The power of storytelling has long been realised and harnessed by marketers but with the advent of digital marketing, the art is so coveted that every brand wants to tell a story. And there are some great stories that build the brands. Either way, content marketing is at the heart of the matter.

The power of storytelling has long been realised and harnessed by marketers but with the advent of digital marketing, the art is so coveted that every brand wants to tell a story. And there are some great stories that build the brands. Either way, content marketing is at the heart of the matter.

Amidst all the buzz on digital marketing jargons and new-age advertising tactics, marketers often struggle to understand whether they need SEO (search engine optimisation) or content marketing, and when both, what deserves more attention?

There is plenty of expert advice on why SEO is almost inevitable to businesses today. It is an efficient and economical way to improve organic traffic on your business’ webpage. But content is what really holds the attention. Every day, consumers wake up to a flood of information flowing through the various social media they follow, the emails they hastily scroll through all day and the search engines they browse. On top of that, they are meanwhile switching between screens.

For Indonesian consumers, what’s largely established is that they are increasingly getting connected and mobile. Smartphone penetration today stands at over 23% of the population, while internet users are upwards of 70 million. The statistics look great for online marketers aiming to collect impressions through various platforms including emails, display ads, and search engine marketing.

But a critical element for digital marketers in Indonesia is to tap into the user generated content (UGC). Indonesians love to socialise in general, as well as, on social media. MarkPlus Insight Youth Women Monitoring Study 2014 shows that among netizens – the most active internet users accessing it for over 3 hours a day – 84.5% of them frequently access social media. Delving further into their social media habits, an almost equal proportion of netizens said their favourite activity on social media was making ‘status updates’.

netizen_activity_online

Source: MarkPlus Insight YWN Monitoring 2014, Netizen study; n=3524

*multiple responses

What does that point to? The most active internet users love to share. And this is how some of the most successful online ad campaigns have leveraged on the power of UGC.

Whether it is a picture on Instagram posing in the new dress or flaunting the new lip colour or a check-in in a new restaurant clubbed with a review, netizens are sharing widely, everywhere and virtually every time. They are sharing on personal blogs, review websites and on their timelines – to their friends and families and to total strangers.

At a time when consumers don’t really fancy being ‘marketed’ to, UGC can pave a great way for brands in Indonesia to engage with their target audience where they become your storytellers! The feeling of involvement is often unparalleled and helps create a more personalised and emotional connection.

Not just that, consumers also appreciate quick responses to their leads and tracking UGC about your brands is a sure shot way at reaching out to them timely and effectively. Studies show how consumers are responding more favourably towards brands which acknowledge and respond to consumers more timely, in effect, improving the conversion rate.

While tactics like SEO improve web traffic and content marketing holds consumers’ interest, it is the UGC which is the ultimate benchmark on how consumers perceive your brand. In a market like Indonesia where social media is forever abuzz, a conventional social media campaign may attract plenty of attention but it is the UGC which actually drives conversations. As they say, facts tell, but stories sell!

Note: MarkPlus Annual Conference 2016 this year on the theme “New Market + New Marketing in Indonesia, will be organised on 10th December 2015 in Jakarta. A Best Practice panel session, focusing on market transformation will unravel insights on content marketing and its relevance in tapping on the youth market in Indonesia. For more information on the event, visit http://markplusconference.com/

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Note: MarkPlus Annual Conference 2016 this year on the theme “New Market + New Marketing in Indonesia, will be organised on 10th December 2015 in Jakarta. A Best Practice panel session, focusing on market transformation will unravel insights on content marketing and its relevance in tapping on the youth market in Indonesia. For more information on the event, visit http://markplusconference.com/

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