Those who ask themselves the problem of intercepting the Chinese market with digital marketing should first of all keep in mind the first steps to be taken from a purely strategic point of view . Although it is geographically distant and culturally very different from us , China today represents a market of almost infinite potential and for this reason it is essential to be able to reach it using the right digital marketing tools.
The in-depth review of one’s corporate strategy and a real understanding of the reference market represent the first step to take . Knowing the tastes and expectations of Chinese consumers, knowing what tools they use to identify them and favor their purchasing methods are the ones that will follow.
Let’s start with some preliminary data :
- China has a population of 1.4 billion people
- 751 million people are digitally connected in the area
- On average, 8 out of 10 Chinese potential customers use the web on a daily basis
- The average daily online browsing duration of the Chinese audience is 6 and a half hours
- 3.26 hours a day are spent browsing on mobile devices
- 2 hours a day are dedicated to the use of social networks
- Internet penetration in present-day China is still only 50%
This last figure is incredibly interesting because it offers an idea of the magnitude expected for the years to come: the potential for diffusion of the Chinese digital market is in fact still in very strong expansion .
Now let’s talk about more practical questions : what are the marketing channels to refer to in order to expand your market to China? In general terms, these are search engines, ecommerce platforms and social media . However, the giants of these industries are not the ones we know of.
- In China, the most used search engine is not Google but Baidu (75% of online queries), while the big G collects only 1.7% of searches and, as a rule, is used by foreigners living in China.
- Baidu is not just a search engine, but a real network that also offers other platforms:
- Baidu Baike , homologous to our Wikipedia
- Baidu Tieba , counterpart to our Google Plus
It goes without saying that any digital marketing content intended for the Chinese market must therefore be calibrated, structured and optimized for these platforms, and declined in the local language.
As for social networks and instant messaging systems , it is also important to remember that in China, Instagram, Facebook or WhatsApp are not used or, at least, not predominantly. On the contrary, almost the entire “pie” of the market is destined for extremely advanced local platforms , the main ones of which are:
- Weibo : it is a sort of mix between the most well-known Western social networks (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) and is widely used by Chinese companies, organizations and even by Chinese celebrities who want to interface directly with their target audience. It also allows the creation of microblogs, surveys and sharing of multimedia content through rather advanced functions, as well as the use of real time news.
- WeChat : born as a messaging platform, today boasts very advanced and innovative functions that allow reservations for a variety of services, the ability to follow official brand pages, money transfers, offline and online payments (WeChatPay) and much more.
Particular attention must then be paid to ecommerce in China , which has been the first in the world for this sector since 2013 : to date, one in two Chinese visits and buys from online stores at least once a month.
Again, we will not have to refer to the most popular platforms in the West but rather to:
- Tmall and JD : Chinese equivalents of the giant Amazon, and capable of billing hundreds of billions of dollars a year
Finally, some practical advice . To expand into China , a series of cultural and social factors will need to be re-evaluated , the most important of which are:
- The brand or product name : it must be easy to pronounce, remember and have no negative meaning or reference in local languages
- The calendar : Chinese holidays and celebrations are very different from ours and the agenda of activities must therefore be declined accordingly
- Colors : they have a very precise meaning in China Filmy4xyz, and must therefore be considered with the utmost attention
A worldwide standing promptly opens entryways in China – to such an extent that outreach groups underestimate a solid brand’s theoretical advantage. At times, a solid standing keeps firms down when they neglect to investigate how advanced advertising apparatuses carry new clients to the brand.
Content promoting is a technique to draw in leads by conveying pertinent substance to designated bunches without passing on a publicizing message straightforwardly. As per a review from Pew Research Center , 81% of buyers’ buying choices are impacted by ‘doing their own exploration web based’, making content promoting essential to reach out to clients. In China, instances of content promoting incorporate advertorial, public statement, digital recordings, web journals, sound, video, white book and infographics on Weibo, WeChat, web crawlers, official sites, and client-side applications. As Chinese netizens experience content in the many thousands on their informal community applications consistently, innovative and eye-getting content that convey the upsides of a brand can be the key for content advertising efforts.