China has the biggest population in the world: it includes 23 provinces with its own dialects, traditions, and different consumer behavior. Entering China market is tough. The competition is high. European marketing tools work different. Let’s try to check the most popular platforms for basic digital marketing in China.
China is very much digitalized. Chinese consumer is changing, and spend more and more time on Internet, social media (more often) via mobile.
Nowadays 642 million people actively use internet, 629 million people have accounts with social media and 565 million go online using mobile phones. Digital marketing is one of the key tools of marketing mix in China.
WeChat is one of the most popular social media in China (570 million users a day). This app provides not only main services, such as text, voice and video messages and calls, but also personal blogs, news feeds, internet stores, share your location, and subscribe to news. Business people in China do not exchange business cards, they scan WeChat QR codes to create a group for business communication. The program has an integrated translator enabling to communicate with partners directly even if you don’t speak Chinese language.
WeChat also has a function of mobile payments, which you can use at any store which supports this function. During holidays Chinese friends like to send “red envelopes” (Hong Bao) with WeChat money, which one can use to pay goods and services through WeChat.
Weibo is a micro blog, a counterpart of Twitter, the second most popular social media in China (note: Twitter and Facebook are blocked in China). Weibo gives you the opportunity to add images and video directly in your feed, post links to web-pages, and video in comments. Main foreign CEOs (Bill Gates, Bobby Brown, etc.) have their own accounts to interact with the fans on Weibo.
QQ Tencent video and Youku are the most popular services to view video files. QQ Tencent video is also integrated in the WeChat, which makes it easier to view video through the own social network and that helps to increase the audience.
Your web page in Chinese is important too. But it is better to be localized and located on a server in China. Baidu – search engine, dominating the Chinese market, prefers sites using localized server to China, because of user experience and faster load speed. Use local keywords tools while developing keywords suggestions. Baidu also offers an excellent choice of its own products: Baidu Baike – Chinese Wikipedia, Baidu Zhidao – user forums, Baidu Yun – a cloud for downloading files and information.
Keep in mind that Digital tools develop fast in China. Keep on analyzing them. Learning to adjust and develop your digital strategy is a critical skill to stay competitive in China market.