Marketing Institute of Singapore | The Singapore Marketer (Apr - Jun 2019)

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the singapore

marketer knowledge for marketing excellence

CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS PLUS+

12 Influencer content marketing is the new king: co-create content that activates your ideal customer 15 Engage loyalty through content

The Official Publication of the Marketing Institute of Singapore, the National Body for Sales and Marketing

apr-jun’19


Editor’s Note

THE SINGAPORE MARKETER April - June 2019 Editor Gerry Gabriele Seah Guest Editor Gina Sin Contributing Writer Jeffrey Oon MIS EXECUTIVE COUNCIL President Mr Roger Wang 2nd Vice President Dr Roger Low Honorary Secretary Ms Gerry Seah Honorary Treasurer Mr Ken Tay Asst Honorary Treasurer Mr Lee Kwok Weng Production, Advertising & Circulation Ivan Koh marketing@mis.org.sg Design & Layout Kelvin Wang Publisher Marketing Institute of Singapore 51 Anson Centre #03-53 Singapore 079904 Tel: (65) 6327 7580 Fax: (65) 6327 9741 Email: singaporemarketer@mis.org.sg Website: www.mis.org.sg

Dear Readers, Since Bill Gates’ highly cited phrase “content is king” in 1996, the internet has grown exponentially as a marketplace for businesses to create valuable content to attract its intended audiences. Content marketing is unlike traditional product marketing efforts such as sales collateral and other product-specific information. Content marketing includes (but not limited to) articles, e-books, videos, entertainment, and webinars that answer specific questions people have and provide them with something they cannot get elsewhere. It is authentic, useful, and perfectly suited for the internet generation. By becoming a credible, authoritative resource on topics that matter to potential customers, your business is more likely to get discovered by the right audience and earn their loyalty and trust – which, in turn, enables your brand to strengthen its customer relationships, grow an active and engaged subscriber base, and even increase profits. In this issue’s Cover Story, we identify the latest content marketing tools and tactics that will impact your strategic and creative decisions, and how brands and government bodies are utilising these content marketing methods to engage and entertain their target audience. Content expert at SingSaver, Jeffrey Oon, shares with us in Guru Talk why personalisation is crucial and why companies need to craft content that adds value to their customers. In Focus, we also speak to marketing and communications specialist, Aaron Sin, about what it takes to have a successful content marketing strategy. We hope this issue inspires you towards productive and successful times ahead.

Gerry Gabriele Seah Editor

Gina Sin

Guest Editor

The Singapore Marketer is a quarterly magazine published by Marketing Institute of Singapore. The views expressed in The Singapore Marketer do not necessarily represent those of the Marketing Institute of Singapore. No responsibility is accepted by the Institute or its staff for the accuracy of any statement, opinion, or advice contained in the text or advertisements, and readers are advised to rely on their judgment or enquiries, and to consult their own advisers in making any decisions which would affect their interest. All materials appearing in The Singapore Marketer is copyright. No part of the publication may be reproduced without prior written permission of the Marketing Institute of Singapore. The Marketing Institute of Singapore welcomes contributions and letters. These might be edited for clarity or length. Articles, letters and requests to reproduce articles appearing in The Singapore Marketer should be sent to the Editor, Marketing Institute of Singapore, 51 Anson Road, #03-53 Anson Centre, Singapore 079904 or write to singaporemarketer@mis.org.sg or marketing@mis.org.sg.


Content Page

04 COVER STORY Keeping Up With The Times

FOCUS 08 Eye On The Content

FEATURE 12 The Influencer Tactic

GURU TALK 15

Engaging Loyalty Through Content

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Cover Story

Keeping up

With the Times The Singapore Marketer identifies the latest trends to help top your content marketing game. » By Gina Sin

Content marketing is widely used by businesses and marketers. A study conducted by the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs found a many as 91 percent of B2B marketers claiming to use content marketing to reach their customers. That is a lot of content to compete with and, unfortunately, easy for brands to feel the heat of the competitive marketplace when their content is not appearing in search results or in the audience’s newsfeeds. To perform well and generate great results from content marketing, professionals need to stay on top of trends, identify audience interests and preferences, and use them to inform their strategy. It is much more than creating, distributing and sharing content, generating leads, and improving a brand. You want your content to get found, consumed, discussed, and/or shared; to generate action by your audience. You want the right people to find value in your content and subscribe to it. The podcast boom Podcasting, although in its infancy in Asia, is seeing growth in download figures. Data from Blubrry, one of the largest podcast hosting companies, found a 29 percent increase in 2017, up from the 18-percent growth in 2016. Singapore ranks

