Influencer Marketing in India

Over the past few years, the digital and social media landscape in India has changed tremendously.

If you work in marketing, or have a product or service to sell in India, you've probably realized that it's essential to establish a strong online presence. The only way to grow your business is to establish brand awareness and grow your brand's online influence.

There are many new marketing technology such as Marketing Automation and Messenger Chatbot popping up everyday and the digital marketing landscape can easily become overwhelming!

Influencer Marketing is growing rapidly and you've probably heard about the benefits of word-of-mount marketing. Maybe you're just curious to learn what are the platforms and tools avaialbe to help you with your upcoming influencer marketing campaign. If so, you're in the right place!

We are going to demystifying influencer marketing and all the various components that make it successful.

Before long, let's take a deep dive to understand what has changed and how brands are leveraging social media to gain advantage across the customer lifecycle, as well as what customers look for when engaging with brands on social media.

The top-three objectives for brands to build a social media presence were to create awareness, build a community and engage with customers.

The top-three challenges faced for marketing a brand on social media were — sustaining or increasing engagement rates, content creation and measuring effectiveness.

Indian Brands are leveraging on information gathered from digital and social touch points to gain better customer insights, improve customer experience and also for new product development.

Brands are advertising on web, social and mobile, and driving traffic across channels by cross-linking various platforms to attract users to their digital touch points. Brands are also looking to create compelling content such as storytelling, contests to drive users to digital and social media channels.

Here's a quick low down on the state of social media marketing and influencer marketing landscape in the India.

  • The total population in India is 1.324 billion.
  • January 2017 data puts the active social networking penetration in India at 14% of the total population - one of the lowest rates worldwide. Nevertheless, India is second largest online market behind China, globally.
  • For many connected users in India, access to the Internet is primarily for accessing social media networks. According to a report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), 66% of the Internet users in urban India regularly access social media platforms.
  • India has world's largest number of Facebook Users with over 200 million users, overtaking US and Indonesia.
  • In India, there are over 462 Million internet users and 200 Million are active social media users.
  • In India, 76% of Facebook users are Men, and 24% users are women, which illustrates the barriers women face in India to access technology and information.
  • There are age and gender differences in usage rates among various social media platforms In India.
  • Generally, all age groups spend 1–2 hours on social media per day. However, the amount of time spent on social media seems to decrease as the age of the respondent groups increases.
  • Key Facebook Users from India are aged 18-24, which is the largest and fastest growing population segment.
  • Over 60% of active social network users are college going students.
  • A users revisits Facebook more than 3 times in a day.
  • 11% of Internet users are connected via WhatsApp.
  • 9% of Internet users use Facebook Messenger to converse online.
  • 8% of Indian Internet users use Skype to connect with family, friends and loved ones. Skype has gained popularity and is even used for formal conversations.
  • 6% of Indian Internet users are on Twitter; a micro-blogging website that has gained popularity over the years and is now an integral part of the social media ecosystem.
  • Twitter has 23.2 million Monthly Active Users in India, which is 2nd largest in Asia-Pacific after Japan with 26 million MUAs.
  • Activities on Social Networking sites are high between 6 PM to 10 PM.
  • Mumbai and New Delhi accounts highest traffic to social media sites.

Top Influencer Marketing Statistics Every Marketer Should Know

  • 70% of teenage YouTube subscribers trust influencer opinions over traditional celebrities.
  • 86% of women turn to social networks before making a purchase.
  • 32% of influencers who currently work with brands cite Facebook as the best platform, followed by Instagram at 24%.
  • 71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on a social media reference.
  • 86% of the most-viewed beauty videos on YouTube were made by influencers, compared to 14% by beauty brands, themselves.
  • 57% of beauty and fashion companies use influencers as part of their marketing strategies.
  • On average, businesses generate $6.50 for every $1 invested in influencer marketing.

Why Influencer Marketing?

Brands looking into influencer marketing should take note of the trends in the industry in order to fully strategise their campaign. We have identified 5 prominent trends of influencer marketing coming 2018 and here's a summary.

As s hybrid of content marketing and native advertising, influencer marketing is an established trend in marketing that identifies and targets individuals with influence over potential buyers. Although this has usually meant focusing on popular celebrities and Internet personalities, there is a new wave of 'Micro-Influencers' that can have a large impact.

Trend #1: Emphasis Towards Content Marketing

In 2016, we have seen and experienced both the good and not-so-positive impact influencer marketing can bring to a brand. Some prominent mistakes made by brands include the overuse of influencers, selecting influencers irrelevant to your brand and so on. But one big mistake that should be avoided is the posting of content which is irrelevant to the audience.

