Source: GetCRAFT report, which compiles various sources, including United Nations, U.S. Census Bureau, Internetworldstats, ITU, Internetlivestats, CIA World Facebook, National Regulatory Authorities, Tencent, Ckontakte, Kakao, Naver, Niki Aghaei, Similarweb, Ding, Extrapolation of TNS data, GSMA Intelligence, Extrapolation of Emarketer and Ericsson data.

Influencers and Creatives: New Wave of Marketing in Digital Era


FEBRUARY 01, 2018

Jakarta. Digital disruption has forged a path for a new dominant medium in digital marketing in Indonesia. Now, social media influencers and creatives are playing a bigger role in helping companies get their message across.

"When we see an advertisement on TV or radio, traditional ones – we know it's advertising. Okay, it's good – but it's the product itself saying it's good," Donny Budi Utoyo, a digital literacy and internet governance expert at the Communications and Information Technology Ministry, told the Jakarta Globe on Jan. 26.

"When using influencers, especially if the influencer is my best friend, or if they have a certain reputation or experience in a certain field, then I'm more likely to believe my friends rather than the [traditional] advertisement," he said.

Donny Budi Utoyo, a digital literacy and internet governance expert at the Communications and Information Technology Ministry. (JG Photo/Anthony Furci)

According to a report by content marketplace GetCRAFT, social media has become the platform of choice for brands doing native ads, and more of them are planning to boost their spending on sponsored content – particularly branded content on publisher platforms and influencer marketing.

The report said paid social media posts, branded content and influencer marketing are "the most popular and most effective native ad types."

In Indonesia, influencers – people with strong social media connections, or experts who are internet savvy and like to share their knowledge online – gained more power as the way people spend their time has changed and advertisers are looking to work with these new players to reach online audiences.

The same report, citing various sources, said Indonesians are currently spending more time browsing social media than watching television. Meanwhile, the average daily time spent on social media is three hours and 16 minutes, as opposed to two hours and 23 minutes for TV.

Most Indonesian internet users – 129.2 million to be exact – use the internet for social media, as opposed to news or entertainment, a report by the Association of Indonesian Internet Service Providers (APJII) showed. There are about 132.7 million internet users in Southeast Asia's largest economy, according to data the association published in November 2016.

Smartphone penetration in Indonesia. (JG Infographics)

Getting Away From Ad Blocking

Despite tens of millions of Indonesians online and on social media, the country is one of the hotbeds for ad blocking. The ad blocker penetration rate, according to GetCRAFT's report, "is more than five times that of the global average."

"Further, whereas ad block use is limited to desktop in other countries, in Indonesia, mobile ad blocking is extremely high," the report said.

Companies like GetCRAFT are sprouting to join the dots between brands and influencers, creating a smooth line of contact for them to advertise digitally. It helps clients to ensure native ads are effective for brands to reach out to an audience that is both weary and wary of online ads.

"Native ads cut through the advertising clutter by mimicking the form and function of content in its environment and, more effectively, by providing content that is valuable to clients," the report said.

Patrick Searle, GetCRAFT co-founder and group chief executive, says the company runs on three core principles: change brands, change media, change work.

"We want brands to see themselves as educators and inspirers, that's the 'change brands' part. The 'change media' part is because, as you're probably very well aware, the journalism industry or media industry is really kind of reeling right now," Searle told the Jakarta Globe last week.

"What we want to be doing is helping, making it easier for them [the media] to actually scale up the solutions that allow them to monetize. When we say 'change work,' we want to empower the creative industry and creatives… [because] fundamentally, the creative industry is what sets culture."

Patrick Searle, GetCRAFT co-founder and group chief executive. (JG Photo/Anthony Furci)

Searle and Anthony Reza, chief executive of GetCRAFT's Indonesian division, founded Southeast Asia's self-proclaimed premier content marketplace in Jakarta in 2014.

In addition to the Indonesian office, the company now also has offices in Malaysia and the Philippines, with plans to expand to Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore by the end of this year.

The GetCRAFT brand is content-driven, with a focus on helping creatives and now, a new wave of influencers, connect with brands to work collaboratively on digital marketing strategies.

"Essentially, we help clients – companies, agencies – discover creatives and media, and hire them via our platform," Searle said.

Their clout cannot be denied, already having worked with the likes of Facebook, Samsung and Microsoft.

However, when it comes to influencers specifically, Searle claims that "we are in our early teens in terms of where the industry is at. I think we have an incredibly long way to go, it's gonna get incredibly exciting."

Influencer marketing is a relatively new concept, slowly shifting the perspective of the general public away from traditional display advertisements, in favor of more human means of advertising.

GetCRAFT acts as a regulator between client and creative, to both ensure work gets done efficiently and payment is transferred promptly.

"In the marketing industry, the media industry, the creative industry, we say that we are house builders and brand builders. But actually, we don't even know the price of cement. That's what we're trying to fix," Searle said.

"What we've helped do here, in the Philippines, and also in other countries, is set basic standards. We use metrical CPV [cost per view] to say that, simply put, 'what is the standard cost per view that an influencer will charge, or influencers will charge across the industry?"

"When we say that we share data and share education, that's what we're trying to teach our influencers… without us being there, no standard is being set."

Getting Stronger in Future, but There's a Catch

The rising influencer industry coincides with a steady rise in internet use in Indonesia. Smartphone, laptop and PC use all rose between 2015 and 2017, according to Nielsen's 2017 report titled "The New Trend Among Indonesia's Netizens."

However, Donny of the Communications Ministry warns that the public must learn to use technology effectively, to avoid spam and hoax content.

"Digital literacy is something that we have to fight for together… without that, it's a time bomb," Donny said.

Ultimately, Searle predicts an expansion in both GetCRAFT and the influencer industry as a whole, with specific regard to digital marketing.

"For the influencer business, and for marketing, I would very strongly say it'll be far more influential than it is today. So, the next logical choice is to say yes, time to go across the world," Searle said.