Interviews

Influencer Marketing is Dead, People Powered Content Takes Over – Ashutosh Harbola, Buzzoka

There were tons of Influencer Agencies already out there in the market, why did you not think differently? What was the need for another agency

I agree to disagree. But, truth is stranger than fiction. India currently operates with over 15 Influencer Marketing agencies in the organized segment and out of 15, almost 60% struggle to meet ends. So, we are now left with 6-7 agencies. Out of these only 4-5 agencies are preferred by brands and their digital agencies which include names like Buzzoka, Eleve Media, Buzzerati, Ripple Links in South and Buzzone. So, the entire share of 30% influencer business stays with these 5 agencies. The other 70% lies with unorganised group of twitter trending handlers who do Twitter Trends and is the biggest market. These handlers aren’t capable of doing any Influencer Marketing but only focus on Twitter Trends.

Here are few reasons why there was dire need of an honest Platform like Buzzoka

  • Market was struggling with mundane thought process
  • Zero creativity
  • Brands being taken for a ride
  • Unprofessionalism

Buzzoka, as the name suggests, is an armory of social media influencer, spread across multiple social media platforms across India. Since, our inception, we were teased by the nag of doing something in the influencer marketing space. Hence, Buzzoka was born and in no time became India’s most loved influencer marketing platform we have been responsible in depicting the ecosystem which was primarily lead by pseudo influencers bases followers.

Interestingly, we were the first company in India which realized the value of both creativity and consumption. In the case of latter, we introduced the world of commoners to the media community which was until recently in oblivion.

In your marketing communication, you always say, Buzzoka is different from other Influencer Marketing agencies in India, we would like to know – HOW exactly?

Buzzoka is primarily the Google AdWords of influencer marketing which is powered by million of social voices. We at Buzzoka, come with a firm belief that influencer marketing could only be successful when tackled with creativity and relevancy. We are not an Influencer Marketing Company – We are a source to generate People-Powered Content. This is exactly what will make us a Billion$ company soon.  

Unlike our competition, we are in the business of empowering people to consume and spread content which ignites a larger base of audience to consume end products and services.

So much of difference with others definitely would have given birth to several case studies or are you still fighting to create one? 

We at Buzzoka always believe in building case studies and most of our work has been predominantly on those lines. Be it StayUncle’s #StayLaid campaign on women trafficking or #Hisaab25SaalKa to create an arch rivalry between India and South Africa during former’s tour to South Africa, Nicotex’s #EkCigaretteKam or Protinex’s #MuscleWeek video campaign or be it Sony’s #Dadagiri campaign These are all examples of great work.

Isn’t Buzzoka too disruptive a name compared to the problem it is supposed to solve?

Buzzoka is almost like a dream that came true. But, it came with a lot of costs – Hard work, Passionate team, and a great supporting Co-Founder. While in my early days at Blogmint, I was always worried that if with help of Influencer Marketing a brand is not able to reach last mile audience then like other marketing ideas, this too will become a bubble and eventually burst. With constant learning and seeing the ups and downs of the space, Buzzoka got conceptualized. The idea was simple, chip in creativity and use the voices that matter – not just mere numbers. And that’s where we are today – disrupting the Influencer Marketing space.

The name was a tricky one as we wanted to clearly speak about our service and yet be focused as a product. Hence Buzzoka which has Buzz as a prominent word and the totalitarian meaning is of a gun – a product that can allow you to create the right buzz. And as our tagline says – It’s Not Ok, Until It’s Buzzing.

Who all are your competition in India and how do you see to overcome them?

Buzzoka is the 3rd largest Influencer Marketing brand in India in just a span of 1 year. Our competition includes Eleve Media and Buzzerati, both are very strong players and are run by extremely humble and good folks. I respect Prince & Samar for what they have created.

As a matter of fact, I don’t exactly see both of them as competition but as partners to overcome the big space. The biggest threat to all 3 of us is from the rising Influencer Marketing agencies which do not completely understand influencer marketing and simply coming in for monetary gains in the short run. I think brands have to be cautious with these kind of players. Since Influencer Marketing is a double-edged sword – sometimes it may go wrong, and this is the trouble with budding agencies as they are unable to gauge that.

How do you see the landscape of Influencer Marketing in the coming years?

Influencer Marketing is all set to become even bigger phenomenon with millions of social stars and commoners pitching in the game. The idea of Influencers will be quickly replaced by social voices who will not be identified basis just numbers but the authority they possess. All in all, it is just the beginning.

Have you envisioned any thing for Buzzoka in near future?

Vision is simple – Be present wherever there is scope. After India we will soon have our footprints in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia & later in Australia. We are globe trotting currently to explore future avenues.