What are the 2023 digital marketing trends in Thailand that a local Thai company or multinational firm has to be aware of? There are quite a handful. After all, marketing—including digital marketing in Thailand—is a constantly evolving concept influenced by trends and time.
Digital marketing in Thailand is dynamic because technological advancements and cultural shifts result in new trends to deal with. Here's a brief rundown on the things that every company doing business in Thailand should expect:
Jumping from the 2010s to the 2020s: It's now the 2020s. The New Twenties. The 2010s emphasis on social media has evolved in this new decade that started ominously enough with a pandemic that compelled Thai citizens to become more online than ever before.
How to Seek New Trends: As a marketer, you need to pay attention to not just Thailand markets, but also the hows and whys of their marketing. In the 2010s, we went from email marketing to social media marketing. In the 2020s, short-form videos a la TikTok might be the way to go.
Choose the Right Tactics: New marketing trends and tactics come and go like the seasons or the weather. Go with the ones that are a perfect fit to what you're selling. Pay attention to trends that stand the test of time, like those who can convert a passive audience to loyal customers.
Blend with Ever-Green Marketing Tactics: As discussed in the 2022 Thailand Digital Marketing Trends, every tactic has benefits and drawbacks. However, there are evergreen marketing techniques you can blend with emerging trends, like targeting demographics (evergreen) while using user-generated content (trend).
The Undeniable March towards Thailand’s Digital Age
According to Data Reportable, the 2023 state of Thailand digitization is as follows. Early in the year, there were 61.21 million Internet users in the country, assuring 85.3 percent of Internet penetration.
Furthermore, January 2023 saw the rise of 52.25 million social media users, which comprises about 72.8 percent of the Thailand populace. There were also 101.2 million cellular mobile connections for 2023, which equals about 141.0 percent of the population.
Long Story Short: Thailand has been digitized in 2023 and there's no turning back. The Southeast Asian country's Internet infrastructure has never been more robust, thus opening up new digital marketing avenues for companies to explore.
More online usage from Thai citizens or "netizens" equals more eyes on PCs, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones than ever before. Television in Thailand now has advertiser competition.
Penetrated Thailand Daily Life: The daily life of a 2023 Thailand citizen now figures in more online time than before. This is evidenced by how from 2017 to 2019, the Thai Internet user base went from 65 percent of the population to 72 percent.
By 2022, Thailand has gotten 54.4 million Internet users. By 2023, this further ballooned to 61.21 million users as noted above. The original projection was 60 million by 2026, but in light of present figures, it might go all the way to 80 million.
No Longer Optional: Commercial industries should now go double-time in integrating digital marketing into their budget in light of these statistics and information. It's no longer optional to market using Facebook, YouTube, or TikTok.
All business types must adhere to digital marketing practices and allot more to it since print ads are going the way of the dinosaur and TV commercials might soon follow suit with reduced watch times.
A Competitive Advantage: Knowing 2023 Thailand digital trends like TikTok ads, ads that look like TikToks, and an emphasis on influencers or user-generated content will give any business a competitive marketing edge. This is useful savvy in the 21st Century.
On that note, you should also watch out when it comes to getting left behind. Pay attention to the evolving situation of current trends like you're watching live news coverage. Since the Internet engages a massive amount of netizens, culture also changes after there.
Let's state the obvious here—as the Internet's ubiquitous nature starts affecting Thai citizens, digital marketing trends that multinationals used to only apply to the West or East Asia (China, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Japan) will now suddenly be applicable to Thailand.
To help your business get greater return of investment (ROI) and advance its competitiveness, it’s wise to pay closer attention to the shifting cultural zeitgeist of an increasingly digitized Thailand.
Thailand Digital Marketing Using Custom Short-Form Videos
While one can argue that commercials are already custom short-form videos for marketing purposes, you can further shorten those commercials to look like TikToks or YouTube Shorts.
Using short-form videos to advertise in Thailand by making ads that are short-form or putting up advertisements on YouTube Shorts or TikTok makes perfect sense because it has become the most popular type of content in 2023.
Short-Form Videos are Everywhere: Just as tweets are the micro version of blogs or Facebook updates (microblogging), TikTok and YouTube shorts are the micro version of full 5 minutes to 1 hour videos. You can see these short-form videos everywhere on the net, and it has enamored even Thailand netizens.
