Back in the days when she was a Mediacorp actress, Michelle Chong took on various roles across English and Chinese-language dramas. These roles definitely left a deep impression in many locals (remember Lulu, Barberella and Leticia Bongnino from the Noose?).
Later in 2011, Michelle Chong took a break from acting and surprised the locals with her own film company and subsequently produced hit local films Already Famous, 3 Peas in a Pod and Lulu The Movie. Her creative journey did not just stop here. She moved on to established her own artiste management agency (Left Profile) and YouTube channel (her latest series Court Porn features exclusive interview with blogger Xiaxue).
Just when we thought Michelle has no more to offer, Ah Lian from Litchfield appears. On the 6th of June, Netflix released a promotional trailer of the latest season of Orange Is The New Black and Singaporeans were sibeh (very) surprised to see Michelle featured as Ah Lian. The trailers made several uniquely Singapore references throughout the trailers; from chilli padi in mee rebus to choping seats with tissues that resonated soundly and was an instant hit among the locals (over 1.5 million views combined in a few days).
An actress, comedian, host and director, these are just some of Michelle’s persona and success stories. Among them all, Michelle has also successfully managed her own personal brand online to become a local influencer who has worked with numerous brands. In a recent interview by Marketing Interactive, Michelle shares about her experience working with brands and marketers over the years.
In the remaining article, we will share some of Michelle’s answers on Marketing Interactive as well as Popular Chip’s own take on influencer marketing in Singapore.
How has your experience with marketers changed as a result?
When asked this question, Michelle answered that with the evolution of advertising from traditional to digital platforms, marketing budgets have been decreased relatively. Right now, video content has higher priority over video quality.
We definitely agree with her on this. As digital/social media marketing becomes increasingly popular, brands and marketers are moving towards these platforms to build brand awareness and loyalty. In the past, one well made video campaign on traditional media can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Right now with this equivalent sum of money, an extensive digital campaign can be made possible on various social media platforms. More than one influencer can be engaged and more content can be created – photos, short videos content.
What are some of the challenges of being an influencer?
One of the key challenge that Michelle shared was the need to constantly keep up with changes offline and on the digital space. To keep up with trend and pop culture, Michelle has started her own YouTube channel to attrach the younger demographics.
In our opinion, the same challenge applies for both influencers and brands, especially so in this rapidly changing digital sphere. Brands in particular, have to be aware of the latest trends on social media in order to execute and craft the most engaging content for their digital campaign. Take for example, not too long ago, sponsoring influencers to post delicately curated Instagram posts/videos were one of the most common and effective form of marketing. However, with the addition of Instagram stories, it has provided brands with an additional platform and more engaging form of marketing.
What should clients take note of when it comes to working with celeb influencers and content creators such as yourself?
Michelle welcomes her clients to be very clear and open with her regarding their campaign requirements. As her agency has been doing marketing on a full0time basis, they have a good understanding of their audience’s taste and habits which is crucial for the effectiveness of a campaign. One example that she stated was her agency’s better understanding on the appropriate time to post as compared to their clients.
We cannot agree more! A campaign’s content can be crafted to perfection but all is lost if it is not posted at the most optimal time period for maximum engagement! Many may not realise the importance of this factor but each individual influencer has a unique set of follower demographics and thus, different optimal post timings. At Popular Chips, our platform offers in depth analysis to provide brands with the best time to post data for every influencer/celebrity in the world (read more about it here).
How important is a social media following today in the eyes of client marketers?
To this question, Michelle mentioned that an influencers social media following is a good gauge of the reach that brands can receive if they were to engage the influencer. However, she acknowledged the fact that followers on social media platforms can be bought and thus, content and audience engagement are factors that should not be overlooked.
What can we say? Absolutely yes! With the problem of fake and inactive followers on Instagram, brands are in the danger of wasting precious marketing budget reaching these accounts instead of genuine ones. However, Popular Chip’s platform offers a recognition feature that can accurately analyze and display the percentage of fake/inactive followers for every influencer or celebrity in the world.
T’anks Marketing Interactive for sharing Michelle’s thoughts and we hope this article has been beneficial to all influencers and brands out there!