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Native Advertising in Emerging Markets: APAC

Marissa Delisle
Marketing Specialist at Digital Turbine
Jun 26, 2017

Native advertising is a form of paid media where the ad experience follows the natural form and function of the user experience in which it is placed — it typically occurs from within a platform or inside a mobile app.

Native advertising is unobtrusive to most users and in some cases, may even be welcomed by them.

To get your ads placed inside a platform or app, you must negotiate a contract with the platform or app developer, including how long the ad content will run, how it will be placed, and how the developer will be paid, and how much.

Once terms are agreed upon and the contract is signed, your ads will begin to display inside that app.

This may sound easy enough, and in familiar markets such as the US or Europe, it is.

The Asia Pacific region, however, poses multiple challenges for the advertiser, many of which arise from stark differences in cultures between advertisers and their target audiences.

In the checklist below, we will share details on how to create a native ad campaign that is tailored to the culture and language of your target markets. As you may have already guessed, advertising in these markets requires partnerships with locals who can share details about cultural beliefs, values, and aesthetics.

These are critically important for any advertiser attempting to access these emerging markets.

The Checklist

  •  Create a solid foundation for the campaign. Clearly define the target market and learn about the cultures in that area. Even within small geographic regions there can be multiple cultures that speak at least as many different languages.

    Create personas that accurately reflect the people that make up your target market. This may take some extra time, but it is well worth the effort.

  • Produce ad content. When creating ad content, be sure to present a variety of content, including articles, infographics, how-tos, case studies, and viral content to stimulate brand interest.

    One drawback to native advertising is that is is difficult to measure click-throughs, time on page, or other measures of content consumption. This can be somewhat overcome, however, by presenting a limited number of content types in a specific ad campaign and tracking engagement through CTAs and conversions.

    To create a kind of A/B testing scenario, a second ad campaign with different content types than the first can be launched and tracked in the same way as the first. As you get to know your markets, you will become aware of user behavior and patterns that are consistent across different cultures and geographic regions.

    Advertising strategies can be revised with these commonalities in mind, reducing the amount of effort required to create new campaigns.

  • Create content that is relevant to your new market. This is a whole new world for your advertising team — what they may assume to be relevant to the target audience may not be.

    Many APAC mobile consumers are using their mobile devices in ways that are radically different from the North American and European consumers.

  • Map content through the buyer’s journey. This may be a bit more difficult in new markets, but will get easier as your advertising team gains a solid understanding of the cultures in a target market. The key here will be to watch user behavior closely to glean clues as to what their actual buyer journeys are
  • Be patient. Give the ad campaigns time to work. There will likely be a lot of changes and adjustments made to campaign strategy as a deeper knowledge and understanding of a target market is attained.

    Once that understanding is reached, new campaigns will be relatively easy to create and launch.

  • Get feedback. This is critically important for the success of your ad campaign. Feedback will help you to identify where your campaign gets it right…and where it’s going wrong. Making adjustments to the campaign based on feedback will increase its effectiveness and enhance the reputation of your brand.
  • Take risks. Find the courage to take risks with campaigns and track how each succeeds or fails. Tactics that would never work in the US or Europe may work beautifully in an APAC market.

New markets opening up in Asia Pacific offer advertisers tremendous opportunities. However, only the advertisers that are willing to get their hands dirty with the hard work of truly learning about and understanding different cultures will be the ones who are the most successful.