Digital marketing in China, How Do I Get Started? The good news is, getting started with digital marketing is fairly easy but you will need support. Most online advertising platforms make it easy to create your first campaign in China. Here in this article, you will find some advice for several different digital marketing strategies.
Digital marketing isn’t magic, and you don’t need to be a computer whiz to be good at it. If you offer a right product or service that the Chinese market desires, you can successfully market them in digital channels using the strategies taught in this guide.
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Important questions that every marketer needs to answer before you get started with digital marketing
To understand the importance of digital marketing to the future of marketing in any business, it’s helpful to think about what Chinese audience interactions you need to understand and manage. Digital marketing today is about many more types of audience interaction than a website. here are 3 important questions that every marketer need to answer before you get started with digital marketing:
How Much Do You Need to Make it Possible?
In order to really know what you need to spend on digital marketing, you first need to truly know “what are your goals? ” all depend on your ambition, what do you want to reach? is it your ultimate goal to drive clicks, conversions or leads, sales, or a return-on-investment (ROI)?
We all know that the main goal of any marketing effort should be ROI. If your digital marketing spend isn’t driving profitable revenue for your business, so why are you marketing online? The important thing you need to determine before you decide what your digital marketing budget should be is to decide how much revenue you want to drive.
Who Are You Marketing To?
Once you know how much money you want to make from digital marketing, you need to identify “who you are marketing to?” Different buyer requires different marketing tactics. If you don’t understand your audience, you can’t create an effective digital marketing strategy!
Typically, Marketers look at buyer personas as a good way to craft an effective marketing strategy. Chinese Consumers are great for this, but they are also an important part of putting together an effective digital marketing plan.
What Are the Benefits of Digital Marketing?
In many ways, some marketers think that digital marketing is not so different than traditional marketing. Then, international companies seek to develop mutually beneficial relationships with prospects, leads, and customers. But digital marketing has replaced most traditional marketing tactics because it’s designed to reach today’s consumers.
The key is to develop a digital marketing strategy that puts you in all the places your Chinese audience is already hanging out, then using a variety of digital channels to connect with them in a multitude of ways. Having a strong digital presence in China will help you in multiple ways:
- It will make it easier to create awareness and engagement both before and after the sales
- It will help you convert new Chinese client into loyal fans who buy more (and more often)
- It will kickstart word-of-mouth and social sharing and all the benefits that come with them
- It will shorten the Chinese buyer’s journey by presenting the right offers at the right time
The use of the Internet and other digital media and technology to support ‘modern marketing’ has given rise to a bewildering range of labels and jargon created by both academics and professionals. It has been called digital marketing, Internet marketing, e-marketing, and web marketing, and these alternative terms have varied through time…
Digital marketing is a great option for any business in China
Digital marketing is a great option for any business in China. At GMA, we’ve used digital marketing to help international businesses to grow fast in the Chinese market. That’s the beauty of advertising online. If you know who you want to target, you can easily use digital marketing to target Chinese consumers, anywhere.
Every kind of businesses can benefit from digital advertising. Let’s take a quick look at which strategies tend to work best for business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) companies:
- What’s been successful in B2C Businesses?
B2C companies aren’t trying to sell incredibly expensive products or services, so they don’t need big sales teams or complicated marketing funnels. All they have to do is get their products or services in front of the right audience with the right messaging and the rest should take care of itself.
The main goal of most B2C companies is to get people into and through their marketing funnel. B2C companies often see great results from higher-funnel marketing channels like social media marketing or paid social advertising. These channels push your business in front of potential customers who might not otherwise know that you exist.
You can also use other digital marketing strategies like paid search or SEO on Baidu is always a good idea, but if you have to pick one channel to start with, paid social advertising or social media marketing are great options for B2C.
- Understanding B2B Companies
Most B2B companies have very specific niche audiences that can be hard to target using social media. In addition, most B2B companies have a much longer and more involved sales cycle than B2C companies. As a result, longer-term strategies like content marketing or Lead Generation are often necessary to close a deal.
Of course, the right spot of digital marketing tactics will change from industry-to-industry and business-to-business, but simply comparing B2C to B2B should help you to know how different strategies can be better for your businesses.
Not every strategy is right for every business, but with a little trial and error, you should be able to identify the most profitable approach for your company.
How to start planning your Digital marketing strategies in China?
Digital marketing includes managing different forms of online company presence and presences such as company websites, mobile apps, and social media company pages. This is in conjunction with online communications techniques including the likes of search engine marketing, social media marketing, online advertising, e-mail marketing and partnership arrangements with other websites.
Paid Search: Crafting a Digital Advertising Plan
Paid search, or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising on Baidu, typically refers to the “sponsored result” on the top of a search engine results page (SERP) on Baidu. You only pay when your ad is clicked. You can personalize your PPC ads to appear when specific search terms are entered, creating ads that are targeted to a particular audience.
PPC ads are flexible, visible, and most importantly, effective for many different types of organizations. They are also contextual ads that appear when a person is searching for a particular keyword.
The secret to powerful digital marketing is traffic. If you can master traffic acquisition, you have a solid foundation for higher sales and growth. Keep in mind, there’s more to digital advertising than throwing up an ad and hoping for results. You need a plan. Here, you’ll learn the secrets to crafting a digital advertising plan that actually works.
