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How to build a successful content strategy for APAC

Creating content across APAC

For any modern business looking to generate sales, content is an excellent tool. This is true no matter where you are in the world. For example – in digital marketing – website content can raise your SEO rankings for specific keywords, or social media content can raise awareness of your brand. There are a multitude of different content formats and strategies to choose from. But what works for one market may not work for another. 

In this article, we explore how to create an appropriate content strategy for any APAC nation (such as Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, etc). We detail the methodology that backs up our approach, as well as advice for your journey to a localised content strategy. If instead, you would like to know how to promote your business in Japan, please see our article here.

Why content strategy is key for successful communications

Having a clear content strategy drives creative decisions. It creates a vision and a direction for your brand, helping you to identify opportunities, tone, voice, messaging, and ultimately how you are going to retain your audience and grow your customer base. This is crucial in understanding where your efforts and resources should be focused and how to successfully carry out your communications.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Localising content and our transcreation methodology

There is no simple universal formula for creating a content strategy. Nor is this true for any industry. Each has its own nuances defined by its audience, environment, regulations and category. To successfully localise a content strategy, we lean on our core methodology: transcreation. Transcreation is a popular marketing term that names the process of translating communications with meaning intact. To transcreate, we never simply translate any content directly. We always take into account three areas: language, culture and market. The same can be applied to creating a tailored and localised approach for any APAC nation. We have previously written about how to do this in Japan in our article: Expert advice on how to tailor your digital marketing strategy for Japan.

To bring this to life, let us use a hypothetical brand as an example. Marta is head of marketing at an ice-cream brand that was founded in the USA. Her boss has told her that they are keen to enter Japan as they believe the brand could do well there. To gain new customers in Japan she must devise a marketing plan which includes a content strategy. To do so effectively she cannot simply translate her American, English language, strategy into Japanese. She must transcreate, considering language (Japan has three different writing systems), culture (ice-cream may be served at different life events in Japan) and market (competitors, preferred flavours, preferred packaging, etc.). 

For any new market, it is imperative that a brand localises their content strategy. But how can one navigate the challenges that each new market brings? For the remainder of this article, we explore how to create a tailored marketing strategy backed by data, for any nation in APAC, step by step.

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

The Research Phase

It’s simple: if you need to navigate a new market, like Japan, Singapore or Indonesia, you need to understand the language, culture and market nuances. And there is one way to achieve this level of knowledge: research. Research can take many forms; for example: desk, social listening, customer interviews, surveys, focus groups, analytics tools, audience segmentation and many more. Whatever you decide to choose, be sure to receive ample, unbiased information that allows you to make informed decisions backed by real data. See our article, How to carry out research on the Japanese market, for more in-depth information.

Another way to understand a new APAC market is by partnering with an agency who has knowledge and expertise in APAC. Fortunately for you, our team of digital marketers are ready to support you. We are online advertising experts that also offer consultation, website localisation, social media marketing and SEO services, as well as social listening for market research. In addition, we have an extensive list of contacts and partner companies in Japan and APAC as a SoftBank Corp. subsidiary, that can further help you in your market entry journey.

The Planning Phase

Once we have enough information on our new APAC market, we can begin building a content plan. In the form of planning documents, we turn the research into action. The plan should clearly state what content we are going to create, why we are and when we are going to distribute it. It may even be part of a broader marketing campaign. These plans of content action, may also include items like content calendars, language guidelines, promotional event plans, and many more. For more information on seasonal Japanese content calendars, please refer to these winter/spring and autumn/summer calendars. 

The Testing Phase

The conditions for creating effective content are changing all the time. Technology evolves, people’s tastes and preferences change and the world shifts. Therefore, it is a necessity for brands to continue to test their overall content marketing strategy in any market. Reporting on success is one of the most effective ways of doing this as well as continuing to run research in your chosen APAC market.

In conclusion, when creating a content strategy for APAC, it is essential to transcreate every aspect with each local market in mind. We mention the importance of localising every element of your marketing and to not forget the power of research in understanding the differences between nations and their people.

As always, you have the option to hire a digital marketing agency to carry out the above steps and beyond for you. At DMFA, our team of bilingual digital marketing experts can ensure your content strategy will be effective in APAC. We can also provide consultation and ensure the quality of content as native speakers while offering support in English. Contact us to learn more about our online marketing services.

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