A lot of affiliates complain that it has become increasingly difficult to work with Vietnam to the point that it is almost impossible to run profitable campaigns. I have internal expertise in this area (the author of this article runs a media buying team located in Vietnam) and I can communicate with Vietnamese webmasters directly, and so I can say with full certainty that the traffic quality provided by many affiliates has decreased considerably. The same can be said about the volumes.
There is a couple of reasons behind this failure (what is given below is only the author’s opinion):
- Language. Vietnamese has a notoriously difficult tonal system comprising six contrastive tones, and so passing your advertising content through Google Translate could put you in embarrassing situations. It’s IMPOSSIBLE to get decent localized translation without a native speaker. As a result, your potential customer won’t be able to understand what it is that you are trying to sell no matter how high-converting your creatives are.
- Trends and approaches. When it comes to the Vietnamese target audience, there are some GEOs that set the trends in certain verticals. Our team runs split tests to find out what GEO manufacturers produce the best results conversion-wise. Japan and South Korea work the best with makeup products. America and Japan — with adult products for males. Physical products convert well with reference to their American origin. Supplements and health-related products can convert with any GEO, what matters here is your approach. If it’s cutting-edge technologies, then Europe (Germany, etc.) will bring you the best results, if it’s some herbal recipes, then a traditional Chinese medicine doctor will convert well.
- Traffic sources. It often happens that affiliate marketers use traffic sources that convert poorly (if at all) on this particular GEO. The reasons behind this are numerous: old databases, wrong platforms, bot traffic and so on.
As an alternative to popunder traffic and push notifications, I would like to introduce affiliates to local traffic sources. Let me start with Vietnamese messenger ZALO.
Have you ever seen an Asian without a phone? I live in Saigon and regularly watch them scroll down their news feed or chat in messengers even when they are riding a bike. I work in an office with Vietnamese and they are always on their phones when they have a break.
A little bit of stats
Below, you will find screenshots from https://versus.com and other sources.
The upper line represents Zalo, the lower — Facebook Messenger.
Q&Me Vietnam Market Research revealed the following data:
It’s pretty clear that ZALO’s popularity and usability metrics do not differ much from that of Facebook Messenger when it comes to Vietnam.
The stats show that ZALO app is mainly used from smartphone. Given that Asians are almost always on their phones, targeting mobile users can definitely help you score a profitable campaign.
The graph also reveals that ZALO is keeping up with Facebook Messenger (and sometimes even overtakes it).
How to drive traffic from ZALO?
There are 5 types of ads on ZALO:
- Product advertising (requires a ZALO Shop account).
- Website advertising (the marketing goal is to increase traffic to your landing page, somewhat similar to Facebook campaigns).
- ZALO Official Account. Something like a fan page with three categories: ZALO Shop, media, and services.
- Article ad.
- Video ad. Converts poorly, but increases brand or product loyalty.
Let me give you some visual examples:
Financial matters, advantages and disadvantages of the platform
The minimum account top-up on Zalo is VND 50,000 (approximately $2). Three available payment methods include Visa, Master (international or local bank) and a bank deposit.
ZALO Ads operates on the CPC model.
- you can’t use user interest targeting;
- Vietnamese moderators often fall prey to emotions and can block your campaign or refuse to launch it without providing a clear explanation;
- your ads will be delivered only to mobile users;
- you’ll need product documentation and license to launch a nutra campaign.
- ZALO has a fresh young audience;
- it’s easy to attract attention to your product;
- ZALO campaigns coupled with Facebook campaigns can produce great results;
- you can set up targeting according to several parameters: city, gender, age, device OS.
The easiest way to work with ZALO is to launch website campaigns that will attract visitors to your landing.
An approximate budget for a couple of tests: VND 1,000,000 ($43).
If you work with Vietnam and can’t climb into the green, you should definitely try driving traffic from ZALO in addition to other sources you’re already using. If you manage to pass moderation and launch a campaign, the results are likely to be worth it. After all, Asians are always on the phone, but not always on Facebook.