Digital marketing trends in the Chinese market

In the Chinese market, digital trends come and go exactly as they tend to do in western markets. They are also fairly different trends compared to what we know in the western world. Foreign companies that aim at expanding into the global leading Chinese market have to be knowledgeable with regards to the digital trends in China. Expecting to apply western strategies to the Chinese market is an obvious mistake.

Digital market figures

Quite evidently, companies need to watch carefully how the Chinese market changes over time and what is common digital behaviour among Chinese consumers.

Netimperative’s digital intelligence firm released some new figures regarding China:

  • 668 million internet users (100,000 new internet users every day)
  • 594 million mobile internet users (about 90% of internet users)
  • 659 million social media users (almost 99% of internet users)
  • 574 million mobile social media users (around 87% of social media users)

Digital Behaviour

digital China

These previous figures show the potential of such a market, it also indicates that most of the Chinese consumers use their phones to browse the internet, companies thus have to adjust their strategy accordingly.

The research carried out by Netimperative revealed the strength of Chinese social media such as QQ, Qzone, and WeChat. These instant messaging apps are becoming more and more popular. Chinese consumers use their mobile for several different purposes, including weather apps, m-commerce, instant chat apps, mobile payment services (like Alipay or WeChat) and travel bookings.

1/3 of Chinese internet users buy products or services on e-commerce platforms  especially during the peak period of Singles day, Nov. 11th.

Strategy to adopt

  •  Make use of the multiple content platforms such as Weibo and WeChat, news releases and websites while also reducing the use of traditional, non digital channels.
  •  The research showed that users are becoming more attracted to visual and interactive content, as can be found often on social media.
  •  Make use of the new digital media for brand advertising/communication, attract media attention, increase the web traffic, develop brand loyalty and offer even more products at strategic periods such as Singles day or Chinese Spring Festival (where the sales are the strongest).
  • Emphasizing the use of social media in order to bolster customers involvement and work on being more appealing to users by displaying emotional, moving, humorous or entertaining content.
  • Increasing the use of LBS (location based services) as provided by WeChat or Alipay.

Shift in digital trends

Clearly, the traditional marketing era is coming to an end. These studies illustrated how different the digital trends are.  Digital consumers are expecting more connected and interactive content instead of the old fashioned traditional content.

  • Be aware of the targeted clientele’s mindset and keep in mind that user reviews and referrals are essential for the Chinese market to be profitable.
  • Creating a Chinese website and making it mobile-friendly and monitoring the change in digital marketing trends will yield successful results.

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