In our previous blog post we explored just how crucial it is for a company to create strong brand awareness in the Chinese market. The main challenge facing almost all global brands is that they have to start all marketing activities from scratch; the Chinese online community is very isolated due to the many internet regulations and China’s Firewall so despite your best efforts to be known in the West it is highly unlikely you’ve penetrated the Middle Kingdom. To help you get started (again), we’ve laid out the first 3 places you should start with your renewed marketing efforts as you look East.
Your Website – Obviously your site will play one of the key roles in your new Eastern branding strategy. In order to put your best foot forward, there are a number of principles that have to be followed. Right off the top, your brand should acquire an ICP license, a business license, and the Chinese domain suffix to operate effectively in Mainland China (click here for more information on hosting your website locally in China). Also, it is best to localize your web presence as much as possible. This involves translating your site into simplified Chinese, matching your site’s design to the cultural preferences and trends, and all banned resources should be removed from your web platform (twitter icons, using Google fonts or maps etc.) Unfortunately, your website should be rebuilt from scratch to satisfy your Chinese customer’s preferences and tastes.
Social Media – Chinese social media channels are great sources to promote a brand. The biggest and the most used channel today is WeChat. We’ve beaten this drum many, many times before in this space but its domination of the social media market in China cannot be understated. WeChat is a messaging app with over 700 millions active users that offers far more than just networking. Video calls, taxi hailing, payments for just about anything you can imagine, group chats and chat bots are some of the features it offers. When registering on WeChat, it is important to choose the right type of account for a brand. There are two types: service and subscription. Service accounts allow your users to purchase products directly and are displayed more prominently on a subscribers feed (called “Moments”), whereas a subscription account will allow you to share content with your audience up to four times a day. Go here to learn more about WeChat accounts.
Ads – The more traditional method of promotion has a few twists to it in China. Unlike in the West, PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising in the China is more challenging and expensive due to heightened competition. To set up paid advertising brands need to register their website on Baidu, apply for PPC, and pay the initial fee (6000 RMB ~ 900 USD ) for application. The whole process takes several weeks. Here is some more information about Baidu advertising.
Beijing-based Web Presence In China (WPIC) is an independent, full service digital marketing and IT development agency. WPIC helps businesses with digital marketing and tech strategies. 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.