KUALA LUMPUR: Popular influencers in Malaysia are increasingly using Instagram to shape the way advertising is conducted in the country and the wider region.
Malaysian blogger Vivy Yusof, for example, has an impressive 827,000 followers of her Instagram account, which she uses to promote her Fashion Valet site and her lifestyle brand, The dUCk Group.
Having built her own homegrown fashion outlet, Yusof represents the views of Muslimah, or successful women who combine business knowhow with a taste for modern living while remaining religiously observant. This plays well in a Muslim-majority nation such as Malaysia, where Yusof's Instagram posts promote stylish fashion and tips that fits with Malaysian culture.
It is estimated that 73% of internet users in Malaysia have an Instagram account.
As reported by Erin Hale, an Asia-based contributor to Forbes, Yusof is not the only Malaysian Instagram content producer who has combined personal celebrity with fashion influence and business.
For example, online media site Tally Press has drawn up a list of 100 influential Instagrammers in Malaysia and revealed that 32 of them had more than half a million followers in 2015.
These Instagram celebrities, who include singer Siti Nurhaliza Tarudin and actress Nora Danish, help to advertise new trends while also providing personal endorsement for a product's quality.
"While Malaysia might be a particularly successful case of crossover Instagram/celebrity/advertising success, it may be a test case for wider-spread use of Instagram advertising across Southeast Asia," said Hale.
"In countries with limited consumer protection laws or false advertising in markets like Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, personal endorsements will likely come to mean more than traditional advertisements," she added.
For more on how brands should not overlook the importance of young Muslim women as a marketing opportunity, read Warc's exclusive interview with Shelina Janmohamed, VP of Ogilvy Noor, the Islamic branding consultancy.
According to Ogilvy Noor's research, the Muslim consumer lifestyle market is expected to reach $2.6tr by 2020 and young Muslim women are leading the way.
Data sourced from Forbes; additional content by Warc staff