Digital Marketing in Thailand: Two Trends to Watch in Q3, 2016

The halfway point of 2016 has come and gone. As we enter the third quarter, businesses across Thailand are looking for ways to ramp up marketing efforts as their focus swings from end-of-financial-year madness to future growth.

Here we take a look at two digital marketing trends that are set to take off as the year progresses and 2017 draws nearer.

Mobile internet use is set to skyrocket.

According to Trend Watching, the Asia Pacific region is home to more than 4 billion people; within this population, there are 3.7 billion mobile subscriptions and 1.4 billion active internet users. When it comes to smartphone ownership, Asia Pacific accounts for more than half of all smartphones in use today.

Despite the large number of smartphones in Asia, eMarketer points out that when it comes to mobile internet activity, a “key gap still remains between usage habits in the region’s more and less-developed countries”.

They also note that:

“Mobile internet is even more important for users in Southeast Asia, where issues with the technology, cost and infrastructure of traditional internet access likely make mobile networks a more viable alternative.”

mobile internet usage
Caption: Mobile internet use is only set to increase across the Asia Pacific region, particularly in Southeast Asia.

GSMA produced a report in 2015 that echoes this sentiment, while going one step further to predict that around half the Asia Pacific population will have mobile internet access by 2020.

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Source: GSMA, The Mobile Economy Asia Pacific 2015 report. (http://gsmamobileeconomy.com/asiapacific/)

E-commerce sales are also on the rise across the region and are tipped to reach unprecedented levels. Trend Watching predicts that by 2017, ecommerce sales in the Asia Pacific region could top USD $1 trillion.

So what does this mean for digital marketing?

As mobile internet usage reaches Asia’s less-developed yet highly populous regions (i.e. many parts of Southeast Asia), the reach available to digital marketers in Thailand is only set to skyrocket.

Since mobile internet will be the primary type of internet connection throughout many of these developing countries, mobile-friendly websites and mobile-accessible content is more important than ever. Social media marketing (which is highly accessible via smartphones) is a major drawcard for these markets.

Visual content is on the rise.

In a guest post for LinkedIn a little earlier this year (also featured on Mumbrella), Josh Black of GroupM Content predicted that visual content will continue to grow thanks to faster internet speeds, smartphone penetration and the brain’s attraction to anything visual. As a medium, visual content – such as photos, infographics and videos – is sharable, engaging and highly suited to cross-device viewing.

However, perhaps the biggest trend to watch in terms of visual content is the rise of the ‘silent video’ – especially when it comes to Facebook feeds. Econsultancy pointed out in a blog late last year that (according to Instagram’s European creative lead, Alastair Cotterill) text and video are set to work in unison. As an increasing number of people watch videos on their smartphones (and don’t want everyone around them to hear what they are watching), subtitles on videos are becoming popular.

visual content sample
Caption: Content producers, such as the Huffington Post, are turning to subtitles in a bid to capture the attention of Facebook users who prefer to watch videos sans sound.

Videos that auto-play on Facebook feeds need to be visually arresting from the get-go to suck people in without them first having to click on it. Text allows this to happen as it is another medium through which to capture attention and convey the video’s message without the need for immediate sound.

Think of it as a reimagining of the silent movie!

digital-marketing-trend-thailand
Caption: Digital marketing trends in Thailand and across Southeast Asia are constantly evolving.

It’s time to set your sights on 2017

Digital marketing in Thailand – as with most other parts of the Asia Pacific Region – is forever changing. New and evolving strategies provide businesses with fresh, exciting opportunities.

Headed by an increase in mobile internet uptake across Southeast Asia and the increased demand for highly visual content, digital marketing trends for Q3 and beyond look set to benefit those who are ready and willing to take the next step!

