What is Influencer Marketing, Lah? Your Ultimate Malaysian Guide

By Kevin on March 21, 2024


Hello, 'kawan-kawan' (friends)! Welcome to the 'Teh Tarik' session of the marketing world. Whether you're an aspiring influencer, a brand manager, or just a curious 'Makcik' (aunt), this guide will serve as your 'GPS' through the bustling streets of influencer marketing in Malaysia. We'll explore the 'who, what, where, and why' of this fascinating world. So, buckle up, and let's get started!


What is Influencer Marketing, Lah?

Influencer marketing is not your 'Atuk's' (grandfather's) billboard ad. It's the art of using popular individuals on social media to promote a product, service, or even an idea. Imagine if your favorite 'Mamak' waiter became a YouTube star and started recommending the best 'Roti Canai'—that's influencer marketing in a nutshell! It's like having your best friend, who happens to have thousands of other friends, tell you what to buy, where to eat, and how to live your life. It's word-of-mouth marketing on steroids! But it's not just about the numbers; it's about the relationship between the influencer and their audience. It's a two-way street, where trust and authenticity play a massive role.

What is influencer marketing ? Image of Asian woman vlogger and online influencer recording video content for online marketing and selling.
Asian woman vlogger and online influencer recording video content for online marketing and selling.

The Malaysian Landscape of Influencer Marketing in 2023

Hold onto your 'songkok' (traditional cap), because influencer marketing in Malaysia is booming! The industry is now worth more than a lifetime supply of 'Nasi Lemak.'

Nasi lemak with fried chicken and sambal, Malaysia popular food
Nasi lemak with fried chicken and sambal, Malaysia popular food

But let's get into the nitty-gritty. The most popular niches in Malaysia range from food and fashion to tech and travel. But what's driving this growth? Well, it's a combination of factors, including increased internet penetration, a young and tech-savvy population, and a cultural affinity for social media. In Malaysia, social media is not just a pastime; it's a lifestyle.

Why All the Hoo-Ha? Benefits of Influencer Marketing

Why are businesses from 'mamak' stalls to multinational corporations jumping on the influencer bandwagon? Simple! It's like having a 'pasar malam' (night market) that never closes. You get to reach new audiences, increase brand awareness, and let's not forget—create some seriously 'sedap' (delicious) content. But that's not all; influencer marketing also allows for more authentic connections with your audience. While traditional ads serve their purpose in reaching broad audiences, influencer marketing adds a layer of personal connection and authenticity. It's like having a trusted friend recommend a product, rather than a big corporation. And in a world where consumers are increasingly skeptical of traditional advertising, this authenticity is priceless.

Types of Malaysian Influencers

In the influencer world, we have different 'kampungs' (villages). Let's break it down:

  • Macro Influencers: These are the 'big kahunas' with followers as numerous as bikes at a 'Rempit' gathering. They usually have over 100,000 followers and are ideal for mass-market campaigns. But beware, their services come with a hefty price tag, often running into thousands of ringgits per post.
  • Micro Influencers: These influencers have between 10,000 to 100,000 followers and are perfect for niche markets. They're like the 'Nasi Lemak' stalls that only locals know about—small but packed with flavor!
  • Nano Influencers: With fewer than 10,000 followers, they offer hyper-targeted engagement. They're the hidden gems, the 'tapau' (takeaway) spots that only you and your close friends know about.

Citation: "The uniqueness of influencer marketing in Muslim fashion requires extra selectivity because they have to build beautiful Islamic branding." (Source: Melly Maulin Purwaningwulan et al., 2018)

Platforms Where Malaysians Hang Out

  • Instagram: The ultimate 'lepak' (hangout) spot for selfies and food pics. It's where you'll find everything from fashionistas and foodies to tech gurus and travel junkies./ima
  • YouTube: This is the 'cinema hall' of the digital age. From movie reviews and makeup tutorials to cooking shows and comedy skits, it's all there.
  • TikTok: The newest kid on the block, TikTok is like the 'roti canai' flip of social media—quick, fun, and oh-so addictive!

Instagram Insights, Malaysian Style

Woman checking daily instagram feed, social media is part of our lives. Female hands only in frame.
Woman checking daily instagram feed, social media is part of our lives. Female hands only in frame.

Instagram is the 'Durian' of social media here—either you love it, or you can't stand it. But numbers don't lie; sponsored posts are growing faster than 'kangkung' (water spinach) in a monsoon drain. In Malaysia, the average engagement rate for influencer posts is around 3.5%, which is higher than the global average. So, if you're planning to invest in Instagram, now's the time!

Citation: "Influencer marketing for consumer electronics products is more effective when using expert influencers rather than attractive celebrities." (Source: Jay Trivedi et al., 2020)

What Works and What's 'Tak Jadi' (Not Working)

Effective strategies are like adding 'sambal belacan' to your 'Nasi Goreng'—they spice things up! But beware of pitfalls like fake followers; they're the 'Teh O Ais Kosong' (plain iced tea) when you asked for extra sugar—utterly disappointing.

Citation: "Strategically selecting influencers, targeting their followers, or managing content can help marketers design better influencer marketing campaigns." (Source: Fine F. Leung et al., 2022)

How to 'Fatt' (Prosper) with an Influencer Marketing Strategy


  1. Identify Your Influencer: Choose wisely, like picking the best 'durian' in the lot. Look for genuine engagement, not just high follower counts.
  2. Set Your Goals: Are you after 'likes,' shares, or maybe converting followers into customers? Decide on KPIs like engagement rate, click-through rate, or conversion rate.
  3. Measure Your ROI: In simple terms, is it worth the 'duit' (money)? Use tracking codes and analytics tools to measure the success of your campaign.

You can also read our in depth article on influencer marketing strategy

The Future: Pandemic, Metaverse, and 'Jom Makan!' (Let's Eat!)

COVID-19 turned influencers into our new TV stars, and the metaverse is shaping up to be the next 'Pasar Borong' (wholesale market) for influencer opportunities. Imagine attending a virtual 'makan-makan' (feasting) session with your favorite influencer in a digital 'kopitiam' (coffee shop)—the possibilities are endless!

FAQs: You Ask, We Answer, Don't 'Paiseh' (Shy)

  • How to Become an Influencer?: Start by not being a 'syok sendiri' (self-absorbed) person.
  • How to Measure ROI?: If one 'like' was worth a plate of 'Char Kuey Teow,' how many plates have you earned?


There you have it, folks! We hope we have answered your question on what is Influencer marketing is as Malaysian as 'Satay' and 'Rendang,' and it's here to stay. So, don't just sit there; share this article like you would share a good 'makan' spot!


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Article written by Kevin
Influencer marketing expert in Specflux Solution. The go-to person about influencer marketing and KOL in Malaysia

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