We’ve talked previously about how 86% of influencers’ posts in SEA are not compliant with Facebook’s branded content policies, while influencers in the US are forced to follow the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) guidelines. There is no doubt influencer marketing is up and coming in the Asian markets and this industry has become more and more prominent as part of a brand’s marketing strategy.

The majority of companies that offer services that allow you to search for the right influencers for your campaign are focused on the US. A Markerly report showed that micro influencers receive better engagement compared to macro influencers.

Based on the report from Markerly, the sweet spot is influencers with 10k to 100k followers. But just like with any case study, the results differ region to region. Asia and especially Southeast Asia rarely get the limelight as the market is not as sizeable as other regions.

At BrandHero we decided to shed some light on this region and started with Malaysia. We analysed 2,000 unique posts from Malaysian influencers on Instagram (the 20 most recent posts of 100 influencers). The results turned out to be somewhat different to what Markerly has globally reported.

We broke it down to five influencer groups based on their Engagement Rates and Follower counts.

  • Type A: 1.5m – 6m
  • Type B: 201k – 1.5m
  • Type C: 101k – 200k
  • Type D: 61k – 100k
  • Type E: 30k – 60k

The average engagement rate for the Top 100 Malaysian influencers on Instagram is 2.48%. So if you surpass this with your branded post, then you’ve likely done something right. It’s a good benchmark to use when planning for your next activation.

Which type of influencers would you choose for your campaigns?

Unlike the US market, Malaysian influencers with 101k to 200k followers (Type C) have the best reach and engagement rate combination.

Let’s take a look at an example of a Type C influencer. The influencer featured below has 34,564 likes and 1,089 comments with 145,502 followers on Instagram. That gives us a whooping 24.5% engagement rate.

Even though 101k – 200k (Type C) is the ideal influencer follower range, we have not taken into account the quality of the comments and how much they relate to the brand or product promoted by the influencer. Nevertheless, we would recommend you prioritise engagement with this bracket of influencers first, and then move either to Type D influencers if the quality of engagements is more important, or to Type B influencers if reach is more important.

What about Type A and Type E influencers?

Type A influencers’ followings are huge, meaning they are probably out of reach for most brands. Audiences for these influencers are most likely following to see the comments about the celebrity rather than because of an interest in your brand.

On the contrary, Type E influencers are twice as likely to post branded posts when compared to Type A influencers. It is likely that celebrities and influencers with really large followings, have less pressure to live off their paycheck from endorsements or Instagram sponsorship deals compared to influencers with fewer followers who have to post twice as much and still get a smaller paycheck.

Why choose micro influencers over macro influencers?

Obviously, this depends on the brand’s objectives for the campaign. Markerly co-founder and CEO Sarah Ware told Digiday, that partnering with the Kardashian and Jenner sisters led to a significant number of conversions for a weight loss tea campaign. Having said that, Ware also acknowledged and noted that partnering with 30 to 40 micro influencers achieved a higher conversion rate than the celebrities promoting the tea. As surveyed by Experticity, 82% of customers are more likely to follow a recommendation from a micro influencer than a macro influencer.

On the other hand, micro influencers come across as not only more affordable but also more genuine or authentic to your follower base.

What does this tell us?

There is a statistically significant negative correlation between the number of Followers and Engagement Rate. In other words, the more followers the influencer has, the smaller the engagement rate.

Method: Pearson correlation, P-value ≤ 0.05, 99% confidence. Adjusted for multiple comparisons (3x).

In addition, we also found a negative correlation between the number of incorrect taggings and the number of Followers. In other words, the fewer followers the influencer has, the more likely it is that we will find incorrectly tagged branded posts. In fact, an influencer with 30k followers is 2.5x as likely to publish an incorrectly tagged branded post than someone with 5m followers.

Method: Pearson correlation. P-value ≤ 0.05, 95% confidence. Adjusted for multiple comparisons (3x).

This is hopefully a guide for marketers who plan to launch an influencer campaign and don’t know where to start. As mentioned, we suggest you start with Type C influencers, those with 101k to 200k followers, and when you need to reevaluate your influencers list determine if your campaign needs either quality engagement (Type D) or reach (Type B).

And we are here to help, if you need the list of influencers used in this research for your campaign, do reach out to us by commenting below, or contact us here. Alternatively, sign up to our mailing list: here!