Influencer marketing: Why your business needs it

Wireless headphones, a massage gun, or the latest hype sneakers. Think about what swayed you to make your latest purchase.

You might have been targeted by an online ad, aimed astutely from an algorithm pulling information from your browsing habits. Sure, ads do work for businesses, but can also come across as obnoxious, after all, there’s a reason why ad-blockers exist.

Maybe the product you bought was recommended by someone on Instagram or TikTok?

(Editor’s note: Qashier’s IG is where you’ll find merchant showcases and deals, while Qashier on TikTok has a good dose of positive vibes!)

You’re scrolling on your feed, and up pops a celebrity or a content creator, sharing their experience with a business/product/service. It feels like you’re getting an intimate, inside look at their purchasing decision rather than being given a hard sell.

Congratulations, you were at the receiving end of ‘influencer marketing’.

This type of marketing, where someone is paid to promote a business/product, is not new – we’ve seen celebrities promote brands before. So what makes influencer marketing different? Read more to find out in the article below!

(Editor’s note: If you need to know which social media platform is best for you, check out this article.)

What is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing involves brands partnering with online influencers, or content creators,  to market products or services. Some collaborations are straightforward – brands work with creators to improve brand recognition. The difference between influencer marketing and traditional celebrity endorsements is the authenticity of the creator’s reach to their audience. Instead of a full-feature advertisement, the creator usually showcases the brand sponsorship in a relatable way. For instance, by talking about the product’s features as they would to a friend or showing how they use it in their daily lives.

Therefore, the creator feels more like a friend than a celebrity. In addition, influencers often actively engage with their online communities, curating an online presence that resonates with their followers. So influencers will carefully tailor their product or service choices to their users. In Southeast Asia, statistics show that micro-influencers (with follower numbers ranging from 10K to 100K) make up the largest tier of influencers (49%), while nano-influencers (5k-10k) command the most attention among their audience, with a high engagement rate of 4.2%.

An example will be how MAC Cosmetics engaged pop star and actress Hoang Thuy Linh in Vietnam – famous in the country for her bold persona that defies traditional ideas of Vietnamese femininity – for the summer 2020 Be Your Own Queen campaign. Apart from the actress’s social media campaign, the brand also sent products to ten local micro-influencers to review. With thousands of likes on these creators’ Instagram photos and Facebook posts, influencer marketing saw MAC products trending quickly in Vietnam, even at the height of the pandemic.

Working with influencers helps brands optimise their marketing budget as potential customers view influencers as promoting authentic content. There’s also the element of trust; users often follow influencers with the same interests and values. Seeing these people talk about their experiences can be a powerful tool to sway customers to purchase, and it might have been the reason you made one of your more recent purchases.

Why should brands consider influencer marketing?

Southeast Asia’s influencer marketing industry has experienced rapid development in the past few years. Today, reports show that the industry is worth  $638 million in Southeast Asia and is estimated to reach $2.59 billion by 2024. In addition, statistics show that 84% of consumers in Southeast Asia are likely to buy things based on what micro-influencers say.

Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are the most popular social media platforms in Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, and Vietnam. But Southeast Asia also has nearly 40% of TikTok’s global users. With over 300 million users in the Asia Pacific alone, marketers have realised the huge potential of the video app’s reach to a new audience.

When you combine these with messaging platforms like LINE, the opportunity to increase brand awareness, drive engagement and acquire new audiences broadens. Brands not only can leverage influencers themselves but also take advantage of various channels to engage their users actively.

Increasingly, it is observed that Gen Zs and Millennials value authenticity and engagement when interacting with brands. Therefore, brands that learn to tap into influencer marketing while optimising different social media platforms to improve their online presence will do much better than businesses that don’t.

What do brands need to consider when engaging influencers for marketing?

At the heart of an effective influencer marketing campaign is knowing who your brand targets and where they would frequently gather.

Knowing your audience persona will help you create a matching set of influencer qualities you want. For instance, if you’re an organic skincare brand looking to reach out to the health-conscious new mummies and daddies in Singapore, you’ll want to find an influencer who is a parent. You’ll also need someone familiar with the products and services you sell. That will equip them with the knowledge to promote your business. The content creator’s values are also important, as any negative reputation will reflect your brand. So before you go ahead to ink any contract with an influencer, spend time studying how the creator interacts with their audience.

Other practical considerations also include your budget. Well-known influencers in Singapore, for example, can charge as high as $800 for one post. As a small business in Southeast Asia, searching for influencers with a smaller but close-knit community might be your best bet.

More tips on Qashier Resources Page.

So now that you’ve learnt how vital influencer marketing is for your business, what else do you need to consider to stay ahead of marketing trends and achieve business success? Fret not – we’ve got more tips for you.

Qashier champions SMEs, and merchant success is our success. So we’re all about helping our clients manage and streamline their business operations more efficiently while staying on top of the current trends. That means optimising our smart pos solutions with more functions, such as integrating PayNow and offering Grabfood and foodpanda as commerce partners.

You might have heard of our all-in-one smart POS solutions, but did you know we’ve also got a growing resource bank where we share industry insights for your entrepreneurial journey.

Whether your business is in F&B, retail or the beauty industry, hop over to bookmark our blog to get inspired by the latest business trends – or even know more about consumer psychology to better position your brand and increase sales!

And if you’re new to Qashier, Consider Qashier’s multiple digital solutions in an all-in-one device for your startup.

The smart POS system can handle different operational aspects, from QR code table ordering to table management (F&B), employee management, customer relationship management (loyalty programs), inventory management, data analytics, and cashless payments.

One Qashier POS solution comes with integrated payment processing. With just one terminal, you’ll be able to accept an array of payment types, from major credit cards, e-wallets and EFTPOS. Speak to us to see how Qashier Smart POS can meet your business needs. Schedule a meeting with us here, or reach out via email [email protected].