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  • Jessica Quek, Stefanie Chow & Tara Ooi

Insider Series Upgraded - The MDA Series

When we first started The Insider Series, our goal was to educate KOLs about the ins and outs of social media content marketing. We provided lessons from understanding insights on Instagram to planning powerful content. Then our Nuffnang team got to thinking - Influencer Marketing is a two-way street. It doesn’t only depend on Influencers but also the clients who plan and approve the contents that go live. Hence why Nuffnang decided to collaborate with the Malaysian Digital Association (MDA) and organized the first Influencer Marketing Series, dedicated to educating Media Planners and Media Owners about Influencer Marketing.


The series was divided into three separate sessions, covering topics such as Instagram Insights, Return of Investment through Influencer Marketing, and Guides to Selecting the Right Influencers respectively. The first installment started off with unraveling insights on Instagram. A lot of the time, having worked with so many of our partners, Instagram insights can be confusing in the sense of understanding how it works. Hence, the first topic is introduced to allow the participants to understand what sort of insights can or cannot be extracted from Instagram and share how these data can point us to understanding campaign performances better.


Understanding Instagram insights ables us to pinpoint what sort of data needs to be focused on for different objectives. It also allows us to be able to learn and strategize for the next influencer marketing plan. The first session explored the four available posting formats on Instagram - Photo/Video, Story, Live Sessions, and IGTV. Other than diving into vanity metrics such as views and likes, hyper-engagements like comments, shares, and saves were discussed as well, to provide an extensive description of what each metric represents. For views & likes, it is usually attributed to the audience’s instant interest to engage while hyper-engagements indicate how invested the audiences are to the topic of the posting because these interactions take more time and effort compared to just viewing/liking.


Aside from the regular metrics, Instagram also provides numbers like impressions and reach. Both these metrics go hand in hand, where impressions tell us about the audience’s interest level in the content when read together with the reach. The reach represents the unique audiences to who the campaign manages to reach out to, hence if this number is doubled in the impressions, provides a positive indication that on average, each member of the audience viewed the posting at least twice. The impressions can also come from various different sources, and these sources tell us whether or not the campaign has achieved high, average, or low coverage on the platform.


These were only a handful of the subtopics that were discussed in the first part of the MDA series. We also covered matters like the infamous Instagram shadowban and some limitations that could be faced when dealing with a platform like Instagram.


The second installment of the MDA Influencer Marketing Series looks into the Return of Investment from Influencer Marketing. This topic is especially important and relevant for fellow digital marketers to learn and understand, as we all know, ROI is an important metric to calculate the effectiveness of a campaign.


As Influencer Marketing is a fairly new form of Digital Marketing, that has only started to gain traction in the last 2 years, with more brands turning to Influencer Marketing during the Covid-19 Pandemic in 2020; Nuffnang has previously been questioned on the effectiveness of Influencer Marketing, beyond the usual engagement received on an Influencer’s branded post. Upon further research, we have discovered that in fact, Influencer Marketing does have its own ROI which differs from most digital marketing ROI like Google and YouTube ads. The ROI for Influencer Marketing is mainly based on: Cost Per Mille (CPM) and Cost Per Engagement (CPE).


Cost Per Mille (CPM):

Cost Per Mille is the calculation of the cost per thousand impressions received on a particular post. This calculation also indicates the cost that the brand would be paying for every thousand impressions received on the engaged Influencers' post. The benefit of this ROI to the brand is to assist with the understanding of the effectiveness of the content direction as well as the KOLs engaged to represent the brand during the campaign period.


The benchmark for Influencer Marketing CPM tends to be higher than other digital marketing platforms, as the brand would need to take into consideration the creative process from the Influencers themselves. With that said, the benchmark for Influencer Marketing CPM is generally around RM70 - RM100. In order to achieve said benchmark, the ideal Potential Reach to Impressions conversion rate should be between 10% - 30%, indicating that approximately 10%-30% of possible target audiences would have come across the post, and returned to the post to view it again. This conversion is important, as the CPM is usually calculated by dividing the total media investment and the total impressions from the campaign multiplied by a thousand.


Cost Per Engagement (CPE)

As CPM indicates the cost that the brand would have to fork out for every thousand impressions from the postings curated, the Cost Per Engagement (CPE) refers to the amount that the brand would be paying for each engagement received for the postings. These engagements would be in the form of Views, Likes, Comments, Shares, Saves and Link Clicks.


