With 4.6 million Singaporeans using social media on a daily, brands are wasting no time in finding new ways to grab the attention of consumers. However, as more brands shift their focus to digital media, the online space is getting saturated with ads. Want to watch a video on YouTube? Apologies, you’ll first have to sit through at least 5 seconds of advertisement, unless you have an ad-blocker installed. As a matter of fact, research shows that internet users in APAC come in first (50%) when it comes to using an ad-blocker. What this means for brands: your branded content is not generating ROI for you. In other words, you’re throwing money down the drain!
Here’s where influencers come in handy. Unlike brands, influencers are more effective in getting your message across because they are said to be more reliable and relatable. For that reason, the influencer marketing industry is expected to grow from $8 billion in 2019 to $15 billion in 2022, according to Business Insider!
To get a better understanding of the importance and benefits of influencer marketing, we recently hosted our very own panel session at Joji Bar, located within Carlton Hotel.
Before getting into the session proper, we gave everyone a preview of Partipost by walking them through their very first campaign and shared a couple of photo editing tips.
Attendees were then required to put on their thinking caps and upload a creative shot of the drinks (either Charlie or Gentle Capone) they enjoyed on Instagram. Tip: If you’re working your camera in a dimly lit room, there are plenty of photo editing apps out there that don’t cost a cent. Our favorite is Adobe Lightroom!
Once everyone got a better idea of Partipost, we then proceeded with the highlight of the event - the panel session. Invited industry experts include Audrey Goh and Beh Jia Qi, Marketing Leads of Japan IPL Express (SG/MY) and The Bubble Tea Factory respectively.
To give you some context, Japan IPL Express offers fuss-free and hair removal and skincare solutions. On the other hand, The Bubble Tea Factory (TBTF) is an immersive bubble tea-themed exhibition happening from now till Jan 2020.
Do you use traditional and digital media? Which do you use more and why?
Audrey (Japan IPL Express): Traditional marketing is not as effective because we’re living in the digital era.
Jia Qi (TBTF): We engaged a PR agency to help us with traditional marketing. We run our articles in publications like The Straits Times, which is great for brand awareness as it reaches the masses, beyond millennials who are largely on social media. You definitely need to use a little bit of both. But for TBTF, it’s more relevant to use social media because our target audience is very visual and they’re always online. Hence, digital media is a cost-effective method for reaching out to them.
What are the benefits of influencer marketing?
Audrey: Influencer marketing is more genuine. When you see an influencer’s post, you can tell if they are being sponsored or they’re really sharing their review. Our aim is to have these influencers be our customers, and subsequently, the voice of our customers. When they give their review of Japan IPL Express, it’s based solely on their experience. We truly believe that a review is more genuine when customers share their experience.
Jia Qi: We work closely with 3 influencers (Mongchin Yeoh, Naomi Neo and Novita Lam) who specialize in different verticals - Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle. (This helps us reach different demographics and raise greater awareness for TBTF since we can target not 1, but 3 different interest groups at once).
Where do you draw inspiration from?
Audrey: I usually walk around and see what other people are doing. Then, I will think of how I can adapt it to suit my brand. For example: “How can I use this to communicate to people?”
Jia Qi: I draw inspiration from influencers themselves. For instance, Mongabong, one of the 3 influencers we work closely with, owns a cat called Ash. After discussing with my creative team, we decided to feature Ash holding a bubble tea in our exhibit. When you walk into The Bubble Tea Factory, you will see a cute wallpaper of Mong’s cat. Another example would be Naomi Neo. We launched an Instagram filter in collaboration with Naomi who fronted the demo of how to use this filter, since she’s really good at taking selfies. Last but not least, Novita Lam leads an active lifestyle so we decided to feature her in a video to introduce our concept.
The whole idea of drawing inspiration is not just looking on Pinterest or online, but also investing in relationships you have with influencers, understanding their style and crafting content that they would feel proud to share with their followers.
Deciding factors for which influencers to work with?
Audrey: Normally, I will look at the type of content they create and the way they interact because I believe that influencers must be on par with us. They have to be aligned with Japan IPL (casual, fun and transparent) to work with us.
Advice for marketers/brands wanting to start on Influencer Marketing?
Audrey: Stay curious and overthink everything. For example, I will see a chair and think: How am I going to make this chair fit with Japan IPL Express’ branding? Be curious about everything because that’s where your inspiration comes from, and that’s when you’re able to create really interesting marketing campaigns. The marketing industry requires a lot of creative juice and once you stop, it’s hard to get back on track.
Jia Qi:Be open-minded. Don’t shut down marketing methods or technologies you’ve never heard of (e.g. Partipost). I’ve worked with Partipost previously and still am. The results are really amazing. They’re easy to understand and use. They also have fabulous account managers that will help you along the way i.e. they helped me get a better understanding of a complexity I had. I think our collaboration has been really fuss-free and I’m glad Partipost could invite a whole lot of content creators to TBTF to create more content for us.
Now that you have a better idea of how influencers have benefited Japan IPL Express and The Bubble Tea Factory, it’s time to experience it yourself! Get in touch with our team of experts to find out how and where influencer marketing can take your brand.