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Report: Local nuance and trust needed for influencer marketing in SEA

Report: Local nuance and trust needed for influencer marketing in SEA

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Influencer marketing in Southeast Asia (SEA) has undergone a dramatic transformation in the past two years.

The biggest change lies in the rise of micro and nano-influencers where brands are recognising the power of smaller creators. This shift reflects a growing consumer desire for trust and real connections. 

In addition, consumers in SEA are savvier and crave genuine connections, leading to influencer marketing campaigns prioritising transparency and "deinfluencing". This is according to R3's authenticity and transparency in SEA influencer marketing report where it explored trends, local nuances and its impact on the direction of influencer marketing in the region. 

Don't miss: Study: 67% of marketers to increase investments in influencer marketing in 2024 

“Southeast Asia’s influencer marketplace is diverse yet niche, large yet siloed, engaged yet fleeting. Looking through a wider APAC lens may provide marketers some insight into the region but understand influencer marketing by country is key to optimising return on investment,” said Shufen Goh, co-founder and principal at R3.

While just over half of Southeast Asian consumers follow influencers on social media, a majority (82%) admit to having been influenced by them in their purchasing decisions.

Across genders and generations, beauty influencers are the most influential in SEA – with about 41% of consumers having been influenced to buy beauty products because of an influencer’s content.

The top categories for women were beauty, fashion and food and beverages, and the top categories for men were tech/gadgets, food and beverages and fashion.

While Baby Boomers fall behind other generations in terms of conversion, they were the most influenced out of all generations to buy food and beverages.

In addition, social media posts and social influencers are in a constant state of co-evolution. The right format can significantly boost engagement for both influencers and brands. On top of that, the format an influencer excels in can help define their niche too.

For example, a gamer might primarily use livestreams and gameplay videos, while a fashion influencer might focus on high-quality photos and aesthetically pleasing stories.

Brands should also collaborate with influencers to create content in specific formats that align with their campaign goals. For example, a travel brand might partner with an influencer for a series of Instagram story highlights showcasing a new destination.

Other popular formats include product demo and tutorial, hauls and unboxing, brand events, affiliate codes, educational content and advice and recipes. 

As the influencer marketing industry matures, agencies have added capabilities that address key challenges faced by their clients when it comes to influencer marketing.

According to the report, agencies are building out end-to-end integrated capabilities, and developing tools and platforms that supercharge productivity.

Notably, agencies from larger social and eCommerce markets such as Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines tend to focus on local markets, while agencies from smaller markets such as Singapore tend to have a regional or global scope of operations that include large markets.

Moving forward, it is also important for brands and agencies to consider content creators. While the terms 'influencer' and 'creator' are often used interchangeably, there is a subtle, yet significant, difference between the two. This is according to Partipost's recent report "2024 Influencer Marketing Insights: Key Metrics and Industry Trends".

In the report, influencers are primarily known for their ability to influence consumer choices and are typically seen as lifestyle leaders and trendsetters.

Creators, on the other hand, are content-centric with their primary focus being producing innovative, original content, often with a specific niche or expertise. They are often perceived as more authentic and genuine too. 

Partipost found that the trend is now leaning towards creators as brands are increasingly seeking to collaborate with individuals who can create content that resonates deeply with their audience, rather than just promote products. 

Join us on 12 June 2024 for an exciting experience as Content360 makes its debut in Malaysia! Brace yourself to join the crème de la crème of the content marketing industry hailing from across the region. Immerse yourself in a dynamic atmosphere, and uncover the latest trends with thought leaders and solution providers from the realm of content.

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