Top 7 Digital Marketing ways to Reach Chinese Customers

With approximately 989 million internet users within the country of China at the end of 2020, digital marketing has become more powerful than ever to reach Chinese consumers. Chinese eCommerce platforms are becoming increasingly more effective and are giving foreign brands and companies the opportunity to sell directly to Chinese consumers. This is an incredibly lucrative and positive trend as the Chinese consumer market is set to expand by about 12% every year to reach a value of $8.4 trillion by 2022. Here we will introduce you to the 7 best digital marketing ways to reach Chinese customers.

With approximately 989 million internet users within the country of China at the end of 2020, digital marketing has become more powerful than ever to reach Chinese consumers. Chinese eCommerce platforms are becoming increasingly more effective and are giving foreign brands and companies the opportunity to sell directly to Chinese consumers. This is an incredibly lucrative and positive trend as the Chinese consumer market is set to expand by about 12% every year to reach a value of $8.4 trillion by 2022. Here we will introduce you to the 7 best digital marketing ways to reach Chinese customers.

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1) A Website in Chinese + Baidu SEO

Having a website that is designed for Chinese consumers in mind and hosted in China is absolutely critical for success in the market. Web-design, language (Mandarin), and high-quality content are all important factors to consider. The most important factor for success, however, is the ability to be able to be seen by consumers.

Lite coin home-page banner inviting visitors to take an action right away

Search engine optimization is perhaps the most effective and cost-effective long-term solution for marketing.  Google and other western search engines do not operate in China. The largest search engine in China is Baidu. Strategies for Baidu SEO differ greatly from those for western search engines. As of 2020, The search engine boasts 600 million monthly active users which makes a successful SEO campaign on Baidu extremely profitable.

Baidu Ranking Results on Keyword Beer Corona

You can find more information about SEO in China here

2) Utilize Chinese Super-App Wechat

With a staggering 1.2 billion monthly active users, WeChat is the most used social network in China. A presence on this platform is essential to a comprehensive marketing campaign. With a WeChat business account, a company can be followed by numerous users and interact with them. 

Damax – Wechat Official Account & Wechat Search

With WeChat, you can create a community and build a strong relationship with its members. You have to know how to grow your account and adapt your marketing according to it.

WeChat has a bevy of functionalities that make marketing and eCommerce transactions simpler than ever.

  • Official Account
  • CRM
  • H5 Brochure
  • Mini-program
  • Store
  • Native Ads
  • Geo-Localisation
  • Wechat Wallet
  • Wechat Channel
  • and so on

If you are interested in how to succeed with Wechat marketing, click here

3) Don’t Ignore other Chinese Social Media

WeChat is not the only social media in China. Companies need to be present on other social media as well. Weibo, which is like the Chinese version of Twitter, has 550 million monthly active users (as of 2020) and is one of the most visited websites in China. On Weibo, a company’s content has to be optimized and content needs to be posted at regular intervals to maintain an active following.

wewood – litte red book
Here is some more popular chinese social media:
  • Douyin: Viral short Video & native ads
  • Little Red Book: The UGC app that caters to women
  • Kuaishou: another viral short video app more centered on eCommerce & live-streaming

Find more about popular Chinese social media & best marketing practices Here.

4) In China you need a mobile-friendly website

People are more and more used to making purchases online with their phones. More than 80% of internet users have accessed the internet with their mobile phone last year, and 69% of buyers purchased a product or service via their smartphone. The design of a mobile website has a huge impact on their buying decision. It can be concluded that the best solution is to have a responsive interface in order to have a website optimized for traditional devices (computer) and for mobile devices (tablet or phone).

Loreal Chinese Website – Mobile Version

5) Choose the right platform for eCommerce

eCommerce platforms are widely available in China for consumers to purchase goods online. Especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the popularity of eCommerce platforms has skyrocketed.

Forbes has stated that approximately 44% of all global eCommerce sales are controlled by four Chinese companies (Taobao, Tmall, JD, and Pinduoduo). Each platform has its unique features and is effective at reaching a certain type of consumer which makes choosing the right platform an important decision.

Here is a list of the most known Chinese eCommerce platforms:

  • Tmall & JD: more on the high-end side of eCommerce. You have enough budget & an already well-established awareness in China.
  • Kaola: Distribution & cross-border model
  • Pinduoduo: a lot more affordable to merchants, huge reach but the average basket is lower. C2M model. Great for new brands & producers to use a direct-selling strategy.
  • Taobao: affordable, promote itself as the platform for young designers and brands
  • Xiaohongshu: beauty, maternity & fashion designer brands.

6) Online PR is critical in China

In China like in every country, people are influenced by media. So it’s important for companies to build a strong image with media, mostly with online media. PR is more efficient on the internet because people lost confidence in traditional media because of the censure, online media are free and they allow the user to interact with them.

To illustrate that with numbers we know that Sina news, which is an online media, has 200 million readers, whereas Cankaoxiaoxin, the most famous Chinese newspaper has only 4 million readers.

7) Be aware of the Latest Chinese Trends

In China, the digital consumer landscape is constantly changing. Trends and fads are constantly being updated. For example, for 2021 the Chinese trend is short videos. More and more people are using platforms on their phones to make short movies and companies understand that. Now they have to use this new trend in a business way to attract customers. Platforms like Taobao Live and Little Red Book allow for companies to use short videos to engage with consumers.

Brand Collab are hot right now – Oatly x DalCuore

To succeed in digital marketing in China, you have to be aware of a lot of different things; from social media to the e-business platform, there is real knowledge to be learned. If you have any questions or if you want us to help you with your integration into this huge market, you can contact us.

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