By Cheng Qian Yee, Co-Founder of KOLHUB,
With almost 90% of its 33-million-strong population connected online, Malaysia has one of the highest internet penetration rates in Southeast Asia. This means that some 30 million Malaysians are active social media users — and that platforms like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube are kings of consumer attention.
As the world around us becomes more digitally savvy and e-commerce continues its astronomical growth, consumers now have a world of options when making purchases. Too many options make it difficult for brands to stand out in the race to capture consumer hearts. This has led to influencer marketing rising to prominence, with businesses investing more time and attention in it than ever before.
Tapping into popular users on their respective platforms, influencer marketing enables businesses to market themselves through a figure that their target audience watches, interacts with, and trusts on a regular basis. While it has established itself as a crucial tool for brands in recent years, influencer marketing comes with its own riddle to solve: how can brands ensure they engage the correct influencers?
Enter an evolved version of influencer marketing, powered by artificial intelligence (AI).
Applying precision-based influencer marketing for peak performance
Traditionally, businesses have overspent resources looking for the perfect influencer to team up with: time to trawl through social media looking for profiles, and money to pay influencers with mammoth followings. However, identifying the perfect influencer is far more than just choosing the person with the most number of followers or the showiest feed.
Follower engagement rates, profile growth trajectory, quality of content, size and nature of the campaign — AI-powered influencer marketing uses algorithms to analyse the multitude of factors that go into shortlisting the right accounts. AI not only computes profile metrics but also leverages hashtags and smart text readers to identify the content related to these particular accounts. For instance, AI has the capability to narrow down influencers who might be especially active in a brand’s industry or even single out the kind of topics they post about.
The precision game of AI, applied to influencer marketing, is a huge asset to any brand’s content and editorial plans. By taking the burden of handling and analysing massive volumes of data off manual shoulders, this automated AI matching is well and truly poised to replace traditional ways of connecting with influencers. It even scours the market in a fraction of the time it would usually cost.
In fact, our work at KOLHUB has sometimes seen smaller influencers deliver results just as impactful as any of their mega counterparts. The ideal influencer for a campaign could very well be the neighbourhood nano-influencer streaming out of their bedroom to a small but no less dedicated following. Having this AI-researched knowledge upfront will help streamline who the brand approaches, reducing unnecessary costs engaging influencers solely by number of followers.
This ultimately translates into new, more accurate ways to plan digital campaigns, with more nuanced measures of success. AI can also reliably forecast long-term engagement and a campaign’s return on investment by applying more dynamic, personalised benchmarking.
The promise of AI for brands is better outcomes at scale. Precision-based selection of influencers, though, expands the definition of ‘outcomes’ to so much more! No longer is it limited only to metrics of the present (such as the success of a current campaign), it also informs hiring and content strategies for the future — using data to constantly deliver accurate results, even as the fast-paced world of social media continues to shift around us.