Brands often take a “risk-averse” approach to content marketing as they view it through a “campaign lens” rather than recognising how it can be central to deeper brand building and success in the long term.
That observation was one of the major talking points raised at the recent Mumbrella360 Asia conference in Singapore, which covers all aspects of the content marketing industry in Asia. Earlier this month, Indian marketers said they would be focusing on thought leadership and high-quality branded news, blogs, articles and videos as they plan to up their investment in 2018, so it appears that content is very much a hot topic in the East right now.
While marketers are eager to make the most of the content zeitgeist this year, Vice Australia’s Head of Content Alex Light said brands in Asia are still effectively finding their feet and that a less mature approach, when compared to Europe and the US, is manifesting into a trend of risk aversion.
“It’s unproven and people aren’t necessarily willing to go in with big budgets and investing behind it,” he said. “This is the same in the US and Australia, but people still see it through a campaign lens. It’s seen as a short-term solution rather than long-term brand-building.”
However, Light admitted that these frustrations will do little to dampen the enthusiasm for content and that there is currently a “massive opportunity” for brands to jump on board. He added: “This region has so much potential and I think content marketing is really about to take off here.”
Working with agencies specialising in translation and transcreation could help brands in Asia to deliver relevant and targeted resources to audiences at home and abroad. To improve ROI, however, Click2View Editorial Director Jackie Shorey believes brands must outline a better vision for their content efforts and be sure about what they want.
She said: “I do the usual journalistic stuff and say: ‘What are you trying to do?’ They will say they don’t know, they just want some articles. So I say: ‘What does success look like? What do you want? Who’s your audience? Who’s going to read it?’ And then it’s just: ‘Go away and do 10 articles.’ And that’s a pity; with a bit of digging we’ll do our best, but rather than me guessing or having to tease it out and getting it wrong.”
However, those challenges are universal and are not restricted to Asia, as better relationships between agency and client and a more holistic view of what each party wants would benefit content campaigns around the world.
Finally, industry leaders at the event touched on the ongoing conversation about metrics and measurability. The panellists said having clear goals and objectives in the first place would help brands to determine ROI for content marketing, though Andrea Edwards, of The Digital Conversationalist, said a new measurement tool that could bring everything together to give “one picture” and clear insights would be a great help.