A quick Google search of trending Marketing strategies would definitely highlight “Influencer Marketing” as one of them. With social media gaining popularity rapidly, it is almost instinctive for the online platform to capitalize on this.
From a study conducted in 2020, about 28.4 million out of 32.4 million Malaysians have access to the internet. This figure shows no signs of slowing down especially when we are living in an increasingly digitalized world. International brands like Adidas, Häagen-Daz, and Dunkin-Donuts, just to name a few, have pivoted to portion their advertising budget for Influencer Marketing. Beyond its value for every buck, the success of this strategy can be traced back to hitting the fundamental touchpoints of Marketing.
Obvious reasons include: The world becoming more digitally wired and above 80% of Malaysians are on the internet. More importantly, 47% of them are active Instagram users. While YouTube and Facebook are leading at 68% and 67% respectively, Instagram is quickly inching its way up with the industry's big boys.
Figures aside, Instagram influencers are akin to your brand's personas, as well as a representation of your target audience group. They are in technical terms, Opinion Leaders that people trust. Your word-of-mouth advertising 2.0. Influencers are able to resonate with their following on a more intimate level. A simple example would be that you would prefer to converse with a human to assist in addressing your concerns than a bot that goes through the motion.
Moving past the human-centricity, there is more focus on building towards Brand Loyalty. A Brand will always want to be the preferred choice and not an option in the face of a consumer. Influencers are able to achieve that with slice-of-life content that genuinely resonates. In short, it is as real as it can be, without the Marketing floof - which as consumers, we generally dislike. We want to know that we are making informed purchasing decisions, and Instagram allows for that with the in-time features, that empower that, and communicative videos. It really is the authenticity that we are buying into.
Plain and simple, they understand what hooks your target audience. Chances are, you have selected your ideal brand extension because you see the affinity they have with your Brand.
There are numerous ways you can reach your target audience, but Influencers are your key to ensuring the message sticks.
In an influencer engagement success with @qiqi_online_house, the featured influencers note that this is not her first rodeo with the Brand. This re-engagement shows that her content has managed to penetrate the advertising noise to impact the ideal reaction, and sales.
An influencer is able to go where Brands are unable to reach. They are able to optimize each campaign touchpoint with their personal branding. Whether it is product placements or active advocacy, Influencers are able to convince on behalf of the represented Brand. They humanize the product. They make it accessible, all while adhering to your campaign values.
Every Brand goes through a stagnation phase that requires a bit of zazz to move back into your consumers’ hearts. Circa Instagram 2016. Part of the Influencer experience is the ability to testbed what works for your Brand. The tone of voice perhaps? The content curation maybe? The colour scheme? It is a less costly experiment (also with low to zero direct backlashes) for Brands to decide their pivots, in real-time.
Influencers have their personal branding that introduces additional life to your Brand strategy. Be it through the content, copies or venturing into a nice audience market, they are leverages that you can capitalize on without straying too far from the current brand guidelines.
In 2021, McDonald's Malaysia partnered with a group of macro and micro-influencers to launch their Spicy Korean Burger.
Credit: McDonald’s Malaysia
#McDKIdolSearch, the Instagram contest garners astounding eyeballs and attracted over 1 000 entries.
This would have been an entirely unheard strategy of McDonald’s given their family-orientated direction. With the assistance of Influencers, the Brand truly added a touch of necessary spice to roll their campaign to success.
Influencer Marketing has shown steady success in recent times. With more consumers preferring to conduct their review research prior to purchasing, Influencers offer a direct shortcut to your target audience’s buying process.