The topic of how to penetrate the Chinese market has been lately triggering heated debates among foreign companies looking to benefit from the massive potential of this Asian business powerhouse. With more than 350 million middle-class consumers, rapidly growing GDP, and a strong online platform for promoting and selling products and services, China definitely provides massive growth potential for shrewd businesses.
There is usually plenty of contradictory advice as far as entering the Chinese market is involved, but a reliable marketing strategy should be adapted to each individual case. Continue reading to learn six best marketing tools and strategies for penetrating the Chinese market.
Set up a Chinese Website
The first step to entering the Chinese market is setting up a website tailored to Chinese consumers. And this website must be built from scratch in the Mandarin language, not just a translated version of your existing website. You should also create and tailor contents to the needs and interests of your target consumers in China.
Mine the Gold in the Chinese Social Media Platforms
With more than 850 million Chinese on the Internet, China certainly has the biggest online community in the entire globe. Chinese consumers spend a lot of their time on social media networks like Weibo and WeChat to socialize with their friends and engage with brands. So you must target them with personalized messages and content. They also use social platforms to acquaint themselves with products and brands – their buying decisions are greatly influenced by the information they get from these social networks.
By setting up official social media accounts, brands have an opportunity to target a large number of prospective clients and offer them relevant information about the company, products, deals, events, or other valuable content. What’s more, businesses can sell their offerings through these social networks or drive traffic to their websites by linking their accounts. Businesses trying to enter the Chinese market and want qualified professionals can hire a Chinese recruitment agency.
Use of Influencers
Influencers, also called Key Opinion Leaders (KOL’s), are online personalities with vast, receptive followings in a wide array of sectors. By hiring influencers to market your business or brand, you can reach a big number of potential consumers. Choose those with more than 100,000 followers and create the post yourself to ensure you put the intended communication out there. A reliable Chinese recruitment agency can help you hire the best influencers for your business.
Optimize Your Site with Relevant Chinese Keywords
Keyword searches are the cornerstone of any successful digital marketing effort in China. So it’s important to have a deep understanding of the best group of keywords used by Chinese to search on China’s leading search engines like Baidu. Properly incorporating relevant Chinese keywords in your content will help your website rank well on Chinese search engines, driving users to your site and increasing sales conversion rates.
Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
Chinese consumers are less suspicious of adverts, so a paid advertising strategy will deliver value for money. PPC is thus a reliable strategy for penetrating the market and positioning your link at the peak of paid results. Keep in mind that Baidu lists ads based on their relevance, bidding value and keyword character cost. Be sure to manage the link closely and to monitor traffic/click-through rates on a daily basis.
Leverage the Power of Ecommerce Platforms
Before entering the Chinese market, companies should know that China is the biggest e-commerce market in the world, with more than 50% of international e-commerce transactions originating from China. For instance, this Asian business hub recorded an e-commerce transaction value of $1.33 trillion in 2018. The predicted online transaction value for 2019 is $1.99. These statistics show that Chinese consumers prefer to buy products online.
Businesses that want to enter this market must be ready to take advantage of what e-commerce sites have to offer. They can do so by creating their own e-commerce platforms or simply starting a store in a few of the leading Chinese e-commerce sites. Taobao is the largest consumer to consumer (C2C) e-commerce platform in China with over 7 million sellers and 800 million products. Tmall, on the other hand, is a business to consumer (B2C) online marketplace that allows brands to create their own stores.
Successful penetration of the Chinese market requires creativity and careful planning. You must tailor your marketing strategies to address the interests and demands of Chinese consumers. These 6 marketing tools will help your business enter and thrive in the Chinese market.
Sophie Jones is a Digital Marketing Specialist