Today, businesses in Indonesia are putting a huge amount of effort into their digital strategies. A recent survey from We Are Social says that in 2016, Indonesia will have more than 88 million internet users. The country’s demographics are often referenced by the media, as more than 50 percent of its population is under the age of 30, web savvy, and excited about all things mobile. The growing number of netizens has also turned Indonesia into a hotbed for digital marketers.
Internet will be the most important channel for brands to reach their consumers in Jakarta for the foreseeable future. Emarketer estimates that by the end of 2016, more than one in 10 ad dollars in Indonesia will be spent on digital channels — including mobile — and in 2019, that figure will exceed one in four.
Some believe digital marketing is more effective than traditional advertising. “I believe the most significant benefit of digital marketing is that it is measurable and targeted,” says Shinta Dhanuwardoyo, CEO of Jakarta-based web development agency Bubu, in an interview with Content Collision. She adds:
Marketing on digital platforms generates abundant data that measures the impact of your ad and enables you to judge whether or not your marketing works. With digital marketing, you can target your audience more specifically, not just by gender or demographic, but also by interests, profession, and more. You’ll get to target the most relevant group to your product. Also, it’s relatively cheaper than traditional media; more flexible and adjustable.
According to Dhanuwardoyo, when it comes to digital marketing, it’s not just about the media, but also about how your brand communicates with consumers. Whether your firm wants to build a native blog or creating a viral video campaign, the first thing you need to do is to understand the characteristic of Indonesia’s digital trends. Winning the attention of Indonesian consumers is not as easy as it sounds, Dhanuwardoyo confirms. So here are few things you’ll need to keep in mind.
Social media is still the king
95 percent of Indonesia’s internet users are on some form of social media. Facebook, Twitter, Path, Instagram, and YouTube are favorite pastimes in the archipelago. Based on data from the same We Are Social survey, 79 million Indonesians are reported as “active social media users.” Clickz reports that three out of every four Indonesians on the web use Facebook, making it the de facto commander of all other social networks in Jakarta, for now.
This is no secret, of course. We all know Indonesians love social media. They love to share their opinions and even emotions on Facebook. They update Instagram several times a day or use Twitter to start movements of solidarity. One interesting example was the Twitter hashtag #KamiTidakTakut (WeAreNotAfraid), following the recent terrorist attack in Central Jakarta.
With these things in mind, social media management is indeed a powerful way to reach audiences in the emerging market. Dhanuwardoyo says, “Right now, there is a shift from social media being a networking tool to [also a] research tool. Social networking sites are continuously providing richer insights, and it is important for companies to utilize those.”
Mobile marketing is a must
According to a recent report from Redwing Asia, Indonesia is known as the fourth largest mobile market in the world, with more than 278 million mobile subscribers (more than its population). This means that many Indonesians will carry more than one mobile device with them, wherever they go. As more people are accessing the web via smartphone, the demand for digital content on these devices is naturally seeing a dramatic uptick.
Vserv reports that mobile entertainment market revenue in the country is set grow to US$845 million by the end of 2016. This creates a substantial opportunity for anyone looking to capitalize on digital content.
While people in Jakarta will access the internet with mobile more than desktop in the years to come, it’s crucial for marketers in Indonesia to make sure their product is also mobile-friendly. Your target customers need to be able to access your brand with their smartphone, especially while stuck in rush hour traffic — the worst traffic in the world, according to a recent study by Castrol.
Keeping up with the trends
Thinking about digital marketing success in Indonesia, LINE’s “Ada Apa Dengan Cinta” (AADC) execution was probably the hottest campaign to hit Jakarta in recent years. Apart from a big win with significant growth of LINE’s user base, this campaign also had several big brands such as Indomie, Heineken, and Coca-Cola follow suit with similar concepts. Currently, the new film AADC 2 (the sequel) is also becoming a big hit in the nation’s cinemas. Only time will tell if brands choose to work the sequel into their viral campaigns.
Another element to consider is the increasingly important role of social media influencers and bloggers. Indonesians tends to follow trends created by popular individuals in their social media circles. Because of this, we can already observe certain people becoming Instagram celebrities, and touting brand endorsements on social media, simply because they have a lot of followers. Twitter users in Indonesia with high volumes of followers are also getting paid by advertisers. Dhanuwardoyo adds:
“Aside from the amount of data you could mine, companies [in Indonesia] embrace digital for its interactivity with their customers. I do hope that companies will continue to utilize this kind of marketing and find innovative ways to get their products out there.”