Staff Reporters
Sep 27, 2023

Report: Influencer marketing in SEA does not always result in greater conversion for brands

TOP OF THE CHARTS: Milieu Insight’s latest study on influencer marketing in Southeast Asia finds the effectiveness of influencer marketing in driving direct sales is not significant, despite the large number of KOLs emerging, alongside their followers.

Report: Influencer marketing in SEA does not always result in greater conversion for brands

Source: Milieu Insight’s study on influencer marketing in Southeast Asia

  • 56% of Southeast Asians follow influencers as modern-day role models.
  • In Singapore, there is limited interest with only 39% following influencers, while on the other spectrum, a large number respondents in the Phillipines (68%) and Vietnam (71%) followed them.
  • The top three social media platforms on which respondents follow influencers are YouTube (72%), Instagram (60%), and Facebook (60%).
  • Gen Z prefer to follow influencers on Instagram (64%) and TikTok (58%) whereas Facebook is more popular among Millennials (69%) and Gen X (74%).
  • In Thailand and the Philippines, YouTube drew the most interest, while Instagram was more popular in Indonesia and Singapore, and Facebook ranked top in Vietnam. When it comes to the content that influencers post, the top five topics that respondents were most interested in were: Lifestyle (54%), Entertainment and/or Comedy (52%), Food (48%), Fashion (41%), and Travel (40%).
  • However, this differed among genders with men primarily following influencers with content about Entertainment/Comedy (52%), Lifestyle (46%), and Technology and Gadgets (41%). While women also predominantly favour Entertainment and Comedy (61%) content, their other main interests are Food (55%) and Beauty (53%).
Methodology: Milieu Insights conducted a survey in July 2023 of 2,500 people across Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Respondents age groups included Gen Z (16-26) , Gen Y (27-42), Gen X, (43-58), Baby Boomers (59+).
Other findings:
  • Beauty products emerged as the top selling category driven by influencer content, particularly skewing towards females (56%) and Gen Zs (46%).
  • 51% of respondents are neutral in Southeast Asia in trusting sponsored content from influencers except for a positive impression being more common in Vietnam (60%).
    Three out of 10 Southeast Asians find influencers' sponsored content informative and one out of five credit influencer tactics for introducing them to new brands/products. Across age groups, only 5% of Baby Boomers trust influencers a lot, as compared to the average of 7% for Gen Z and Gen X, and 8% for Gen Y.
  • It is important to Southeast Asians that an influencer is authentic (51%), has a sense of humour (49%), and displays expertise in their specific area (42%). Notably in Indonesia, consistency of recommendations is their top valued attribute. It is also shown that more Vietnamese value engagement with followers.
  • 38% of Baby Boomers in Southeast Asia find that sponsored content from influencers help them get to know more about a product/brand, but they are not looking for new brands as only 17% feel that the content help them to discover new products / brands. For Gen Z, promotion offers would be attractive (15% follow influencer content because they offer good promotions).
  • The majority of Southeast Asians are impartial to both influencer culture and deinfluencers, despite the growing influencer landscape. Surprisingly, 40% claim to have never made a purchase based on influencer content, and 20% of Gen Z state their last influencer-based purchase was over half a year ago. As for awareness of deinfluencers, Vietnam is ahead of the game where a sizeable 62% has heard of the term.
Campaign Asia

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