Influencer marketing in Asia-Pacific has been reshaped by the pandemic as brands have sought growth in burgeoning platforms, invested in home-based and business-content verticals, and shifted back from cause to product marketing.
Twitter has witnessed the fastest growth in influencer marketing among the major platforms in Asia-Pacific over the past year, accounting for 16 per cent of campaigns run on AnyMind Group's influencer marketing platform—representing a 165 per cent annual increase.
Instagram remains the most popular social-media platform for influencer-marketing campaigns, accounting for 37.1 per cent of campaigns run in the past year, but it had the slowest growth rate of 44.4 per cent. Sister platform Facebook commands the second-highest share of campaigns at 27.5 per cent, followed by YouTube at 19.4 per cent. The Google-owned platform more than doubled (117.92 per cent increase) its share of campaigns within the timeframe.
All of the above is according to AnyMind Group's State of Influence in Asia 2021 report, compiled from analysis of more than 2,000 influencer marketing campaigns run on the company’s AnyTag platform between September 2020 to August 2021. The report covers 11 markets (Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and India), and analyses over 200,000 influencers.
Looking at a breakdown by market, Instagram is the most-used by influencers in Hong Kong, whereas Facebook is most-used by influencers in Myanmar. On the other hand, YouTube remains strong in markets like Cambodia, Japan, Taiwan and India, and Twitter has the strongest market share in Japan.
The report also identifies a shift in APAC from micro-influencers (10,000 to 100,000 followers) to macro-influencers (100,000 to 1 million followers), with AnyTag's macro-influencer population increasing by approximately 66 per cent. Top stars (more than 1 million followers) account for the smallest proportion of influencers on the AnyTag platform, but nearly doubled (98 per cent increase) in the past year. Markets with the highest proportion of nano-influencers (1,000 to 10,000 followers) include Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines and Malaysia, whilst Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan had the highest proportion of micro-influencers. With that said, Vietnam had the healthiest spread of influencers across all influencer demographics.
While fashion and beauty remains the most popular content vertical for influencers, the past year has encouraged a significant uptick in influencers producing home-based content, with food and beverage recording an 87 per cent increase year-on-year. Other fast-growing content verticals include business and finance, family and sports. With cross-border travel restricted for most regions in the past year, influencers have also taken to creating content around domestic travel.
In fact, when unpacking the top two influecer verticals—fashion and beauty, and arts and entertainment—domestic travel featured in the top three types of content both post. The similarities in posts between the two verticals means brands can work interchangeably with both sets of influencers, AnyMind said in its report.
Although the start of the pandemic saw a larger number of cause-related influencer marketing campaigns (such as campaigns around brands urging audiences to stay at home), that number has dropped in the past year. Instead, brands are once again activating product-related influencer marketing campaigns. Spikes in activity during the months of November and December are attributed to shopping seasons. There are very few in-person influencer marketing campaigns compared to pre-pandemic volumes.
When looking at the proportion of performance-driven versus awareness-driven campaigns by market, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand ran campaigns that were largely performance-driven. India, Japan, Philippines and Vietnam ran campaigns that were largely aimed at mass awareness.
A version of this article first appeared on Campaign Asia-Pacific.