As consumers become more sophisticated than ever before, they continue to absorb information by brands in the digital space - both via online and mobile devices - connecting with them in real-time, according to a new research by Waggener Edstrom.
The second edition of its proprietary Asia Pacific research study - Content Matters: The Impact of Brand Storytelling Online in 2015 - explores the correlation between devices and social media platforms as it relates to purchase behavior, and looks into the factors that drive consumer brand advocacy and how those dynamics vary across industry and geography in Asia Pacific.
Here're three tips from the research on how to stay ahead of the content marketing game:
1. It's all about the ecosystem
The data show that consumers want cross-channel experiences, via an ecosystem of online and offline touch points. However, the dominant platforms shift according to industry and geography.
In South Korea, for example, regardless of industry, blogs dominate purchasing decisions; in the Philippines, social media carries the greatest purchase influence. And in the majority APAC markets, corporate websites are key for Finance & Banking decisions, while Restaurant & Dining purchases rely most heavily on word of mouth.
2. Content is a local game
Although Facebook and WhatsApp currently dominate the region, the third most preferred social network is different in almost every market. Singapore consumers are hot for Instagram, Indonesians love to tweet, and China is bonding via WeChat. Furthermore, willingness to engage with brands and motivation is market-led. For example, access to discounts is the key reason consumers follow a brand in Hong Kong (46%) and Indonesia (38%); in China, it's simple love for the brand; in India, it's because consumers find the content inspirational. What this means for campaign design is Southeast Asia should be promotion-led, while marketers will need to focus on brand in China and charm in India.
3. Multiple devices matter
The data indicate that consumers are using multiple screens to engage with brands and gather information prior to purchase, pivoting between two devices, typically a smartphone and a computer. Additionally, not only are they amalgamating branded content before taking action, but they do so in different ways depending on their location.
The 2015 study surveyed over 4,000 consumers in nine markets across Asia Pacific, including Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and South Korea. It also covered nine industries, including Beauty, Consumer Electronics, Finance & Banking, Food & Beverage, Healthcare, Mobile Devices & Tablets, Personal Care, Restaurants & Dining, and Travel & Tourism.