February 27, 2017
When it comes to digital media, Asia’s many, diverse markets are each fast evolving – but not always in the same ways. That makes the job of guiding digital news for the region challenging, but ultimately rewarding, as it allows for equally fast experimentation.
The Bloomberg.com/Asia homepage
We sat down with Bloomberg’s head of digital editorial in Asia, Anjali Kapoor, to understand more about how she and her Hong Kong-based team are doing just that to connect business leaders across the region with relevant and timely news.
Q: Bloomberg is a global media organization – but Asia is all about local markets. How does that influence your approach?
A: Asia, for Bloomberg, is everywhere from Australia to Japan to India to all of Southeast Asia. It’s very different from a North American audience from both a language and culture perspective. In Asia, you’ve got Hong Kong versus Singapore versus Malaysia versus Japan versus Australia – and everything in between. And all of those countries are different in what interests them.
“I look at those fragmented markets and say: ‘How do we make our impact? Where are we different? And how do we bring all of the resources of Bloomberg to consumers in these markets in a way that appeals to them?’” – Anjali Kapoor, managing editor, Bloomberg Digital in Asia
That’s actually what attracted me to the job – to think about, “Okay, well, this story targets Hong Kong and Singapore. How do we play it to those two different audiences?”
I look at those fragmented markets and say: “How do we make our impact? Where are we different? And how do we bring all of the resources of Bloomberg to consumers in these markets in a way that appeals to them?”
Q: Tell me about some ways Bloomberg Digital is answering those questions.
A: We’re reimagining our journalism – in a way that uses more data, more visuals, thinking about what will engage a certain set of visitors.
For example, we have an Asia finance section on our homepage that talks to the different country markets. That makes a great difference to the business audiences we’re talking to – we’ve seen that our engagement is quite high. Our click through rate is very high off the homepage in general.
We also see a lot of potential for growth for this approach in social media and on our new mobile app. We spend a lot of time working on headlines and great images and then thinking about how we’re going to sell those stories in different ways.
Q: is Social media differentiated by country also?
A: Yes, definitely. You don’t just have Facebook to think about – messenger apps are also dominant in Asia. There’s Hike in India. There’s Kakao in Korea. Line English and Line Japanese are very different. A majority of Singaporeans are on WhatsApp.
“We’re making sure we speak to each country on a daily basis, really thinking through what works for different countries.” – Anjali Kapoor, managing editor, Bloomberg Digital in Asia
One thing we’ve done is to create a Bloomberg Asia Facebook account in the region. It’s differentiated from the main account by having more regional content that’s of interest to our audiences. Engagement on stories like forex on the Philippines peso or Malaysian ringgit, for example, is very high. In the fall we focused on a media campaign in Singapore to build our Singapore audience on the platform – and now we can target stories of interest to that particular audience.
We’re making sure we speak to each country on a daily basis, really thinking through what works for different countries.
Q: And mobile – what’s the strategy there?
A: One similarity between markets across the region is that they’re all very mobile-centric. People are on their devices all the time.
That’s a challenge and an opportunity for us to rethink how we do the journalism. Our new mobile app gives us a lot of scope to attract that very engaged mobile audience; we already have a strong app audience in Asia, highly engaged in country markets like Singapore and Hong Kong.
Overall, we have a digital-first mind-set, thinking about how we distribute our journalism through our mobile app, through mobile alerts, through social. We’re constantly thinking about who we’re targeting, and how we’re growing that audience.
Q: So you’re really delivering local relevance and engagement out of a global newsroom. Does that work in reverse, also? Do local stories become global?
A: It’s a vast region with a ton of interesting things going on. We definitely think about, “How do we make the stories more global, so they appeal to broader audiences in the UK and the US?” And I think that’s the sweet spot, and we are well positioned to do both.
“We’re really taking the power of Bloomberg News and successfully creating multiplatform engagement across the whole region.” – Anjali Kapoor, managing editor, Bloomberg Digital in Asia
It’s about getting the content to the right people at the right time. And it doesn’t matter about where it sits. It’s kind of agnostic, in a way; we’re considering more how stories are relevant to somebody who might be in the US, for example, that’s following a particular market in Asia.
We’re really taking the power of Bloomberg News and successfully creating multiplatform engagement across the whole region.
Q: How does the multiplatform ecosystem work?
A: The Bloomberg Markets Most Influential event we did in Hong Kong last fall is a good example. We picked investor Mark Mobius to try his first Facebook Live after he had done his talk at the live event. We also had a TV interview with him – and we were very aware of how the two media could be used differently.
It turned out that on Facebook, a question about southeast Asian economies got asked from a reader – and it was a great answer, something he didn’t talk about in either the television interview or the event panel. That question, in turn, inspired a news article back on the terminal; and the Facebook Live video could accompany that.
So the content cycle can come full circle back to all platforms. We have great tools, and ways to experiment, to make sure that our content is continuous.
Investor Mark Mobius answers questions submitted by audiences on Facebook Live during the Bloomberg Markets Most Influential Summit
Q: What else are you experimenting with?
A: One example comes from Japan. There, we have a local language site, Bloomberg.co.jp. We’ve extended that with the Line platform, which is a different universe to anything else and is where a large part of the Japan audience consumes news and entertainment, games and services. We started last fall, and we’ve seen the audience for our business content there grow quickly.
We also did a test in India with a WhatsApp group. Our social editor worked with the bureau chief to craft a daily message that invited the group to read our coverage of changes happening as the governor of India’s central bank stepped down. This was really well received.
Our audience follows thought leaders – everyone watched our exclusive interview with billionaire Li Ka-shing in Hong Kong and it was among the top viewed videos in Asia in 2016. We really worked together between Bloomberg News, Bloomberg TV, and Bloomberg Digital to bring that access to audiences. That kind of story resonates with our audience, and it’s exciting to watch that engagement happening.
Like: Bloomberg Asia
– Jen Robinson | February 27, 2017