Content Conversation with Soyeon Kim - APAC Marketing Director, Huawei Mobile Services

by ACN Editor
Asia Content News team got an exclusive opportunity to discuss all things content with Soyeon Kim. The excerpts of the conversation are provided below 

ACN: What do you envisage the role of Content for Huawei? Do you see it going beyond marketing in the coming years?

SK: Content marketing is about building a relationship with your audience via an on-going communication. By nature, it’s a long-term strategy that involves shaping the perception about your brand among your target audience. 

It’s important for Huawei, as there are many aspects and stories that people do not know about our brand. Huawei invested 15.3% of its 2019 revenue back into R&D to develop the best performance smart devices. The camera quality of Huawei phones is second to none – you can zoom in up to 100 times and get clear photos even in extremely deem environment. Once I took a photo of a full moon with my P30 phone, my friends couldn’t believe it was taken by a smartphone camera because they could even see the craters on the surface of the moon. Huawei also invests in different initiatives to make the life better with technology – such as “Storysign” that helps deaf children read by translating the text from selected books into sign language using AI technology, and “PocketVision” app that lets visually impaired users read text more easily with their phone’s camera.

There are many unheard stories about how this company is really redefining the innovation, so I believe content marketing will play an important role in unveiling them.

ACN: As the marketing lead, how do you see Content Professionals fitting into the overall team? If there are none at the moment, do you see any scope for them in the future?

SK: Currently I don’t have a dedicated person for content marketing, and our content marketing is rather like ‘one-way announcement’ than ‘interactive communication.’ I believe the role of content marketing is ‘forming a certain perception about the brand via on-going communication with the audience.” And to achieve that, I will need to develop a long-term content strategy with clear goals per target audience segments. As the company increasingly invests more on building the presence of Huawei Mobile Services and launching new services outside of China, I am planning to hire one person in my team next year for integrated content marketing – to manage everything related to our brand messaging, from PR to content marketing. By integrating traditional (press release) and new (content marketing) way of communication, I think we can achieve the consistency in messaging across difference channels as well as the efficiency in designing communication content. 

ACN: How do you ensure stickiness of audience with content, given plenty of content options for today's customers? 

SK: The key is to tell a story that my audience is interested in, in a way that they prefer to consume the content. My products are the mobile services available on Huawei smartphones such as AppGallery, Huawei Mobile Cloud, Huawei Video, etc. As there are many other service providers available in the market offers similar services, it’s important to come up with the key message that we want to ‘register’ in the audience’s mind. 

So we first come up with the message focusing on the point of difference – for example, ‘In-app-purchase rebates and vouchers for AppGallery users’ and ‘Rich Chinese content on Huawei Video’. Then we create a few different formats of the content – text posts, short video content, etc. to reach broader audience and to test out which format garners better engagement (different content formats perform differently based on the media channel)

Also, understanding ‘where your audience acquire the information’ is important for selecting the right channel. When we were trying to engage with mobile gamers to promote AppGallery, mass targeting digital media channels didn’t perform well for us. After speaking to some of the mobile gamers and game developer companies, we found out that gamers actively follow Key Opinion Leaders (KOL) and discover new games and promotions via their content. So we launched collaboration campaigns with KOLs, asking them to review the games featured in AppGallery and to share our promotion details. With this targeted content marketing, we could achieve better outcome compared to before.  

ACN: Do you see brands investing more or less in these times? What is the state of affairs at your organization?

SK: I don’t think the focus is on investing ‘more or less’. I think it’s more like we became prudent about the outcome the investment can bring. With Covid-19 situation, people’s purchasing power decreases and this leads the business to face two issues. First, we need to put an extra marketing effort to drive the revenue. Second, we need to ensure maximizing ROI with the marketing investment. For the first reason we cannot simply reduce the marketing budget, while the second reason puts the pressure on marketers to really optimize the performance. So now I pay more attention to proposed ROI of every campaign before the launch, and try to be stricter about KPI targets. At the same time, I am moving more budget to performance campaigns than branding campaigns for the time being.