fifth in podcast downloads, behind Japan, Hong Kong, China and the Philippines. While more analytics are still lacking in this region, these initial statistics prove a growing interest in longer-form, in-depth content. Until recently, podcast content based on specific interests of the listener has been notoriously difficult to find. Today, topics covered include (but are not limited to) business, politics, marketing, pop culture, music, true crime, investigative journalism, history and comedy. Podcasts carve out a greater space as an information medium. They are often free and not tied to a particular location, in that they can be listened to at any place and time. Content marketers can look to leveraging this burgeoning cultural phenomenon and construct the right message that will fit in with the flow of the podcast, knowing it is more than likely to be heard and remembered. Artificial Intelligence (AI) As technology continues to change our lifestyles and the way we consume content, so do audience’s preferences. AI’s capability to mimic cognitive functions associated with the human mind—most notably learning and problem solving, will play a significant role in the field of content marketing by helping marketers 5


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Social engagement tracking tools are getting more powerful and descriptive about human behaviour on an online platform setting.

decipher the ever-changing world of content marketing using user data to help make sense of user intent. AI can gather and interpret huge amounts of data in a matter of seconds, a feat that would take months of human effort and labour. All that data will allow marketers to build better content marketing strategies. Armed with all this data about an audience, the easier it will be to create and deliver the types of content that they want to see. Content marketers can also build powerful, highly-targeted audience segments that will allow you to create personalised content. Content can be personalised based on personality traits, shopping behaviour, personal and professional interests, location and needs, among other factors. While a lot of powerful AI technology already exists, it is not highly accessible. When this changes over the course of the next few years, we will truly see the impact of AI on content marketing.

Interactive storytelling During the 2018 Singapore Night Festival, global brand experience agency Auditoire Asia used interactive projection and sound mapping to illuminate Singapore’s urban landscape. More than half a million festival-goers thronged the arts and heritage districts of Bras Basah and Bugis in Singapore from 17 to 25 August 2018 to watch interactive performances and provocative light art installations commissioned by the Singapore Heritage Board. Spanning across five thematic zones, video projections transformed the museums’ façades into works of art, where dazzling lights, musicians, magicians, acrobats and interactive installations dazzled and inspired visitors.

This form of content curation is a key component of the National Heritage Board’s strategy to encourage public access to the island’s museums and promote the country’s thriving arts, heritage and museum ecosystem. The immersive after-dark experience featured works from both local and international artists, along with several collaborative inspirations. The festival provided a platform for people from different walks of life to meet and communicate, while conveying the message that creativity is a trait that everyone can possess.


Cover Story

Blogging as a tool Most people are already familiar with this term. However, blogging has become one of the key ways in a strategic marketing approach that focuses on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience. For digital marketing firm MediaOne Business Group, blogging remains the preferred media of choice with indicators of success obtained through readership ranks and traffic from Google. CEO of MediaOne, Tom Koh, says that even though it is possible and sometimes easier to get far more visibility via Facebook and Instagram, blog posts build up the overall value of a website in a cumulative fashion that can only grow reader interest without having to continually come up with cute, smart and trendy content, which is very expensive to do.

Koh’s experience in consulting with various marketing departments in multi-national and governmentlinked corporations for their digital transformation helped him recognise that the online community is gravitating towards the short content format. “Societal demands skew user interests towards bite-sized information whether they be video, image, audio or text segments. You see advertisers start to break their story into parts. High impact video/ audio no longer lasts more than 20 seconds. We also start to see a lot click baiting and funnelling happening as advertisers start to get more calculative over their ROI with measurement tools like Google Analytics. Social engagement tracking tools are getting more powerful and descriptive about human behaviour on an online platform setting.” Cutting through the chatter and noise is an ongoing challenge because more and more brands, be it smaller household names or world-renowned companies, have interest in content or are jumping onto the bandwagon.

“Coming up with something impactful and clever that will draw audiences and engagement is now getting more expensive and are mostly within the domain of big brands. On the flip side, we see that the online platforms in recent months have strongly gravitated towards promoting content that is more localised and therefore more relevant to local audiences. Therefore, if a content marketer is smart enough to tap on the local trends, they can outperform a large brand marketer who may be trying too hard to be relevant to everyone,” says Koh. Of course, knowing all the latest trends and best tools may not help you much if you do not have a strategy for how to use them. Content marketing will only succeed if you have a clear, comprehensive framework to develop and execute a winning strategy.

