Digital media, according to the content creator and social media influencer Ariel Koh, is the new age marketing and branding tool that leverages social media platforms.
Ariel runs the Malaysia Food & Travel (MFT) and Halal Food & Travel (HFT) channels on social media platforms, focusing on searching for the best food and travel destinations in Malaysia.
She began with the MFT channel, which currently has over 280,000 followers on Facebook, over 250,000 on Instagram, and over 120,000 on Tiktok. Now, she’s venturing with HFT to cater to her Muslim followers and audience.
Ariel participated as a panellist in the Islamic Tourism Technology Dialogue session during the 3rd World Islamic Tourism Conference (WITC).
Advantages of digital and social media
Digital and social media, she said, are super-flexible and malleable, as it focuses on the value of recency and does not require high-end production for content creation.
“If something happens, you can shoot it immediately with your phone and publish it. It is past the time of hard-sell marketing messages and promotional flyers.
“On top of that, digital media is like a two-way conversation, which builds a relationship with your audience.
“When people want to ask questions, they can immediately comment below. If they want to talk to you, they can message you. It sparks conversations that are so different from traditional media.”
Creating content for Muslim travellers
“Engaging content is engaging content. You need to prioritise value and build relationships. In this age, people value authenticity when consuming content or story. And they want to know what they can get out of this space.
“I think Muslim and regular tourists are the same, and they value good content.”
She said the content would only differ in the information shared, which is informing them that this place is safe for them to visit, there is halal food here, and there is a prayer place, and where they can go to get needful service and items.
Ariel believes that the tourism market should take note of Muslim tourists and be aware of their needs.
“By making small changes and being sensitive to their needs and comfort, you can make a huge difference to their leisure and vacation experience. It is also a huge business opportunity that everybody should look into.”
She shared her appreciation for being able to participate in WITC and gain more knowledge and insight about Muslim tourism.
“As a non-Muslim, I’m glad to be educated about the industry and the needs of my audience.
“I think this event is great for all industry players to learn about Muslim tourism. It is an eye-opening event, and I learnt so much when I’m here. The conference is super beneficial.”