How Aer Media is tapping into the Rs 2,200 Cr influencer marketing segment

By Sindhu Kashyaap
December 20, 2022, Updated on : Tue Dec 20 2022 11:32:44 GMT+0000
How Aer Media is tapping into the Rs 2,200 Cr influencer marketing segment
Aer Media is a Mumbai-based influencer marketing based startup. The bootstrapped startup already has roped in the likes of GSK and others.
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Consumer behaviours started changing in the early 2010s, thanks to the advent of social media. Companies across the world started realising it was important to build a narrative around their brands to gain customers' attention via this new medium.


Launched by Atin Sharma, Pooja Doshi Sharma, and Vinay Anand, Aer Media helps brands click with their target audience. The bootstrapped influencer marketing startup has worked with and continues to work with clients such as Johnson & Johnson, GSK, and other top consumer brands.


Atin has worked in the investment banking field, and Pooja Doshi Sharma, who had previously worked with L'Oreal India and L'Oreal USA. Vinay, on the other hand, has been a serial entrepreneur and had exited his previous media organisation, Pipes.

The background

“Our vision is to create the largest creator economy ecosystem in India.  Our unique blend of marketing and technology expertise position us for market leadership as we witness this unprecedented boom in influencer marketing and the creator economy,” says Atin, Founder and CEO. 


Vinay adds when the team started its journey, influencer marketing was in its nascent stages. Brands were working with a few with influencers without a data-driven approach. 


“With the growing relatability of influencers, we knew it was a matter of time before influencer marketing became central to a brand’s media mix. Over the last six years, influencer marketing has grown exponentially and is currently the fastest growing segment within digital marketing in India,” adds Pooja, Co-founder.


When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, influencer marketing was impacted like every other business. However, once the uncertainty receded, the segment bounced back. 


The driver for this was unprecedented growth in the consumer purchase funnel moving from offline (pre-pandemic) to predominantly online (post and during the pandemic). Brands started to focus on ecommerce and influencers started to play a pivotal role in the purchase decision of consumers. 


“We are built around the creators and influencers. We aim to work with and empower not just the top-of-the-funnel creators but have a lot of focus on the macro and nano influencers. We believe that's how we can drive the growth of this ecosystem from the grassroots,” explains Vinay, Co-founder.  

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The model

Aer Media’s model works with brands instead of working with influencers. 


The founding team explains that Aer Media activates the influencer marketing strategy for their brands. For example, when a brand launches a particular product, it gives Aer Media an outline of its target audience and what it likes to achieve. 


“Based on this, our platform Unbox Social creates a list of the best influencers that would work with the brand and the product. We work with the influencers and give them access to these brands,” Vinay says. The team charges the brands a retainer fee after factoring in its own expenditure.


While the team did not disclose the numbers, it said, since its launch, Aer Media has executed more than 2,500 influencer campaigns and created well over 100,000 pieces of content. The team adds the business model in the future can be based on a percentage of spending or can be campaign based.


The team size is close to 120 people and is profitable.

Market and future 

Over the past few years, influencer marketing has seen a significant upswing. A report by Social Beat adds India’s influencer marketing industry will touch a whopping Rs 2,200 crore by 2025. Brands like Roposo, Trell, and Meesho also operate in this space. But it also is a hard business to crack, as seen in the case of Trell, which faced significant financial issues. 


“We don’t have a separate app that influencers have to go to, we work and partner with existing social media platforms. And the influencers directly get the campaigns they can choose on the platforms they already are on,” explains Pooja. She says this helps reduce spend and focus needed to maintain a separate app. 


Pooja explains clients remain central to how the team thinks of innovation and scale. She adds Aer Media is a solution-oriented business.


Understanding that there are several nano and micro-influencers in the market who can help brands, the team decided to launch Fluttr platform. The technology is currently in its pilot stages. While it is a free service now, the team intends to charge brands per post in the future. 


The team explains it will solve for the two key constraints of influencer marketing—budgets and ROI.  Fluttr will connect branded content to commerce, making it an end of the funnel activity in addition to the consideration and awareness role it currently plays. 


“For brands they can do influencer marketing at scale and also get deeper ROI measurability, for content creators they can benefit from a variety of monetisation avenues that Fluttr will bring to life for them. By leveraging our existing ecosystem, Fluttr is already in line to work with over 100 brands this financial year and aims to scale this to 300 within the next 12 months,” says Atin.


(This article has been updated based on new information provided by the founding team to ensure accurate representation.)


Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti

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