After years of slumber, Taiwan has recently emerged as one of the best-performing economies in East Asia, but global brands often struggle to tap into this growing and substantial spending power.
While Taiwan can be considered an idiosyncratic market, one thing stands out: in 2023 it will difficult for brands to succeed here without an influencer-heavy strategy customized to local needs
With that in mind here are some of the key trends that have emerged in the past year that are aimed to help guide brands down the path of working with influencers in Taiwan.
Influencers Are Focusing on Building Their Own Brands
Algorithm changes on social media platforms have made it difficult for influencers to reach their audiences and generate income. As a result, many prominent influencers are now focusing on developing their own brands.
For example, a leading influencer in Taiwan, Crown Du (滴妹), launched her own beverage brand called ‘Sleep for 5 More Minutes,’ which garnered widespread attention. A partnership with convenience store, Family Mart, resulted in huge queues across the island before opening her own chain of stores last September.
Influencer Marketing is the Preferred Promotional Channel for Taiwan Group-Buying
Group buying, a form of collective e-commerce pioneered by the Chinese company Pinduoduo, has grown significantly in Taiwan in recent years. The majority of brands when running group-buying campaigns will choose to work with influencers. The reason for this is that this is a very social form of retail and influencers often have a deeper more relatable relationship with niche groups.
Successful examples of influencer-driven group buying can be seen with travel influencer Brian in Travel, who raised over US$ 400,000 in a 2021 promotion for group purchases of domestic hotel rooms.
Based on data and interactions with thousands of local brands, agencies, and influencers, here are three best practices for succeeding in influencer marketing in Taiwan in 2023.
Prioritize ‘Average Views Per Video’ When Selecting Youtubers to Partner With
YouTube is a mainstream entertainment platform in Taiwan, with top YouTubers like Potter King and Holger Chen among the most influential celebrities on the island. According to a recent Ipsos report, 93% of Taiwanese use YouTube at least once a month, and 55% watch at least 1.5 hours per day. Marketing budgets are therefore advised to be Youtube-heavy.
To assess the suitability of YouTube influencers in Taiwan, marketers should focus on average viewer counts, rather than the number of subscribers a content creator has as this is a better indicator of campaign effectiveness. As a rule, any influencer with an average of 200,000 or more views per video is outperforming 87% of content creators.
Finding the Instagram Engagement Sweetspot
The prevailing thought in Taiwan has been that the optimal engagement performance on Instagram can be found through micro-influencers or KOCs (Key Opinion Consumers) with 1,000-10,000 followers.
“It’s however better that brands instead focus their budgets on mid-size influencers with 50,000-300,000 followers for their Instagram campaigns.”
It’s however better that brands instead focus their budgets on mid-size influencers with 50,000-300,000 followers for their Instagram campaigns. Data from cacaFly shows that this group has an average engagement rate of 4.17%, which is significantly higher than the 3.67% engagement rate of the originally favored cohort of 1,000-10,000 followers.
Build Organic Relationships with Taiwan Influencers
Taiwanese influencers are willing to promote and endorse brands or products that they personally enjoy. For example, the convenience store, Family Mart, receives some of the highest-level organic shares in Taiwan due to its innovative campaigns and products that influencers genuinely enjoy showing off.
To build organic relationships, brands should interact with influencers online by leaving comments on their posts and sending them samples or coupons. Brands can also invite influencers to events. The top three categories of products that influencers choose to promote organically are travel-related, food and drink, and fashion.
Image: Cotton Bro