Southeast Asia Influencer Marketing: Overview
Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are among the most popular social media channels used by influencers in SEA (Southeast Asia). The usage per platform varies with countries such as Philippines preferring YouTube versus nations such as Malaysia where Facebook is the dominant platform. The next section provides an overview of the SEA social media influencer marketing landscape and details on each country.
SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCER ECOSYSTEM IN SEA
- A report by NexMo noted that East Asia and Southeast Asia are the number one and two social markets worldwide. Cumulatively, the two regions have one billion users accessing social media platforms.
- In SEA, Indonesia has the highest number of social media influencers. Male influencers are approximately 6,000, then female influencers around 10,000, and about 17,000 gender-neutral influencers.
- An average micro-influencer in SEA earns anywhere from $250 to $1000 per post, which is same for lifestyle bloggers with 120k+ followers and a 2-5% engagement rate.
- Instagram is the most used social media platform for brand promotion, with 23% more engagement than Facebook. Engagement rate is a key consideration when making decisions regarding selecting influencers for campaigns.
- Facebook used to be the dominant social platform in SEA; however, recent studies show that Instagram is beginning to dominate the SEA as well.
- A 2016 report published in the Wall Street Journal indicated that Instagram and Facebook are among the most widely used social media platforms for online transactions in Southeast Asia. The two platforms account for approximately 33% (a third) of these online transactions in the region.
- Instagram advertising has become a big part of SEA society. It influences many purchasing decisions in the region.
- Influencer marketing in SEA is centered on Instagram and around popular influencers including, "Vivy Yusof, Lisa Surihani, Nora Danish, Emma Maembong, and Zizan Razak." These influencers promote their brands and the products/services of other businesses through Instagram every single day to help businesses to organically expand their reach.
- Approximately 97% of influencers surveyed in Thailand use Instagram as a platform. Another 67% of influencers in the survey use blogs and Twitter, 33% have YouTube channels, 30% engage followers on Facebook, and 10% use other platforms.
- In Indonesia, Instagram is highly preferred because of its dominance over visual content, which is also the reason why Twitter, which also supports visual content, is the second most popular choice.
- 67% of influencer publish content on blogs and use social media as distribution channels. These influencers also drive audiences to their different channels.
- The top five most active social media platforms in Indonesia are YouTube 49%, Facebook 48%, Instagram 39%, Twitter 38%, and Whatsapp 38%.
- In Malaysia, 70% of teens YouTube subscribers prefer influencer opinions over those of traditional celebrities. 32% of influencers use Facebook versus 24% who use Instagram.
- Malaysia has the biggest population of Instagram users. 73% of all internet users in Malaysia have an Instagram account. Research shows that Malaysians prefer to follow local social media influencers.
- A great example of local influencer is Vivy Yusof, a blogger, and fashionista. She uses Instagram mainly and currently has over 1.5 million followers.
- Vivy is not only popular in Malaysia. She is an icon for Southeast Asia and encourages shopping throughout the region. She is also featured across stronger advertising platforms in SEA.
- Based on the most recent data, Instagram is the most popular channel used by influencers in Singapore at 75%, Facebook 16.5%, Snapchat 3.6%, Twitter 1.9%, YouTube 1.7%, and Pinterest 1.5%.
- Narratrs, the Singaporean micro-influencer platform reports that content created and marketed by micro-influencers can generate up to 10 times higher engagement rates than content generated and amplified by macro-influencers.
- Singaporean people also prefer the opinions of their local influencers in making purchase decisions. Notable ones include @katherinaolivia, who posts about travel, entrepreneurship, and lifestyle. She has 267k followers and an engagement rate of 8.31%.
- In the Philippines, 66% of social media users at least follow one personality. Travel, food, and cosmetics are the most appealing content to follow on social media with travel favored by 50% of the respondents, food 43%, and cosmetics 42%.
- Instagram growth in the Philippines is moving at incredible speeds, with the number of followers rising 50% from 2015 to 2016.
- The most popular influencer channels followed in the Philippines by many individuals is YouTube at 67%, Facebook 51%, Instagram 44%, Twitter 17%, Blog or personality 7%, and so on.
- Philippines demographics tend to follow local social media influencer. In 2018, influencer marketing elicited 20.3 million comments and 1.48 billion likes on social media.
- Among the most engaging Instagram influencers in the Philippines is @cleoamoreamiotonu, who posts about kids and kids. She has an engagement rate of 12.18% and over one million followers.
- In Vietnam, more than 50% of the young population can get influenced by the fashion taste of an opinion leader, while 60% are ready to learn from the life experiences of the opinion leaders.
- An estimated 85% of Vietnamese social media users follow an influencer on Facebook, while 61% do so on YouTube. 96% of 18-years and below follow influencers on Facebook versus 80% of those aged 18 and over.
- The average influencer in Vietnam has approximately 17,852 followers and a 5% engagement rate. It is also estimated that 60% of internet users in Vietnam have interacted with an influencer positively, with 45% commenting or engaging with something the influencer shared.
- Like other SEA countries, social media users in Vietnam also follow local channels. For instance, CamCam chan, who uses the handle @camcamsayhi and posts about kids and dolls has 302k followers and an engagement rate of around 14.82%.
- In Thailand, 70% of teens YouTube subscribers prefer influencer opinions over traditional celebrities. As per the findings of a report published by Starngage, 32% of influencers working with various brands in Thailand cite Facebook as the best platform, then Instagram at 24%.
- 86% of the most-viewed beauty videos on YouTube in Thailand were created by influencers versus 14% videos that were created by beauty brands.
- Approximately 57% of beauty and fashion companies in Thailand use influencers as part of their marketing strategies, and on average, these businesses earn $6.50 for every $1 invested in influencer marketing.
- Consumers in Thailand rely on influencers and word of mouth to make purchase decisions.
- Examples of mega-influencers in Thailand include Araya Alberta Hargate, who posts about travel, fashion, culture, lifestyle, and so on has 8.9 million followers and 9,796 posts.
We uncovered most of the findings from publicly available reports about influencer marketing in the SEA region and reports specifically for each country. These resources contained comprehensive reports about social media influencer marketing, specifically the fast-growing Instagram adoption across the world's most populous region. The focus was on reports published locally by leading marketing research platforms, marketing agencies, and business and news reports. Information for each country was searched separately across several local media agencies and regional news outlets. Next, to provide details of examples of some of the most engaging influencers in each country, we used their Instagram profiles to retrieve data such as followers and what they post about.