Chinese people rely a lot on word-of-mouth marketing and brand image in search results in the Chinese market. As China is the biggest e-commerce market in the world, many companies fighting online for potential customers. This is why, Chinese customers prefer to base their purchasing decisions on reviews from people they know or real customers, who already used that product or service and can share their honest opinion online.
In this blog post, We will cover the benefits of using positive reviews as a marketing tool in China, and the reasons you should have an ORM strategy. We will also take a look at the best options for gaining a strong online reputation on China market so that foreign brands can build their name and start selling their products in China.
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Why online brand reputation is so important in China?
Maintaining a level of transparency about your life story can make the review even more trustworthy as you learn how someone else’s experiences have impacted their view on products like this one. The reason why peer reviews are so popular among customers today is due in part to how much people distrust corporations’ information campaigns – many believe that companies will use anything under their sleeve to sell more products even if it means being dishonest (see: celebrities & beautiful models).
This includes short but persuasive television ads that are designed only to show small parts of what’s selling while playing on highly retouched visuals. Whereas online reviews and positive content from regular consumers are highly trusted and can impact a company’s revenue significantly.
It is necessary for any serious enterprise in China (or everywhere in the world really) to have a good ORM (Online reputation management) strategy thought out from the beginning. China is a huge investment opportunity for international companies, and many have not realized yet the importance of reviews and ratings in search engines or social media.
The culture of reviews is ingrained in Chinese society
It is no surprise that word-of-mouth is most influential when it reaches people with the least chance of buying a product. It is less important to those who are already likely to buy your product, but in China, this means you need more careful research and comparisons if you are looking for results like in other countries. In China, a country with 1.4 billion people and the world’s largest internet market, word-of-mouth marketing is essential for any company wanting to build its brand.
It can be done using physical or virtual methods like social networking sites such as WeChat – which has over 1.24 billion monthly active users – but it does not matter if you are chatting face-to-face at Starbucks or reaching out on social media; what matters are friends’ recommendations when making decisions about purchasing products from brands they know nothing about yet and may never hear of otherwise. The idea of word-of-mouth is a more prevalent phenomenon in China than it may be in other countries.
Close friends and family are usually nearby, so the feedback they have about products you are considering is different from what one might see in ads but very valuable. For example, Tesla’s word-of-mouth marketing strategy is proving to be a success in China, too. When asked by Tesla about buying their car for friends and family the response was overwhelmingly positive with over 90% of participants stating they would recommend it as an option.
Reviews are a tool for customer service improvement
You want to be the customer’s favorite brand, and that means meeting their expectations. At times you may not get it right every day as humans are imperfect beings, but your best efforts should always come from a place of putting them first by listening to what they need rather than just pushing products on them in hopes of increased sales. Doing so will result in better communication skills which create more resolution with customers over time resulting in a great brand reputation!
By adding yourself to forums about your sector, or checking and managing comments about your services, or services and products similar to yours, you can learn a lot, especially if you’re one of the beauty or fashion brands, that people always comment on and review online, contributing to brand reputation scores.
Positive reviews can help you stand out from the competitors in China
Customers are more likely to buy products with positive reviews, and these reviews increase customer satisfaction. When it comes to word-of-mouth referrals, brand reputation takes precedence over its price or product quality.
So, if you want your business to be successful and beat the competition in today’s market, make sure you encourage your customers to leave a review after they have had their experience and feel good about it. Plus with all the social media apps in China, there are plenty of opportunities for people to share their opinions online, helping your brand rank in Baidu and increase its credibility!
Positive reviews are the best way to attract new customers – the key to success on the Chinese eCommerce platform
The evolution of eCommerce has shaken the retail industry in China. The emergence of online shopping is changing how people buy goods across the world – one country at a time. In an effort to recapture their market share, brick-and-mortar shops have been working on improving both customer service experience as well as product quality.
However, it seems that these improvements haven’t helped much just yet because Chinese consumers prefer ordering from websites like Tmall or JD instead despite having access to physical stores with everything they need nearby.
A good online reputation on those platforms can make a big difference. Reviews are an effective way to show your company’s reliability and trustworthiness since they provide insight into how satisfied past customers were with their experience. Positive reviews, in particular, have proven themselves key on Chinese eCommerce platforms where more positive reviews translate directly into higher customer relationships which lead to increased visibility for your business in China market.
Positive content and feedback are essential if you want potential customers coming through your door because it will entice them enough to become interested and take time out of their day just for what this place has promised!
