Influencer Marketing in Southeast Asia

Who knew the Covid crisis could have beneficial consequences? This is what Southeast Asia have been experiencing. Indeed Influencer marketing has been really successful since the beginning of the pandemic. Here is why!

December 20, 2021
Camille Valentin

The impact of Covid on Influencer Marketing in Asia  

There were two things that we couldn’t have predicted these last two years: the Covid pandemic and the impact it would have on Influencer Marketing in Southeast Asia. Unexpectedly, Influencer Marketing in Asia has been booming ever since the beginning of the pandemic.

But there are concrete explanations to this phenomenon. The first reason is the fact that we were forced to spend more time at home. This means that we also had more time to spend on social media. The first lockdown was especially impactful on our screen time since a lot of industries were at a standstill, this means that we were stuck at home, not being able to do anything. Social media was also our only way to stay in touch with our relatives and friends, and the rest of the world. Platforms like Instagram and TikTok were inundated with challenges and lives to keep ourselves connected from one another.

Ultimately a higher time spent on social media means a higher chance of seeing a partnership done by an influencer. So in that sense, it was profitable for brands to make collabs with influencers during that time.

The rise of e-commerce

With the pandemic, e-commerce has increased mostly because of uncertainties regarding lockdowns, and curfews. It has been more profitable for businesses to sell online. Because their target audience is online, it makes sense for them to use influencers to promote their brand. Thanks to influencer marketing e-commerce owners can greatly increase the traffic to their website. In 2020, Shopee was visited 281M times in total in Southeast Asia. A significant figure that illustrates perfectly the rise of e-commerce in our consumption habits.

The development of online events

Online events have also become quite popular for brands. We couldn’t meet in person so we had to adapt. Many brands decided to do webinars or online events. Many of them decided to invite influencers because that would increase their visibility and also encourage more people to join these events.

Other reasons

Even if the pandemic played a great role in the development and rise of influencer marketing in Southeast Asia, there were other factors to that.

There are a lot of benefits to influencer marketing.

Unlike traditional advertising, influencer marketing is seen as more genuine. Influencers build their community on trust and relatability. Influencers are often experts in a specific field (beauty, fitness, gaming…). Thus their followers are more likely to follow their recommendations.

Using Influencer marketing also allows brands to be seen by people who aren’t reachable with other traditional marketing channels. Firstly some people don’t watch TV or read newspapers so they don’t get exposed to ads. Secondly, many people use AD blockers on their computers, meaning that they don’t get exposed to a lot of digital ads. Thus partnering influencers allows brands to expand their reach and gain more visibility.

The characteristics of Influencer Marketing in Southeast Asia

The most popular social media  

Youtube is extremely popular in this region of the world. In 2018, SouthEast Asia Youtube users drove 20% of all video consumption around the world. TikTok is also becoming more and more popular especially with younger people. Many young people think this platform is great for activism. Indeed the app has a unique algorithm allowing creators to easily go viral, even without many followers. So this is the perfect platform for people who are trying to rally more people behind their cause. Overall Southeast Asia internet users are huge video lovers.

The type of content

First of all, we have to keep in mind that mega influencers were already a thing in Southeast Asia and thus way before the pandemic. What really shifted is the number of micro-influencers. This type of influence has increased a lot since the beginning of the Covid crisis. Perhaps people were looking for more genuineness and authenticity.

The management of several micro-influencers can be done on a tool like Favikon or via an agency specialized in the sector like INSG. which also allow a complete management of your Instagram accounts.

The top-tier influencers

In Thailand, Davika Hoorne is one of the most followed influencers. She became famous as an actress and model. She now has almost 15M followers on Instagram. She mostly posts pictures of herself during her travels across the globe and in beautiful locations. Her Instagram feed screams “life goal”, which can definitely explain why she is so popular.

Davika Hoorne's Instagram post

In Indonesia, one of the biggest influencers is also an actress. Prilly Latuconsina is known for being an actress, singer, and host. Her Instagram account counts more than 45M followers and her TikTok account has reached 5.5M followers.

But many mega influencers are celebrities who acquired their fame thanks to their movies or albums, some influencers are building a community from scratch. Let’s have a look at micro-influencers!

Mayie Mapili is a content creator with 24k on Instagram and 72k on Youtube and she also created a TikTok. By creating a lot of content on the internet, Mayie has started to develop a small community and many brands have already decided to work with her! She has shared partnerships with Nescafé and Rexona. This is proof that even the biggest brands are investing in Influencer marketing in this area of the world.

Mayie Mapili's partnership with Nescafé

Another great example of a micro-influencer is Brandon Teo. He mostly posts travel, fitness, and lifestyle content. His Instagram account has reached 20.4k followers. Brandon has already collaborated with high-end brands like Burberry and Calvin Klein perfume. This isn’t surprising since Brandon has a very good engagement rate of 5.39% and account growth of 4.50%

What to expect in the future? It is most likely that influencer marketing will keep growing in Southeast Asia and that more brands will collaborate with nano or micro-influencers. TikTok isn’t still very used by brands for influencer marketing, but TikTokers collaborations may be more common in the future, and especially in Southeast Asia where many people enjoy video content.

About the author

Camille Valentin

Painting and make-up are her favourite hobbies... she is indeed a true artist! 👩‍🎨 She also has a degree in Dutch and English! Did we mention she is an influencer ? Camille has a food Instagram account (We have a foodie!) and works on her TikToks too! 🤩 She definitely has more than one string to her bow 🔥