How Can Brands Capitalise On Regional Influencers This Festive Season?

Brands should re-evaluate their influencer compensation models and avoid engaging multiple agencies in a single regional market, writes Shivashish Tarkas

In the ever-evolving world of marketing, staying relevant and connecting with your target audience has never been more challenging. Brands continually seek innovative ways to engage customers, and one strategy that has gained considerable traction, particularly during the festive season, is partnering with regional influencers. These influencers bring authenticity and a strong connection to their local audience, making them a valuable resource for brands.

However, to harness the full potential of these collaborations, brands must go beyond merely partnering with influencers. They should embrace a hyper-local approach. Having a hyper-local approach or focusing on region-wise influence is a growing need and can significantly impact the success of your influencer marketing campaign.

The first step and a very important one is to partner with agencies that have a deep understanding of the local market. Rather than relying on a single agency for all your influencer marketing needs, it is essential to have separate agencies across regions. This approach ensures the brand benefits from the local agency's on-ground market experience and relationships. Local agencies know the pulse of their local audience, making it easier to tailor influencer campaigns to meet the brand’s specific preferences and needs. This also helps in gaining a larger ROI and building a stronger connection with the target audience.

One common mistake that brands make is assuming that what works in one region will work in another. This couldn't be further from the truth, especially in a diverse country like India. Each region has its unique cultural and linguistic identity, and what resonates in the North may not necessarily work in the South, East, or West. Understanding and respecting these regional nuances are crucial. For example, it's essential to recognize that India is a land of diversified people with a multi-linguistic approach, and hence not all regions across India will be fluent or understand Hindi. The people of South India take pride in their distinct languages and cultures, whether it's Tamil in Tamil Nadu or Kannada in Karnataka. Content must reflect this diversity to establish a genuine connection with regional audiences.

One of the most significant differences noticed in South India is that the audience prefers simplicity. Flashy, large-scale campaigns that may work in some parts of the country may not necessarily capture the hearts of South Indian audiences. People here tend to be more reserved and value content that feels organic and relatable. Even a simple creative input can work wonders. Brands must realize that in the South, less can often be more. While there is a place for graphic and AI content, it's crucial to strike a balance and ensure that campaigns align with the regional preference for simplicity.

In the realm of influencer marketing, certain start-up brands, especially those operating at a national or global level, prefer to work with influencers on a revenue-sharing basis. However, this approach may not align with the expectations of regional influencers. Many regional influencers often prefer straightforward business deals over complex revenue-sharing arrangements. It's crucial to recognize that influence doesn't always lead to immediate sales and tracking the success of a campaign can be challenging on social media platforms.

For instance, on Instagram, tracking can be limited to unique links in stories, and not all consumers make purchases through these links. Some may prefer to buy from local stores. This makes it challenging to measure the true impact of an influencer campaign solely in terms of direct sales.

To conclude, partnering with regional influencers is an excellent strategy for brands, especially during the festive season when the connection with the audience is paramount. However, to truly maximize the impact of these collaborations, brands should have a local approach and connect in local languages. Additionally, brands should re-evaluate their influencer compensation models and avoid engaging multiple agencies in a single regional market. By understanding and respecting the nuances of regional markets, brands can unlock the full potential of their influencer marketing campaigns and connect with their audience in a more meaningful and effective way.

(Shivashish Tarkas is the Founder and CEO of The InterMentalist)

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