It is an interesting metric to look at, as it reflects the importance of engagement towards the postings curated by the Influencers for the brand’s campaign, and this reflection would provide a clearer picture of the effectiveness of the content curated by the brand in terms of public sentiments as well as the public’s recall of the brand.

Of course, as a brand, it is important to aim for a lower CPE, and in order to achieve a lower CPE, we would have to look into the overall engagement rate received for the campaign. The ideal benchmark for the engagement rate for each campaign would be between 2% - 4%, and anything below a 2% engagement rate is considered a moderate performing campaign, which could result in the brand having to fork out a larger sum of money for each engagement received.


In order to further enhance a campaign’s ROI, a brand should also look beyond the use of creative directions. By pairing such creativity from the Influencers with platform integration, it could allow for the brand to reach out to wider audiences while also creating more exposure for the brand through various channels.


By looking into the aforementioned metrics and suggestions, it could bring about a more positive outcome for the brand in the sense of brand recall as well as a deeper understanding of what the public would look out for when it comes to promoting the brand through the use of Influencers on social media. This allows for a more tailored content skewed towards the public, while still maintaining the Influencer’s creativity to ensure that the public remains engaged and interested in the brand through their favorite social media Influencers.


The third and last installment of the series focuses on giving Media Planners and Media Owners the 101 Guide to Selecting Influencers for a campaign. Selecting an influencer to amplify your brand is not a walk down the park. There are a few important things that are important to look out for when selecting influencers as they would help to:

  1. Maximize Your Campaign’s Message Potential

  2. Increase Awareness and Talkability of Your Brand

  3. Help to Build Better Connection with Your Audience


To begin the selection process, an important step that needs to be taken is Identifying the Purpose and determining which of the Marketing Funnel does it fall under.



Upon identifying the purpose, only then you should dive deeper into the compatibility of working with the Influencer by looking into the Influencer’s Data & Branding aspects.

The data that is important to discover when selecting an Influencer for a brand’s campaign are:

  • Audience Demographic

  • By discovering the audience demographic such as Age Group, Gender, Language, Geographical Area would allow you to determine if the audience that you are looking to reach out could possibly be interacting or following the Influencer. For example, a female influencer who shares parenting content may have followers between 12 – 21 years old who are not at the age to have a child but gains a younger audience simply because the Influencer shares cute content.

  • Engagement Rate Performance

  • The average industry benchmark for Malaysian influencer’s engagement rate ranges between 1% - 3% and this allows you to determine if the Influencer would be able to garner the engagement that you are looking for in your campaign.

  • Authenticity of Content

  • Authenticity always matters and to gain credibility, it is important that the Influencer often creates authentic content that is relevant to their daily lifestyle rather than those that are doing lip services for brands just so they get to earn more brownie points from brands as this would lead to a drop in trust among the Influencers followers.

  • Frequency of Postings (Branded Vs. Organic)

  • It is important to determine if the Influencer is having way too many irrelevant or repetitive postings on their feed in a day to a week. Hence, be wary of Influencers that post more than 2 – 3 postings a day and 5 content postings in a week as these would often lead to a drop in Engagement Rate and Authenticity as the audience are unlikely to trust the Influencer.

  • Audience Quality

  • As there are some Influencers who are involved in buying followers bots and likes to gain a higher follower base to encourage brands to engage with them it is important to determine if the audience that they work with is an active audience or bots through their audience quality meter.

Once you have discovered their data, it is important to look into the Influencer’ branding as how they portray themselves and how the public sees them would affect your brand’s image too.

The final touch to enable your campaign to reach its full potential is to abide by these Six Tips:

  1. Treat the Influencers as collaborators and partners rather than a channel.

  2. Have an open mind to their ideas and solutions as they know their follower’s interests.

  3. Maintain mutual respect between your brand and the Influencers.

  4. Set proper expectations with the Influencers and keep the end of the bargain.

  5. Respect their creative work and financial value.

  6. Communicate as much as you can professionally.

By knowing your purpose, understanding that it takes two (personalities) to tango and that Influencers are collaborators and partners over billboards, the campaign is bound to be an amazing one as creativity and authenticity create fireworks.


If you liked what you just read, stay on the lookout for our next Influencer Marketing Series!