Marketing in China has always been a unique endeavor; the Chinese market has been booming for a while now and 1.3 billion people, $9 trillion GDP and triple digit growth will make anyone’s eyes pop, but foreign brands are still struggling to enter or operate in the market there. One of the keys to success when operating in China is to have effective marketing communications. So with that in mind, here are 5 key points to consider when communicating with the Chinese online community:
- Personalization – With the rise of social media in China, marketing practices have changed dramatically. Chinese consumers expect a personal touch from brands when being promoted to. One of the most popular ways to do it is to talk to consumers directly through various social media sources. WeChat, the dominant social app in China, is a THE platform in which to engage potential consumers, as it gives your brand the opportunity to chat with clients, educate the community on services and products, as well as stay in touch with past clients. Read here how to register a Corporate WeChat account.
- Referrals – Peer-to-peer recommendations work great in China. Referrals are particularly effective in China (relative to the rest of the world) due to the strict regulations around media in the country. Thus, recommendations on social media (WeChat, Weibo, and QQ) have become one of the most important factors influencing a consumer’s decision between similar products. To incorporate referral trends into your brand’s marketing strategy, you should explore and utilize various social media channels. And, as you well know, many Western channels are blocked, so it is important to use the local digital resources available to be visible and accessible to your online audience.
“If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell 6 friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends. “ – Jeff Bezos
- QR codes – You’re undoubtedly aware of those ugly square “bar codes” that you see once in a while on products or ads in the west known as QR codes. They’re not often used and haven’t reached a viable level of penetration in the West so they are typically overlooked, and with good reason. However, in China, mobile eCommerce, more commonly known as mCommerce, is booming in China (China is now second in the world at just over 3 hours per day spent on their mobile device, Brazil sits far away on top at almost 5 hours per person), and one of the most striking features of mCommerce is a QR code. The code is an essential attribute for brands in China (and Asia), as they are used daily by consumers to get the thorough information about services and products. You need one, if not many, and they need to be everywhere your brand is so consumers can connect with you instantly (and you can connect with them!)
- Videos – Watching videos on mobile devices is trending in the Chinese online community. Okay, that was a massive understatement and we know it. Video is killing it, and is 75% of the reason Global mobile data traffic is doubling every 2 years. Video allows you to engage Chinese consumers through sharing your company’s ideals, telling them a story, or educating them on your products. Moreover, digital video advertising plays a big role in raising brand awareness. If you can create a video worth sharing, the potential viral factor could rocket your brand to extreme success in a hurry.
- Website – Yes we’ve mentioned this quite a bit in this blog space already, but it is so crucial to have a website that will provide a satisfying experience for the online community. To do so, your website needs to be hosted in China and have valid ICP and business license. Your best bet is to register and optimize on Baidu increasing your visibility leveraging Baidu’s deep knowledge of Chinese consumers. Here are Baidu SEO tips.
Beijing-based Web Presence In China (WPIC) is an independent, full service digital marketing and IT development agency. WPIC helps businesses with Digital Marketing Services. Having over 13 years of on the ground experience in the China digital sector, the firm has worked with over 300 global companies and leads a team of 120 people between their global offices. WPIC supports China and the greater APAC region in digital and IT solutions.