Don’t count on your lucky star. If you want to start to get some serious clients in China you have to think about getting a digital strategy. China is the factory of the world, and the factory is now buying lot of machines to modernize their production, from human to fully automated production.
KPI and Results focused. We are the most visible Marketing Agency for China. Not because of huge spending but because of our SMART Strategies. Let us help you with: E-Commerce, Search Engine Optimization, Advertising, Weibo, WeChat, WeChat Store & PR.
Why is it so important?
Let us explain to you with an example :
A major European machinery manufacturer came to us. They wanted to understand why despite their efforts to deploy on the Chinese market, they were not getting positive evolution. They were attending fairs and had a Chinese language website and a dedicated sales team but after 1 year still no results, and no clients. They were super motivated, and super serious, but were not sensitive to the digital tools in China. We help them to deploy a comprehensive and effective digital strategy to generate leads online. After months of effort and deployment, they finally got results. They received more than 100 qualified leads each month. And thanks to their sales team’s work, succeeded to close sales and now get 10 new clients per month.
Discover, how we help them to become lead-generation superheroes.
Here is what they were missing:
-The website: (in mandarin of course)
The website has been audited, and it revealed some points that had to be modified to fit with an effective digital strategy.
The first thing that happen to be problematic is that even though they had a professional Chinese translation, their site was very hard to access from China, with considerable loading time even not loading at all. Causing a high bouncing rate, meaning no visitors. It is because this version of the site was hosted in Europe. How it can be a problem?
Chinese don’t have access to google (the Chinese great firewall blocks all internet sources outside of China). Instead, they use their own search engine called Baidu. So, if your website is hosted outside of China, it will be hard to access for Chinese visitors.
The first thing was then to host their website in China and submitted it to Baidu to be referenced.
We also suppressed links from APIs like Google maps, and LinkedIn…that aren’t helping for optimized access to the website.
In addition, we implement a chat box to be able to fit with buyers’ habits. In fact, in China, companies don’t use forms and very few e-mails to get the first contact. Buyers are used to getting very prompt replies, Chat box is then an indispensable tool.
Finally, for the website part, we worked on optimizing the use of Metatags which are crucial for Baidu algorithms.
Now that their website was optimized for the Chinese internet, we needed to check if they were easily found on the Baidu search engine.
-SEO (on Baidu of course)
To understand the importance of SEO in China and more generally the importance of a digital strategy for machinery firms, let’s get into the mind of the Chinese purchase manager.
Chinese industrial buyers don’t have time to answer calls from impromptu salespeople who are trying to promote their products. They receive so much solicitation that if they accepted each of them, they won’t have time to do their job. So, forget about mass calling.
They don’t either pay any attention to e-mails.
First, very few still use e-mail as their main way of communication. And second, because sales emails are seen as spam by buyers, imagine receiving hundreds of commercial e-mails per day, would you care to read them?
What about trade fairs?
As most trade fairs happen once a year, they will not wait to attend to find suppliers if they have an immediate need. In addition, the Zero covid policy is still in place, limiting dramatically the whereabouts of people inside and outside the country.
So, what’s the solution? how do Chinese buyers reach machinery suppliers?
They are doing their research online on Baidu. They simply type keywords corresponding to the product/service they are trying to buy. They take the first 10 results and get in touch with the suppliers on their website. Meaning suppliers received qualified demand via their website.
Let’s get back to our client.
When we were typing popular keywords corresponding to their offer on Baidu, they were invisible. Their site was far on the 10th page. Needless to say, buyers won’t go that far in research pages to find what they need to buy.
That’s because our client didn’t get any SEO jobs. That means to say work on keywords to improve their natural ranking on Baidu.
So, we solve this issue by working on 20 important keywords related to their industry, and after a few months only they were appearing on the first page of the search engine.
Meaning visible to the buyers, meaning they were receiving demands (leads) through their website. This is what is called digital lead generation.
-Reputation (really important in China)
One of the major points on which our client had misconceptions was their reputation.
Of course, they were (and still are) number one in Europe. They were assuming that as they had a super reputation in Europe, it will automatically follow in China.
The fact is, Chinese buyers won’t’ believe you if you say that you are number one, you are the best…First, in China, it is forbidden to claim your company as the best. Second, buyers don’t trust companies, they trust third parties.
They only rely on word of mouth. If they want to check if you are reliable, they will look for some reviews and advice from their peers.
Either from professionals like them on professional forums or from specialized journalists in the online press.
They will always check online on Baidu to find proof that they can give you trust.
Our client was famous in Europe but didn’t realize that in China you have to start from square one building a reputation.
We did some research and we showed them that nobody was talking about them online (on the Chinese internet). Then they understand.
So, we help them build their Chinese online reputation, creating relatable forums and topics about their company and products. But also publishing articles in specialized online media.
It helped to increase significantly their trust rank toward their buyers. At the same time help improved their website ranking thanks to backlinks on online media. From that moment they started to sell and gain new customers.
-WeChat to nurture
They also were missing a tool to communicate and engage with their potential buyers.
Once buyers find their website, they got only the choice to connect with e-mail and the chat box. Letting small places for buyers to engage.
In China, people have the reflex to scan the QR code linking to an official WeChat account.
WeChat has more than 1.2 billion users. This is the most widely used app. It is not only used as a social media, payment platform…but mainly as a communication platform.
Having a WeChat official account for companies not only proves that you adapt to the local market, but will help you to nurture your prospects.
When they follow you on Wechat, it will be easier for them to get in touch with you. But also to remember you, and share your info with colleagues thanks to integrated brochures, mini website… But it is also a good medium through regular posts (that will basically replace your classic newsletter) to show your innovations, your new products, your achievement, and your advice…helping you to nurture potential buyers.
Business for industrial company in China
Succeeding as an industrial company in China is not as complicated as it may seem. The key is to understand the market and create a virtuous circle. Creating a solid digital strategy to generate leads, will not only help you grow your business but also makes the prospection a lot easier, less time-consuming, and more efficient. Imagine, with a good lead generation strategy, you will be able to attract all demands from China directly from your website. No more hassle vain business trips, no more prohibitive travel budget…