How Much Do Influencers Really Make In Singapore?
Updated: May 23
The concept of “influencer marketing” has been catching on like wildfire in Singapore. Reportedly, 92% of people regarded influencer marketing as an effective form of marketing because they place more trust on influencers, sometimes known as key opinion leaders (KOL), compared to commercials or social media ads. Marketers are also noticing that return on investment (ROI) from influencer marketing is comparable or even higher than other marketing channels.
Needless to say, brands and businesses are rushing to collaborate with influencers to create brand awareness, engage audiences and increase conversions. Especially in Singapore where there are as many as 4.6 million active social media users, the role of influencers has become increasingly authoritative and profitable.
Active Social Media Users In Singapore
Top Social Media PlatformsUsers
*Data from MediaOne Business Group.
The Role Of An Influencer In Singapore
Simply put, influencers in social media are people who have built a reputation and authority for their knowledge and expertise in a specific area (i.e. beauty, fashion, travel, food). They make regular posts about their topic of interest on their preferred social media channels (such as Facebook or Instagram) to organically gain followers who share similar interests or views.
There are typically two groups of influencers – macro-influencers and micro-influencer. Macro-influencers have 40,000 to over 1 million followers. These are successful online opinion leaders who have a large pool of loyal fans who engage with their channel regularly. These influencers' prominent profiles make it easier to raise awareness, which is why brands engage with them for marketing and promotional activities.
Mongchin Yeoh is one such macro-influencer who has 277,000 followers on her beauty channel on Instagram. She is so well-recognised that she even made her television debut as a host for a travel show called Who runs the world with Mongchin. For a typical post, she can garner as many as 3,000 ‘Likes’ and charges S$736 per promotional post.
Besides high-profile influencers, there are also micro-influencers with 1,000 to 40,000 followers who are known for their expertise in a specific niche. Micro-influencers who built up specialist followings are not all out for the money. They tend to be picky about whom they work with and may even promote a brand for free if they believe in the mission or goal behind the business.
Due to their smaller following, micro-influencers charge far less compared to macro-influencers. Taking the example of Grace Chan who manages honeyydrizzle on Instagram, the estimated fee per post is S$188, about 25% of Mongchin Yeoh.
How Much Can An Influencer Make In Singapore?
If you’re planning to become an influencer in Singapore, here is a brief rundown of how much you can earn on some of the top social media channels:
According to a survey conducted on influencer marketing, Instagrammers can make an average of S$75 to S$3,000 per post. This is often tagged to the number of followers they have and the level of engagement with their audience.
While top Instagrammers make thousands of dollars per post, those with a smaller following but high engagement rate have the potential to make money too. Depending on their niche, content, and audience, Instagrammers can monetise their Instagram account with options such as sponsored posts for brands, becoming an affiliate to make commission for selling a brands’ products, selling physical or digital products, or offering a paid service.
Fact: 40% of YouTube channels with a million subscribers make over six figures annually. The average pay per view is between S$0.0013 to S$0.004. Based on that estimate, JianHao Tan, one of the top YouTube channels in Singapore, can rake in as much as S$19,500 for 15 million views for his video “13 Types of Among Us Players”.
However, to start monetising a YouTube channel with paid ads, the channel must have tallied 4,000 hours of overall watch time within the past 12 months and have at least 1,000 subscribers. The amount of money YouTube will pay also depends on a variety of factors such as the number of views for the video, the number of clicks an ad receives, ad quality, ad blockers, and video length.
Aspiring YouTubers must also bear in mind that creating a profitable video requires considerable costs. Besides paying for video equipment and editing tools, overheads such as site rental, hiring actors, and scriptwriting can also have a financial impact on the bottom line.
Like Instagrammers and Youtubers, bloggers must have substantial monthly impressions on their blog post before they can think about monetising their channel. According to a study on local blog sites, bloggers can make S$175 to S$1,000 per post.
Blogger Rates In Singapore
*Data from Get Kobe.
For bloggers to succeed, they must be extremely analytical and knowledgeable in their niche. In a world where most information is just a Google search away, bloggers present in-depth information to capture their audience’s attention. A flair for writing is a must but more importantly, the ability to provide relevant and engaging content to readers.
Besides charging a blogging fee to paid sponsors who want to engage their audience, bloggers can also optimise their earnings with Google’s AdSense ads, affiliate marketing, banner ads, and even product reviews.
Do Influencers Need To Pay Taxes In Singapore?
The fun of becoming an influencer is not just in monetary compensations but also the free perks that come with their marketing role. However, these ‘free’ perks are not always free because the Inland Revenue Authority (IRAS) requires influencers to pay taxes for them so long as these perks exceed S$100 in value.
\This is no trivial matter because IRAS will do random audits and any influencer found to have under declared any amounts can expect a fine of up to S$5,000, plus possible imprisonment of as long as three years.
Becoming An Influencer In Singapore
There is money to be made as an influencer in Singapore but everyone’s dedication, talent, and expertise is different, and these factors ultimately affect the niche that you fall under as well as your potential pay scale. To succeed as an influencer takes patience, creativity, hard work, and most importantly, having a business savvy mind.
This article is contributed by ValueChampion Singapore, a personal finance research firm.