As 2017 ends, China is yet again one of the strongest online consumer markets in the world. In fact, 79% of the Chinese market buy products online via mobile every month. While in the UK, only 38% buy products via mobile per month. With this big difference, a number of western brands (i.e., Prada, Gucci, etc.) have already started marketing their brand to the Chinese Market to help boost their sales.
However, marketing your brand to the Chinese market is not that easy. Marketing strategies and platforms in western culture and China are completely different. So to help, here is a list of things you need to consider before you start marketing to the Chinese market.
ACKNOWLEDGE THE CULTURE DIFFERENCES
When it comes to marketing your brand in China, there is one thing you must consider, and that is the culture difference between the west and the Chinese market. Even though China has made advances in recent years, they have different values and understandings to the west. You can’t expect the same content and marketing strategies you use in the west to work in China. So it is important to understand the culture in China and see what they value and how other local brands communicate to the Chinese market.
Language is another issue. Even though more and more people from China can speak English, especially the younger generation, Chinese is still their first language. It is important to have content written in Chinese to make it easier for them to read and understand.
WECHAT AND WEIBO
Social Media Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter are prohibited in China. As a result, if you want to promote your business to the Chinese market, you would have to use their own social platforms. Thier are a few Chinese social media platforms, but the most popular one is WeChat.
WeChat has approximately 846 million users, and there is a good reason why. WeChat allows users to do a number of things, from paying bills, playing video games, ordering food, shopping online, reading the news, communicate with friends and more. Like any other social media platforms, WeChat also allows businesses promote their products and services to WeChat users. So if you are looking to target to promote your services and products to the Chinese market, WeChat is a definite must. In fact, a few western brands have already started using WeChat to promote their products to Chinese Tourist.
You can find more about WeChat here.
NO GOOGLE IN CHINA
Many people will not know this about China, but apart from Facebook and other western social media platform being locked, China also limits the use of Google. The only way you can use Google in China is by using a VPN (Virtual Private Network). However, as of this year (2017), Chinese Government has become even more strict and have started to block the use of VPN. This means it will be harder to use Google in China.
So if they don’t use Google in China, what do they use? China has their own search engine called Baidu. Baidu is China’s most powerful search engines and is actually one of the biggest companies in the world. There is actually no difference between Google and Baidu, they more or less do the same thing. The only major difference is that, due to China’s censorship, numerous keywords have been blocked on Baidu. The way you do SEO and PPC is also different on Baidu. So if you want to have a presence in China and considering to do PPC and SEO on Baidu, you must first understand how the platform functions, the layout, language, user, keywords etc.
Hire Media Network is a Digital Marketing & Creative agency with an office in London and Taiwan, we specialise in cross-cultural marketing. Want to find out more about how to market your brand to China? Contact us and our lovely team is more than happy to answer any questions you may have.