Nature and Demography of Indonesia

17,000 islands, 700 languages and dialects, 300 ethnicities, and more than 6 religions – that is Indonesia. It is the fourth most populous country with a population of 272.1 million people. It is also the world’s largest island country where 58% of the population resides. Over 94% of the population uses smartphones and has an average internet usage of approximately 8 hours a day.1 People in Indonesia mostly spend their leisure time enjoying nature, playing video games, watching sports, streaming live music, watching television, traveling between islands, and shopping for apparel and other commodities on e-commerce platforms.

Digital Behavior and Occupancy

On an average day, an Indonesian spends 3 hours watching television, 3.5 hours on social media, 1.5 hours listening to music and playing games online.1 The younger population of close to 40 million, age between 18 to 34 years old is active on social media such as YouTube, WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram. The adults, mid-generation, and older generation, totaling an estimated 200 million, spend most of their time watching television.

Indonesians are fans of video formats and hence, it is no surprise that YouTube takes the top spot as the most popular social media platform, accessed by 132 million people or 88% of the population.1 WhatsApp comes in second with 84% of the population that uses the messaging app.1 The world’s most popular social media apps occupy 3rd and 4th places – Facebook with 130 million users with 82% accessibility and Instagram with 63 million users, adding to 79% of the usage.1 These are the top four social media platforms that are used to run paid campaigns.

Digital Penetration through Smart Home Devices

Apart from the use of social media and television, Indonesia is known for its smart home devices. They are used to control the home appliances, lighting, and smart home security devices, namely to lock or unlock doors, monitor security cameras, control smart home entertainment devices, appliances, and other professional applications. Nearly 1.29 million of the total population uses smart home devices and technology,1 amongst which, 82% of the people monitor their homes while being away. This day-to-day utility of smart devices increases the annual smart home penetration to 67% from year to year. Therefore, pop-up ads and SMS marketing are well-suited digital marketing practices on smart devices or app channels.1

E-commerce and Ride-hailing Apps

The next focus on digital marketing is e-commerce platforms and ride-hailing apps. 93% of the population has searched online for a product, apparel, or an electronic device.1 Nearly  80 to 88 percent have made an online purchase on an e-commerce portal.1 The most common searches are for fashion and beauty products, which is increasing every year by 54%, electronics and physical media (increased by 48%), food and personal care (increased by 60%), and furniture and appliances (increased by 57%).1 Hence, media buying, display ads, and pay-per-click (PPC) are recommended on e-commerce portals, most searched and most viewed websites. Meanwhile, 21.7 million people use digitally enabled ride-hailing apps and services like Grab Indonesia (40%), Go-Jek (35%), Uber Indonesia (20%), and Blue Bird Group (5%).1 Hence, banner ads and pop-up ads can spread awareness of a brand via these platforms.


The high internet and mobile phone penetration rates in Indonesia make digital marketing the best platform for companies to reach out directly to the customers. Users can find new businesses and brands on search engine ads, ads on television and on social media, via comments and reviews on social media, or directly from the brand’s websites. Hence, these are the best platforms for media buying, display ads, and PPC. Short video campaigns are recommended on Facebook and Instagram. WhatsApp is the best platform to advertise with the use of messaging templates, infographics, and images. YouTube is a known platform for bumper ads and video ads. Paid ads on e-commerce platforms and most searched websites in Indonesia widely reach segmented and targeted audiences with customisable content and advertisements. Online platforms like digital publication, social media, programmatic advertising, and offline platforms like magazines, newspapers, television and radio are the most suitable avenues for media buying. Banner ads and pop-up ads on live music streaming apps, video gaming platforms, travel apps, and smart home device apps are the preferred areas to enhance brand or visibility. In addition, optimising your website through SEO is an essential digital marketing practice which will help to increase ranking and visibility on search engines. These digital marketing practices on various channels can help businesses penetrate the Indonesian market and spread awareness of their brands.


  1. Simon Kemp (18 February 2020). Digital Indonesia. Retrieved from