Social media influencers remain digital marketing choice for local brands

Study finds 80% of all Malaysians who have access to the Internet are also on Facebook, that brings the number to 18m users


Local brands continue to leverage on social media influencers’ reach for the masses and the number is expected to grow between 20% and 30% this year.

Terence Ngu, the chief community officer for influencer marketing platform StarNgage, told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) that there has been an increasing demand for the niche market, especially from gaming streamers, sports and cosmetic products.

Ngu also said there are more concerted campaigns from brands, especially for certain niches like the e-commerce sector.

“From the influencer trends and the overall landscape, the industry is moving towards live videos, influencer relationship management, artificial intelligence in influencer marketing, emerging platforms like Twitch and TikTok, as well as virtual influencers and nano-influencers,” he said.

“The industry average should be growing at 20% to 30% rate. We are seeing a similar growth rate as well generally, but for certain niches, we actually see more demand from brands, especially in the gaming streamers/broadcasters (segment),” he added.

StarNgage earlier has reported that 2019 is going to be a year which would focus more on return-on-investment and actual sales performance or conversion for influencer marketing.

Previously, TMR reported that the influencer market size was valued between RM280.46 million and RM560.91 million in the country last year.

The money that was initially put into hard marketing campaigns had shifted to funding influencers so that brands can utilise their influence on followers.

It makes obvious sense why digital marketing is preferred in Malaysia as based on StarNgage’s data, Facebook and Instagram are the fastest growing social media platforms in Malaysia from 2015 to 2017.

Based on Facebook itself, the firm revealed that 80% of all Malaysians who have access to the Internet are also on the social networking website, that brings the number to 18 million users — more than half of the entire population.

There are different types of influencers — it is mainly based on their preferred social media platform. For example, an influencer in the blogosphere would be able to write brand reviews on his blog, while for an influencer who engages more on YouTube, they would be tasked to market or review certain products in video posts.

Still, to the layman, bloggers and influencers are one and the same — Internet users whose words and content are paid for by brands to promote their products.

According to Google Trends analytics, the interest over time for the term “influencer” has grown exponentially within the past five years.

However, local influencers claimed that the brands have become more selective and would go for individuals with the most online base or

“The way I see it, smaller brands opt for bloggers, while bigger brands target influencers with over 10,000 followers to engage with, blogger Nur Liyana, who writes at said.

In addition, she said some bloggers have also stopped calling themselves bloggers, opting for the buzz-word label “influencers” instead.

“I feel like among my blogger friends, some are still doing reviews very actively, while the rest are writing their own content.

“Also note that bloggers are moving towards vlogging (video-blogging) or Facebook and Instagram, and don’t quite blog as much nowadays,” she said.

The world of social media influencers is competitive too as those who are in it aspire to emulate the success of Datin Vivy Yusof, the founder of FashionValet, and Emma Shazleen Ali, who grew their homegrown brands based on their blogs and snagged the coveted influencer and entrepreneur statuses at once.

Comedian luqmanpodolski or Luqmanul Haqim Kamaruddin and multi-skilled influencer Johanis Sani also fall under this definition, both of whom grew in popularity from their contents and managed to attract more followers and sponsorship deals.