Coming 2017, the emphasis on quality content will be largely noticeable. Content posted by Indian influencers not only have to be engaging and interactive, it also have to be new, natural, suited to the influencer and brand, shareable and encompasses a call-to-action to be able to reach out to a wide network of your target and produce positive results. Consequentially, brands which invest greatly in creating quality content will have an edge over the rest.

Trend #2: People-Centric Influencer Marketing

Most brands and marketers are focused on tapping on the hype of influencer marketing without considering the rationale behind those marketing efforts. In the upcoming year, it is crucial for brands to become more people-centric and focus on the audience when implementing each campaign.

Influencer marketing in 2017 will need to provide consumers with what they desire and explain how purchasing your product or service will add value to their life. With many marketers executing their marketing campaigns without much thought regarding their audience, being the first few to resonate with the audience will bring your brand ahead.

Trend #3: Indian Becoming Risk-Adverse

Being risk-adverse, Indian consumers are increasingly relying on influencers and word-of-mouth to decide on their purchases. This should be seen as an opportunity to leverage on the available influencers to bring about more sales through the online platform. To be able to leverage on influencer marketing to provide a form of reassurance for the consumers would definitely bring about positive impact on your brand's ROI.

Influencer marketing would hence be a great platform to reach out to India market, especially the young Indian who constantly look online for reviews. These characteristics of the community is what make influencer marketing extremely effective in India.

How To Get Started With Influencer Marketing?

Reaching out to Influencer Personally or through Influencer Marketing Agency

You may ask, what are the various ways to engage Instagram influencers in India to perform influencer marketing? There are simply two options: businesses to reach out to influencers personally, or go through an influencer marketing agency.

On the surface, it may seem reasonable to reach out to influencers personally with the presumed low cost and easy reach. However, with the vast amount of influencers in India, each focusing on specific topics of interest, performing influencer marketing and liaising can be a real challenge. To execute an effective influencer marketing campaign, one should be sure to read up on the various aspect of influencer marketing from the various articles and ebooks available online.

Alternatively, an influencer marketing agency would be of great help in terms of identifying the right influencer for your marketing campaign, negotiating prices and measuring results.

Indian Fastest Growing Influencer Marketing Agency

StarNgage is an Influencer marketing and reporting platform allowing brands to customise, manage, launch, and measure digital advertising campaigns on Instagram. StarNgage empowers brands to partner and advertise with everyday influencers - the same way you would on search engines or social networks!

StarNgage provides 4 main services: Targeting, Identifying, Amplifying and Tracking.


Set your targeted customer profiles and categories while indicating preferred Cost-Per Engagement


Search for category-specific and brand aligned Influencers with the right profile to promote your campaign through our patented matching algorithm


Mobilise Influencers to create optimised visual content that engages your targeted consumers, amplifies your brand, and generate online buzz


Track your influencer marketing performance through our dashboard and measure your ROI. Pay based on desired results.

How To Choose Your Influencer Marketing Goals and KPIs

The Most Common Influencer Marketing Campaign Goals

After activating more than 10,000 influencers across 120 campaigns, we've seen influencers used in many different ways. Here are the most common goals we saw across our campaigns.

Product Launches
Brand Awareness
Content Generation
Community Building

The Most Common Influencer Marketing Campaign KPIs


Can be measured based on the number of followers of influencers. Easy to measure, but the least valuable.


Easy to measure and one of the most important performance based metrics


Includes any social action (like, comment and share). Requires a hashtag or unique link for proper attribution. More value than a click.


Includes installs, sign-ups, form completions and purchases. Hardest to measure, requiring a pixel & unique link or a promo code for attribution.

How To Choose Your Influencer Types

The Pyramid of Influence

The Pyramid of Influence encompasses the full spectrum of your influencer relationships. Here is a breakdown of how that pyramid works from the top down. Not all influencers are the same. Over the past few years, there is a big shift in focus from these high-end influencers to micro-influencers. To explain the different types of influencers, StarNgage uses the Pyramid of Influence. Influencers with a high reach and lower relevance, like celebrities and thought leaders, are at the top of the pyramid, while those with lower reach but higher relevance, like advocate and current customers are at the bottom. Micro-Influencers is a mix of people who have reach, but more importantly, have a high relevance among their audiences. Their influence lies in their niche understandings and the mutual trust with their audiences.

