India is one of the world’s worst hit countries in the coronavirus pandemic. With reports of the new variant triggering the global alarm, the country is now gearing up to combat the looming third wave of COVID-19. However, in spite of this sudden downfall, the digital sector has revealed itself as a winner. At this time, especially small businesses and startups have had to carefully redesign their creative strategy. While the entire economy comes to a standstill, marketing startups have the ability to utilise data-driven techniques to cater to impactful digital campaigns and escalate their digital and technological skills.
One such bootstrapped marketing company managed to multiply its revenue by 50 times against all odds. Barcode Entertainment is a technology-driven influencer marketing company, which prides itself in bringing together data-led performance, real human relationships, expert creative strategy, authentic engaging content, and laser-sharp paid media targeting.
The rise and impact of influencers has been one of the biggest forces in how the modern online social landscape has evolved in recent times. Influencer marketing spend has become a very big business in the wider area of marketing, rising 55 percent in the last year, with two-thirds of brands now deploying an influencer marketing strategy in some way.
Cracking the code
Barcode has built an inhouse platform for brands and media companies to source and engage with influencers for marketing campaigns. Their team of 150 influencer marketing specialists use this intelligent platform to contact and collaborate with more than 10 lakh macro and micro influencers across the country. Barcode connects brands with 25 million potential consumers daily via influencers primarily through “native” sponsored content across major social media platforms including videos and photos, blogs, and podcasts.
“In today’s time, every marketer demands scale and we deliver that with our highly skilled professionals at the right time. We are now India’s fastest growing and preferred influencer marketing agency who have encouraged simplicity and flexibility to usher into this new world,” says Rahul Khanna, Founder, Barcode Entertainment.
The New York Times recently said that the coronavirus changed the way we use the internet – words that have come true. Our tolerance for screen time has never been higher, and that’s not likely to change. “The creator economy is expanding rapidly as more and more people have turned to content creation as a secondary or primary source of income. India has more than 20 lakh content creators and they are growing exponentially. We want to support this new creative class by connecting them to the world’s enterprise consumer brands, allowing them to turn their passion into a possibility to earn a living,” adds Rahul.
Tarsame Mittal, Partner, Barcode Entertainment and also an industry veteran feels that today the concept of social proof has become an essential brand building tool for marketers. “In the wake of COVID-19 and the corresponding changes in consumer buying behaviour, consumer engagement with creators has increased 70 percent. As a result, brands are investing more in social proof to not only thrive, but stay relevant and survive,” he says.
With multiple offices in Mumbai and Bengaluru, Barcode is set to launch multiple creator studios across major metro markets of the country. “We want to be the next big thing in influencer marketing. We aim to double the employee count and scale 100x in revenue in the next six months. With our deep focus on short video and user generated content, we plan to launch an Intelligent Influencer Analytics Platform in a few weeks from now,” the founder says.
Another important sector where the team expects massive growth is short-form video content. According to estimates, nearly 50 percent of people consume at least an hour of online video per day. That means, as marketers, we’re all contesting for a portion of those 60 minutes. Short-form video content lends to a more aggressive content strategy, meaning greater saturation of branded content, allowing brands to be more agile.
“Short format content is the undisputed video format of choice for millennials and GenZ, representing the hottest growth category in digital media as of 2021. I anticipate short form video content to dominate influencer marketing over the next five years,” says Rahul, adding, “Our mission at Barcode is to make the space much more accessible and accountable by making it easier for brands to collaborate with the creator economy.”