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What’s next for influencer marketing?

This post is sponsored by SushiVid.

Marketing channels have evolved swiftly over the past five years as Millennials are seeking “preferential” content to consume. These days, Millennials have moved on from traditional media such as TV and radio to digital/web-based mediums to idolise their celebrities.

For example, Millennials are increasingly watching more videos on YouTube created by “authentic” everyday people instead of paid actors on TV. News is delivered to this generation by listening to podcasts hosted by thought leaders instead of reading newspapers or watching the news. The vast alternatives and on-demand media currently accessible is something that wasn’t readily available even as near as five years ago.

The new media and medium have brought upon a new kind of brand ambassadors – influencers. Influencers and influencer marketing enables brands to execute more targeted audience campaigns. is a key opinion leader (KOL)/influencer marketing tool that enables brands to find, hire and work with influencers for marketing campaigns at scale. Its founder Yuhwen Foong talks to A+M about influencer marketing, its impact and future.

What are your thoughts on influencer marketing?
From our research on Google Search, the term “influencer marketing” rose 325% over the year of 2017. We are still in the early stages of KOL/influencer marketing in Asia. At SushiVid, we continue to view eCommerce brands such as Lazada and Shopee as industry advocates for influencer marketing.

We strongly believe that all other industries will soon follow suit and influencer marketing will be essential in every digital marketer’s playbook for all their campaigns.

(Source: Google Trend)

This market is truly exciting, we did not have TikTok two years ago, but it’s prevalent now. With the continuous evolution of existing social media platforms and new platforms such as TikTok, Kwai and MeiPai, managing KOLs/influencers across social media will be key for any successful digital marketer.

What do you think is next for KOL/influencer marketers to note?
There will be a lot more social media platforms coming from China into Southeast Asia. I definitely see them as future industry leaders compared with platforms from the US, just because they do not have legacy issues like YouTube/Facebook.

Alibaba building its regional distribution hub in Malaysia is also a major catalyst to the growth of all things China in this region.

There will also be a large number of mixing online-to-offline (O2O) campaigns. To put it simply, if you’re running an event offline, you would consider bringing influencers to the event to capture the moments live and let the content stay online indefinitely. Online users are not looking for the perfect production, they are looking for the BTS (behind the scenes) shenanigans, and how they may get involved.

To give you some context, what influencer marketing does especially for O2O influencer campaigns are:

  1. Generate traffic and eyeballs through Facebook live and Instagram stories, among others
  2. Creates engaging real life content
  3. Enables brand/product announcements to the masses in an informal way

SushiVid assisted to conceptualise and execute an O2O campaign that seemed impossible in March 2019. Upon a short notice of only 10 days to plan, organise and execute, we managed to host 200 influencers from Malaysia to attend Lazada’s #MYSuperParty in Jakarta and with hundreds more micro-influencers (individuals between a thousand to a million followers) to support the campaign locally. We managed to capture the experience of the event “behind the scenes” with the KOLs, and in my opinion, successfully took over Instagram for the day.

Our O2O campaign collaboration with Lazada, for example, really tested our promise to deliver ‘Influencer Marketing At Scale’. Yet we managed the campaign to huge success through our own platform and with the power of technology automation.

SushiVid attributes its successful O2O campaign with Lazada to its close collaborations with 200 prominent influencers such as Sharifah Rose, Adira Salahudi, Syada Amzah, Yang Bao Bei and Syhfit. The influencers are above with Foong and founding member Firdaus Helmy.

We are testing a lot more models, replicating and evolving from what is already successful in China and the US. There will be a lot of changes in the space and we’re very excited to see how we can help shape it.

SushiVid is Southeast Asia’s leading influencer management tool for influencers from Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and The Philippines.