THE recent launch of YouTube in Malaysia has set the stage for advertisers to market their brands more effectively judging from the gaining popularity of social media among Malaysians.
Google Malaysia country manager Sajith Sivanandan says more people are surfing the Internet and are on social media including YouTube checking out brands, videos and other stuff that they intend to buy.
He says this has created tremendous opportunities for advertisers and marketers to sell their products and services as well as further engage with their customers.
“Social media is exploding. Two years ago, every minute there were 35 hours of content being uploaded in YouTube and this figure has more than doubled currently. Today, close to 18 million Malaysians spend one-third of their online time on social networks, including YouTube. There are more than a million views a day by Malaysians on YouTube and one billion in one month and this is further growing,“ he tells StarBizWeek.
YouTube, the world's largest online video site, this month (March) launched a local version of YouTube in Malaysia, now accessible through youtube.com.my
Users can visit this localised Malaysia site by choosing “Malaysia” as the location setting at the bottom of the YouTube.com homepage or going directly to www.youtube.com.my. It offers a local interface for Malaysians to easily and quickly find videos most relevant to them, including expanded content from local and global partners. YouTube is a subsidiary of Google Inc.
YouTube has forged partnership agreements with local media companies, including ASTRO Malaysia and KRU Studios as well as secured masthead ads on the YouTube Malaysia home page from advertisers like Dutch Lady, Malaysia Airlines, Maxis and Standard Chartered Bank to better connect with their consumers.
YouTube Asia-Pacific director of product management Adam Smith says with the launch of the Malaysian site, it will pave the way for not only local advertisers but also global and regional ones to market their brands and target Malaysian consumers, hence increasing their bottomlines while lowering their cost of acquisition.
On the possible challenges an advertiser would face in marketing their brands via social media, Sajith says since their are numerous avenues to reach customers, advertisers have to be smart which platforms they need to use to target specific consumers needs.
He adds that they need to reach consumers fast and at the time when customers are looking for products on the social media as well as provide them in accordance to what the ads have stated otherwise they would loose out.
Acknowledging the growing importance of social media, MAS senior vice-president for marketing and promotions Al-Ishsal Ishak says last year, the airlines was one of the biggest spenders in digital work and had managed to generate a couple of billion ringgit in revenue from online booking.
He says MAS ventured into social media and its online business in 2009 and only last year it set up a social media team, adding that he is confident this platform will help boost its business moving forward.
Dutch Lady marketing director Rahul Colaco feels the tie-up with YouTube would help the company accelerate and improve engagements with its target audience and hence boost sales amid the rapid growing internet users in the country.
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