If your marketing budget is drastically reduced for the coming weeks or months, you’ll be interested in what’s coming next! 


Because of the current outbreak companies have to face a unique crisis situation in China and the world. Stores are forced to close their doors and sales are not as high as we would like them to be. There is a focus on controlling the cost, including marketing costs.

But being present online now, when consumers are more than ever attentive, will be beneficial for your post-crisis growth. So, here are some tips for your low budget marketing in China.


1. Focus on effective marketing

If your goal is to reduce your marketing budget, go straight to the essential. Make sure that your message is delivered to your target and only your target if it allows you to spend less money.

Don’t forget that quality is better than quantity. Being viewed by 100 potential consumers (your target) is better than being viewed by 1000 people who won’t even pay attention to your content.

Spend your marketing budget efficiently on an event, a topic or a specific segment. This will create an effective effect in a defined range.


2. It isn’t lost in advance, you’ll keep selling 


You should know that even in an economic crisis period, consumers keep consuming lower-cost products, or even premium products. It is called the “lipstick effect”: for example, instead of buying a luxury coat in this crisis period, consumers will be more likely to buy a premium lipstick. Less expensive, but still representing a certain cost! They continue to consume but in a different way.


In this type of case, what can help you is to change the way you sell your products. Stop selling your actual product, start to sell its functions, its direct benefits to the consumer. 


3. Effective growth

Your presence online is essential for your business if you are or want to get into the Chinese market. You have to be present on the Chinese Google: Baidu, which represents 82% of the Chinese search engine market share.

You can rely on Baidu’s traffic protection (or pay for it) to generate more traffic. For example, if for a special event, Baidu makes special offers, this will generate traffic for you.

However, for your effective growth, if your subsidy leads you to a non-effective communication with users, you should select one that will lead you to active communication with them. Remember, quality is better than quantity.

Working on your SEO is, of course, essential for your visibility on Baidu. Choosing carefully your keywords, having a website in mandarin, with a domain name ending with .cn are few tips for you to increase your research ranking on Baidu.

If you are interested in getting on Baidu, you can also read: Baidu PPC Ads for Beginners(Get Good Results)


4. Private domain traffic on Wechat

Public domain and private domain are both used by companies. But, as quality takes over quantity, private domains are more and more used.

The public domain is WeChat moments, community operations, everything that anybody can see.

The private domain is more focused on building a relationship with the consumer: adding a brand manager’s WeChat, getting into a private brand’s WeChat group, … This way of promotion is cheaper, allows better communication or better feedback to improve products and services. Most importantly, it will develop consumers’ commitment and they may even turn into converters by adding their own friends to the group. Thus, they will feel closer to the brand and benefit from special events or activities.


For more online traffic, you can also create a WeChat mini program and display its code so online and offline customers can use it!


5. Share Quality Content

If you have to spend less money and target more your customers, then your content has to be short, clear and efficient.

First of all, your product has to be good and your content must be impactful. If both are contrasting with what is currently proposed on the market (not repetitive) and you managed to make it interesting, it will attract your target’s attention and they will remember about you.



6. Be different


The core of any marketing campaign comes from its content. But what will make it work for sure at first consumers’ sight? 

  • Be attractive
  • Be different
  • Be original
  • Be innovative


All of these points are key to marketing: difference and innovation will surprise consumers, it changes from their daily life and they will remember what you did since you are the only one to do it. Attractiveness and originality will catch customers’ attention and keep them alert about what they are watching or listening to.

You can, for example, collaborate with a brand or create a totally different type of product that you usually don’t produce (but still aligned to your brand’s spirit).



7. Create your official accounts on the main Chinese social platforms


Having an official account on the leader Chinese platforms is not expensive and can fit your budget! You should create officials accounts on:



The Chinese Facebook with over 1 billion daily users. You can share texts, images, videos and so on to a large public quickly. Initiate conversation in group chats, use mini-programs and QR codes as we said earlier, …

Opening a local official account costs RMB 300 per year while an overseas official account costs $ 99 per year.



  • Weibo


The Chinese Twitter with over 500 million monthly active users. More focused on visual content, 

For Weibo, the cost to create an official account differs a lot: RMB 300 for the verification fee for Chinese companies while it is $ 1 000 for foreign companies.



  • Douyin


The short video app that literally exploded in 2019. Perfect to reach Chinese youth, Douyin also offers cheap ads!

The cost to get a verified account is RMB 300 for a Chinese company while it is RMB 600 for foreign companies.


8. Use KOCs (Key Opinion Consumers)


KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) are usually used by companies to promote their products. Some are really expensive and others, with a smaller audience, are more affordable. If even medium or small KOLs are too expensive for your marketing budget, you can try to promote your products through a KOC!

They have a smaller scale audience, but their reliability is stronger than KOLs since KOCs create a real relationship of trust with their audience. Using several KOCs can be more affordable for you and have a real impact on your sales.

9. Chinese Forums and Q&A

Forums like Zhihu (Chinese version of Quora) are super popular in China. People discuss society, brands, news, movies, etc. There are forums dedicated to all types of industries. These forums usually rank high on Baidu and creating content there is one of the cheapest options available. Not only you’ll be sharing information about your company with a verified account but you should also feed Chat around keywords that are related to your industry in a undercover way or UGC (user-generated content). By doing so, you are publishing organic content that consumers can refer to when looking for information about your industry or your brand.

Forums and q&a are keys to building your e-reputation in China. And mostly, they are cost-efficient!



GMA Chinese digital ecommerce Agency

We are GMA:


  • Digital marketing specialists
  • China market experts
  • More than 800 projects led from low cost to insane marketing operations
  • Professional content creators

We can help you from the creation to the spread of your marketing content, call us!