When people hear the term ‘influencer,’ they often think of popular social media personalities who monetize their online presence. Between 2015 and 2016, India experienced a significant rise in influencers on platforms like YouTube and social media. Content creators such as Bhuvan Bam, Ashish Chanchlani, Ajey Nagar (Carryminati), and Amit Bhadana gained popularity by producing engaging and humorous content that resonated with their audiences.

As the influencer community expanded, Indian brands began to recognize the value of influencer marketing, targeting specific audiences and adopting content-driven strategies. According to Statista, the influencer marketing industry in India is projected to reach approximately Rs 2,800 crore by 2026. In 2022, around 55 million urban residents followed various influencers.

Influencers offer brands an opportunity to appear in the everyday lives of their followers, building relatability. Thus, for reach, authenticity, and engagement, partnering with influencers has become crucial.

India has seen a rise in micro-influencers, who have around 10,000-50,000 followers on social media. According to the GroupM INCA India Influencer Market Report, micro-influencers were the fastest-growing category in 2022, with a 30.5% increase compared to 27.7% for macro-influencers.

Micro-influencers have a better understanding of their followers and what motivates them, helping brands connect locally and regionally. The  trend has evolved from micro to nano to mega influencers, each with different influence criteria. It is also noted  that even for major purchase decisions, like buying a car or smartphone, people often refer to tech influencers on YouTube or social media.

Kapil Rampal, CEO of Creative Crest, also emphasized the importance of trust and authenticity in influencer marketing. “Authenticity is the cornerstone of effective influencer marketing. Brands need to collaborate with influencers who genuinely resonate with their values and audience. This connection is what drives true engagement and trust,” Rampal stated. Kapil highlighted that authenticity involves both the influencer and the collaborative creation process. He noted that a fitness influencer endorsing a junk food brand would lack credibility.