Chris Anderson has worked for over a decade in digital media. His experience ranges from senior editorial roles to product marketing and social media, with major media organisations like Turner Broadcasting, HuffPost and Business Insider. Chris currently has over 60,000 followers on LinkedIn and was selected as the tenth top voice in media on the platform in 2016.
Currently, he is the Chief Content Officer at Hong Kong eSports and Game Media Asia. Chris leads both the brand specific content of Hong Kong eSports and a growing network of video game media properties with local teams based in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand. He also teaches a class on Current Events and Case Studies in International News for Hong Kong Baptist University's Master's in International Journalism Studies program.
1) Tell us about yourself and your role.
I've been in digital media exclusively for a decade now and have worked in a variety of roles including senior editorial roles across a wide variety of topics, VP content and marketing for an interactive digital content creation platform and leading teams of creators for social video and audience development. Firing up the way back machine, I graduated as an English major in college and went to work for an educational toy company as a quality assurance engineer right out of college. Whoever said English majors could only be teachers?
I'm a fairly restless person, and part of that restlessness drew me to Asia for the first time back in 2006, when I quit that job for the toy company and headed out to Shanghai without a job and enough money for three months. It was while I was there that I had the chance to shift careers into editorial. I joined a small lifestyle publication and got my feet wet, setting me on the path to where I am now. So, to a certain degree, I value taking chances and risk.
My current role at Game Media Asia and Hong Kong eSports as Chief Content Officer is a challenging one, but one that does stimulate me and appeals to my interests. I've always been a gamer since I can remember, and even to this day still play competitively at 41-years-old(!!) I believe that gaming is truly the next evolution of mass entertainment and now with the increasing popularity of eSports, video games are set to make the realistic push to be more than what our parents always complained about and comparable to movies or TV.
Building Game Media Asia out from HKES and with HKES's support has allowed us to branch out into tapping into passionate gamers across Asia, in particular in South East Asia where we have websites in Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia. Working with these different teams of passionate gamers and professionals is a fantastic experience for me and truly eye opening in learning the differences between regional audiences and how to reach those audiences. I guide my teams on the principle of quality content and smart, cost effective editorial promotion and marketing. I believe in creativity and the ability to try new things and fail, so I give my teams a high amount of autonomy to experiment - and fail.
This role has allowed me to take what I have learned over the course of my career and apply it in a market in Asia that is not at the same level as Western Media. There are huge opportunities in applying my knowledge and both teaching my teams and in learning from them. I love a challenge and the road is always bumpy when you're building something. It’s how you handle and learn from those bumps that will get you and your team or company where it needs to go.
2) What are your top tips for building a strong personal brand on LinkedIn?
a. Find your niche and area where you can contribute valuable insight.
b. Post often in that niche! You should be posting every couple of days at a minimum.
c. Create video. Video currently generates the most reach on LinkedIn
d. Comment on other's posts. But don't just do random comments like "Great advice!" Make sure you contribute to the conversation!
e. Reach out to those who like, comment or share your posts and expand your network with those who will find your experience and expertise relevant. For example, if you're a marketer in Hong Kong then it doesn't make sense to connect with a construction company head of HR in the US.
3) What are your predictions for the eSports industry over the next five years?
eSports is still maturing as an industry. Those creating content, putting on eSport events, buying teams are still figuring out the best way to make money off this explosion of interest. The game publishers like Riot and Blizzard are currently reaping the most benefits. Over the next five years I'd expect to see tried and tested ways for those who aren't game publishers to actually make significant revenue in eSports. You'll also see more prominent mainstream acceptance of eSports as legitimate sport. As these 15 to 21-year-olds grow up, so will eSports. It is already.
4) How do you see digital marketing evolving over the next five years?
Audiences and consumers are as smart as they've ever been when it comes to telling the difference between quality and junk. Brands and corporations are getting better in creating "experiences" that are more valuable to market to their fans and to reach new potential consumers. This will continue to evolve. Asia and in particular Hong Kong is moving slower in this regard to the Western market, as you still see many traditional campaigns that are clueless as to distribution platform and audience relevancy. Banner ads will continue to lose value. Influencer marketing will hold steady but may, MAY see a dip as influencers get burnt out, maybe as brands get burned by influencers. Augmented reality has forever been on the tips of our tongues as the industry considers its potential, and yet it has never fully materialised. The next 5 years will be make-or-break for viability of augmented reality when it comes to marketing. I do consider this digital marketing because it truly blends the digital with real life.
Chris Anderson will be presenting at the Digital Marketing Leaders Summit in Hong Kong on December 6 – 7 2018. His talk will be ‘The Transformation of the Game World Through Marketing’ where he will discuss how to build and lead a growing network of video game media properties in Southeast Asia.
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