So you want to find new frontiers and penetrate the Asian market? Are you confident yet in your strategies? Or are you still unsure of how to face content marketing challenges in Asia?
A 2017 survey found that 70% of business owners saw their efforts for content marketing as basic, limited, or inconsistent. These businesses are unsure of how to attract audiences in Asia with the content that they have. Half admit they have no specific efforts in content marketing strategies for the Asian market.
If these numbers make you feel uneasy, fear not! This article will help you figure out how to attract audiences in Asia with content that is relatable and well done with these five tips:
1. Know. Your. Market.
This is a given, but really, you can never know too much about who you're selling to. Content marketing needs to send a clear message but be like a friend giving a good recommendation, and a good friend would be mindful of what their friend needs. Some things for you to cross-check include:
a. Colours, patterns, and more!
Every little aspect of a product affects how the market responds, so it's good to research what is acceptable in certain cultures.
Think: could a particular colour be inappropriate or even offensive to be used in a certain situation? For example, it is common to find mall buildings with no fourth and thirteenth floor, because the numbers are considered as ominous. Wearing black for weddings and celebrations or red and gold for funerals are also socially unacceptable in many Asian cultures.
b. Are there sentiments on certain trends?
The Asian market is filled with people who are community-centrist, meaning that they adapt to trends quickly if they like it. Is your content something they have seen before? If so, how recent was it? Do you have to present a certain product as a spin-off of something they love, or a new, refreshing idea they'd want in their lives?
2. Consider traditional media
While digital content is the new norm, traditional media is still common and surviving well in Asia. Companies in the South East Asian region, for example, typically still spend more than 80% of their advertising budget on traditional media, even for more sophisticated internet economies such as Singapore or Japan. Consider how well content marketing in newspapers or magazines will fare for you and don't forget to look up big names in traditional media for your target region!
Here's a helpful hint: they might not be digitalized yet. Sometimes, Asian communities rely on their local newspaper, which is on a provincial level for their daily information intake. It's a good idea to look this up as well.
3. Make it descriptive, make it easy
The Asian market is very varied, but most of it has a high demand for family-friendly content. Why? Because most Asian families stay in touch even over long distances, and this means they possibly share product recommendations and content they find cute or creative on a daily basis. Adults will ask parents for significant purchases, and seniors ask youngsters for the "hip new trend.”
As a content creator, this means you need to make any text easy to translate into local languages, even when you have a specific age or income group as your main target. Your content needs to have your core message, a way to follow-up on more detailed information and can be easily shared through a screenshot or pasted in a translating engine.
Another good starting point when you're investigating a particular topic is by comparing the local language trend to its English equivalent, such as by Google Trends. Certain phrases or words may get more clicks than others, depending on the language.
4. Be legally savvy
You don't need to spend a small fortune or get an extra degree to know the legal content marketing challenges in Asia. While reading up laws and learning about legal issues can be cumbersome to many, keep in mind that doing this means you're ensuring there is no way your content is going to get taken down (or worse) for violating laws in your target country. Here are some common problems you shouldn't belittle when formulating content market strategies for Asian markets:
a. Intellectual property rights
Things such as trademarks and plagiarism are commonly seen in Asian markets, but sometimes things get out of hand. Make sure to properly check all images for copyright and attribute any content necessary!
b. Advertising compliance
Lots of people think that content marketing IS advertising, and depending on the legal definition of your target country, it may well be. Be sure not to make claims about your or your competitors’ products that aren't verifiable!
c. Terms of service
Are you complying with the terms of service of the platform you're posting on? If not, you run the risk of being blocked or deleted! This problem usually happens on social media sites, but also keep an eye out for what your market finds acceptable even on official websites.
There are always third-party sites or blogs that can explain local laws. In case you stop by one of these, it's good to check if the post is up to date. Or, if it's in a foreign language, best to stay safe and consult a legal professional, so long as you don't break the bank.
5. Make sure your content is not devalued!
This may seem narcissistic at first glance, but looking up where your content marketing shows up in the world wide web is really important! And "where" doesn't only mean which website your content is on, but it also includes a deeper search on other content surrounding yours.
One of the biggest content marketing challenges in Asia is how loyal the Asian society is towards trusted brands. They don't mind shoving a bit deeper into their pockets for something they know works, and that mindset is what keeps lots of Asian brands alive.
Does that mean there's no room for newcomers? Of course not! But it does mean that gaining initial trust in itself is a unique content marketing challenge in Asia.
A good, clean reputation is key for your content marketing to work. Just making sure it gets traction isn't enough. Ensure it doesn't show up on websites that are filled with hoaxes or spam ads, because even when it's seen, it has less likelihood of being read. Or worse, it could make people distrust what you have to say. Carve out time to do this regularly, so you don't lose track of things!
Learning something new will always be complex, but it doesn't have to be difficult. With a little bit of work and a great mindset, you too can develop your personal strategies and overcome content marketing challenges in Asia!