Advertising spending on social media influencers in India by brands is rising — driven by increasing popularity of content creators and proliferation of new platforms like TikTok and ShareChat — and could as much as double this year, advertisers and marketers said. Some even expect TikTok, owned by China’s ByteDance, to overtake Instagram in terms of ad spends on influencers by next year.
“Influencer spends could go up by 70-100% this year,” said Prashant Puri, CEO of digital marketing firm Ad-Lift. “Influencer marketing for us is primarily across two platforms: Instagram and TikTok. About 60-65% is Instagram, and about 30% is TikTok.”
Sumedh Chaphekar, CEO of NoFiltr, an influencer incubator that also manages influencers on TikTok and Instagram in India, said the country will become the strongest force in influencer marketing, because of the wide access to 4G and smartphones, rise of regional content and increasing ecommerce spending.
“And, even though Instagram is one of the top platforms when it comes to influencer marketing, the growth rate of TikTok is much higher. I believe Tik-Tok ad spends will overtake Instagram in a couple of months itself,” said Chaphekar.
Sachin Sharma, director of sales and partnerships at ByteDance India, said many brands, artists and even production houses were realising the impact of launching a song, movie or campaign on TikTok first.
“They not only leverage artists or actors to launch the campaign, but also engage with our creators on the app by using marketing tools like the hashtag challenge. TikTok also understands that the Gen Z likes S-I-N-C (Short-form, Influencer-driven, Native and Co-created content) and keeping this in mind, TikTok caters to diverse advertising needs which are critical for brands today,” he added.
Sharma said the platform has served as the launchpad for a diverse array of local creators through campaigns like the #1MillionAudition series held earlier this year.
Instagram has launched new features like the Creator Account, which is rolling out in India and gives creators a set of tools that makes it easier to control their online presence, understand their growth and manage their messages.
“Creators epitomise the spirit of Instagram with their creativity in visual storytelling and amazing social video moments. That’s the reason for the increase in the number of partnerships between creators and brands, as they effectively use Instagram across its surfaces — feed, stories, Live, IGTV to develop a holistic content experience for their communities,” said Saket Jha Saurabh, head of entertainment partnerships at Facebook India.