The new trend of young couples
Marriage in China 婚姻 (hun yīn) is taken very seriously. Although the tradition tends are getting soften because of the country’s economic growth and its opening to the world, marriage remains among one of the priorities of young Chinese men and women in the country. Back then, it was one of the three top life honors with success in examination and birth of a son.
If the wedding is supposed to be the final step to demonstrate the love one feels for the other, it is also a testimony to the eyes of society, culture and Chinese tradition. However, the origin of marriage is not always live on love alone, the weight of tradition is often decisive in its implementation and, sometimes, it only arises from a business strategy.
“Wedding was for continuing the ancestral line and creating alliances between families so it was too important to be left to non-expert hands of young people,” we read in one of the fundamental books on traditional Chinese marriage.
Thus, red, gifts and dowry, haggling at the entrance of the home and the bride’s bedroom, tea ceremony, the return of married and reception at the parents’ home, the wedding banquet and obviously the homage to Heaven and Earth, ancestors and parents are part of Chinese marriage’s rituals. To honor the tradition, it must have “three letters” and “six steps or six orders or six rituals.”
Today, even if more and more Chinese choose to get married abroad or even to renew their vows (which is particularly new), they still want to perpetuate this ritual and contribute to the richness of their culture. Traditions remain Queen.
How to attract these customers ?
Now that the Chinese society opens more and more to the world and its possibilities, this is the time to seize the market, especially the one that surround marriage because it is a very important part of the culture.
Over the past two years, several Chinese celebrities have started to get married abroad. This is the case of Yao Chen, a famous Chinese actress that got married in New Zealand in late 2012. She posted on her Weibo account (which is the most followed on this platform) and share her wedding ceremony with her million fans. This broadcast event provoqued the Chinese crave for organizing their weddings abroad but also to renew their vows.
To stand out in the Chinese market, you must know and understand their needs in order to meet better their needs expectation. A large majority of them wish to leave their own tradition for Westerner’s wedding which do not appear to pose any problems but you will also need to adapt to couples who wish to perpetuate their traditions.
Where should you develop your marketing campaign ?
For this, nothing better than to start by the Wedding Exhibition in Shanghai, which takes place every year to learn more. The next one takes place in autumn and will be installed at the International Exhibition Centre and Convention of Shanghai. It is a very popular event among young fiancé. As for the exhibition of January 2013, the majority of exhibitors were already registered at the end of November. In total, there were 614 participants spread over an area of 80,000 m2 to accommodate 4,268 booths. Tourism fairs are also advised to be able to reach as many people as possible.
In addition to be physically present in the market, the virtual presence is primordial. Chinese have a new way to think before buying a product or service. Now they automatically look for information on the Internet. Either directly on your site, or on social networks, on opinion leaders account, upon wedding’s forums… So your reputation should better be as white as snow is.
What you need to know is that Chinese use Baidu. This is the first search engine in China with over 80% market share. It is a Google clone and, therefore, offers the same features. You have a Baidu Map, Images, Video, but also forums where users can post and share their opinions and last discovery. Sina, Baidu Tieba or Tuniu are the Chinese favorite forums and blogs to seek information about companies and brands.
However, if you want young Chinese couples to find you through Baidu, your site must be well ranked. A good ranking is vital in China as the competition is tough whether with local businesses or large international companies.
Firstly, your website must be hosted in China. Baidu penalizes sites that are hosted abroad by positionning them in the last pages. In addition, it must be written entirely in Mandarin. Baidu uses algorithms and require different standards than Google does. To help you improve your visibility, optimize your positioning and target customers who are interested in your services faster, an SEO or SEM strategy is necessary in China. With appropriate keywords to your services and your company, such as “wedding planner France”, and a good SEO campaign, after several months, your ranking on Baidu will place you in the first pages and will bring you qualitative customers.
In addition to your SEO Baidu, press is a tool which should not be overlooked. This is a good way to make a name for yourself and to bring reputation to your agency. To got along with this marketing SEM campaign, placing online ads and advertising from time to time can help you ranking because it will go at the top of the page and give you a bonus regardless of the Pay Per Click you paid.
The importance of social media in China
92% of active Internet users use at least one social network. These are the favorite Internet places of Chinese. Therefore we advise you to register your agency on Sina Weibo, WeChat and Tuniu are the 3 main one. This way, you can spot young couples who are about to get married and try to approach them. Users don’t hesitate to talk with brands and companies on these platforms so it is an opportunity.
To help you integrate and maintain your reputation in this market already very competitive, several options are possible. You can get a partnership with another Chinese wedding agency. Partnerships are always a bit tricky because of the culture difference, but still possible. You should also have a community manager in your team that is able to chat with users, create buzz around your brand and manage your online reputation and neutralise conflict when there are inappropriate comments or negative discussions.
In addition, it is generally advisable to find influencers, opinion leaders (KOL) or even personalities who share their life on their account with their huge community of fans. Such as Yao Chen who had gone several times in New Zealand and ended up getting married over there causing a particular passion for the country. It is always a good thing to be named by one of these celebrities.