China’s economic growth has led to increased disposable income, which has caused a rise in consumption and changes in eating and drinking habits.
To this day, grain-based alcohol, such as baijiu, is most commonly served during traditional occasions, such as holidays and formal events. Being the traditional drink of China, baijiu accounts for almost the entire spirits market.
But the rise of China’s middle class and increasing incomes have allowed many consumers to afford foreign-made and foreign-branded alcoholic beverages.
Chinese consumers are increasingly willing to try new varieties of alcoholic beverages.
In recent years, beer, hard cider, and flavored alcoholic beverages have dominated the Chinese alcoholic beverage sector. And in terms of spirits, baijiu, brandy, whiskey, and vodka have the highest sales volumes.
Moreover, 55% of Chinese alcohol consumers have started to order liquor online and young consumers plan to buy more alcohol products via the Internet.
Some of those respondents say they buy more alcohol now because the web provides greater selection.
Liquor brands and retailers should increase their digital marketing in China, including placing online ads and engaging with consumers on social media, as 80% of Chinese consumers ages 20-39 go online every day.
Selling alcohol online has seen great results, and attracts consumers faster. With over 700 million internet users, 413 million have bought at least one product online, indicating e-Commerce’s effectiveness in China.
There are 5 tools you need to use to market your alcohol brand in China :
chinese website for visibility
First, you need to have your website in Chinese, and also hosted in China, for SEO reasons. Baidu, the leading search engine in China, will not rank websites hosted in other countries or websites in other languages.
In addition, your website must follow Chinese standards and Chinese trends. In most cases, with a homepage consisting of a lot of information, written in small characters.
This is very important as Chinese consumers research information on products before they buy anything, to avoid problems such as fake products or poor quality.
For e-Commerce websites, Chinese consumers are used to having precise information, with price, product details, and anything to be aware of. Chinese customers hate wasting time looking for information, especially during the payment process.
Search engine optimization through baidu
After setting up your website, you will need to promote it through the Chinese web. In order to do so, you must advertise your page and content on Baidu with search engine marketing, or ‘Pay Per Click’. This will allow web links or keywords from your site to be searched and eventually appear on the top of a search result page.
SEM (known as Search Engine Marketing or PPC) is particularly efficient for short-term strategies. The problem is that it can sometimes be quite expensive. Another option is SEO (search engine optimization), which is better for long-term strategies, and extremely efficient.
Baidu has its own websites and redirects 27% of its traffic to these sites: Baidu Zhidao (Q&A), Baidu Baike (Wikipedia), Baidu Tieba (Forum). This means that, in order to promote your website on the Chinese internet, you also have to be active on these affiliating websites of Baidu.
This is a long-term process, requiring written articles and content using keywords, in order to increase presence on the web and showcase credibility of the site for search engines.
Tmall for online sells
Tmall is the leader in e-Commerce, and if you want to sell a lot, you have to use Tmall. It is a lot of investment, you need to build a Shop but it is necessary to sell in BtC.
Wechat and weibo to create a community and for online branding
There is a diverse selection of social networks in China, however the most used are WeChat and Weibo.
WeChat, developed by Tencent, is the most popular application in China. The platform is best-known for its communication services in which users can send messages, share images and videos, and voice call and video call other users on a closed-network. It has over 500 million users in China. Having an account on WeChat enables you to promote your brand via mobile or tablet devices.
Sina Weibo is the most mass-used social networking site in China, with around 82% penetration rate across the country. The site had showed more than 500 million users in 2012, with approximately 50 million active users per day in 2016.
The social microblogging network has attracted more than 130,000 companies. It is now very important for brands and companies to establish their own Weibo account, and get their account verified, as Chinese users like to receive information directly off this platform. To further add, more than 56% of Weibo users follow at least one brand on Weibo
Key Opinion Leaders (KOL) are people, celebrity or not, who have a large influence on the mass population. These people have a lot of followers, some with millions of fans. By engaging with KOL, your website and your brand will become more appealing through the buzz effect from their followers. The aim is to make a positive influence about the brand.
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