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Singapore’s Environment ministry latest government body to recruit ‘influencers’

Just weeks after the Ministry of Finance received a public lashing for its influencer campaign, another Singapore government department has taken to Instagram in its marketing efforts.

This time around, its the Ministry for the Environment and Water Resources – or Mewr –, which has recruited a host of ‘influencers’ to promote climate change messages on their social media pages.

However, in a departure from the MOF, which was heavily criticised for using beauty bloggers to promote the Budget, the Merp appears to have opted for so-called ‘micro-influencers’ – Instagram users with followings in the hundreds and early thousands.

Using the tags #SustainableSG and #ClimateActionSG, the users have posted messages promoting measures such as eating less meat, recycling clothes, using less plastic and raising the air conditioner temperature.

‘Micro-influencers’ with a tendency to post pictures of their children or parenting messages appear to have been a popular choice for the Merp.

Meanwhile, appealing to Generation Z, the ministry picked young bloggers such as Tacomels and Marcus Nai. Although neither of the pair have a niche in any particular subject, including the environment, together their posts have generated more than 500 Likes.

According to The Straits Times, each post costs up to S$35, with the entire campaign costing around S$1,500.

In addition, the newspaper reported the government body has paid 28 people in total with a combined reach of 100,000, for a campaign lasting three months in total.

Although using Instagram users with smaller followings decreases a brand’s potential reach, research has suggested using so-called micro-influencers will lead to better engagement overall.

According to a 2016 study by Markerly, which surveyed 2 million influencers, those with 1,000 followers have a like rate of around 8 percent, while those with 1,000 to 10,000 followers have one of 4 percent.

As follower base increases, like rate decreases, with influencers bearing a 10,000 to 100,000 following having a 2.4 per cent like rate.

And although the influencer medium has increased exponentially over recent years – and is expected to be a $2.3 billion industry by 2019 – many have called into question its ability to generate ROI and transparent advertising for brands. 

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