You are a very popular guy in Indonesia when it comes to the influencer marketing subject. Can you share with us a little bit about yourself, SociaBuzz and your role at the company?
I’ve been a marketing professional for 10 years, and the last 4 years of it is specifically in digital marketing. In early 2015, I resigned from the company I worked for and start building SociaBuzz from the ground up. SociaBuzz is an influencer marketing platform I co-founded with my friend Eddy Yansen. My role is as the CEO of the company.
How do you see the growth of influencer marketing industry in this part of the world especially here in Indonesia?
It’s growing fast. Most brands already have influencer marketing as part of their marketing strategy. Not just big brands, but SMEs like online shops run by individuals at home use influencer marketing as their main marketing strategy. Some of them can even spend $10.000-20.000 per month on influencer marketing alone.
It seems that every Tom, Dick and Harry who own a set of popular friends are starting up their own influencer marketing companies. Somehow this situation creates a war. How do you plan to rise above the noise this year?
We focus on building a platform (SaaS) that any brand or agency can use in planning and execute their influencer marketing campaigns. So basically any influencer marketing agency, can also use our platform for more choices of influencers that their client might look for.
If you are a client, how do you pick the right influencer through SociaBuzz who can help you to reach your marketing goals?
With comprehensive filtering features in SociaBuzz Influencers Directory, I, as a client, can choose instantly by categories (such as Beauty, Parenting, Health, etc.), type (such as Celebrities, Communities and so on), age, gender, cities, followers amount, engagement rate and price. This is something that can’t be done if we do research manually on the internet or social media platforms.
Somehow people are noticing that certain ‘word of mouth’ being created from the influencers’ social media postings aren’t really natural sound compared to the natural word of mouth. In your opinion, how to reduce this type of ‘fakeness’ in order to sound more realistic?
I notice the same thing. I think one of the reason is that the brand/agency doesn’t give a good amount of creative freedom to the influencers. They try to control every aspect from how the visual should look, what the caption should be like, etc. It’s better to just share the objectives and the key message, and let influencers do their part in creating the content best suited for their audience and the client’s objectives.
How do you see the local influencer marketing industry 5 years from now?
New influencer names will come up. Only some of today’s top influencers will sustain, and the rest will be replaced by new names. Brands will still need to collaborate with influencers to engage their potential customers. Prices might be more standardized. Marketers will be more rational and data-driven in choosing the influencers they want to work with since there will be so many influencers to choose from.
Some people say LinkedIn is powerful. Professionals out there are spending more time on LinkedIn than any other social media channels since a few months ago. How many percentages of your total influencers are ‘playing’ within this channel?
I agree LinkedIn is powerful. It’s a good marketing channel especially if you’re a B2B company like us. I use it to share news and updates about SociaBuzz. I have 14.000 connections in my personal LinkedIn account, and when I post something interesting, the views can be more than 20.000. It is so much better than using Facebook Page that is getting more harder to get organic reach. However, influencers here are not “playing” with LinkedIn. They’re mostly “playing” on Instagram. LinkedIn here is only used by professionals, not by content creators/influencer).
Social media ads, SEO and influencer marketing. Which one in your opinion is the best fit for small business owners who seem to have a very tight budget?
The right answer for this is always “It depends”, depends on the type of product, type of customers, etc. But for simplicity’s sake, if the purchase decision for the product is mostly emotional (such as fashion, food and beauty products), they should use influencer marketing. If the product is something that people are already looking for, then use SEM or SEO. They should also integrate social media ads to their marketing mix.
A few years ago, brands are using a lot of bloggers to influence decisions. Since people hardly read these days, are they still relevant compared to the social media influencers?
Yes, bloggers are still relevant. As long as people are searching for a certain solution/product on google, then contents by bloggers are still needed. For example, beauty products, people are still looking for information and recommendation from blogs, forums, etc. before making a decision. So beauty brands still need to collaborate with beauty bloggers. Bloggers are not replaced by social media influencers because the objective is quite different.
As an entrepreneur and marketer yourself, how do you see traditional marketing role in contributing to your marketing goals this year?
We don’t do any traditional marketing effort. So no contribution whatsoever to our marketing goals.
How about PR?
We do some PR effort. Early this year we did a survey on influencer marketing and shared the result with online media publishers. We got quite a lot of publications and helped in getting more awareness about our company. We see more traffic and sign-ups to SociaBuzz.com after that PR effort.
Your wish list for marketing this year would be? Please share with us your top 5.
We want to focus more on doing Content Marketing, Email Marketing, SEO, PR and last but not least Community Event.
The best way to contact you?
Anything you wish to share with the readers?
If you’re a marketer, brand or agency, please check out www.SociaBuzz.com and do let me know of any feedback you might have or any features you want us to build. And if you’re a content creator in Indonesia, join us at http://i.sociabuzz.com and we’ll help connect you to brands looking for influencers like yourself.