THE rise of social media in its many varied platforms have opened the possibilities for people to connect with others in new ways. This trend has also given birth to a bevy of social media starlets who initially began on their journey as a way to express themselves.
Certainly celebrities, like singers, actors, models and socialites who tweet, make vlogs on YouTube, post on Facebook or Instagram and platforms like TikTok, Tumblr or Snapchat, have pre-existing followers from all over the world.
These global celebs can lead millions of followers – model Gigi Hadid has 51.1mil Instagram followers, singer-songwriter Taylor Swift has 127mil, while media personality Kylie Jenner reaches an even more impressive 163mil Instagram followers.
Yet there is also a significant number of non-celebrities who attract fans simply by just being themselves, sharing their daily routines, doing what they enjoy or are really good at. Like celebrities, whatever they say or do, impacts their followers, making them social media influencers.
Take Huda Kattan, who has 41.3mil followers on Instagram through her makeup tutorials. Youtuber Cameron Dallas has 21.3mil Instagram followers just by previewing songs and running short videos. While Aussie personal trainer and entrepreneur Kayla Itsines has 12.2mil Instagram followers for her fitness videos and tips.
Most of them would own their range of merchandise, a venture that is very lucrative.
But micro-influencers, who have a smaller pool of followers, typically around 1,000 followers to about 50,000 are also a force to be reckoned with. Dedicated followers find these influencers more relatable and reliable. Fans consider them experts in their individual fields and thus more engaging.
Companies with well-known brands have come to notice this trend and they would directly sponsor or support these influencers who use these brands online or showcase them to their many viewers.
In fact, recently companies have shifted their marketing tactics by carving out larger budgets to include social influencers. In doing so, they serve up a bigger slice of the e-commerce pie to companies.
Leading micro-influencer platform Komaci Network stated that influencer marketing has become a staple element in most digital marketing strategies, with brands wanting quick, “bite-sized” digital content to help build awareness.
Komaci chief executive officer Ben Wong Peng Sim explained that interest in influencer marketing is not new: “As consumers spend more time sifting through social media for news, product tips and reviews, brands in retail, ecommerce and even B2B have felt the need to get into the influencers marketing game to generate greater awareness for their product and services.”
Influencer marketing in Asia has grown 133% since 2018 and according to influencer marketing agency Mediakix, this figure is expected to grow into a US$5bil (RM20.9bil) to US$10bil (RM41.8bil) market by 2020 worldwide.
This new upstart recently turned one-year-old in December last year with a mission to create a vibrant community for brands and influencers to collaborate in a scalable manner. It intends to break down barriers in micro-influencer engagement and provide brands and marketers direct access to over 5,000 micro-influencers locally.
Komaci’s data-driven demand-and-supply platform is backed by a sophisticated, purpose-built system linked to a proprietary data analytics hub, and equipped with best-in-class tools to connect brands with the right influencers.
This year, Komaci expects more brands to engage influencer marketing on a long-term basis, moving away from single, ad-hoc posts, to generate higher quality content and building long-lasting relationships.
Wong highlighted that micro-influencers are able to provide stronger engagement rates and deliver better return on investment (ROI).
According to a report published by German statistic aggregator Statista together with Mediakix, over 45% of micro-influencer followers said they have tried something recommended by their favourite influencer. A further 26.9% said they have made purchases after seeing a post.
“One of the main challenges in influencer marketing is finding the right [one] who has an audience that already engages with its profile on those similar topics and is capable of delivering the story effectively,” Wong explained.
He added that many brands now shift towards working with micro-influencers in order to drive more social media exposure, increase brand engagement and to sell more.
“Brands and marketers are selected to work with micro-influencers, using them not just as a marketing tool, but also to gain better insights about consumers’ needs. This helps them build closer connections with target consumers,” Wong added.
Using Komaci’s platform, influencers are able to widen opportunities by connecting with brands locally and regionally, while curating authentic stories that align with the brands’ key message – sort of like a digital “word of mouth”.
A positive uptake on influencer marketing is that brands can do it in a scalable manner.
“Brands of all sizes and budgets, even the small-and-medium-sized businesses can work with micro-influencers to tell their story and build engagement,” Wong added.
Capitalising on this trend, Komaci recently introduced a self-serve micro-engagement platform that allows businesses to target suitable influencers based on the scale and budget of their marketing and brand campaign directly.
Called Komaci+ (www.komacinetwork.com), this AI-powered targeting tool lets novice and experienced marketers identify authenticated micro-influencers based on their audience demographics, such as age and gender.
The engine can also identify micro-influencers based on audience psychographics, which include interests, activities and opinions, such as dining style, gadget preferences, fashion sense, travelling behaviours and more.
This centralised management system highlights the efficacy of this platform in its management of multiple micro-influencers and the tracking of each influencer's reach.
Komaci+ is also able to furnish real-time analytics and payment transparency. Brands can access real-time campaign performance, reporting and measurement to ensure campaigns are executed effectively to drive maximum value from investments.
With the launch of Komaci+, the company is looking to expand into new key markets in Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and Japan this year.
Komaci is a subsidiary company of ACE Media Network, which is owned by ACE Holdings Berhad, a diversified investment conglomerate.
To learn more about the world of social media influences, visit http://www.komacinetwork.com/