INFLUENCER MARKETING – A NEW VIRTUAL FRONTIER
Prolific advertising continues to be the determinant for exponential growth of businesses. Traditional advertising is constricted in its impact due to limitations of media access. The past few years have seen a rapid increase in use of Instagram Influencers as an important alternate to traditional advertising. This segment has registered an enormous impact in influencing the psyches of prospective buyers. Despite the huge potential of this platform from a futuristic point of view, researchers have not yet explored this medium of unconventional marketing. Consumers have begun to extensively rely on online platforms for purchase decisions. In this context the influencers who have established credibility and audience on the platform have a major impact on the purchasing decisions of their followers. Thus, it has become very important for marketing professionals to study this mode of marketing. The purpose of this study is to build a model giving a structure to the types of influencers on Instagram and to categorize them into groups based on various attributes. This study is an observational study done by analyzing various Instagram profiles to understand the kinds of profiles, the content being consumed by viewers and other attributes including number of followers, kinds of content being posted and engagement strategies with their audiences.