artists manage and grow their online presence through social media channels by curating comprehensive digital plans for them to enhance/ activate their brand image, build strategic alliances, and increase their audience reach.
Then I thought about why not actually get some fantastic insights from somebody as well as who is trying to pioneer, and simultaneously co-exist as an influencer. I have a few questions lined up for her, that might help you guys to understand influencer marketing in a better way.
- How was the experience while working with influencers?
Working with influencers is the most challenging part of the process as we work as a mediator between the brands and influencers strive to come up with content ideas to resonate with both the brand image and Influencer’s content genre.
The creative process itself must resonate with the business demands and there is always a compromise.
Over time, the pool of influencers has gotten extremely professional, they know how they want to position themselves, their lives, and the brands they want to support. That’s where Social Bolbala figured as well, to enable finding the right fit painlessly.
- When did you start Social Bolbala?
Once I turned 25, the pressure mounted to find a man to get married to. Instead, I ended up founding my own company.
I was mulling on this business idea for a while, but one fine day the name for the company occured to me and everything else fell in place. I bought the domain, started building the website, created all social media pages and initiated the incorporation process in a matter of days.
It has been a few months now and we are continuously adding new clients as we speak.
- What is the mission and vision of the company?
At Social Bolbala, we hope to form a conduit between the influencers and the brands. Content is at its most engaging when there is a good fit between the two. It’s actually in the best interest of everyone who has ever tirelessly scrolled through their feeds to have good quality content.
Social Bolbala just makes it easier by increasing the ability of influencers to stay true to their voice and monetise their work, while corporates find an honest connection with the audience through the influencers.
On the technology end, Social Bolbala is a platform for Autonomous matching of the brand with the influencers.
Currently, brands shortlist influencers they have come across, make a qualitative judgement on their content and target audience and there on decide a fit. We just smooth this process by curating a list of influencers who would be right for the campaign given certain criteria.
Artificial intelligence makes the curation process more targeted while expanding the reach beyond what is often possible with manual research.
- How many influencers have you worked with?
Social Bolbala is associated with over 5000 Social Media Influencers and has an audience reach of 2k to 2M over multiple social media platforms and in more than ten cities geographically.
- Why is the influencer program a success these days?
Traditional marketing has always been about one personality on a pedestal and brands using the aspirational aspect to sell a product or a service. Social media influence radically overturns this paradigm by making the central figure a lot more relatable, it is still aspirational in a way, however, still within reach.
Plus, the audience themselves choose whom to follow, so it’s targeted. The audience comes across the content in multiple forms spread across several sessions of scrolling means that the brand gets several opportunities to make an impression.
With India having 12% of the world’s 4.3 billion internet users, social media has emerged as a critical marketing communications platform, and influencer programs hold power to turn any little campaign into a nationwide movement and grab the attention of major media outlets.
- Can a brand become hugely successful by just social media marketing?
Yes totally! Recently, a few brands adopted an only social-media approach to market their products, and they all turned out to be a success. The new generation is not consuming media in the old fashioned way anymore, it’s a world of online streaming and live updates.
Going only digital or only social is an effective marketing approach if you’re targeting millennials and generation Z.
- What is so unique about social bolbala?
It cuts through the noise on social media and makes targeting so much easier.
It is a solution that makes selection, planning, and tracking an influencer campaign a piece of cake.
- Does influencer marketing help in better conversion rates?
It indeed does.Influencers build a personal connection with the audience over social media and hence are trusted more than big celebrities when it comes to product reviews and recommendations, and eventually, they impact the purchase behaviour of the audience.
Based on the performance of a few recent influencer marketing campaigns, we can say that Influencer marketing delivers stable returns.
- Which platform do you feel catches up customer engagement effortlessly?
Every social media platform has its own set of quirks- audience, activity patterns, and advertising options and businesses have to pick their platform of choice based on these.
For instance, if your customers are usually generation X, it is a good idea to target customers over facebook, but facebook will fail to effectively advertise a product which targets Generation Z.
Similarly, Linkedin works the best way for B2B SaaS products where you can target decision makers from enterprises directly.
- Can AI/machine learning replace those grunt digital marketing jobs in the marketing industry?
According to a study conducted by BCG most jobs with a creative component would not be replaced with AI any time soon. Social Bolbala doesn’t replace the marketing jobs but removes the grunt work from it. Marketers would no longer have to spend countless hours just looking for the right fit, we make that easy.
When you’re dealing with millions of influencers to influence the purchase behaviour of billions of potential consumers on a platform, the numbers are becoming unwieldy to do it manually and effectively.
AI and ML become a tool in your arsenal to run successful campaigns. Social Bolbala manages the workflow from selection to tracking and allows them to strategize, execute, and optimize the social media marketing campaigns based on In-depth influencer analysis, including audience insights, profile tags, and content to curate the most suitable pool of influencers to achieve the marketing goals of a brand.
- Was tik-tok ban a right thing for dedicated influencers?
The decision of the government to ban chinese apps was indeed a good one, though it’s not fair to the content creators who spent so much time and energy and built a big following on a platform over the years that suddenly ceased to exist one day. Many of those people could not even get a chance to properly create a backup of their content.
- Is spamming people with relevant ads for products through social influencers online any viable?
I would not use the word spamming, the whole point is to not spam. Attention is the currency most brands are vying for.
We are living in a digital world and that has changed the purchase behaviour of the audience. Back in the 90s, only product options available were in the shops nearby, and the only advertising options like newspapers, television, or radio, had little to no targeting.
Today, we have access to everything that might be available in any corner of the world. All these ads over social media only serve one purpose to make you aware of the existence of that particular brand
you may like, if you clicked on it, spent some time engaging with the content, that’s a job well done!
I hope you guys got your answers. I want to thank Anubha for answering my questions in the most precise way possible. I would like to thank you guys as well for giving your precious time here. In case, if you guys have any questions, let’s meet in the comment section.