6 of the Most Common Questions Digital Agencies get Asked

If you aren’t currently advertising online your business is most likely going to fail within the year of now. Traditional Marketing managers are running scared because they don’t understand the ability to measure Return-on-Investment accurately enough through digital platforms such as Google Analytics and they do not bother. They would rather allow their companies to sit in the dark ages than succumb to progression. We’re hoping this isn’t you.

If this is old news for you, this should be a good refresher. As a Digital Campaign Manager, I’ve gathered some enquiries that I am frequently asked from the clients and I’d like to share them with you below.

What is Digital Marketing?

The marketing promotion of products via one or more forms of electronic media in order to reach and convert traffic into paying customers.

The main medium of digital marketing is the Internet, where marketers can target specific audiences, to evaluate quantitatively and qualitatively, campaign performance. This enables them to calculate revenue acquired online, in-store, or as a lead.

Digital marketing activities include Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Pay-per-Click (PPC), Content Marketing, Social Media, Email, Video Advertising with more formats coming into play on a yearly basis. Have you heard of “Native Advertising”? From my experience, integrating these channels is the most effective way to pursue your business’s objectives. Each channel plays a part in the path-to-purchase for the end consumer.

path to purchase
Google Insights

For instance, a user may see a display banner to become aware of the brand, later then see a billboard for the product that the brand offers. Which sparks interest for the consumer who proceeds to perform a search for the product before being remarketed to driving them to make a payment online at the store.

What is SEO? And does my business need it?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of improving a website’s visibility on the organic — also known as ‘unpaid’– Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). In other words, it is the process of how to improve your website to appear in the better rank on SERPs when someone searches for the keywords that relate to your business. Higher ranking implies you are more trustworthy and relevant to what they are looking for. It is proven that companies generate the most revenue by ranking at the top since that’s where people look first and assume you are the “authority” of your industry since your website is located there. It is essential for those businesses offering intangible products such as hotel and spas where competition is high especially within Bangkok, Thailand and other tourist based areas.

Two main steps of SEO are Onsite and Offsite work. Onsite SEO refers to the actions made on your website such as coding, on-page content including keywords, website speed improvement, meta tags and sitemaps. With Offsite, recommended to start after Onsite is done, includes acquiring backlinks to your website from other relevant websites to improve your domain and page authority. Think of it as votes from other websites saying “Hey, these guys are good, I’m going to link to you” to Google.

Another important consideration is deep Keyword Research and is the foundation of any good SEO strategy because it helps you become relevant for the most popular search terms for your industry.

How long does it take to see a result from SEO?

SEO is a long-term process. It takes anywhere between 4 to 12 months from onsite SEO to affect your website’s performance on SERPs. Yet, the ranking can be fluctuate during this time due to many factors such as competition and Google algorithm updates.

What is Content Marketing?

If you don’t want to sound hard-selling on your ad, content marketing is your answer. Content Marketing is a form of promoting your brand through contents such as articles, blog posts, infographics, videos, reports and email subscription. It builds brand awareness among your targeted audience and drives higher brand loyalty among your existing customers.

As for platforms to publish your content. If your brand has a website, your Blog page can be one. WordPress is highly recommended as it is Google-friendly in regards to SEO. You can also post content on Google+, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and other social networks as well. Further to this are content discovery platforms such as Outbrain.com

What is a CPC Campaign?

Cost-Per-Click (CPC) is an online marketing method that allows the advertiser to pay when user clicks on your ad. CPC is an effective way to advertise your product/service on your website with a monitorable budget, with the ability to target on specific audience groups. CPC campaigns can improve your business’s market awareness and increase number of valid leads and customers, as your ad will appear on your targeted group’s SERPs, by offering you advertising space based on the budget of the campaign.

What is the most effective way to do digital marketing?

Each industry is different, and so are the the different channels your business could be on. To put your business in the best possible position to drive amazing results would be to integrate the channels that your target audience engages with the most on the devices they use the most before making a purchasing decision. Integrating these online channels, testing, refining and growing the campaigns based on positive ROI performance is the best way forward.