China is a paradise for foreign marketers. Let’s take a glance at the current situation on the Chinese architecture market and the proper way to become part of it.
Statistics reveal that up to 50% of China’s GDP is dominated by infrastructure investment and city building.
Why foreign architects are on demand in China?
- China is considered to be a developing yet progressive country. There’s an increasing demand for architects due to increasing projects.
- Related market including real estate are booming here.
- There are many international projects run in China which require international talents.
- China’s existing and emerging cities are showing likeness for the most futuristic and standard designs both.
- China values international experience in architecture considering both quality and design.
- China’s architecture market is big enough to welcome various approaches and very diverse ideas from more conservative ones to the most daring ones.
- China experiences a shortage of capable self-grown local architects.
- China’s copycat culture requires foreign architects.
What is difficult about entering the Chinese market as an architect?
- Chinese people don’t use Google to find a foreign architect there.
- Chinese people also never refer to foreign expert sources to find potential candidates.
- Chinese experts won’t react to an architect who contacts them either, if they are unknown in China.
- They have trust issues and don’t like risks together with that.
- They won’t take foreign recommendations as any advantage of a foreign architect
Is it possible to cope with these difficulties?
However, it is essential to work on your visibility and reputation in China to enter the market. Let’s see what this implies.
Creating your own image
Basically, the first thing an architect should do at a preliminary stage is to land oneself a good website. A good website for a foreign architect in China is the one that:
- Has a hosting in China, Hongkong or Singapore to be easily accessible;
- Is designed in Mandarin to be readable;
- Is informative and interactive.
Apart from having a website, opening an official account on WeChat (Chinese Facebook with 900 million active users) would be of use in the future. WeChat would act as another informative source where you could make an e-brochure to introduce yourself to new followers and send informative newsletters showcasing your works to the existing ones.
Your website might feature a QR-code to redirect your potential leads to your WeChat account.
Making effort to be found
Your website shall be found online while Chinese companies look for a foreign architect. Just as it was mentioned before Chinese people won’t look for an architect on Google – 85% of them will go on Baidu (with other 15% being spread all over the web).
There are millions of architects they will find on Baidu. But believe me they will check only the top few because they understand these would be the best architect, moreover with a busy Chinese lifestyle they simply have no time to check millions and reach your website somewhere on 1500th page in Baidu. Therefore, it is essential to hit the top search results to get your website found.
How to get Rank 1 on Baidu?
- Use general and specific keywords on your website;
- Get a page on Baike (good to seem more trustworthy also);
- Get backlinks from Chinese forums with discussions related to architecture (like Zhihu, Zhidao, Tieba).
There’s an alternative way you could opt for if you are short of time, or you want to get some quick results in the meantime. Baidu offers a chance to pay and get Pay-per-Click ads on top of it. However, it is unlikely that the best companies will resort to clicking on these ads as they have nothing to do with your image.
Working on your word of Mouth (vital in China)
Reputation is an intrinsic part of your marketing campaign if you want to be an architect in China. It is essential to make them trust you and believe you are worth being assigned a task to work on their projects. Once you get reputation you can stand any competition.
The same principle works for them even in the inner market. Reputation is about Chinese mentality. They are used to have many people around, with a bigger proportion of scams or poor-quality pseudo-architects.
Therefore, being mentioned everywhere is the right way to create an impression you are the architect they need.
The value of PR
The first step you might take to get into the heads of the Chinese in need of an architect is to establish a strong presence in the press. Digital sources of information related to architecture in this or that way are frequently browsed by anyone in charge of hiring an architect. You should be there.
Influence of Social Media in China
Chinese people are constantly using Social platforms for communication, for keeping updated, for being in touch with the world’s trends, etc. Most popular Chinese social platforms can boast with 500 to 900 million active users.
- WeChat is the platform which occupies at least 2 hours of any Chinese internet user’s time per day. It gives greatest exposure together with effective promotion opportunities;
- Weibo is Chinese Twitter with an audience of 500 million people and it’s also suitable for promotions;
- Douyin is the freshest popular platform with 500 million visits per day. It has the broadest audience for video content. Short video format is effective for promotions in China with regard to leisure time restrictions and preference to browse through various quick content. Douyin is particularly of use when it comes to involving KOL – key opinion leaders, or Chinese influencers.
These are the very basics of becoming a highly demanded foreign architect in China.
What do these measures give to a foreign architect?
- Presence in the Chinese market;
- High visibility with a high chance of being given due consideration;
- Good reputation built in an organic way;
- Better promotional opportunities;
- Lead generation instead of empty attempts to promote oneself.
How to perform the technical part of attracting Chinese to a foreign architect?
You only need to contact us for further instructions and await the best service from our team of 70 people officially.
We are the GMA:
- Lords of Chinese marketing;
- Specialists in designing an individual strategy;
- Professionals in making a website;
- Experts of Baidu SEO;
- Connoisseurs of the process of reputation build-up;
- Pioneers in lead generation.
Keep in Touch
We are looking forward to your further requests or your visit to our office for a cup of coffee and an inspiring talk. Don’t hesitate.