Navigating Myanmar’s sea of influencers
— Written by Synapse Original
Fuelled by a rapid increase in access to mobile internet and phones, Myanmar has been witness to an almost overnight evolution in its native influencer marketing. Just a few years ago, Myanmar was stuck in an era of 20th century mass communication, where consumers were fed marketing messages en masse from billboards and big screen commercials. This created a small pool of celebrities, used almost ad nauseam by every other brand in the market.
The change to digital and discounted data heralded a boom in social media users. A radical societal change that provided equally as many opportunities as it did challenges.
Myanmar’s influencer market today is incredibly diverse. Key opinion leaders range from trend-setting fashionistas to e-sport professionals. Trying to divide the market into four unique strat, the tiers of influencers below cover the full spectrum of Myanmar’s market: nano, micro, macro and mega.
Nano-influencers today can boost up to 150,000 followers across platforms like Facebook and Tik Tok. They are typically specialised in their own niche area, often sharing a great passion for it but not necessarily being formally connected to their online persona. Since they usually make a living through other more traditional means, they treat influencer gigs as a side job for either the extra pocket money or purely passion. This makes them more keen to work free of charge, usually for the product gifting. They also tend to be more interactive with their fans and the content they produce can seem more genuine. On the flip-side, nano-influencers are often less used to working in front of the camera or to following strict brand guidelines or scripts.
Like nano-influencers, micro-influencers typically have other sources of income to make ends meet, yet they are more likely to work in their industry of influence to keep up with their newsfeed. These influencers whose reach ranges from anywhere between 150,000 to around 600,000 followers on Facebook are more professional than their nano-colleagues, yet most of them will ask for payment for their services, unless the project is itself promoting a good cause like a charity fundraiser, for example. Micro and nano-influencers both tend to work with many brands and rarely offer exclusivity.
Celebrities who have up to 1.5 million followers are referred to as macro-influencers. Almost all of them work in the entertainment industry and have already accrued an offline fanbase. Often they are known by the public through appearances in mass media. They are professionals and they have experience working with various brands so following guidelines and their acting skills are not a concern. At the same time, they have a very firm stand on what they will and won’t do so each project has to be thoroughly discussed with them and their manager in person. On the subject of good communication, macro-influencers often work via an agency or a manager, hence agreements and scheduling take more time.
The creme de la creme of Myanmar showbiz industry consist of merely a few top draw celebrities. Online they command followings in the millions and the whole country knows them and trusts their opinions. Many brands knows that investment made in their endorsements certainly pays off since 83% of Myanmar’s millennials approve of influencers promoting products and 60% of Myanmar’s Millennials and Gen Z is more likely to trust a product if it’s endorsed by an influencer based on research published in The Rise of Influencers in the Golden Land. At the same time, this small handful of people are often difficult to reach and work with due to their high demand and busy schedules.
Fame or reach is only one of many other factors which can help categorize the market of influencers and certainly a higher number of followers does not always mean a better match for your campaign. Since most influencer marketing strategies are determined by budget, knowing the various pros and cons of each investment is a good starting point for further analysis.
We hope this has illuminated some previously unseen corners of the Myanmar influencer market. If you have already worked with influencers in Myanmar, please share your experience with us. If you are looking to work with influencers and want to know more, feel free to drop us a line!
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