How Short Are These Videos? The videos should range from 10 seconds (practically a reaction GIF with sound) to 3 minutes (like the standard commercial). On average, the length of such videos range from 30 seconds to 1 minute. Thai netizens love the short and punchy entertainment.
TikTok Users in Thailand in 2023: According again to Data RePortal and to the extensive advertising data resources of ByteDance, TikTok had gained over 40.28 million users aged 18 years old and beyond from Thailand as of January to February 2023.
Slight ByteDance Disclaimer: Here's a slight disclaimer. ByteDance enables marketers to use its advertising tools to target TikTok ads to users from 13 years old and above. However, the tools only show audience data for users aged 18 years old and older, hence the data.
Almost Two-Thirds of Thai Adults: According to ByteDance figures, TikTok ads reached 69.1 percent of Thai adults aged 18 years old and above or more than half of that demographic at the beginning of 2023, indicating that TikTok hasn't gone the way of Vine just yet as far as the pop culture zeitgeist of Thailand is concerned.
More Than Half Regardless of Age: Regardless of age, about 65.8 percent of the Thailand Internet user base was reached by TikTok ads. So when taking older or younger demographics in total, the ads still reach more than half of the Thailand TikTok users.
Most of the Thai TikTok Audience is Female: If you're a Thai company who sells beauty products for young adults or other female-specific products from makeup to fashion and accessories, go for TikTok ads. 60 percent of the ad audience for TikTok in 2023 is female while 40 percent is male.
TikTok User Growth in Thailand: As part of Thailand's digitization, droves of youthful and young adult Thailand netizens have also increased TikTok's potential ad reach by 12.5 percent or by 4.5 million from 2022 to 2023 (again, according to ByteDance Ad Planning Tools data).
Slight Decrease Back in October: While overall there's a huge increase in users from 2022 to 2023, there's a brief period from October 2022 to January 2023 where the potential Thailand TikTok ad reach decreased by 1.8 percent or by 750,000 users.
Being Entertaining in a Short Time Period: The issue with commercials compared to videos despite their similar shortness of length is that commercials tend to go for hard selling something. Companies that can blend short-form comedy or spectacle with an advertising message on such videos have an edge.
What about Short-Form Commercials? Instead of commercial teasers hard-selling your product, you can make memes or entertaining short-form videos to amuse customers while retaining in their memory your brand and product.
Essential to Your Digital Marketing Strategies: The users of TikTok, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram can generate their own videos or repost the content of others in a transformative manner. Companies can do this too.
The popularity and higher retention rate of TikTok or short-form, barely-a-minute videos in YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram is a further evolution of the proof of concept established by Twitter (blogging to microblogging).
People love instant gratification, and the snack-sized or bite-sized videos of TikTok and the like gives them more easily digestible info to consume. It also makes them more amenable to ads and commercials in the same format.
Digital Marketing with User-Generated Content
Let's now discuss doing user-generated content (UGC) digital marketing for the Thailand audience of netizens. UGC marketing isn't a new thing and it's a concept that's been experimented with since YouTube became huge in 2006.
As such, YouTube catered to users generating their original content by sharing ad revenue with them, implementing a copyright strike and content ID software to catch users who stole and uploaded copyrighted material.
What of Thailand and UGC? In 2022, UGC became a big deal in Thailand as a recent digital trend. In this context, UGC refers to content published by target audiences and unpaid contributors (as opposed to astroturfing by marketing teams pretending to be ordinary users).
Two Birds with One Stone: The idea behind UGC for businesses and brands is that it's a DIY way of increasing consumer engagement while at the same time the enthusiastic consumers themselves could do your marketing for you with their brand loyalty and posts about your product.
The Best Endorsements are from Customers: Boost social engagement and increase brand awareness by delving into the world of UGC. The best endorsement comes from satisfied customers on the Internet, since they can easily endorse your product by generating content like testimonials, reviews, videos, and photos.
It Clicks with the Nature of Social Media: The growth of UGC has coincided with the rise of social media and Web 2.0. UGC has become more impressive and frequent the more ubiquitous the Internet became for Thailand at large. It's in the nature of social media UGC to spread virally to specific market segments.
UGC versus Business-Generated Content: 92 percent of surveyed Internet users from a recent 2021 study claim that they trusted UGC in the form of recommendations, reviews, testimonials, and endorsements over businesses generating advertising and marketing content.
