How can we define China’s advertising in the digital age ?

« Marlboro , a next year brings a new spirit that spreads across the land »

This Chinese commercials of the late 1990s was the last tobacco advertisements to be seen on TV in China before they got banned by the Chinese authorities.
Nowadays the tobacco companies became the pioneers of online advertising in China
They use all the shrewdness of effective digital marketing, from mini-films to online games where you can win Cigarettes.

But those tobacco companies are not the only ones using online features as a way to advertise their market. In fact, China’s online marketing arena is the largest in the world. It has a big optential as the biggest mobil and internet market, but the users are constrained to constantly evolve their techniques.


Evolution of the online advertising 

seo China marketing

Thanks to the 600 million citizens continuously connected on the Internet, China’s online advertising revnue reached RMB 75.31 in 2012 and hitted the highiest record and still rising by almost 47% year-on-year.
For companies newer in China, with a smaller budget and younger targets, advertising on TV can be difficult. It can be easier, cheaper and maybe better to promote themselves through online and mobile advertising.

Indeed, bigger companies with a bigger budget rather spend their money on TV and mass media, but online and digital is definitely growing, especially when the targets are in their 20s and 30s.

Another cause keeping the compagnies hooked on TV is the misconception that China’s lower tier cities, are best reached through offline media due to a lower penetration rate. 

Digital Outback !

In fact, people in small towns are the ones who spend more time online than those in bigger cities. They spend 3 hours and a half per day online, the digital ads reached almost 60% of their audience. Whereas people in bigger cities spent no more then 3 hour per day online.

With the emergence of plateforms and websites like Youku Tudou and Sohu, compagnies start to post more and more online videos as ads.

What about the market of Advertising

Online advertising market has been developed for many year by media ans social media agencies with hyper-targetes ads.
For exemple, Facebook display ads relay content related to your age, geographic location, relationship status and even with the researches you have made.
So the internet users are more likely to click on an ad that targets them.

But in China these tools are not widely used. Even though China has different social networks, they are not as flexible as the occidental ones.
The different online advertising platforms are usually gaming, online video, social networking, microblogging sites, instant messaging and search engines.
Search engines and instant messaging have always been at the top, for example, the most famous searching platform, Baidu, had an ad revenues of RMB 22 billion in 2012, making it the most important advertising platform in China.

But online video and gaming have broken through as well, Video sites Youku Tudou and Sohu reached an ad revenue of almost RMB 4,7 billion, and online game ad revenue reached RMB 830 million.

Online videos are more catchy 

These days, digital marketers use online video as a key part of their strategy. First of all, it is because of the cost efficiency.

The preference is also linked with the growing restrictions of the other plateforms as the TV, a lot af ads are been censoring for snesitive or disruptive content (as the tobacco advertising).

But in China these tools are not widely used. Even though China has different social networks, they are not as flexible as the occidental ones.

With the internet, there is more freedom with the video content as they are not overcensored. Morover online videos are usualy tuned in for a longer time so the advertisements are longer (30 seconds on TV and 90 seconds for online videos).

Smart Advertising 

One advantage of online advertising, is the ability to track the ads’s efficacy with measurements like website, traffic, cliks, likes and shares. The marketers can modify their content according to the efficiency of the ads.

Chinese consumers have trust issues and it can be a major problem for brands, thats is the reason why they are paying close attention to social media to show their legitimity and credibility. The media that people trust the most is weibo, the Chinese microblogging plateform.

Mobile is the leading digital platform in China,with proponent like Alibaba or the successful WeChat.

But they are still limited, for exemple, WeChat dont allow localized advertising content.

Learn more :

5 Things You should know about Baidu Marketing

New Chinese social networks trends in 2016

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