Racheal Lee
Jan 22, 2014

Study quantifies ROI of online brand storytelling

ASIA-PACIFIC - Research by Waggener Edstrom with 2,200 consumers in Asia-Pacific details the relationship between brand activity online and consumer behaviours such as brand advocacy, spending, and engagement.


The study, Content Matters: The Impact of Brand Storytelling Online, looked at six business categories in 10 Asian markets: Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea and Vietnam. Respondents ranged in age from 15 to 60.

People who are exposed to branded content regularly through social media spend more on products and services than those who don’t, according to the researchers. Such exposure also makes people more likely to recommend a brand to their friends.

Such findings may seem unsurprising, but the research goes further by quantifying the strength of the effect in the sectors and countries covered. For example, digital consumers who actively follow brands in the travel & tourism or personal-care sectors are 39 per cent and 29 per cent more likely to recommend a brand to their friends, respectively.

Meanwhile, mainland Chinese consumers who follow food & beverage brands online spend up to 160 per cent more on food & beverage products every week. (See below for more sector- and country-specific findings.)

Taking the regional view, 78 per cent of consumers obtain information about products and services using social media, and 68 per cent also share such information. Social-media contests and giveaways draw in 69 per cent of consumers.

Three-quarters of respondents said they look for the latest deals and promotions on social media, and also by clicking on advertisements or reading advertorial content.

China and Vietnam have the digital consumers most likely to click on advertisements posted by brands they like (86 per cent), followed by India (83 per cent), and Hong Kong and South Korea (82 per cent).

Consumers in China (89 per cent) and Vietnam (97 per cent) are the most connected with brands. Consumers in Australia and Japan, meanwhile, are the least connected group. Less than half (44 per cent) of respondents in Australia and only 36 per cent in Japan follow brands on social media.

Stephen Tracy, APAC lead at Waggener Edstrom’s Insight & Analytics (I&A) practice, said that to cash in, brands need to move away from typical content and develop a tailoring content strategy for their consumers.

“Social media is not a silver bullet, and brands have to create rich, quality and relevant content for their followers,” he said. “Don’t just jump into the deep-end. You need to look at things like content strategy, business objective and the role of the platforms.”

Download the full report here

Here are some of the study's interesting country-by-country findings:

Social followers spend more:

Consumers in… ...who follow brands in this sector... ...spend this much more in that category… ...per...
India Personal care 100% Week
Singapore Healthcare 172% Purchase
Australia Travel & Tourism 51% Year
Indonesia Food & Beverage 90% Week
Korea Food & Beverage 167% Week
Japan Consumers electronics/appliances 12% Purchase
Philippines Healthcare 257% Purchase
Vietnam Personal care 156% Week


Followers are more likely to recommend:

Consumers in… ...who follow brands in this sector... ...are this much more likely to recommend a product / service than consumers who do not follow the brands in the sector
China Personal care 14%
Hong Kong Mobile device 33%
Australia Travel & Tourism 43%
Indonesia Personal care 20%
Japan Food & Beverage 44%
Vietnam Healthcare 57%



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