Spectrum of Influencers

The term ‘influencer’ used to describe celebrity and social media elite. But the mass adoption of social media leveled the playing field to include bloggers, instagrammers, youtubers and even everyday consumers. As such, the industry is working to establish a common taxonomy to talk about influencers. Influencers can be identified among the following three types:


Actors, artists, athletes and social media stars who have 500k+ followers and drive 2%  to 5% engagement per post. They have the highest reach on the influencer spectrum, with their influence driven by their celebrity (they tend to be brands in their own right). They have the lowest overall resonance when it comes to driving actions on behalf of a brand.


Professional bloggers, and YouTubers who have large base of 50,000 to 500,000 followers and drive 5%  to  20% engagement per post. They have the highest topical relevance on the spectrum, with category-specific influence – such as lifestyle, fashion or business.


Everyday consumers who have 500 to 100,000 followers and drive 25% — 50% engagement per post. They have the highest brand relevance and resonance on the spectrum of influencers, with influence driven by their personal experience with a brand and their strength of relationship with their networks.

Social Media Influencer Landscape in India

Mega-influencers: Earn their living some other way (e.g. athlete, actor, artist, top model, celebrity), and monetize their influence as a secondary source of income. (For example Shah Rukh Khan, Virat Kohli, Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra and Amitabh Bachchan)

Macro-influencers: Earn their living as an influencer (e.g. professional blogger, creator, or journalist). (For example Amit Agarwal, Amit Bhawani, Archana Doshi and Saffron Trail)

Micro-influencers: Consumers who have relevant influence and may not know it, or aspire to become a macro-influencer. (For example Shivani Patil, Rati TS and Shereen Sikka Bharwani)

Brand Advocates: Consumers who are passionate and willing to share, but have little influence.

Top Youtubers (Youtube Influencers) in India

Sandeep Maheshwari
Sandeep Maheshwari
Nisha Madhulika
Nisha Madhulika
Sanjeev Kapoor Khazana
Sanjeev Kapoor Khazana
Funk You
Funk You
Rajshri Food
Rajshri Food

Top Instagrammers (Instagram Influencers) in India

Deepika Padukone
Priyanka Chopra
Sonam Kapoor
Shah Rukh Khan
MS Dhoni
Katrina Kaif
Virat Kohli
Bhuvan Bam

How To Choose Your Influencer Marketing Content Types

Plan Your Content Type Before Activating The Influencers

Brand Generated

Brand creates the content and influencers are activated to share it with their networks.

Influencers don't add any personalization; they simply share the content. Least risk.

Less Creativity and personalization. Least impactful.


Brand develops guidelines for the content and influencers create their own content based on adaptation. For example: “Share a picture of your selfie in Singapore Botanic Garden”.

Moderate Impact Pontential.

Mild risk.

Influencer Generated

Content is generated by Influencers based on their creativity. Brand gives loose and generic direction.

Influencers have full creativity with loose guideline from brands. Maximum impact.

Review process is needed as part of risk management as the risk is higher.

How To Choose the Right Incentive for Your Influencer

Plan Your Incentives Before Activating The Influencers

There are different factors you should consider before making a decision on what kind of incentives you offer to your influencers.

Exclusivity: Incentives should be exclusive to only influencers that you like to activate in order to motivate participation in your influencer marketing campaign.

Influencer type: Most of the mega-influencers and macro-influencers will require cash payment, while micro-influencers will consider other form of compensations aside from cash.

Brand affinity: The most enduring and valuable level of influencer relationship is based on the mutual belief that the influencers and the brand share common values. It is advisable to activate relevant influencer who is passionate about your brands for best results. Branded incentives will work best in this case.

Fulfilment Effort: If more effort is required by the influencer to create and share branded content, then a higher incentive value is needed.

Types of Incentives


For most of the mega-influencers and macro-influencers, you will have to use payments for incentives. However for micro-influencers, some of them are open to receive VIP treatments and special branded incentives other than cash.

VIP Treatment

When activating micro-influencers, the most popular incentive is an exclusive experience. This type of incentive works best when they are passionate about your brand. This could be in the form of a discount, gift card, limited product giveaway, VIP free trial etc.


Micro-influencers are more than happy to receive non-monetary rewards such as recognition. You can do this by featuring their content on your owned media such as Website or share their voices and give them a limelight on your social media channel.

Common Incentives Ideas

  • Exclusive Event
  • Early Access
  • Discounts
  • Free Trial
  • Contest Entries
  • Gift Cards
  • Experience Box
  • Limited Product Sample
  • Priority Service

Brands use StarNgage to Find Influencers

Request a consultation to discuss how we can help your next Influencer Marketing Campaign

Request For A Demo