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KOL Marketing In SEA: How To Develop A Successful Strategy?

An escalating digital economy, hugely untapped demographic, and rapidly rising number of internet users – are just some of the critical advantages South East Asia (SEA) has to offer as a rising hot spot in mobile marketing, making countries in this region an untapped treasure by many brands and developers.

The SEA Market: The Sky Is The Limit

SEA is easily among the fastest-growing mobile markets in the world. From 2021 to 2022, the number of mobile internet users has risen from 479 million to 501 million users, with the numbers expected to rise to increase to 551 million users by 2025. The mobile boom has also seen the rise in tech space, specifically eCommerce, with healthcare, education, and fintech following after.

Local presence is a fundamental key to success. A brand’s ability to offer genuinely localised marketing strategies and channels is able to achieve a high level of retaining its client and customer satisfaction.

Having knowledge of what customers are looking for and the best-suited ad format can go a long way with the right localisation strategy. In recent years, due to the pandemic, there has been a shift from traditional advertisements that can result in hard-sell to a more content-focused soft-sell advertisement. Hence, Kobe specialises in KOL marketing, influencers, and a more integrated marketing strategy to help brands grow.

KOL Marketing Is A Definite Must In Order To Grow In SEA

KOLs, Key Opinion Leaders, are strictly different from influencers. While they share similar social influencing capabilities, the critical difference is that they have the necessary skills, expertise, and knowledge in a specific field. Because of their knowledge, they are able to reach and convince a massive audience, making them an incredible marketing tool to achieve fast growth and vast reach. It is crucial to look at the available media platforms and preferences in individual countries in order to succeed in the various SEA countries.

For example, in Indonesia, the most preferred media platforms are WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, with Pinterest and TikTok gaining fast traction. Vietnam has more media platform users than most nations around the world, making Facebook their preferred media platform, followed by their local instant messaging app, Zalo and TikTok.

In Malaysia and Singapore, the two nations in SEA with a vast number of English-speaking populations, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are currently the most well-used social media platform, followed by TikTok.

In SEA, a growing allocation of local brands’ marketing campaign budgets is used for KOL marketing, with TikTok used as the base standard for high ROI (Return Of Investment). Whether to promote their services or products or to boost brand presence, KOL marketing has grown to become a necessity, and it has been found immensely effective.

User-Generated Content

TikTok, one of the rising stars for quality KOL marketing, is a popular short-form video platform and boasts a diverse, massive user base. One of the key reasons why TikTok advertising is such a popular KOL marketing tool is because of its feature, Spark Ads, which leverage branded posts, which, when combined with the power of KOLs and influencers, is a promising format to increase sales and drive traffic exponentially.

With the appropriate marketing strategy, user-generated content can be beneficial not only on TikTok but also on other social media platforms and is the defining factor why KOL marketing is such an effective campaign strategy. Especially with TikTok, user-generated content is exemplified in such a manner that can be tailored to the nation’s culture. For example, the use of sentimental, narrative-driven content is commonly associated with Thai ads.


Incorporating KOL marketing strategies into your brand promotion or marketing campaign is one of the best investments you will not regret. However, it takes more than just partnering with a random KOL or influencer. Due research has to be done in order to engage the best-suited individual with your brand.

To help you optimise your KOL marketing campaign and strategy, Kobe can help you achieve the success you are looking for. We have worked with many social influencers in Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, China, and Hong Kong. With our experience and past success, we can match your brand with the right KOL and influencer for your marketing needs. To work with us in your next KOL marketing campaign, you may reach us at