Ubaid Zargar
Influencer Marketing

Diving deep into the space of influencer marketing with Kinnect

Rohan Mehta, CEO of Kinnect, and Kejal Teckchandani, senior VP, influencer outreach, Kinnect, talk to afaqs! about KinnectFluence, the current state of influencer marketing, and more.

As the digital age continues to evolve, influencer marketing has surfaced as a staple tool for various brands to connect with the consumers. Social media platforms have become a hotbed for influencers, who’re now an integral part of the marketing landscape.

The influencer marketing industry has exhibited remarkable growth in recent years, with its global value crossing $16 billion in 2022. According to GroupM’s INCA report, the space is currently valued at Rs 1,275 crore in India, with an estimated CAGR of 25% over the next five years. 

Seeing this growth, many creative agencies, including Ogilvy, Schbang, Dentsu among others, have developed their own influencer marketing verticals. 

Digital marketing agency Kinnect started providing influencer marketing solutions to brands back in 2016, delegating the operations to a separate division, Kinnect Outreach.

In a bid to strengthen its pre-existing inventory of services, the agency recently launched an end-to-end influencer analytics platform. Called KinnectFluence, the platform aims to manage the entire lifecycle of influencer marketing campaigns, from discovery and research to planning, mapping and performance analysis, with the help of a live dashboard.

Speaking about the launch of KinnectFluence, Rohan Mehta, CEO of Kinnect says, "It’s a tool built by Kinnect Outreach to manage the entire lifecycle of influencer marketing campaigns. It helps you to map different influencers, evaluate their performances for previous campaigns, or even monitor the progress throughout the campaign."

Commenting on the challenges that brands usually face in influencer marketing, Kejal Teckchandani, senior VP of Kinnect Outreach, explains that clients often invest a lot of their money on influencer marketing, but aren’t effectively tracking the results. 

She says, "What we’ve noticed over the years, is that while clients deploy a lot of their money towards influencer marketing, the challenge is to effectively analyse the outcome of these investments.”

“This is one of the reasons why we’ve introduced KinnectFluence. There is a special feature in the platform, called LIVE dashboard, which helps marketers track the entire campaign. There is an opportunity to course-correct, if there are any changes required through the duration of the campaign.”

Mehta also points out that the brands no longer limit themselves to the number of followers or impressions on an influencer’s profile. 

"When any service matures, it moves from restricting itself to simple surface-level metrics to advanced brand metrics. Today, the questions that the brands want us to answer aren't just about the number of followers an influencer has. Brands are more concerned about the impact an influencer can potentially have on either the purchase or discovery."

One of the key parameters determining the success of a campaign, according to Mehta, is the authenticity of followers on an influencer’s profile. 

“Brands also face challenges in identifying influencers’ active and passive followers. A lot of people have bought followers through bots, and it reflects in their engagement levels. The tool helps break down the active set of the audience versus the passive ones.”

With how influencer marketing has evolved over the years, Teckchandani believes, the marketing strategy is noticeably more credible and organic, as opposed to conventional celebrity-led campaigns. 

“Traditionally, brands used to rope in celebs as their advocates. But we’re now seeing influencers take up a good portion of that space. A few years ago, influencers were used sporadically, with brands associating with them for one-off campaigns.” 

“Now, we’re noticing that brands are working influencers on a long-term basis. This brings a lot of authenticity to the entire endorsement, simply because you’re able to integrate the product into the lifestyle of the influencer. This creates a good amount of advocacy. Brands now realise that co-creation of content with influencers, is the way forward.”

Mehta says that the services offered by Kinnect Outreach and KinnectFluence are available to all clients. "We've worked with our own clients, but outside of that, the services are available to other clients as well."

On the categories of brands that are more likely to up their influencer marketing spends, Mehta opines, "There are categories that have typically been more influencer marketing-driven, such as fashion and lifestyle or D2C brands. Today, the sphere of marketing goes far beyond that. We can expect B2B businesses, auto industry and even BFSI ramp up their influencer marketing.”

Over the years, we’ve seen brands incrementally distribute portions of their ad spends towards digital. How much of it goes towards influencer marketing?

Mehta answers, “The ad spends generally move through two metrics - attention and RoI. Brands often assess their ad spends by first identifying the best touchpoints for attention, and then evaluating the returns on their spends. Influencer marketing now, after having matured over the years, provides great RoIs, depending on a robust strategy and partnership.”

“Over the next few years, the average spend is going to grow - from about Rs 900-1000 crore by 2027. A growth of around 20-30% per year is a sign of how great of an investment this space is. Brands could spend 15-25% of their ad spends on influencer marketing, because of its high RoIs.”

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