Considering the extend of the middle class in China, as a western brand you have a lot of opportunities in China. Nonetheless, because China is a country that changes very fast, brands might face various challenges marketing in this dynamic and fast changing market. In China the digital sphere is very different from the western world. Consumers have a different way to consume goods and services. They use platforms to compare brands between them before taking the decision to buy something. As a consequence, the competition is very fierce between brands.

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1 – Social Media & Mobile (Weibo–Wechat)

When you start your business in China it is essential to keep in mind that in China, mobile is the first support that you have to consider in your marketing. Indeed, Chinese people spend a lot of time on their phones. According to statistics provided by the China statistical Report on Internet released in 2017, the online population represents approximately 751 milion and among them 95% are using mobile to use the internet. In addition , the following figure can confirm this trend . Indeed, Chinese people spend on average 3 hours a day on their smartphone , mainly for social media and e-commerce purposes.

Because people spend lot of time on their phones social media have an important weigh. But you have to forget Facebook and Instagram. The two important one are Wechat and Weibo. First one offers several devices for chatting and reached 1 billion users in 2017. The second one is microblogging site with 600 million people who are active users. Weibo was created in order to discover, share and create content of at least 140 characters and 9 images. It is a suitable platform to launch events. Weibo offers you a series of tools to be efficient in your marketing strategy. You can create commercial account which is similar to Twitter. It serves you to gather , followers , establish influencers and share content to specific public. The content is supposed to be short ad rich. You also have the possibility to pay in order that your post reach 10% of followers.

Wechat allows you to get connect with your friend and family. It includes , voice and video call , pictures sharing and games. It is very useful for your branding, in other words to manage your image and exchange with your consumers and or your followers. You have different type of accounts that offers different options depending on your objectives. You can publish information about your brand , events , send messages to users and of course do some advertising. We chat is much more private because only people who subscribed to your account can see the messages .

2 – Platform and content

If you want to do business and especially e-commerce, you may get throughout one of these giant: Baidu , Alibaba , Tencent. They are the main players of the market. However don’t under estimate the power of niche channels to get fragmented users and integrate them in you global strategy and in your target. Because platforms are widely used by companies you need to elaborate and share very qualitative content. The content does not include only text but also pictures and GIF for example. This is the reason why you should analyse well to what tone your target is sensitive and what they really like. Don’t forget the more accurate is the content, the more you have chance to get leads. It seems logical but you need to publish content in Chinese and also create a Chinese page in your website. Indeed, Baidu always put first the results in Chinese.

3 – Short video & KOL

Chinese model

In China, videos become more and more popular. Short videos of 15 seconds know an important success. There are widely spread on social media such as Douyin . They give the opportunity to brands to deliver messages in a less formal way and to catch the attention of their target more easily. Obviously these videos are mostly viewed on mobile phones.  In 2017, advertising videos  on mobile phones reached 8.657 in 2017. They give you the possibility to advertise your product thanks to KOL. This is a common use on Douyin. This music video platform is very powerful. KOLs can be a key in your marketing strategy because they have an impressive influence on communities. You can pay them to advertise your products. The main idea is that they can bring you lead because of their followers. Throughout their followers you can also hope to get a ne audience and potential clients.

4- Good city and good period

China is a very fast country. So when you decide to start your business in China, you need to choose a specific place otherwise you will not be able to be successful because the you need to have specific target. In China, the big cities are the ones in which you have to be and reinforce your presence but also in second –tier cities. But, because internet users are very numerous in big cities it becomes more and more interesting to invest and target people in third and or fourth-tier cities. It will be easier for you to start your business in that cities especially because people’s purchase power still growing. Choosing a good place is as much as important to choose a good time while launching your marketing campaign. Indeed there are some periods in which people are more sensitive and more willing to buy things. Therefore, it’s important to know some key events and dates in Chinese calendar in order to be able to schedule events , projects, discount. For example , we can mention Chinses new year , national working day, golden week etc.

Those trends are the mainstram ones in China , but you should always adapt your strategy depending on your field  and on your target. What is more Chinese market evolves very quickly. If you want to start a business in China, fell free to contact us. We will give you the best expertise.

GMA  a digital marketing specialist of the Chinese market, we can help to take part of this summer marketing trend. Don’t miss the train. We used to work with more than 200 International Companies, we have some innovative marketing solutions for helping you to enter in the Chinese market and get your ROI.

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