Content marketing in Asia-Pacific is booming: 60% of regional agency heads and brand marketers see it as their number one priority, and 87% of international B2B companies are considering to run content-driven campaigns this year alone.
It is clear that brands increasingly respect the unique ability of content marketing to engage, educate, and inform consumers, while building brand awareness, affinity, and intention to buy.
That said, it is undeniable that content marketing has considerable untapped potential in Asia Pacific and that it has the ability to claim more money for advertising.
A quick look at APAC's advertising spending figures shows that a growing proportion of investment is being poured into content-friendly platforms, including mobile ones. Digital spending will increase by nearly 17% this year to $ 70 billion, after an impressive 18% growth last year.
In this context, the mobile phone remains the main driver, given forecasts of an impressive 29% rise this year to claim responsibility for two thirds of all digital spending. All this means that APAC is now the most advanced region in mobile advertising, in front of North America.
In addition to the battle to make sure to receive a significant share of the digital pie, content marketers must also fight for campaigns to stand out among the deluge of consumer offerings .
Of course, it is imperative to provide truly compelling cross-platform content, whether it's text, video or social networks, but I would say that we need to further stimulate creativity for create lasting links with the target audience.
Here are my three main tips:
Data as a Driver
It's not enough to launch a well-designed content marketing campaign, and hopefully it's going to be in focus. Instead, high-quality information and clear campaign goals need to be combined to ensure that they reach the target audience, where they are, and at the right time.
And the only effective way to do that is to use the data expertly.
We know that traditionally in Asia, brands have struggled to create the volume and quality of content required and, despite increased investment, have also expressed their fears of not having accompanied a effective strategy of success.
The situation is similar worldwide: less than half of marketers use data to produce interesting content for their audience, but 3.4 billion Internet users are online each day.
This means that most marketers do not take advantage of the myriad information that can ensure effective interaction with consumers. We have the advantage of being able to tap into the four trillion monthly consumer data points of Oath, revealing their likes and dislikes, their locations and more. This is then coupled with our proprietary tool that identifies people's motivations to consume content, allowing us to develop and distribute the right content at the right time. This means that being creative with data and analytics ensures that the skills that have been invested in content creation are not lost.
Broadcasting via Emerging Formats
Consumers want to be entertained, educated and feel special – that's why personalized content marketing campaigns are so important. But they also need the wow factor that can be transmitted by the new formats and distribution channels.
Let's take the example of artificial intelligence (AR). According to Socintel360, advertising expenditures in AR reached US $ 12.8 billion in 2017, compared to US $ 0.6 billion in 2014. We are now starting to see how the smartest brands are reaping the benefits of this investment.
For example, in the United States, we collaborated with Pottery Barn to present their indoor furniture via a user-friendly interactive experience for mobile phones. The Augmented Augmented Augmented Advertising experience invited buyers to choose from a Pottery Barn furniture carousel and virtually place 3D objects in their homes, so they could see what the furniture would look like in their space.
The AR campaign clearly affected consumers, who spent an average of 2.4 minutes in the interactive advertising experience.
This is a similar story with virtual reality (VR) and 360-degree video. To help raise the profile of Cadbury Buttons and re-establish the emotional connection between millennials and the brand, Oath's RYOT Studios produced the world's first 360 degree virtual reality custom video experience. Called "Memory Lane" – the campaign was able to generate a 5% increase in intent to purchase and 1.4 million page views of Cadbury content by encouraging parents to create and celebrate "shared moments". During the summer months, parents posted photos of their shared moments – creating their own personalized videos – connecting the online and offline worlds and allowing them to relive those very important moments.
As this technology evolves, these formats will become more common, as consumers expect more and more of the level of service they get online to match brands can offer offline.
Be distinctive with traditional technology
The video has been around for decades, since it was threatening to kill the radio star. But that does not mean that the format has remained static since then. We've recently seen how marketers have helped it evolve to create brand connections by giving up the norm and increasing creativity.
Short format video is a typical example: 34% of advertisers said they were investing more in six-second videos this year. In addition, 40% of additional brands are investing in branded video in 2018 and, with so many new ways to use it, 360 video video ads to video banners in the banner, opportunities to connect with consumers are endless.
According to eMarketer, APAC accounted for 1.1 billion digital viewers in 2017 on a wide range of desktop, mobile and social platforms. While this reveals the magnitude of the potential, it also reinforces the fact that successful content on one platform will not necessarily work on another – even within a single category such as the video.
As this last sentence shows, successful content marketing goes well beyond quality content. This, of course, is the basis. But it also needs effective data, reliable consumer information, innovative delivery, expert distribution, and engaging formats to engage consumers in the right place, at the right time, and achieve the right business results.
Rico Chan is Managing Director of Hong Kong, Japan and INSEA of Oath.