- Posted by Janina Bernardo
- On November 20, 2018
- 0 Comments
Asia is a diverse and vibrant region comprised of countries that have their own languages, cultures, religions, and traditions. Developing an effective strategy for marketing your business to people in this region requires a deeper understanding of each country’s social dynamics and technology habits.
Content marketing is an important and effective strategy for many B2B businesses to grow their digital audience. However, as a business grows to become international, marketing to all of these audiences requires numerous strategies and iterations of content. If you are looking to expand your business in Asia, here are tips on how to optimize your international content marketing distribution strategy in the region:
Understand Local Laws and Restrictions of Each Country
Not all platforms can be adapted to to work within certain countries. Facebook, with its large user base, can only have 2 million active users in China because the site is blocked by the government to control the flow of information that they may deem to be threatening to the government. The so-called Great Firewall of China is also used to limit the use of other Western apps like Google, Twitter, Instagram, and SnapChat. This makes China a challenge for outside marketers who are used to mobilizing their campaigns through typical social media platforms.
There is also a need to take into account the local laws of each country because their stand on certain aspects of marketing such as product claims, competitions, or even certain product categories like alcohol can vary widely.
Recognize Homegrown Networks
While Facebook is the undisputed social media leader across the ASEAN bloc, LinkedIn is also catching up quickly in Asia. In a LinkedIn report from 2016, 22 per cent or around 100 million of its 450 million users are in the Asia-Pacific region. This is double the amount that LinkedIn reported in its 2014 figures.
However, these platforms that are developed in the West are facing competition from its local counterparts in some countries. WeChat for example is virtually unheard of in North America but is the de facto standard app used in China for everything from chat, commerce, and search. This mobile only app has seen exponential growth since it was launched in 2010 and has become the largest social network in China with over 750m monthly active users.
Japan also has its own preferred social network known as LINE. The app may not have the size of WeChat in terms of active users, but it is estimated that more than half of the Japanese population use it daily.
Marketers need to adapt to the platforms of choice in the countries they are trying to penetrate. They need to create localized content that is optimized to the platform they are utilizing to better connect and resonate with their target audience.
Take Advantage of the Rise of Mobile Video
One of the hottest trends on the internet right now is in mobile video. With 3.17 billion digital consumers, ads on mobile video have taken off particularly in China and the Asia Pacific region. North America and Europe still have higher mobile video ad expenditures but since 93% of users in Asia own smartphones, the potential of reaching a wider audience using organic and paid mobile video is huge.
However, one must also take into account that one obstacle that is seen with mobile video is the toll it exacts on bandwidth. Many countries in Asia have varying degrees of connectivity speeds. South Korea has the highest average speed of 28 Mbps followed by Japan and Singapore at 20 Mbps. At the bottom of the list is India and the Philippines at 5 Mbps. Asymmetrical bandwidth is also a concern where some countries have connection speeds that vary depending on whether data is being uploaded and downloaded. Today, more and more companies require higher speeds in both directions, however, this may mean higher internet costs. These factors can play into how marketers should plan to develop the type of content that is best for a particular market.
It can be daunting for a start-up or SME to enter a new international market. This is especially true when entering a region as diverse and fragmented as Asia. You can’t simply copy and paste a strategy you have used elsewhere and expect the same results. It is important to understand that various platforms available in the local market. You need to be flexible and adaptable when planning your content marketing strategy. This will help you build up a loyal customer base and create a solid foundation for the success of your company.
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