How to Win at Facebook Advertising in Southeast Asia

By Karyan Lee · 19th July, 2018

Facebook has nearly 2.19 billion monthly active users. Furthermore, 1.45 billion people log onto Facebook every single day. Your target audience is there just waiting to be discovered, and also waiting to discover your products. Users in Southeast Asia are no exception. As of January 2018, over 130 million Indonesians accessed the social network, with 67 million users in the Philippines and another 55 million in Vietnam.

Facebook users are always eager to learn about new products, and if your business operates in Southeast Asia, there is plenty of opportunity to find success on the platform. You may choose to partner with a Facebook advertising firm, or you may decide to take your marketing plans into your own hands. If you decide on the latter, here are some tips on how to get the most out of FB advertising in Southeast Asia:

Choosing the Right Objective for Your Campaign

There are a lot of things that go into a Facebook campaign, and making the right decisions throughout the process will lead you to success. When choosing “boost post” you are just letting Facebook decide everything for you.

There is, however, a science to advertising and various combinations to making it work. By selecting the proper categories for your campaign rather than a one-size fits all boost, you’ll be able to get the results you want for that region. It will take some tweaking, as Facebook changes their algorithms regularly, but staying up-to-date and trying new tools will allow your strategy to stay relevant with a Southeast Asian audience.

Ad Objective

The first thing you decide when creating a campaign for Southeast Asia is your ad objective. This will impact who sees your ad.

Reach: This will find the lowest cost impressions within your target audience. This may include people who are not interested in you brand.

Traffic: This will show your ads to people have a history clicking on your site or are likely to.

Conversions: This will display your ads to people who are most likely to convert at the lowest cost.

Decide what the goal of your campaign is and match your ad objective to that.

Ad Type

Facebook has gotten very creative in the types of ads you can create. Video ads, canvas ads, and carousel ads are just some of the many possibilities. They even offer ads through Facebook Messenger now. Choose the ad that can tell the best story and aligns best with your objective for the Southeast Asia region. For example, carousel ads perform best for conversions, while video ads are great for reach and awareness.

When marketing in Southeast Asia, carousel ads have found high levels of success and engagement. That’s because these ads are specifically designed to be viewed on mobile, which is a major boost in a market that is mobile first.

You have many options when it comes to designing a carousel ad. Some best practices include choosing strong visuals, keeping a strong focal point, avoiding overcomplicating things, and completing the user journey with a call to action at the end.

As always, it’s a good idea to consistently test your ads. Consider changing visuals, experimenting with video content, or editing the copy to find what works best for you and your audience.

Ad Placement

This determines where your ad will be seen. You can choose from mobile and desktop feeds, solely on Instagram, or the right side of your feed. The latter option, however, only works on the desktop. As mentioned earlier, Southeast Asia is particularly mobile-first so consider this when debating ad placement; right-side ads may not be the right choice. However, different brands see success in different areas, so test this out and see what works best for you.

With 302.3 million users active on mobile in Southeast Asia, it’s essential that you reach them where they are accessing social media. Newsfeed ads are a good option, but risky as your audience may simply scroll past them. Be sure to give ample consideration and testing to this feature to get the most you can from your campaign.

Audience Targeting

Who is going to see your ad? Targeting the right people will dramatically affect the success of your campaign. It will be the difference between flying and flopping. You can choose to target many different types of audiences, including the following:

Custom Audiences: reach people you already know, such as existing customers or email subscribers.

Website Custom Audiences: retargeting people who have visited your site from any source. This will be a small group, but very well may perform the best.

Lookalikes: these are people who aren’t your customers, but share similar characteristics and demographics. This will help you reach new customers.

Creating Ads

Facebook includes three different types of interfaces that you can decide between when it comes to building your ads.

Boost Post: this is the option that gives the least control to advertisers. It’s the easiest option and also allows you to publish a campaign quickly.

Ads Manager: more complex than Boost Post, but less so than Power Editor. This is the option that the majority of users leverage, as you also have more control than with Boost Post.

Power Editor: this is great if you manage multiple campaigns at once. This option allows users to edit campaigns on the large-scale.

Tracking Metrics

Understanding how your ads are performing in Southeast Asia is one of the most important parts of marketing to an audience on Facebook. There are many ways to track success, but one of the most effective is the Facebook Pixel. Once you’ve inputted the pixel to your website, you can truly see how ads are impacting users. The Pixel tells advertisers:

What users are doing after they take an action on Facebook. This could include them going to your site and adding items to their cart but not completing a purchase. When this happens, it’s a great opportunity to retarget customers with another campaign.

As you’re able to see which ad a user clicks on, you can see which one is most effective. Use this information to tweak your campaign.

If your ad is really successful, Facebook will use the collected data to optimize your future campaigns. For example, if you earned 1,500 conversions, the platform will search for similar audiences to show your ads to.

Making the Best Campaign Possible

Facebook advertising is growing rapidly in Southeast Asia, and Asia as a whole is now home to Facebook’s most active daily users. This makes it the perfect time to leverage all that the platform has to offer and reach out to your audiences in entirely new ways. Each region has its own likes and habits when it comes to using social media, and keeping these in mind when marketing in Southeast Asia will allow you to reap the rewards. Article credits to @araesininthesun




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