Digital marketing is changing in China very quickly, which was true last year may no longer be this year.

What does a marketer or an entrepreneur have understand the Chinese market and online marketing?


Chinese people use WeChat every time but for brands, it’s not useful yet. There is a little or no viral effect. The cost of acquiring a “fan” is very expensive and few fans will see your information. For small and medium companies, opportunities for advertising are not developed. Moreover, WeChat locked all attempts wild advertisements on it’s app, you cannot put a price, videos are limited and viral games have been removed. So it’s really hard for a brand to use this app for its promotion.
But WeChat has everything to appeal brands. This app has 500 million daily users! It has places an array of new features with an extraordinary potential marketing, targeted advertising DSP type, CRM tools, an integrated payment system, e-shop Weidian, opportunities to geotag followers, and sending audio messages or video. WeChat replaced in China email and texting.


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If you want to know how to use WeChat for your digital strategy in China, you can read this article.



Chinese search engines as Baidu are still used by Chinese people but more to inquire as to buy. Typical example of Baidu, which offer a range of branded websites that monopolize the pole positions and redirecting traffic to its sites platforms. Baidu websites tend to multiply.

There are Baidu Wikipedia, Baidu Zhidao (Q&A), Baidu Tieba forums, Baidu Jingnian (experience), Baidu Shopping and Baidu news. In order to communicate via the search engine, it’s important to bring out the site but also to have a qualitative communication on such a site or a good word-of-mouth.

Baidu clearly trying to do more business figures and multiplies the tricks for brands pay still more, without real guarantees results. Five years ago, only 10% of Baidu’s traffic was redirected to its sites. Now, there are more than 23% of visits that click on Baidu’s network of sites.

The fake advertising denounced by netizens is controversial in China. Many complaints exists because Baidu accepts anything ads in its site, even crooks companies. Chinese users are increasingly aware of this therefore using more and more long-term keywords to find the right information, to the benefit of commercial companies. Chinese users will have to retype on average 3 or 4 times a keyword to find a relevant application without advertising. The traffic from search engines is generally  less important but more qualitative.


Marketplaces dominates e commerce in China

The market places dominates the world of e-commerce in China. Taobao and Tmall, JD, Sunning are the big winners of this battle of the Chinese e-commerce. Today, the Chinese consumer is educated to buy on market platforms, to have more choices, he can compare the offers and security purchase.

Having an ecommerce strategy without resorting to market places is almost suicidal in 2015, or when you really have a great product, unique and demand for this type of product.

To succeed in ecommerce it is important to have a multi-channel strategy and integrate its products on many differents platforms.

Note that it is also very important to participate in events organized by the giants of e-commerce, have special relationships with major permits you to be highlighted during their special operations, as the single day, which is the best know.

Last point is the need to control costs, and measure the impact of your campaigns to maximize your ROI.

To illustrate what I’m  talking about, let me show you this video from Alibaba.

The e-reputation

The majority of Chinese will check information about new brands.
It’s important that:

– The press is talking about you (and for a good reason)
– To have a good user feedback on your products
– To have a committed community of fans who take the defense of a trademark when attacking competitors

E reputation is very important in China, and must be worked … monitored.

In some sensitive areas, this is a priority, as in the health field.


The importance of ROI CONTENT

Today the content is one of the most important things in China, it was not necessarily true before … Quality content is necessary to stand out. We can not emphasize enough that the Chinese consumer is changing and he likes interesting content, quality, unique trademark.

The most viral content are photographs and graphics …
The funny stories around brands
Storytelling, or how to remember a brand with a great story
High quality videos, playing on emotion or excitement …
The Apple video for Chinese New Year

Control its costs for traffic acquisition

We are witnessing the invasion of the web by the marks, with all-out strategies. A lot of brand sites spend fortunes in banner ads, or in the method pay per click which raises the stakes and reduces the impact of this kind of campaign.

In China, we recommend to use the highly specialized staff or agency to control the cost and always be aware of bargain regarding the offers banners.


A mobile strategy

With mobile usage rate than the PC, it is important to have a mobile strategy …

Having a mobile website adaptable yes, go for an application, communicate applications, optimize your site for mobile Baidu …

M-commerce is also highly developed in China, driven by taobao and giants of the sector.


020 the great trend launched by WeChat

Engaged your consumers with Qr Code to forward your news, your events … this is the big trend launched by WeChat. Other social networks don’t necessarily rely on the connection mode, which remains difficult to use. The Offline to Online engagement is particularly interesting about sales to keep contact with customers.
Blinds and point of sales in China has a very important natural traffic and engage these potential customers or buyers remains difficult. Having a WeChat account is not enough, we must give the target a True Good reason to follow the account.
Chinese brands rely on discount. Some international brands rely on free training …

In all cases, the consumer must have a private advantage to scan you.


Use some celebrities

Chinese people checked information that their receive. They are cautions consumers. Thus, the use of Chinese celebrities facilitate the promotion of foreign brands in China. It’s an expensive strategy but really efficient. KOL was popular two years ago but their audience was decreased because of Weibo, which has limited their distribution. WeChat also enforces a limit of 5000 followers for personal accounts. Using celebrities give significance to a brand and it is an effective way to reassure Chinese consumers about your products.

Fan Bingbing 2

The birth of display advertising

Many advertising uses targeted advertising in China today, which was not the case two years ago. Depending on the user’s consumption patterns we will be able to put him a suitable advertising that matches these needs.

For example, Baidu DSP (Demand-Side Platform) has developed this service and offers its Display service.

Weibo also opened its advertising and sponsored posts to display in the feed users targeted posts depending on their interest center.


To conclude, we can see that it exists a lot of apps in China to conquer this market. Chinese consumers are very connected and it’s important that they trust you. Using celebrities is a good way, be present on social media like Weibo, app as WeChat is efficient.

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Further reading

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