ABOUT THE WRITER

Gina Sin is a content writer with experience in writing for the business travel and events industry. She has worked with global tourism boards and convention bureaux on marketing campaigns, and is passionate about authentic storytelling, sustainability and technology. Outside of her profession, she is a scuba diving enthusiast and a certified yoga instructor who believes that change has to begin from within.

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Eye on the content The Singapore Marketer explores content marketing with Aaron Sin, a marketing communications specialist at a marine coatings company, to find out what makes content marketing so integral to business success.

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How would you define content marketing and why? Content marketing, in a nutshell, is a strategic approach of creating content that is relevant to what you do in your industry and distributing relevant, valuable, consistent and engaging content to attract a clearly defined audience or customer persona. In a world where information is readily available, producing your own content is very important as it sets you apart as a thought leader in your industry. At the end of the day, the goal is to convert your audience to customers and wonderful brand ambassadors. Why is content marketing so important? Creating content helps your audience to know you better and connect with them. It is also a way of educating your customers and giving them a better-informed purchasing decision by building trust and having a relationship with them.

It has become a necessary strategy for many companies that want to connect with customers. Creating engaging, educational and valuable content helps to build your brand as customers will form their own opinions of your brand. It has become a new norm for companies. There are a few reasons why content marketing is prevalent in many companies and it is starting to be increasingly important to many modern companies. Firstly, it is cost effective. Companies that have been in the industry for a long time have a wealth of information that they can share with their audiences. Some of these information are lying in some archives waiting to see the light of day again. It costs close to nothing for them to publish that content across many different publishing platforms or touchpoints to further amplify their reach. By putting content out there and optimising it, you also improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts, which again costs nothing!

Secondly, as mentioned earlier, you become a thought leader in your industry. Your audience will view you as a subject matter expert as they also want to know whether you know your stuff. Through content marketing, you allow yourself to demonstrate your expertise in your industry and provide relevant and valuable knowledge to the audience! Whether it is a simple blog post, press release or a white paper, it is still content. Having a blog post that allows your readers to respond also creates a channel to build relationships, which gives them greater assurance in your brand! Thirdly, it helps in your overall digital marketing strategy. Through sending email blast or creating a customer journey, it will become much easier to attract your desired audience. There are many other reasons to start content marketing, but to me, the above are enough reasons for me to get started on content marketing.


Focus

Aaron Sin

Marketing Communications Specialist

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Large organisations may have unrealistic expectations and KPIs. They may envision overnight success for content marketing, but it often takes time to gain traction. Setting and managing realistic expectations is crucial.

What is the recommended path of a content marketing strategy? These are a few things that brands can consider when kicking off a content marketing strategy: 1. Decide who the content is for When I say who the content is for, it is identifying your customer persona or audience. Who do you want as your target reader, what kind of information do you want them to know, and what decisions do you want them to make thereafter? Answering these questions helps you to create the relevant content needed to engage your customers. 2. Create your content Most of the time, content you see on the internet is already being rehashed multiple times and published across multiple platforms. Hence, it would be ideal to create original content of your own with a style of writing that brings out the best of what your brand embodies. If it is a piece of no-nonsense content that goes straight to the point or a step-by-step informational guide, create it. However, be specific about what you intend to create.

What is the content about and what do you want the audience to know or get out of it? For older companies, it may probably be easier to get content out as some of it has already been published in some hardcopy magazines or white papers somewhere. Get them out and rewrite/rehash them. For newer companies, I will suggest starting with a particular topic that you want to start talking about and create content around that. At the end of each article, it would also be good to include a Call to Action (CTA) so that your audience can know what to do after reading it. This can include contacting you for more information or pointing them to another article on a similar topic. 3. Distribute your content Next, continue to keep your audience engaged by getting your content out there through social media, your own website, a blog or publishing platform. Maximise the reach of your content in many areas. This contributes to your SEO efforts and helps to grow your audience.

4. Measure your efforts You will definitely want to know whether this part of your digital marketing strategy is effective and whether the content you created is something that your audience appreciates. Through Google Analytics or the analytical tools on your content management platform, there are metrics to show if readers have been engaged by your content or have decided to skip past. Are there any shares, likes or followers to your content? Do they follow through with your CTAs after your content? These are important metrics that you will need to have to determine the effectiveness of your content. While there are many other metrics to consider alongside the distribution of content, these are just some of the important ones to take note of.


