B2B lead generation in China can be tricky, it is a very different marketplace for businesses to operate in. Some businesses forsake an online marketing strategy but the most effective way to develop and generate leads in this market is digitally. In China business introductions and connections are often developed online before meeting face to face.
Connecting with factories for cost-effective production in China is essential. There are opportunities for affordable, mass market production with the infrastructure in place to both produce and distribute at the best market rates.
But how do you connect with Chinese factories and establish strong business relationships?
You need to develop your e-reputation and visibility online in China.
1) Search Engine Marketing
Once you have made an introduction and business request a production agent will search online, most likely via Baidu which dominates 75% of the Chinese search engine market.
Here it is beneficial if your company is one of the top search results this can be through advertising with PPC, banner ads and paid links or more effectively highly ranked in the natural search results. Factories need to see that you are a legitimate and established proposition in China with the traction to continually produce and sell in the orient. A high ranking on Baidu is the ultimate indicator of this. This approach can take time but based on optimizing keywords you can increase your visibility.
In business this matters, it is all about the Chinese concept of ‘face’, your initial impression and the first page of Baidu gives a lot of ‘face’ to your company. Serious professionals look at the natural search results, you can increase your ranking by utilizing a number of techniques:
– Keyword optimization
– Backlinks campaign
– Producing quality, original content
– Sharing and dissemination of content
– Chinese, Mandarin optimized website
– Chinese hosted server
– Web links and referals
– Chinese domain/url
Once you have developed your visibility you will be seen as a valid business proposition, the best factories with top equipment and production rates are inundated with requests and look to develop long term relations, make a strong first impression on Baidu is important. The mistake many companies make is that they try to transplant their existing SEO strategy that they use in western markets.
It is a different digital landscape, Baidu’s intelligent system called the ‘Spider’ prioritizes Chinese specific factors such as a Chinese domain/url, Chinese servers, Chinese content and keyword optimization is all in Mandarin. more information here
2) E-reputation in China
You next need to develop your e-reputation, there are many specific business forums on platform such as Sohu, QQ and Baidu Tieba where you can generate positive sentiment about your product and company. Businesses still look for other business reviews and professionals in China still use dedicated forums (unlike in the west). Positive threads and comments can be up-promoted whilst any negative content hidden with an effective campaign.
A comprehensive e-reputation campaign consists of:
– Conversational thread development
– Sharing of content
– Forum management of content
They key is to establish yourself as an expert in your field answering and fielding questions. This is the same in social media groups where as the group creator and administrator you build respect. E-reputation is how you prove to production companies that you are established and a serious proposition, do not neglect this aspect of your campaign.
3) WeChat company portfolio’s and e-letters
Nowadays the beating heart of China has become WeChat, it is the largest social network with over 700 million active users.
B2B on WeChat is about staying in contact with leads, production companies will view your official WeChat account which acts a micro site / company portfolio for you. In some ways this has become more important than your Chinese website. Official business accounts are highly customizable, allowing you to connect with other businesses and build up your reputation with testemonials. You can also use your WeChat account for creating e-letters and sharing useful B2B content.
Social networks are still important in the business world in China. Utilizing social media is not just confined to B2C digital strategy.
4) Adapting your business practices
Once this strong digital impression is made you can further the relationship with gifts on Chinese festivals and special occasions, by observing cultural nuances and meeting in person whilst always retaining contact online.
Communications need to be in Mandarin Chinese, Mandarin language contracts are always legally binding over an English mis-translation so ensure you have the right translation skills.
Your company portfolio should also be adapted and translated for this specific market.
We are a digital agency specializing in B2B development, if you are looking to connect with the production line in China and develop your business we can be your specialist partner with our years of experience in B2B digital strategy in China.
Contact us for more information. http://agency.marketingtochina.com/