Getting Started with Online Marketing in Malaysia

Malaysia is a beautiful country located in Southeast Asia. It is known for its amazing rainforests, sparkling waters, and friendly people. With a population of just over 28 million, Malaysia is currently one of the most populated countries in Southeast Asia. If you’re visiting the country, then make sure to check out the amazing food, visit some of its breathtaking temples, and of course, get a taste of their legendary teh tarik!

Although Malaysia is often associated with palm oil, its industries also include pharmaceuticals, electronics, and petroleum. For centuries, Malaysia has been a trade hub for goods from all over Asia. Despite its relatively short history as an independent nation, it has already accumulated a large number of well-established industries.

If you’re looking to enter the country’s market, then you’ll need to do some research into current market trends. Luckily for you, we’re here to help with five steps that will get you started down the right path to online marketing success in Malaysia.

Step one: Identify the target audience for your website or social media channels

The first step in any marketing campaign is to identify your target audience. In the case of online marketing, this means finding out who you’re trying to reach with your content.

Your initial step should be to visit Malaysia’s biggest city, Kuala Lumpur, and speak to as many people as you can. Get a feel for the kind of content that the people there are searching for, and consider the regions and demographics that you can tap into.

With over a million inhabitants, the Kuala Lumpur city is one of the largest in Southeast Asia. The perfect place for you to find your first customers. With 56% of the population using the internet, you’ll easily find a wide audience.

Step two: Create a buyer persona and target audience profile

Creating buyer personas and target audience profiles are essential if you want to understand your customers’ behavior and how to speak to them. A buyer persona is a customer that you’ve invented, consisting of the characteristics that you think they have. For example, perhaps your customer is a woman who owns a clothing company and regularly buys jeans as a part of her wardrobe.

Based on your research, you can create a buyer persona with these characteristics:

  • Jeans
  • Female
  • Singaporean
  • 42 years old
  • What she looks for in a brand

You’ll now have a clear image in mind of the kind of customer that you’re targeting with your marketing material. This customer can be found in all markets across Southeast Asia, so it’s vital that you speak to this audience correctly.

Keep in mind that your customers will have various backgrounds and lives, and you need to adapt your approach to suit them. For example, if you’re marketing to women, then you’ll need to use different language and tactics to get your point across.

Step three: Choose the right platform

Once you’ve identified your target audience, you need to consider which platforms they’re using to consume content.

Deciding which platforms to focus on is really important, as each one has its own advantages and audiences. For example, if you’re looking to target women in Southeast Asia, then you’ll want to choose a platform that they’re more likely to use.

You should also take into consideration your budget, as many platforms can get expensive, especially if you want to reach a significant audience. In the next section, we’ll walk you through the various options available to you.

Step four: Create content that will interest the target audience

Having content that interests your audience is great, as they will be more likely to engage with it. Creating content that will interest the audience is much easier if you understand them and know what they want. To achieve this, you can use the insight you’ve gained from previous steps to inform your decision-making process.

According to HubSpot Blogs’ analysis of over 150 million pieces of content across 40 different languages, including English, the top three interests for Malaysian consumers are:

  • Health
  • Fashion
  • Tech

This means that if you’re creating content that is relevant to Malaysia, then you’ll want to ensure that your content covers one of these topics. Below we’ll discuss how to approach each topic in more detail.

Health

Malaysia has a very high rate of obesity. This is mainly due to the fact that the country has shifted to a sedentary lifestyle during the pandemic. Now that the world has returned to some sort of normal, this content will be highly relevant to the audience.

If you’re looking to promote a fitness brand, then a great place to start is by looking at how other brands are promoting fitness in Malaysia and analyzing their success.

With a growing middle class population and increasingly busy schedules, people in Malaysia are looking for health and fitness alternatives to traditional methods of working out. If you want to succeed in this market, then you’ll need to provide them with content that is useful and interesting.

When creating content for the Malaysian health market, you’ll want to focus on the following:

  • Macro-nutrients: Proteins, carbs, and fats.
  • Fitness
  • Exercise
  • Recovery
  • Weight loss
  • Lifestyle
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Detoxification
  • Prevention of heart disease and diabetes

The perfect health content for Malaysia should be able to answer all of these questions and more. If you want to engage with your audience and educate them about nutritional facts and how regular exercise can improve their quality of life, then this content will be useful and more likely to stick in their mind.

Fashion

Fashion in Malaysia is very similar to the rest of Southeast Asia. It tends to center around appearances and is often characterized by trends that come and go.

However, the demand for fashion in Malaysia is constantly evolving, and traditional methods of shopping aren’t catching on as quickly as they could. With this population now having a higher degree of educational attainment, fashion literacy is becoming a necessity.

If you’re looking to enter the Malaysian fashion market, then you’ll want to consider the following:

  • Seasonal trends
  • Classic/designer brands
  • Fast fashion
  • Online shopping
  • Matching Mummy and Me outfits
  • Sustainable fashion
  • Quality control
  • Retail therapy
  • Ethical fashion

Malaysia’s fashion scene is ever evolving, and it’s a great place to be a part of the trend-setter’s circle. To remain relevant, you’ll need to provide your audience with content that is in line with today’s trendy topics and style icons. Being on the cutting edge of fashion is an exciting opportunity but also very demanding… so be sure to have everything planned before you begin your campaign.

Tech

The tech market in Malaysia is growing annually, especially in the cities. If you want to succeed in this space, then you’ll need to provide your audience with content that is useful and will help them make the most of their life. The following are the top three topics that you should consider covering:

  • Smart phones
  • Tablets
  • Online shopping

These items are evolving everyday and new versions are being introduced to the market every month. Your content will be outdated if you don’t keep up with the times. To appeal to your audience, you’ll want to ensure that the content is relevant, practical, and useful.

Recovery

The wellness trend is slowly but surely taking over Malaysia. With so many people seeking a healthier lifestyle and an improved productivity level, this content will be very relevant to your audience.

If you’re looking to promote a wellness product or program, then a great place to start is by assessing the demand for fitness and yoga in Malaysia.