Gone were the days when bloggers used to rule supreme. "Influencer" is the new keyword now, and they have the power to influence your target market. From Facebook, Instagram to Youtube, these influencers are practically dominating our social media platforms. We see brands collaborating with influencers whether on a long-term ambassadorship program or a short product launch, these influencers are celebrities and media all rolled into one.
Image source: Owlmetrics
So what exactly is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is basically content that may be framed as testimonial advertising. Credible and relatable, the content is a personal account and message on the product or brand. More often than not, influencers provide an account of their experience with the product, as a customer or a potential one. An influencer has a large social media following who identifies with the influencer's personality traits, tastes or lifestyle - and in turn trust the influencer's judgement.
Instead of focusing on large groups of consumers with mainstream digital media, brands are choosing to sponsor and collaborate with 'influencers' to get the word out. The best part for brands is that working influencers can turn influencers into brand or product advocates.
How does Influencer Marketing work?
It's straightforward, really. With the increased usage of mobile devices and apps, users are finding themselves spending more and more time on the phone, where they follow influencers and read about their shopping or fashion choices.
Here's a screenshot of socialite Kylie Jenner's Instagram post, featuring her posing with a product that has garnered over 1.9 million likes.
First, get the brand or product associated with an influencer of your choice. It could be a press conference, product launch or an exclusive sponsorship.
Second, list down the performance metrics and your team's expectations with the sponsorship, including any other terms, for example cash reward, impressions count, etc.
Third, monitor performance based on the metrics and if affiliate marketing is also thrown into the mix, you can track the effectiveness based on sales or a simple hashtag campaign.
Of course, there are different ways you can make an influencer's post better, for example rewarding his/her followers with a coupon code, or send out free samples.
Why is this important to marketeers?
Many companies don't even have influencer marketing on their radar as it is relatively new and companies often have no control of the message. Marketeers who are entrenched in traditional marketing often fail to understand the importance of interactive and emotional advertisements, whereas digital advertisements lack a personal touch.
The tech-savvy millennials are now a big part of the workforce, and according to Wired.com, millennials will make up 75% of the workforce by 2030. In order to capitalize on this growing market, marketeers need to understand their target market's behavioral traits and select the right influencers for their brands.
Some of Malaysia's top influencers are:
1 - Jin Lim (@jinnyboy)
Jin Lim used to be a Radio DJ at Malaysia's No.1 radio station hitz.fm and during his tenure, he launched a successful Youtube Channel. Today, his Youtube channel has over 760,000 subscribers and over 117 million views! Brands like Samsung, HP and even Baywatch the movie have collaborated with Jin to promote their products.
2 - Cheeserland (@cheeserland)
Cheesie and her daughter posing with The Body Shop new Fuji Green Tea hair treatment
Cheesie a.k.a. Ringo has been a blogger ever since there were blogs to begin with. Today, she's a mother of two with 239,000 followers on Instagram and has written a book on how she made a living blogging. Many fashion brands and baby products have found their way to her Instagram page and blog.
3 - Emma Shazleen Ali (@emmashazleen)
Emma has just bagged the Top Fashion Influencer Award in Influence Asia 2017. Her petite figure and edgy fashion sense has won her 159,000 followers on Instagram.
Fashion and beauty brands like Mac Cosmetics, YSL and Gucci have worked with her to unveil their latest line-ups.
4 - Eunice Martin Lim (@eunicemartin)
Talking about knowing her food, Eunice is truly Malaysian and she knows how to pamper her tastebuds. Her photos are captivating, no wonder her followers are drooling.
Eunice is invited to many tasting sessions, meals and restaurant openings. To date her Instagram account has over 47,800 followers who are also food enthusiasts.
5 - Carey Ng (@careyons)
Miss Universe Malaysia 2013 Carey Ng is the perfect blend between brains and beauty. Her high profile wedding to entrepreneur Roencian has further promoted her brand as a confident, successful woman.
Today, her Instagram account has over 79,000 followers and this beauty queen is endorsed by Adidas, H&M, Neubodi, and too many more.
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