Influencers – The New Age of Advertising

In a conversation with Sapna Oswal

August 30: As social media is progressing and evolving, so is the way new-age advertising is being created around us.

People often ask what is an Influencer, and how did that name come about?

A few years ago, they were called critics, content creators, then Bloggers and now Influencers. Even though the core role remains the same, the names associated with this role have evolved. We had a chance to speak to Sapna Oswal, a very popular Influencer from New Delhi who has worked with brands like Kriti Retail, Plum body Lovin, Gehna by Reshma Shah and many more.

She is also an actor and has done TV commercials for Phillips, Mankind Pharma, Shuttle, AB Motors EV, etc. As a model having modelled for Austin Martin, Brunch Magazine and others. She has also appeared with RJ Naved (Radio Mirchi – Delhi) in some of his short videos and the famous detective series Crime Petrol.

Currently, apart from being an Influencer and model, she handles the Delhi office for a Mumbai based Media company called Younoh Media.

The first question we asked her was, “How would you define an Influencer?”

To this, Sapna replied, “Normally, people with a certain number of followers on their Instagram or Facebook profiles are categorized as influencers and are also considered as an authority over a certain market segment where they advertise. They additionally carry goodwill of the followers on their page.”

She further went ahead to explain how influencers were born “Earlier a person who used to go to restaurants and tell the public about the food was called a Food Critic, but the word critic sounded harsh because they were not constantly criticizing the food, they were also on occasions praising the food, then they started being called Food bloggers.

The Blogger would write blogs with the positive and negative’s about restaurants and inform people how the food, the ambience and the service was. This started to influence people, to make a calculated decision on whether to go to that place to eat or not and from there onwards, the Bloggers went on to become influencers.”

The next question we asked was, “Is this only true to the restaurant or F&B industry or can this concept work across other segments?”

Sapna replied, “This started taking shape in almost every other industry, from clothing to Jewellery and even cosmetics. The factories needed to promote their products to a wide audience in the shortest possible time, and least money involved, so they started working with influencers who could get a message out to a couple of thousand people instantly and effectively at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising. Speed / Service and costs are what made the market for Influencers grow by leap and bounds. Now even people making products at home find it easy to advertise through influencers as the Influencers charge no heavy production costs and the fees is relatively less than that charged by radio or Television.”

With a cost-effective and highly instant advertising tool, the role of the influencers seems like it is here to stay. With the current business environment, the traditional Advertising model’s are dying slowly, while the digital era is taking over each day. Adapting to a New reality, especially after Covid, digital marketing seems to have taken the front row since our real worlds have become virtual.

Some of the more prominent stars who used to look down on influencers earlier have started to sell products online and represent brands for a fee, using their name and fame to generate sales for the products.

Before we said bye to Sapna, she said, “Change is the only constant, and techniques evolve daily, so as an extremely positive person, I say Let’s enjoy this ride.”

Her website is sapnaoswal.co.in (https://sapnaoswal.co.in/)

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