JAKARTA (The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network): While recession fears linger, companies in Indonesia and throughout the Asia-Pacific region have been boosting marketing budgets this year, indicating a solid recovery from 2021’s record economic lows.
According to a recent report by media monitoring firm Meltwater, more regional brands have been employing micro influencers to connect with consumers.
Data shows that micro influencers accounted for 91 percent of all sponsored post engagement across Asia-Pacific last year.
Mimrah Mahmood, senior director and partner at Meltwater Asia Pacific, said the average cost of partnering with micro influencers in the region was US$200 per post, considerably lower than the rates of more famous influencers.
The report found the strongest engagement rates on TikTok, where brands experienced 32 times more engagement than on Facebook and four times more than on Instagram.
“Brands can benefit from tapping into the booming creative economy. While many brands turn to celebrities for brand partnerships, micro influencers with higher engagement and stronger connection to their audience, can offer a stronger return on investment,” Mimrah said on Friday.
Beyond China and India’s established influencer economies, he added, other countries had amassed large influencer populations, with Japan in first place with some 600,000 influencers, followed by Indonesia and Australia at around 400,000 each, Thailand with some 100,000 and Singapore at 70,000.
This creator economy has grown alongside what is known as the “social commerce” business model in the e-commerce industry, which uses social media platforms to sell products.
In Indonesia, companies consider medium-sized cities prime targets for such commerce.
All Indonesia Venture Capital Association (Amvesindo) treasurer Edward I. Chamdani said medium and small cities accounted for about 20 percent of the e-commerce market in the country.
“So it’s a prospective field for the companies to boost their sales. The population outside of first-tier cities has been proven to be more engaged on social media for shopping activities. It’s too bad that [brands] haven’t eagerly reached out to [consumers in medium and small cities],” he noted.
Social commerce, he said, had attracted a number of consumers in Indonesia’s major cities, evidenced by the 30 percent digital commerce penetration level in such places last year.
“In the future, social commerce will help and facilitate national-level merchants, especially merchants in the second- and third-tier regions,” he said.
Edward felt now was the right time to invest in social commerce pioneers, noting that the funding bump was expected to last for the next two to five years.
He predicted that Indonesian social commerce platforms would later consolidate or collaborate with large marketplace companies – or merge with social media companies.