China is a huge market full of opportunities. Success in this market can be difficult if you don’t understand the complexity of the Chinese market.
Here are 10 marketing tips to develop your startup in China.
It will not be easy, but everything is possible. (I like this quote.)
China is probably the most digitalized Country in the World, so think online before offline.
I guess most entrepreneurs do not have millions to invest in TV advertising etc., So I will focus on smart marketing, with minimum investment.
Digital Marketing: an Innovative Content Can Make the Difference
In China, more than any other country in the world, consumers want interesting content. Due to all the scandals and the growing fake market, Chinese consumers are suspicious. In a country where everything goes fast, you need to provide a lot of information to your consumers.
Great content in China is not what you think.
Don’t worry too much about aesthetics. In western countries, consumers prefer clean aesthetic; here the Chinese prefer a charged aesthetic with all the information you can provide.
If they don’t find all the information about the products and your brand they will just choose another brand. Chinese consumers are not patient and really selective.
If your landing page is rich, complete, clear and accurate, they will not only buy. They will also become loyal to your brand and recommend your brand to their friends, family, and peers. With a simple thing like rich content, you can quickly improve your reputation and gain awareness.
You need to be innovative and create Sharable Posts. On WeChat, content is the key, and you need long and informative content that is attractive. I have explained that in How Businesses Can Maximize WeChat.
WeChat marketing is not easy (but it is possible for a smart marketer.)
This content is based on photos and video. Think of a mix between Facebook and Instagram (and Twitter). Event with interaction is working well.
OnlyLyon (Lyon Tourism Bureau is hot in China) VS their new URL https://weibo.com/onlylyon69?is_hot=1
382 shares 369 comments (not bad for a City)
Rich content can be a lot of things and not only the features of your company. You can also optimize your content with storytelling (a tool really appreciated by Chinese consumers.) Create a lovely story around your brand and they will buy), interactive experiences, opinion leaders…
Nice story, right?
This one is not bad also.
Chinese people are always connected. They are the most digitalized population in the world, use this advantage to attract them through their smartphone.
Maximize your Video Exposure
More and more Chinese watch videos. This increase can be explained due to the increase of smartphones use. Today in China, people age 10 (sometimes younger) to 99 years old have a smartphone and watch videos on it.
According to ChineinternetWatch, 76.7% Chinese users watch videos on their smartphone. It’s the way to attract your consumers.
Video is appreciated because in videos you can provide content, images, advice, examples, and it’s very shareable. It’s an efficient support for all brands. With videos, you can deliver a message, target specifics consumers, engage your consumers and make them buy your products.
More Ads in China on this Youtube channel
It’s also a unique tool because it mixes text, picture, audio and you can choose the character of your video and select the one who matches the best with your brand and who consumers can identify themselves.
WeChat the Place to Engage
Almost everything you need.
Wechat is the most used social media app in China. On Wechat you can do all you want. It’s like your swiss army knife when it comes to pushing content, branding and engaging with followers.
The app perfectly understood how to attract consumers because they adapted the functions of the app to consumers desires and needs.
On Wechat you can :
- Send instant messages
- Regular phone call or video call
- Follow moments of your friends, brands, KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders)
- Read contents and news
- Pay in stores and online
And more …
Wechat is the best tool if you want to create a relationship with your consumers.
First, you need to create an official account for your brand. Brands with a Wechat official accounts get more follows because Wechat certifies that it’s the official account of the brand and not an imposter.
After that, you will be able to create your online shop to sell your goods.
Wechat allows you to communicate with your consumers, target them and generate traffic on your page by sharing content, pictures or discounts. You also can advertise just like Facebook.
It’s the most effective app to promote your brand.
The M-Commerce is booming in China thanks to the fact that all Chinese have a smartphone and use it around 3 hours each day.
Chinese people no longer go to shopping malls when they want to buy something.
Why? Because it’s easier for consumers to buy on their smartphone. A smartphone is like an extension of your hand in China. Besides, online you have more choices, all products, and often discounts. Consumers can stay in one place and buy all they want.