What happens if you don’t have any positive reviews and ratings in China
Some people are more cautious than others about their online purchases, especially Chinese people. Some might not want to buy anything unless it has at least 3 stars ranking, but according to Qualtrics, the reality is that 13% of consumers will still use a business with less than a 1 or 2-star rating if they need something in a hurry. 94% say these reviews have convinced them to avoid an establishment while 4 out of 5 admit after reading negative comments on review sites, they feel much likelier to change their minds and purchase elsewhere instead!
It’s hard for Chinese people to trust strangers
It is hard for Chinese people to trust strangers and buy online because of the high risk of scams. China is known for counterfeit products and Chinese consumers don’t trust online sales as well as we do. They prefer to check the online reputation of a brand they are interested in, most likely by visiting its website and social media accounts so that they can make sure they won’t be scammed.
The large majority (80%) of all Chinese citizens have been scammed by fake eCommerce websites, according to a report done by China’s National Committee Against Internet Crime. The culture is so to be careful, and this makes it difficult for companies looking to sell their product or service online in China.
To reach customers in China, one must make use of both marketing and customer service strategies that cater specifically to the needs of Chinese consumers, so that they feel safe when purchasing from you.
Negative reviews make you look untrustworthy
Chinese consumers are known for being critical of the products and services they purchase. They will not hesitate to leave a negative review if they feel like the product or service is lacking in quality. As such, it is important that you are prepared for this type of feedback by performing regular online reputation management and checking your reviews regularly, and responding accordingly.
A good way to do this is to make sure that all customer complaints are addressed while also ensuring that there are no promises made about your company’s products or services that cannot be fulfilled later down the line. If you take these steps, then you will find yourself with plenty of positive reviews from Chinese customers!
How to get more positive reviews: ORM (Online reputation management)
Baidu SEO and PR: Key ORM Tool
You can get a lot of traction on Baidu with SEO and PR. With SEO, you control what ranks for certain search results in China’s top search engine – keep in mind that Baidu is the first place 80% of consumers go when looking for information on a company or a product. In fact, it’s one of the top search engines in the world.
Press releases are also an excellent way to manage your online reputation by getting reviews from trusted third parties and on top of that PR often comes with backlinks which helps with your website authority and therefore your Baidu SERP on the Chinese market.
Create engagement on Chinese Social media
The best way to encourage positive reviews is by engaging your happy customers. One of the simplest ways you can do this is through social media, where user-generated content rules and a steady stream of 5-star ratings will inspire trust in your brand with potential buyers.
What is stopping businesses from asking their happiest customers for more vocal feedback? Reviews are powerful word-of-mouth catalysts that marketers should take advantage of while we still have access to them via social media before they become obsolete at some point due to artificial intelligence bots taking over all interactions online.
GMA Case Study: Louise Misha on Little Red Book:
If you are in the beauty and lifestyle industry, we strongly suggest that you invest in the app Xiaohongshu also known as the Little Red Book (RED). The app has become the place to go for reviews.
Despite the monetization of the app and opening to brands, RED stayed loyal to its values by keeping users interest at the core of its strategy. RED is driven by UGC (user-generated content) in the form of shopping notes that rank pretty well in search engines in the Chinese market.
A lot of review websites exist in China, such as Dianping and Zhihu
In China, consumers can visit sites like Dianping and Zhihu to read reviews of products from vendors before committing. This is beneficial because it gives users insight into what they’re about to buy online through these platforms as well as the opinions shared by others who have gone ahead with their purchases already!
Dianping is actually the platform to go for Chinese people before they chose a restaurant or want to order some food and it’s one of the most popular reviews apps in the country.
Work with Chinese influencers
There are many types of KOLs in China. They may be Chinese celebrities, popular social media users, experts on a specific subject (such as video games), columnists, or bloggers. One thing they all have in common is that their posts on different topics go viral and create buzz for companies who work with them, promoting products within the huge population base using these platforms.
To Sum-up on positive reviews and ORM in China
If you’re a company looking to enter the Chinese market, there are some things you should know. China is in many ways vastly different from Western nations; for one thing, most people don’t trust advertisements or brands as much as they do word of mouth and peer reviews. This means that online reputation management (ORM) will be essential if your goal is to win over customers who may have never heard of your brand before.
ORM strategies can take various forms such as monitoring social media channels with fake accounts, responding proactively to negative comments on blogs and review sites, or even paying bloggers directly for positive reviews–whatever it takes!
We can help you manage your online reputation in China!
If these tactics sound intimidating or if you want help implementing them, contact us for more details on how we can work together! We are China digital agency with more than 10 years of experience. We worked with over 600 brands from different industries and we know exactly what to do in order to succeed in China.
We have native experts that can manage your online reputation, increasing your credibility in the Chinese market. We can also help you establish collaborations with Chinese influencers, to boost your company’s performance even more.
Here are some of our case studies: