Instagram remains the most used platform by brands for influencer marketing campaigns but its growth is showing signs of slowing down, said a report from Anymind Group. Meanwhile, when it comes to platforms used by influencers, YouTube takes the crown, said the study State of Influence in Asia 2021.
The report, which covers 11 markets across Asia, namely Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and Indonesia, says that in the past year Instagram, Facebook and Twitter saw increases in proportion to the other social media platforms, whilst YouTube still ranks highest in most-used social media platforms by influencers, when compared in proportion to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
In Hong Kong, about 45.67% of influencers used Instagram to run campaigns, and 30.25% used Facebook. About 21.83% of Hong Kong influencers went for YouTube, and only 2.25% chose Twitter. In Singapore, Instagram saw 34.9% of influencers and not far behind, YouTube took 37.18% of the pie as the most popular platforms used by influencers. Facebook was chosen by only 19.52% of influencers.
Twitter had the lowest proportion of only 8.4%. Malaysian influencers are also Instagram heavy raking in 28.17% of users, closely followed by YouTube at 33.06% and Facebook at 21.56% and Twitter at 7.21%. In Indonesia, YouTube took home a large chunk of the creators' hearts and time with 35.74% preferring YouTube and 29.16% for Instagram. Facebook was 26.76% and Twitter was 8.34%.
In the past year, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter saw increases in influencer usage proportion in Asia to the other social media platforms, but nonetheless YouTube still ranks highest in most-used social media platforms. The increase in influencer’s usage of Facebook was driven by markets such as Vietnam and Myanmar, whilst Instagram was driven by markets including Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore, said the study. Between 2020 to 2021, there was a shift by micro-influencers to become macro-influencers, with macro-influencer volume increasing by approximately 66%. At the same time, the number of influencers with more than 100,000 followers in total have also increased as a proportion to other influencers, and this is a trend that we will continue to see in the coming year.
What type of marketing and content works?
Over the past year, influencers who created content around fashion and beauty were the most popular, but had the third-lowest growth rate amongst influencer verticals. Due to movement restrictions across the region, there was also a large rise in influencers producing home-based content, including food and beverage such as cooking tutorials, family or parenting, sports, mainly fitness, and travel. There were also a more significant increase for influencers across Asia creating content around business and finance, as compared to 2020. With cross-border travel restricted for most regions in the past year, influencers have also taken to creating content around domestic travel.
Meanwhile, when it comes to platforms chosen by brands to run influencer marketing campaigns, Instagram remained the most used platform. The report said about 47% of influencer marketing campaigns were run on Instagram. Facebook accounted for 25%, with YouTube and Twitter boasting a proportion of 16.25% and 11.88% respectively.
Although the start of the pandemic saw a larger number of cause-related influencer marketing campaigns (such as campaigns around brands urging audiences to stay at home), that number has dropped in 2021.
Instead, brands are once again activating product-related influencer marketing campaigns, with the volume of branding-related campaigns still consistent in the past year. Larger spikes in influencer marketing campaigns are attributed to traditional shopping seasons during the months of November and December. There are also very few influencer marketing campaigns which require influencers to attend events, compared to pre-pandemic volumes, due to movement restrictions across the region.
Diving into 2,000 influencer marketing campaigns run on the AnyTag platform in the past year, the study states that there are no trends that stand out when looking at the difference between awareness-driven and performance-driven campaigns by month. One of the reasons is that performance-driven influencer marketing campaigns are still nascent in this part of the world.
When looking at the proportion of performance-driven versus awareness-driven campaigns by market:
● Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand ran campaigns that were largely performance-driven
● India, Japan, Philippines and Vietnam ran campaigns that were largely aimed at mass awareness
Kosuke Sogo CEO and co-founder of AnyMind Group said that driven by the democratisation of tools available for influencers and creators, there is now a continued growth of the creator economy all around the world.
In Asia, forward-thinking marketers, influencers and creators have already embraced the new creator economy and are experiencing the benefits of it. Marketers can increasingly tap on deeper data and technology around influencers to power influencer marketing campaigns. We are now in a new era of influence,” he said.
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