Digital Marketing Trends That Will Sweep China in 2017
The digital marketing trend in China for 2017 is quite clear and is expected to yield some promising results. Lots of inventions and new ideas will be generated in the future and spread through digital channels or platforms. Nowadays, business owners and investors are greatly attracted by creative ideas and new forms of communications with which they can reach clients very effectively. They like to deliver messages from trustworthy sources to the target clients. For this, they try to adopt any accessible resources and tailored marketing strategies to spread their business campaigns via different channels.
But the Chinese digital marketing ecosystem is a unique one, quite different from what we’re used to seeing in the US and Europe. The first step for marketers seeking to adapt their brands to the Chinese digital market is to understand the situation of local market before developing a strategy.
The digital landscape in China has evolved in an economic background different from that of the US and Europe, with state regulation and censorship such as the Great Firewall. The Chinese state authority has historically encouraged the growth of domestic online platforms by using some restrictions against foreign business to create a vacuum for domestic business. So, despite of the successful global digital platforms we’ve all come to know, in China WeChat overperforms Facebook, Youku has much more viewers than YouTube, and Baidu dominates the searching markets instead of Google. With no fierce competition and no impact by the western equivalents, these Chinese digital companies have grown smoothly with the aid from the Chinese State. As a result, when western rivals plan to enter China’s market, they have to use Chinese platforms first to market themselves to the mass audience.
1. In-feed video ads. In-feed video ad is a special type of video ads, serving to integrate ads into the content feed according to users’ preference and behavioral tags on mobile platforms. By placing such ads, advertisers could realize precise marketing with a broad coverage of the target audience, and also leverage on the uniqueness of mobile platforms like user retention, high share rates and location-based marketing. In China, some in-feed video ads have already been applied on platforms like Tencent and Sina Weibo, which is highly valued by advertisers because of its precise targeting driven by massive social data.
2. Connected TV. Compared to traditional linear TV, connected TV enjoys more user interactions and is easier to do program assessment given its retrievable program data. According to AVC data, every 403 million households own at least one connected device in China in 2016. It is predicted that its penetration rate will reach 72% by 2020.
3. The Chinese are sensitive to e-reputation. The Chinese consumers are particularly sensitive to e-reputation; they will go online to check reviews on forums and will also visit your social media pages. The cultivation of positive e-reputation is very important as Chinese people prefer to connect it directly with its business status. We can say that consumers are strongly influenced by the views and opinions left on the social platforms. If a user recommends a product or a service in his friend circle via online accounts, his friends may probably believe that it’s something worth to buy.
4. Work with the key opinion leaders. Key opinion leaders or KOLs are usually very influential figures online who have been followed by a significant number of fans. They turn out to be either experts in their field or an internet celebrity with great influence online. It’s a good idea to develop cooperation with KOLs and recruit them to promote your brand, which will facilitate your brand marketing by more exposure to the public. Many Chinese influencers are keen to promote western brands as they can also benefit from such joint promotion.
5. Tailor your communication to the Chinese audience. Social media marketing strategies that are effective in the west doesn’t necessarily fit in China’s market. You need to have some insights about the market and know exactly what is trending. In another word, your content needs to be translated into Mandarin Chinese and well adapted to the local market. What style of conversation are you going to hold in social media chat groups? First, you must build your self-image as a friendly expert in your field and then will need a qualified Chinese sales team to help you convert more business leads.
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