Mailman's Edoardo Lipari looks at the market-specific trends underpinning the dominance of video content across Asia-Pacific and advocates for a more hyper-local approach to content strategy for the region. 

Global brand marketers are building digital strategies around video like never before, as user behaviour data, trends and the rise of mobile data usage all point in that direction in the chase for consumer attention. In the Asia-Pacific region, 64% of connected users watch online video content daily and treat video as an active way to connect with others.

But why are videos by global brands conceptualised without distinction for the region? If an Asian brand decides to expand into Europe and proposes one single European strategy, without taking into account the complexity of each market? That would be the recipe for failure.

Each Asia-Pacific market is characterised by a distinctive culture, society and level of technology adoption which have developed into a number of emerging digital trends, that also encompasses videos. Understanding how to apply them to an international marketing strategy determines the efficiency of a brand's ability to communicate and generate engagement across the region.

The below analysis focuses on four video trends that are growing in popularity across specific Asia-Pacific markets, each of which present opportunities for global sports marketers and brands.

South Koreans in video-company with “with me" videos

In South Korea, Gen Z have been uploading videos on YouTube featuring themselves doing everyday tasks like eating, shopping, studying, or cleaning while occasionally explaining what they’re doing and why. In the first half of 2019 alone, YouTube viewers in South Korea watched more than 500 years’ worth of “with me” videos across various categories like “draw with me” and “eat with me”, according to figures from Google. Most videos range between 30 and 90 minutes, as they are meant to provide company to viewers as a sort of connection with their peers.

Global brands, seeking to establish a connection with their target audience in the market may leverage this trend by sharing long-form videos, featuring a relevant part or member of their brand in action. For instance, a football club may record the team while at the table eating, following the popular “eat with me” or a car company may feature a “drive with me” video inside one of their cars.

Going shopping live with shoppertainment in SEA

From China straight to Southeast Asia (SEA) and in particular, to Indonesia, selling goods during live-stream videos has been trending. Shoppertainment, as it’s called, is a direct response to what consumers are asking for in the market: convenience and interactivity. Local e-commerce brands in the region, such as Lazada and Shopee, have already jumped at the opportunity on more than one occasion, achieving extraordinary results both in terms of engagement and sales.

Today, global brands with a desire to leverage videos to sell their merchandise in Southeast Asia should look no further. Here, the right choice of influencers and engaging activities trigger consumers to buy in abundance. Why? It’s a more personable way of selling, with direct recommendations and Q&A with a recognized figure in a context that grasps the viewer’s attention.

“Just YouTube It” in India

It’s all about videos in India, with 70% of the market's total data usage devoted to the format, with an average of 67 minutes of daily watch time. A significant portion of time is aimed towards learning (43%) and to research before purchase (62%). Indians use videos as a tool to access information, knowledge, and most importantly, to validate their purchasing decisions. No matter whether you want to learn how to cook or buy a new TV, in India you better "YouTube it". The Indian quest for knowledge through video represents an opportunity for global brands to engage and ultimately convert their audience.

There are infinite ways to create such a relevant and performing piece of video content. From featuring the multi-purposes of a product to an educational piece where your brand is positioned as a market leader, it’s what the Indian market wants to see from brand videos.

Let’em commentate in Thailand

In Thailand, commentating grew into a mass phenomenon influencing entertainment beyond sports. The thousands of amateur commentators narrate literally anything from races to documentaries and flea markets, each with their unique style, tone, and rhythm. While local sports broadcaster TrueVision has already created in-match sections where fans can listen to their favourite amateur commentator, global brands have not yet explored such video trends.

The art of commentating is, in short, a hyper-local format with the ability to actively engage the audience in Thailand while keeping your brand front and centre.

There is no doubt that videos are set to maintain their status as a dominant content format across Asia-Pacific. Brand identity and proposition should always be at the core of a global brand’s video content strategy for the Asia-Pacific markets. Yet, the trends above suggest that global brands should look to position their videos under a hyper-local lens for each market, to efficiently communicate their unique selling point and ultimately engage their core audience.

It’s not just about what you want to show them, it’s about what they want to watch.