Search Engine Optimization: Baidu is not Google
Search engine optimization (SEO) on Baidu is the process of optimizing the content, technical set-up, and reach of your website so that your pages appear at the top of a search engine result for a specific set of keyword terms. The main goal is to attract visitors to your website when they search for products, services, or information related to your business. Search marketing has radically changed in the last few years. Today, search engine optimization (SEO) can boost your website’s traffic and visitors’ trust while supporting your other digital marketing strategies, as well.
With Baidu, SEO is a completely different beast. The way the first page is structured is so unnatural that a heat map of will show Chinese users habitually clicking next page to find organically high-ranking content. Baidu Answers, Baidu Baike (an encyclopedia), Baidu Shopping, paid ads, etc.
Search marketers should understand Intent-Based Search Marketing because they’re optimizing the website for Internet users first which is what the search engines really care about. If you want to compete in the search channels and attract free organic traffic to your website, this is for you. Learn the right way to do SEO here.
SEO on Baidu can also be viewed as a set of best practices for good digital marketing. It enforces the need for a well-constructed website, valuable and engaging content, and the credibility for other websites and individuals to recommend you by linking to your site or mentioning it in social media posts.
Developing a Social Media Strategy
Chinese People aren’t just interesting to watch cat videos or posting selfies on social media these days. Many rely on social networks to discover, research, and educate themselves about brands before engaging with them. For marketers, it’s not enough to just post on your Wechat and Weibo accounts. You must also weave social elements into every aspect of your marketing and create more peer-to-peer sharing opportunities.
Actually, Chinese consumers want to engage with the brand through your content, so they will want to share it. This ultimately leads to them becoming a loyal customer. And also, they will hopefully recommend their friends to become customers, too.
“Going social” isn’t simply about being active on Wechat or Weibo. It’s about being present where your audience hangs out, so you can engage with them, build strong relationships, and make offers your followers will love.
Being on social matters because 79% of Chinese internet users are on Wechat or weibo and more than half keep up with the news through social media. But there’s more to social media marketing than simply being on it. Your end goal isn’t more “Likes.” It’s more sales. Learn more about social media marketing in China, how you can use it to attract your fans and followers, engage them, and even sell to them.
Developing a Powerful Content Marketing Strategy
Well done, your content marketing will not only attract Chinese prospects but also move them through a marketing funnel to drive more sales and grow your business. Have you heard the expression, “Content is king?” If not, you should keep it in your mind. Great content is the fuel that drives your digital marketing activities:
- It is a key pillar of modern SEO
- It helps you get noticed on social media
- It gives you something of value to offer customers in emails and paid search ads
As you can see, content marketing is a full-funnel tactic, meaning it should deliver valuable content at every stage of the Customer Value Journey. In order to convert a simple prospect to a real customer, you’ll need to create a perfect content that satisfies their needs at each conversion funnel stages: Awareness, Evaluation, and Conversion.
Creating rich and authentic content that is not promotional in nature, but instead educates and inspires, is tough but well worth the effort. Offering content that is relevant to your Chinese audience helps them see you as a valuable source of information.
Mobile Marketing: Be Mobile
As smartphones and technology devices become an important part of our lives, it’s vital that marketers understand how to effectively communicate on this unique channel. Mobile devices are always with us, in our pockets, sit next to our beds, and we are checked constantly throughout the day. This makes mobile marketing incredibly important for a digital marketing strategy in China.
There are many ways to market on mobile devices, so you have to find the right method for your business in China.
Email Marketing is dead in China
Email has been around for more than two decades, Unfortunately in China, email is dead. You can’t longer use the email as a part of your digital strategy in China. The reason is simple: Chinese Consumers aren’t very attached to their emails. Chinese users don’t often download a company-specific app, especially if that company can be found on Tmall or WeChat. You have to find new ways to engage.
Video Marketing: Video is the new king
Everywhere in China from WeChat to Tmall, pages with mini video are not only getting more clicks, but they also get more conversions. The video story drives brand recognition which helps page viewers engage the first time they see it. These numbers show the importance of incorporating mini- video into your digital marketing strategy in 2019:
- 70% of Chinese consumers say that they have shared a brand’s video.
- 72% of businesses say the video has improved their conversion rate.
- 52% of Chinese consumers say that watching product videos makes them more confident in online purchase decisions.
- 65% of executives visit the marketer’s website and 39% call a vendor after viewing a video.
To witness higher engagement with your video marketing, you can make a mini video post or start a live broadcast on Wechat, Weibo or Little red book. Live video is gaining popularity, with a large number of businesses using it for interviews, product demos and life in the office, etc. 360-degree video content, which allows for a more interactive experience, is on the rise
Influencer Marketing: Communicate
Influencer marketing is a type of word-of-mouth marketing that focuses on using key leaders to drive your brand’s message to the larger market. Rather than marketing directly to a large group of consumers, you instead pay influencers to get out the word for you.”
Using influencers is a very effective marketing tool that works to attract customers. Influencers can be anyone from celebrities to well-known kols and journalists who help spread the word about your business or product through their social channels. Because Chinese people generally trust kols over corporate statements.
2019 will be about better customer experience with personalization, automation and AI-powered technology, so to stay ahead of the curve and increase conversions in the coming year, you’ll need to get better at producing rich and authentic content particularly mini video content to share with your better-targeted audience.
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Digital marketing is the marketing of the future, especially in China. In addition to all of the benefits we’ve discussed throughout this article, you can track the results of your digital marketing efforts with incredible accuracy.
Think about it and if this article has convinced you that you need digital marketing or need to level up your digital marketing strategy in China, and you’d like some help identifying the right approach, let us know here or in the comments! Our experts love helping international businesses grow with digital marketing in China.
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