UGC Also Influences Buying Decisions: The same study claims that 70 percent of Internet users depend on social media content generated by users when making buying decisions. This is because their social connections typically compose of family and friends along with strangers outside their social circle.
A Definitive 2023 Digital Marketing Trend: It's already trending in 2023 that UGC is the preferred method of gauging product viability and quality by online audiences at large. Social media UGC increased business conversion rate by 41 percent in 2022, with higher projections expected to happen in 2023.
How to Incorporate UGC in Your Marketing: Your business can incorporate UGC for your marketing campaigns either by astroturfing interest or appealing to your existing consumer base to make UGC for you. Users expect companies to praise their own products on their webpages.
If customers want to get the "real deal" critiques on your wares, they tend to go to Facebook, YouTube, or TikTok as well as Amazon and eBay user reviews for the low-down.
Tread with caution when going the astroturfing route. It's actually recommended that you encourage UGC instead of fake it because the most effective UGC exudes authenticity and trustworthiness.
Thailand and Influencer Marketing
Thailand digitization has also caught up enough to make the phenomenon of influencer marketing possible. Nevertheless, even outside the Thailand "bubble", influencer marketing is a relatively recent trend.
Another Consequence of the Pandemic: During the pandemic, the global market became even more engaged in social media, resulting in phenomena like influencer marketing having more impact now than never before. These Internet celebrities are now sought-after endorsers of different products.
Thailand is Big on Influencer Marketing: Thailand is one of the leading Southeast Asian countries when it comes to marketing products with influencer endorsements. 77 percent of Thailand citizens from 25 to 34 years of age have bought products after being influenced by influencer-based promotion.
High Influencer Engagement: Thailand consumers have become one of many netizens who are highly engaged with influencers and influencer culture, such that their endorsement and coverage of products is enough to affect their buying decisions, not unlike celebrities on TV and film.
The Global Influencer Marketing Outlook: Globally, influencer marketing has proven itself quite lucrative. The worldwide influencer market grew from $9.7 million in 2020 to $13.8 billion in 2021. Then, in 2022, it reached all the way to $16.5 billion, making them the new media darlings of the 21st Century.
The Most Used Influencer Platform: Last year in 2022, the leading social media platform for influencers—arguably the birthplace of the phenomenon, even—remains Instagram. It's the most-used platform all over the world and in Thailand locally. Right next to it is TikTok.
Fastest Growing Influencer Network is TikTok: Influencers are also gunning for TikTok since it's the fastest-growing social media network for influencer-based marketing in 2021. In 2019, 2.3 percent of the share of influencer marketing expenses got allocated to TikTok. This ballooned to 10.2 percent by the end of 2021.
Bigger Investments in TikTok Influencer Deals: Based on these predictions, digital marketing agencies project spending up to $1.32 billion (or more) on marketing for TikTok-based influencers this 2023. That's twice the marketing spend in 2021 and nearly four times bigger than 2019.
Growing Thai Netizen Engagement with Live Streaming Content
Livestreaming or live streaming serves as another viable channel to insert your ads on or for Instagram influencers to do their endorsements for. You can also serve as sponsors for popular Twitch or YouTube streamers for good measure.
Thailand is also mirroring the West when it comes to its increase of netizen engagement with livestream content. They're following another popular global trend on the Internet, after all.
All throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, live streaming has become quite crucial for digital marketing because of its proven profitability and popularity.
Thailand live streaming users and consumers have increased significantly since 2020 or the start of the pandemic years. About 1.2 million users or a 24.8 percent increase per year has happened from 2020 to last year in 2022. By 2023, the forecast is 5.14 million users.
Revenue-wise, there's also yearly growth. From the same time period of 2020 to 2022, live streaming revenue in Thailand went from $125 million to $171 million. Live streaming is also a lucrative trend that's expected to grow all the way to $200 million in revenue across the board this year in 2023 (a 65 percent increase since 2022).
Long story short, for 2023 the major digital marketing trends for Thailand involve the rise of TikTok short-form videos, UGC, influencer endorsements, and live streaming.
There's no one trend or technique that offers a one-size-fits-all solution in bolstering your Thai digital marketing campaign. Pick and choose what works for your company. Thankfully, Marketing Ignite is here to help you create a digital blueprint of online success.
You can depend on us to deal with everything digital marketing related, from audits to smart bidding. Also, avoid short-lived fads or try them out for the short term without expecting any long-term rewards. Focus on the latest developments in technology so that your Thailand company doesn't get left behind.
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