Are Indonesian marketers creating the right kind of content?

With the average consumer seeing 5,000 ads in a day, many are now desensitised to the communication brands put out. During the Digital Marketing Asia conference held in Indonesia, Sufi Rafa'ee (pictured) market lead of Digimind said that today, 70% of the consumers prefer to discover a brand through content, rather than conventional advertising. But of course, that also boils down to the quality of the content.

Content creation, he told audience members, has claimed the highest priority in marketing budgets in 2018 and this is ahead of email, SEO and SEM. According to statistics from Digimind, social media holds a 54% chance, coming in third in the ranking. Marketing-communication solutions managed to hit the fourth, while digital advertising (48%) and business communication (42%) were in the bottom two rankings.

While marketers have no doubt learnt that content marketing is now crucial, Sufi added that not many have been able to create content without explicitly promoting their brand or product. Around the region, and Indonesia, Sufi said that only a handful of companies have achieved this balance where "they don't speak about the product in a blatant manner".

"In order to attract interest, or prospect as part of inbound marketing strategies, we need to find the balance," he said.

And while it is easy to get carried away creatively when creating content, one way to stay grounded is to strategise based on business objectives. “This is so you will not run away from the trail of your thoughts while you're creating content strategies. Once you do that, you're able to stay in line with your business strategies and create more awareness, loyalty, leads and sales support,” he said.

Sufi also was of the view that sometimes, marketers are too concerned about their own brand and end up tracking only their own products and campaigns. “If you track your competitors [while analysing your own brand], you will be killing two birds with one stone,” he said. And while it isn't always possible to get an insight into your competitors' sales data, brands still need to keep an eye on industry insights to truly understand consumers.

And of course technology also ties into this equation to help marketers better understand their ROI.

“Technology is here to help you, and yes it does cost a little bit of money but then again, with technology your ROI will be more clearly visible,” he said. He added that at the end of the day, technology can help marketers to deep dive into specific sets of data which can then show and explain insights - rather than simply float at the surface with numbers, analytics and impressions.

How to create good content

While creating content is not rocket science, making it resonate with consumers still requires technical skills. According to Sufi, the first step into content optimisation is inspiration.

“Look into the trends of how other people or brands are creating that content, you have to use the data already out there and you have to look into the news platforms,” Sufi said, adding that marketers need to understand the concerns of the community and consumers. Moreover, marketers can also tap on consumer studies and obtaining feedback from sales team, to understand the most discussed topics. And while there has been lots of chatter in the industry on the abundance of data, as well as the need to collect everything, Sufi argues that it is more important to begin with relevant data to have a clearer start.

Apart from collating data and insights, it is also crucial to assemble a team with the right skills in listening, analysis and tools. According to Sufi, while many companies are inclined to hiring junior marketers, expertise also play a big role to deciphering your data right. As such, he recommends that companies invest in  an individual who can represent and analyse data, as well as have knowledge on using the right tools internally.

The next step after inspiration is the execution of the content. Marketers should research on the types of content or media which resonates with their target audiences. After which, they need to look into promoting and delivering the content to the right people, at the right time. In order to maximise the marketing budget, Sufi said that a data collection tool comes in handy to determine the personas and segments to better target the content to.

Although there are many campaigns rolling out in Indonesia, Sufi said that the biggest concern is that not many people and companies are tracking them. They either have a lot of data in hand but are not optimising them, or with no data to measure the outcome of their campaign.

As such, marketers need to track and use technology to help track the data, and also determine your communication channels.