In addition, with the growing QR code, some apps like Wechat will become the best apps for M-Commerce. You are on the street, and you see on an interactive screen, a beautiful table which will be perfect in your living room. You only need to scan the QR code available on the advertisement to be on the online shop of the brand and buy this wonderful table.
M-Commerce in China is
the future the present!
Have you heard of 020? The digitalization of Retail?
It is where a company sells online and offline. More and more brands in China choose to use shop 020.
Today in China, it’s impossible to not have both purchase channels. Because even if Chinese people do most of their shopping online, they also appreciate going to a real store when they have time during the week-end.
It’s an effective marketing tool to attract consumers. A consumer discovers the products online, makes a selection of the products that he likes the most and can experience it offline by going directly to the showroom or store.
Example of New Generation of Store. Starbucks
More information on Alibaba Blog
Understand your Consumer before Starting Anything
- Chinese consumers are different
- Chinee consumers do not think in the same way
- Chinese consumers are not worst, they are different
Understand before you judge in China
Chinese consumers, more than the others need to be reassured. If you include your consumer in your product conception, product promotion he will trust you more and share his experience to his peers.
The key to performing in this market is to understand customers needs and sensibility. Your goal is to engage customers, the good way to do is to let customers express themselves and participate. Chinese consumers share a lot of things. If they love your experience, they will share it and you can quickly gain awareness.
Besides, today all over the world, marketing campaigns need to include the customer. Its unthinkable brands don’t do it in a world so connected where consumers post their lives on social media.
Keep your DNA, but be as pragmatic as local dragons.
Multiplicate the Connection with your Company/Brand
Retarget your consumers and focus on niches.
Chinese consumers use a lot of screens. Screens are everywhere, in the subway, in the street, in your pocket, your bag, on your desk. If you’re present on all these screens, it can bring you a quick awareness.
The idea is to optimize all your content to be present on all these devices: eTV, Laptop, Tablet, Smartphone. The goal is to generate traffic and engage customers. But, you need to link the device to the advertising. For example, eTV shows are very famous and followed. You can advertise on one of this programs and link all the devices. The goal is to make the consumer interact with your brand through the advertising campaign on multiple devices.
Advertise on Mobile
I am not a big fan of advertising, especially for new brands, but for the advertising addict, mobile first.
Mobile ads are very appreciated by consumers. It’s a very effective tool to attract your consumer and make him buy. But, you need to be very creative. If you are not able to be creative, you can’t use mobile ads.
Consumers expect brands to surprise them. With all the new technologies available they had seen a lot of things and are a bit jaded. You need to do something very creative to attract your consumers. You have to find a new idea which will make you unique and special.
And be careful, it’s an effective tool but you will have a lot of competitors and some big brand as L’Oréal or Coca-Cola have huge resources to do something amazing.
New Social Media Apps
This is not a scoop that these social media apps are a must have now and especially in China. New social media channels, if you know how to use them are very effective to generate traffic for your brand. It’s the perfect way for the brand to communicate with consumers and create a relationship with them.
But now, you also need to market /advertise on new social media channels, because it’s an effective way to communicate, less competition and more opportunities. Your opportunity is to target a specific target and send them a message they will understand and where they will feel involved.
The goal is to touch the sensibility of your consumers because feelings make sell.
Localized your Marketing
Chinese Consumers are different (remember )
Most Chinese do not speak English… and are sensitive to a Chinese Campaign (in Mandarin).
It should not be a simple translation, it should impact the Chinese.
China is a huge country with a lot of different regions. They don’t have the same traditions, language, and expectations. You can’t send the same message to Shanghai and to Mongolian people.
You need to adapt your marketing strategy to a local area to be more effective.
I don’t tell you to change your products but just to adapt your products and communication to your local target. It’s essentials for all marketing strategy.
McDonald does it very well. All over the world, you have the same products in the fast-food restaurants. But they also offer some specialties adapted to the country. For example, if you go to France, you will have a sandwich with french bread. If you are in Italy, you have pizza and parmesan cheese. And if you are in China, you will have a hamburger with shrimp.
I have explained basic tips for new entrepreneurs in China and will follow with advanced tips for experienced entrepreneurs in China soon.
If you have question, ask it in comments, or private question connect on WeChat (VS tips Number 3)