Focus

What are some challenges to B2B content marketing? Depending on the size of the budget allocated to content marketing in your company, there are definitely challenges for both larger and small companies alike. For larger organisations, there are often several levels of approval in content creation. This may open a floodgate of opinions that can affect content marketing strategy timelines, particularly in the distribution. Large organisations can also tend to have unrealistic expectations and KPIs. Some senior executives may envision overnight success for content marketing, but it often takes time to gain traction. Setting and managing realistic expectations is crucial.

Smaller organisations, on the other hand, may face the challenge of budget constraints. Be it hiring a fulltime content specialist or working with freelancers, content marketing incurs significant costs. Smaller companies may also struggle with a lack of resources. Besides budgets, you may face difficulty finding appropriate, engaging and valuable content while managing other tasks, which may result in a lack of consistency in your content marketing efforts. This can also lead to unrealistic publishing schedules. Hence, it will be important for you to consider the availability of resources and establish realistic timelines.

How do you measure the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy, and why should brands without a content strategy start now? Depending on your objectives, it will be good to identify the success metrics for your content marketing strategy. Is the goal of your content to build your branding and awareness or to direct readers to the sales team? Once your goals have been established at the beginning, you can then begin to measure the effectiveness of your content marketing. Content marketing is here to stay, but with more and more content flooding the marketplace, it can be a challenge to stand out. Companies without visible content should begin to come up with something, as content marketing is one of the newest and most cost-effective strategies in digital marketing. It will not only benefit you in the short-term; engaging, relevant and consistent content can further propel brands ahead of their competition.

ABOUT AARON SIN

Aaron is a marketing communications specialist by profession and is passionate about using digital marketing to create positive brand impact and increase business potential. Never one to shy away from opportunities, he loves working with people from all trades to create compelling websites. The digital marketing journey never ends for Aaron. Among other platforms, he is deeply involved in the continuous learning of Facebook Marketing and is also a certified Advanced Search Engine Optimisation individual by the Search Engine Academy in the U.S.

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Feature

The Influencer Tactic Co-create content that activates your ideal customer » By Gina Sin

Influencer marketing has become increasingly relevant in the age of social media. To break free from the noisy marketplace, influencer outreach can be one solution. This strategy is beneficial for relationship development, link building and content promotion, according to New York Times bestselling author and international acclaimed marketer, Neil Patel. Typically, influencer collaboration is about having an influencer promote a brand or its products or services on their personal channels. While that is a great strategy, another approach seems to be on trend right now: having the influencer create content for brand channels (blogs, social networks and events). At the Oscars, Tiffany & Co. paid Anne Hathaway $750,000 to wear their jewellery. In Singapore, the jewellery company paid Narelle Kheng of indie pop band, The Sam Willows, to share her thoughts on the new Tiffany True Engagement ring. In another example, TAG Heuer engaged well-known social media personality and former radio DJ Rosalyn Lee to create content around her globetrotting adventures, which values are in line with

TAG Heuer’s “Don’t Crack Under Pressure” brand message. When Singapore photographer Nguan took over The New Yorker’s Instagram account, it showcased the city in snippets of pastel-hued light that brought nostalgia to locals’ early quiet urban lives. By having known and respected influencers creating niche content for your brand, they can then promote them on their channels and help drive traffic to your platforms. Such influencer marketing projects allow you to associate yourself with a respected and well-loved influencer, helping you increase your credibility or contributing to more practical goals such as growing web traffic, generating more leads, or increasing sales and new customers for your business. Tom Koh, CEO of digital marketing firm, MediaOne Business Group, has noticed that audiences are gravitating towards micro influencers. This is due to the perception that celebrity influencers are motivated by profit, whereas micro influencers by law of numbers provide a more credible base. “This is not helped by very public news articles about the taxable incomes of the celebrities. People

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What will last are the relationships you create with influencers. Your goal is to help others. Focus on bringing value to the relationship and not solely the brand.

also respect micro influencers who are obviously very conversant about their niche and seldom attempt to comment or promote things that are otherwise - so they are more ‘real’,” says Koh. Koh adds that the online community is gravitating towards shorter content formats as societal demands skew user interests towards bite-sized information through video, image, audio or text segments. “You see advertisers start to break their story into parts and high-impact video/audio that lasts no longer than 20 seconds. Micro influencers have also evolved to have greater collective pull over celebrities because their stance come across as more genuine. We also start to see a lot of click baiting and funnelling as advertisers begin to get more calculative over their ROI with measurement

tools such as Google Analytics. Social engagement tracking tools are getting more powerful and descriptive about human behaviour on online platforms.” When conducting influencer outreach, marketers tend to get bogged down with tactics. They want more traffic, more likes, and more coverage. What they miss are the relationships. A Facebook post does not last forever. What will last are the relationships you create with influencers. Your goal is to help others. Focus on bringing value to the relationship and not solely the brand. Individuals are more likely to help those who help them. Influencers enjoy returning a favour. Whatever the tactic is, it pays to learn how to grow a mutually beneficial relationship in the community and add value to the target audience.

ABOUT THE WRITER

Gina Sin is a content writer with experience in writing for the business travel and events industry. She has worked with global tourism boards and convention bureaux on marketing campaigns, and is passionate about authentic storytelling, sustainability and technology. Outside of her profession, she is a scuba diving enthusiast and a certified yoga instructor who believes that change has to begin from within.


Guru Talk

Engaging Loyalty Through Content The bar for quality content continues to rise as people are exposed to more content than they can possibly process. Content marketing guru Jeffrey Oon shares with The Singapore Marketer why companies need to craft content that continuously adds value to their customers. » By Jeffrey Oon

Content marketing fulfils a variety of needs and objectives for different departments. Brand managers turn content into goodwill and authority, recruiters find top talent by aligning content with their values and beliefs, while sales teams use content to bolster pitches and improve client relationships. As personalisation becomes king, it is no longer enough to make the sale, move on to the next, and manage complaints as they arise. Customers who get the most value out of a company’s products or

services will encourage word-ofmouth marketing and develop stronger brand loyalty. In this pursuit, content helps companies equip their customers for success. Content can show buyers optimal ways to use a company’s products or services, focusing more on the benefits than the shortfalls. With a content strategy focused on customer success, businesses can devote fewer resources to putting out fires and more resources to growing their brands.

As the name implies, it is content that markets a product or service. In other words, the content must drive a call to action to generate leads, from top-of-the-funnel awareness (such as newsletter subscriptions) to conversion (encouraging product/ service/event attendance). It is not content for content’s sake. Having said that, there are very few examples of the latter these days. Even news publishers such as The Straits Times, The New York Times and even Tech in Asia are now using premium content as a marketing tool to drive subscriptions. 15


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Every brand out there is competing for your time and attention. So, the question becomes: How can your content add value to a user?

Video, voice search, influencer marketing, memes, original and authentic content (not the click-bait stuff) are just some of the more popular content mediums today. Everyone is a content creator these days, and there is so much content being produced. For a brand to really cut through and resonate, the content is going to have to really speak to the target audience and add value. 16

Question your content marketing strategy Every brand out there is competing for your time and attention. So, the question becomes: How can your content add value to a user? How can you create personalised content that speaks to your target audience at just the right time and place? On the flip side, the plethora of social media channels and platforms available out there allows you to create micro-content and target very niche groups and audiences. This was not possible a few years ago.

Instead of going wide, go deep. Identify and select a few key influencers who truly live and embody your brand or product, and then ask them how you as a brand can add value to their audience. An ideal association or collaboration mutually benefits both influencer and brand. Otherwise, it is simply a commercial arrangement with no lasting association or value. Content marketing does not only introduce people to products or services. It offers an opportunity to generate unique content that fosters memorable connections between a brand and its target audience. Nike, for example, had a feature-length documentary in 2017 called Breaking2, where they assembled three elite marathon runners to attempt and break the sub two-hour barrier for a marathon. The documentary was one giant billboard for Nike, but it did not feel forced. It felt very natural, and of course, showcasing the limits of human endeavour always makes for compelling viewership.

Whether your content marketing strategy is successful or not depends on which stage of the funnel you are at. If you are looking at building brand awareness for your product or service, you will be looking at website traffic metrics such as sessions, page views, number of users, time spent, bounce rates, video views, social followers/ engagement and email subscribers. Further down the funnel, you are looking at the quality of social engagement, downloads, conversion rates, click-through rates, online conversions, and obviously, sales and revenue. When you are looking to build loyalty, it is the percentage of repeat visitors, retention and growing lifetime value that counts.

ABOUT JEFFREY OON

Jeffrey has spent his 20-year career at the intersection of media and technology with MediaCorp, SPH, Yahoo! and Facebook. He started out in the newsroom as a journalist, sub-editor and columnist before moving into lead editorial roles at Yahoo! SEA and Facebook. He is currently Head of Content and Communications at SingSaver, a financial comparison platform.


the singapore

marketer knowledge for marketing excellence

A quarterly publication by:

Marketing Institute of Singapore 51 Anson Centre #03-53 Singapore 079904 Tel: (65) 6327 7580 Fax: (65) 6327 9741 Email: singaporemarketer@mis.org.sg Website: www.mis.org.sg