Malaysia is a rather interesting market for social media influencers, KOLs and influencer marketing, and not just for the current state of the industry.
A recent report released by Google, Temasek and Bain & Company showed growth in new digital service consumers by 36% versus the total digital service consumers in Malaysia – a growth that is on par with the Southeast Asia region’s average, and higher than Singapore and Thailand.
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Additionally, the report showed that this digital penetration of new consumers is reaching non-metropolitan areas in Malaysia (59% of all new consumers), and is the region’s top market for non-metropolitan penetration.
Going back to our favourite data source, We Are Social and Hootsuite’s Digital 2020 reports, YouTube is seeing the strongest social media usage (93% of all users surveyed), followed by Facebook (89%) and Instagram (72%). This can also be attributed to Malaysia’s robust content creator ecosystem on YouTube, creating noteworthy and locally relevant content that drives audiences to consume content on the popular video platform.
In terms of social media penetration, the We Are Social and Hootsuite report also pegged active social media users at 26 million (81% penetration rate of total population), albeit the report was published in February 2020. Here at AnyMind Group, we’re pretty confident that social media user penetration has increased in Malaysia over the past 9 months.
With a growing market for digital services, including greater penetration outside of metro areas, and an already-strong social media user penetration, it is safe to say that social media influencer and KOL marketing will become a more powerful tool for marketers in Malaysia.
A closer look at social media influencers and KOLs in Malaysia The influencer scene in Malaysia is thriving! “YouTubers“ (or YouTube content creators), “Key Opinion Leaders” (or KOLs) and “Social influencers” are some common terms bandied about, and ultimately, these terms refer to individuals or groups of people who create content for their social media followings.
In fact, a social influencer can be anyone that holds an influence on purchase behaviour over their social media following based on their area of expertise, and can include celebrities, topic experts, or even your friends.
At AnyMind Group, we categorize influencers based on their follower sizes in the following way:
• Top stars (1M+ followers) • Macro-influencers (100K to 1M followers) • Micro-influencers (10K to 100K followers) • Nano-influencers (1K to 10K followers) • End users (100 to 1K followers)
It is also important to note that markets might have different categorizations, depending on the total population size of a market.
Based on data obtained from AnyMind Group’s influencer marketing platform, AnyTag (previously CastingAsia platform), arts & entertainment, fashion & lifestyle and beauty are the top three social influencer and KOL verticals in Malaysia, making up 44.2% of all influencers in Malaysia on the AnyTag platform.
On the other hand, the three fastest-growing influencer verticals in Malaysia are fitness, family and food & drink, providing marketers with a wealth of options for influencer marketing campaigns.
With that said, it’s important for marketers to note that influencer selection should not be determined just based on the vertical an influencer is in. For example, a mobile gaming company can work with influencers in verticals such as travel, lifestyle or entertainment, apart from just tapping on gaming influencers.
Which industries are utilizing influencer marketing effectively in Malaysia? Looking at the past year’s worth of influencer marketing campaigns on the AnyTag platform, there are several industries that stand out for Malaysia: telecommunications, gadgets, automotive, beauty, healthcare and gaming.
Interestingly, Instagram emerged as the most-used social media platform for influencer marketing campaigns in Malaysia (even though the platform ranks 3rd most-used social media platform in Malaysia), whilst Facebook and YouTube are tied in 2nd place.
For brands looking to tap on this still-growing sphere of marketing, those that already have digital storefronts are reaping the most benefits, as uncovered in our recent State of Influencer Marketing in Asia 2020 report.
The same report showed that engagement on an influencer’s post does not necessarily equate to clicks to a landing page, and the same holds true for campaigns in Malaysia.
Marketers should instead focus on the desired objectives and plan influencer selection around that: Selecting influencers based on similar or extended target audiences to the followers of a brand’s existing social media account, potential affinity with a brand and ability to deliver the desired impact, whilst conveying the brand’s objectives for the campaign. This way, influencers will be able to craft content based on clear requirements and deliver mutually beneficial relationship and value.
Social media influencer engagement rate sweet spots With engagement measurement (likes, comments, views, shares and post saves) most commonly used for awareness and even user interest, marketers have a wealth of indicators to choose from when targeting a specific objective.
It may be blatantly obvious, but post likes are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to measurement. Running a giveaway to generate awareness? Post shares would be the most valuable indicator of success. Running informational content about your product? Look towards measuring post saves (and post shares) to evaluate if your content is resonating with the right target audience.
Here are the engagement rate sweet spots for social influencers and KOLs in Malaysia based on data from the AnyTag platform:
Instagram: 1,500 to 15,000 followers Facebook: 500 to 5,000 followers YouTube: 5,000 to 30,000 subscribers
It’s also important to note that this is just a data point for higher post engagement, and is not a gauge of how much reach an influencer marketing campaign can receive.
AnyMind Group’s offerings for influencer marketing, social influencers and KOLs in Malaysia At AnyMind Group, we’ve built out a comprehensive array of offerings to ensure marketers in Malaysia can run effective and scalable influencer marketing activities, and breaks down borders for Malaysian businesses to reach the rest of Asia and the world through influencer marketing.
The AnyTag platform (previously known as CastingAsia platform) is a powerful influencer marketing and social media analytics platform that enables marketers to discover, activate, manage, measure and attribute influencer marketing campaigns in Malaysia and across the region. Apart from the usual engagement metrics, the platform can also track clicks and user acquisitions from influencer marketing campaigns. Marketers can tap on over 180,000 influencers and influencer data points across 45 markets globally.
Additionally, brands can also tap on AnyTag’s social media analytics features to understand the impact of influencer marketing campaigns on their social media platforms, perform competitor, keyword and follower analysis (and match similar follower demographics of a brand to those of influencers).
Marketers can also utilize the expertise of local influencer marketing experts situated in Malaysia and across Asia to develop local and regional influencer marketing strategies, or tap on advertising solutions like AnyDigital and POKKT for web and in-app advertising.
At the same time, AnyCreator (previously known as CastingAsia Creators Network) is an influencer network that was launched by AnyMind Group, providing influencers and content creators with resources and solutions for further growth. This has been supplemented by acquisitions of influencer networks in Thailand and Japan, providing additional exclusive and non-exclusive influencers for marketers to tap on.
The most recent offering in this space is AnyMind D2C for influencers, where influencers can easily ideate, manufacture and sell their own brands and products. Additionally, AnyMind Group will cover costs for selected influencers that span ideation and planning, the sourcing and procurement of suppliers through AnyFactory, production of samples and the setting up of e-commerce capabilities through AnyShop.
Round-ups from other markets • Social media influencer marketing in Indonesia • Social media influencer marketing in Japan • Social media influencer marketing in Vietnam • Social media influencer marketing in Thailand • Social media influencer marketing in the Philippines • Social media influencer marketing in Singapore
Influencer verticals – 2020
Overview of influencer marketing in Malaysia – Download here
State of Influence in Asia 2021 report – Download here
If you’re keen to learn more or find out how you can run effective influencer marketing in Hong Kong or across Asia, please feel free to reach out to us.