- Accumulated over 70 influencers and 110 brands in the three months since it began operating
- Aims to reduce time and resources needed for brands to connect with influencers
TRADITIONAL advertising is not as effective as it once was as people are turning away from traditional mediums like television and print explained Malaysian startup ModeFair’s chief executive officer Tang Siew Wai (pic, above).
“Today, it is increasingly common that consumers trust recommendations from individuals such as Instagrammers, bloggers and celebrities over brands,” he said.
Therein lies the conundrum facing brands and even influencers themselves, as brands want higher brand awareness and association with the right influencers for marketing while influencers, in turn, want more followers along with an association with brands they love.
ModeFair wants to solve these problems by creating a social e-commerce platform where influencers and brands come together to share curated products and services online.
Speaking to Digital News Asia during an interview at the ModeFair office in Kuala Lumpur, Tang makes the case that there are over 18 million active social media users in Malaysia out of which there are 6.5 million Instagram users, which makes it a good market for content marketing.
Introduced in February 2017, ModeFair initially started with 15 social influencers and within three months the number had grown to more than 70 influencers with a combined reach of 9 million fans on social media.
In terms of brands, ModeFair started with 20 brands at the beginning and now has more than 110 local and international brands signed on to their platform.
Tang explained that brands today want to collaborate with influencers but they usually need to spend a significant amount of time and resources to reach out to them, which may require an agency or a marketing department.
ModeFair says they can save time and resources for these brands by having a ready pool of social influencers and their followers, in turn, will help generate sales of their products or services while increasing brand awareness.
All social influencers on ModeFair are handpicked and shortlisted, with the main criteria being that they must have a healthy engagement rate with their fan base.
All of this is done via a mobile app that is exclusive to them and through which social influencers are able to discover interesting products and services from both homegrown and international brands.
Once an influencer sees something that they would like to endorse within the app, they need only follow the rules like the number of photos posted and hashtags required before they request for product samples from the brand.
“We don’t restrict influencers with strict guidelines and rules. We leave it up to them to be creative with their posts and let them do what they do best,” said Tang.
Products that the influencer endorses will automatically be added to their own online store on ModeFair for sale. As an additional incentive, influencers will be rewarded with a commission should their followers purchase products from their store.
ModeFair’s tech team designed and customised the back-end system to work seamlessly with the across campaign management system, e-commerce platform, merchant dashboard and influencer mobile app.
Tang believes ModeFair’s platform will largely benefit smaller homegrown brands that often find themselves overshadowed by bigger brands with strong marketing support.
By connecting them with the right social influencers, ModeFair is able to bring a more interesting and curated selection of products to online shoppers.
Despite enjoying growth in its influencer and brand base, Tang is cautiously optimistic, preferring to focus on the quality of its campaigns, specialising in fashion and lifestyle brands.
For the time being, expansion into other countries with similar large social media followings may be on the cards as well as the possibility of pursuing different categories of brands and influencers in the future.
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