Chinese Demand for English Teachers keep increasing for 10years, and Chinese Kids start learning English early and early. Following the booming demand for English teachers, the English teaching market in China has been flourishing for decades now and the trend does not seem to slow down. Even if the Chinese economy starts to stagnate, the English teaching market continues its growth.
Seemingly aware of the tough global competition that their kids will face in the future, younger generations of parents in China put a very serious emphasis on English learning for their kids from very young ages even of 3 or 4 years old. No surprise to see recruitment agencies huddling around to look for native English speakers to play with rather than to teach Chinese kids. Asian parents are well-known for being ambitious, and they tend to compete with each other by trying any means to make their kids appear the best either at school, games, or any playground. Therefore, this is a huge opportunity for English teaching companies both online and offline to expand their business into the youth English learning market.
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THE INSANELY FAST-GROWING YOUTH ENGLISH TRAINING MARKET IN CHINA
In recent years, the English training market for kids are growing rapidly in China, and more and more companies have been competing for a part of this huge cake. According to the estimation of iResearch, the size of the online youth English training market is around 1.97 billion RMB with an annual growth of 45.4%. With the increasing size of the user population, it is projected to become a 5 billion RMB market.
In China, the youth English training market can be divided into two groups. The first one is for teenagers aged between 12 to 18 years old who are more focused on the exam results or the demand for overseas study. 5–12-year-olds define the other group where the English study is less exam-oriented.
This trend is fueled partly by the new generation of parents, who are aged between 27 and 35. These young parents, with their children just entering kindergartens, are conscious of the benefits of English learning at a young age. Usually, the family structure of this generation is ‘4+2+1’ (the grandparents, the couple, and their child). All the resources will lean toward the only child in the family. According to a joint report by online news portal jiemian.com and Jiliguala, 76 percent of the parents surveyed have their children start learning English by their fifth birthday. Parents are willing to pay an average of 2,750 Yuan ($407) a year for their kids to learn English at an early age. Among them, 27 percent are willing to pay as much as 5,000 Yuan, the report said. This determines that the early-years English education market has lots of room for growth. Other key factors driving the rise of this niche market are the expansion of the online education market in general, the advancement of teaching technologies as well as the urge of the Chinese Government to prepare Chinese young generations for global competition.
TRENDS AS OPPORTUNITIES AND THREATS
1. Untapped demand in non-Tier-1 cities
The latest trend gaining momentum in the early years English learning market is Growing demand in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities. The competition is very high in Tier-1 cities such as Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou… and is reaching the stage of saturation with many organized and well-established international as well as local players. This fact offers opportunities for ELT vendors to capitalize on the untapped market potential in third-and fourth-tier cities, where such type of education is still weak.
2. Growing adoption of Live-streaming classes
The mainstream English classes are delivered mainly in two methods: live-streaming or non-live-streaming. Live-streaming has become extremely trendy for the past few years fuelled by the fast improvement of related technologies and higher demand for native speakers as tutors. English training providers should consider utilizing or maximize more this à la mode teaching method to reach a larger base of students.
3. Popularity of MOOCs as a thriving competitor
Further, one of the major factors influencing the market landscape is the increasing availability of open-source materials. Vendors providing ELT are facing a significant threat from other vendors who have been providing free ELT. These open sources are generally in terms of MOOCs. Online vendors such as Duolingo, Memrise, and Bussuu provide ELT to students free of cost. These courses include the content from the basic level to the intermediate level. How to differentiate oneself either in the service provided or the strategy to approach the market in such a sea of innovative players is a real challenge.
HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCH YOUR ESL BUSINESS IN CHINA?
You will rapidly learn that reputation is everything in China. Chinese peoples are the most connected in the world, the internet and app are some of the best media you’ll find to promote yourself.
1. Be present online: website & SEO
Get yourself a Chinese website host on a Chinese server. Most of your potential customers look for information online, their first contact with your brand will most likely be via your website and it is also an excellent way to display your services, location, price, news, blog post … etc. It is important for your website to be hosted on a Chinese server to make it faster, you don’t want people to leave before even seeing your content because your page is taking too long to load.
Invest in Baidu SEO. Baidu is the most used search engine in China and you want to rank on it. Not only is it less expensive than ads but well done it will offer you great visibility. The more people will click your links the more visibility you’ll have.
2. China social media: Wechat and Weibo
In China, most of the apps we use in the west are banned and the king of all Chinese app is WeChat. In case you have never heard of it, WeChat is a crossover between Facebook, Whatsapp, Tinder, Uber, a wallet and so on. It has its own ecosystem and it is worth noticing that WeChat has over 1 billion users active every month. 93% of the Chinese population is using this social media app. It is essential that you create an official WeChat Corporate page so that your customers can follow your updates directly from their favorite app. Use your QR code to promote your WeChat page and your services. It is also a great place to communicate directly with your customer and good content can go viral.
The second app you need to consider is Weibo, with 650 million registered users, 129 million user visits every month, and a user presence across 190 countries, you can’t miss it. It is often referred to as the ‘Chinese Twitter. Weibo marketing is one of the recommended marketing activities in China. Creating a company account is an effective tool to establish your presence in China and to get your content easily shared.
3. Marketing effort combining “online and offline” O2O
- Go omnichannel and create a link between your online and offline community.
You’ll notice soon enough that having a name in Chinese communities will help you to grow your customer base. Get in touch with locals, be present in strategic places online and offline such as local libraries, kindergartens, daycare, parks, malls …
Most of them would be happy to host a demo class and that will be the perfect occasion for you to do business but be ready to handle the parents. Let us give you a tip: Be proactive and educate them on questions they surely have, for instance why it is beneficial to start learning English at a young age. This can take many forms: pamphlets, flyers, handouts, WeChat posts, etc.;
Think Reputation and Word of Mouth
Think e-reputation. Word of mouth is equally important in China in order to build your image, so invite your customer to review your school and share your services around – offers immediate rewards. In order to achieve this, we strongly suggest you be present on the forum, here is a short list: Zhihu, Douban, Baidu Tieba, or rating apps such as dianping. The other advantage of dianping is that you can create coupons and people can make reservations to your facilities directly via the app. Not only being present on this forum will help you develop brand awareness but it will ensure that customers always find you when looking for an English teaching school.
OUR CASE STUDIES WITH CLIENTS IN THE EDUCATION SECTOR
Singapore Institute of Management (SIM)
SIM was founded in 1964, it is a non-profit member organization with the mission of developing human resources in Singapore. The college offers more than 70 courses for students, including a variety of master’s degrees, undergraduate, academic degrees, and certificate-level academic courses.
- Integration of Innovative Marketing Plan for SIM
- Set up a Wechat Official Account
- Online Reputation
- Present on Forum and Q&A platforms
- Good Online Reputation
- More than 500 asking/month
- Good visibility on Chinese Platforms
It is a website that provides daily service and living information for the students or the people on the short-term exchange learning tour who just arrived in France or will come to France soon. They mainly provide service online due to geographic reasons. To notice Chinese students that the service and convenience they can provide, they decided to undertake the digital marketing solution we had made for them.
- SEO on Baidu
- Reputation Management
- Rank top on search engine via 16 competitive keywords
- +150% Traffic brought to their website
TO SUM UP
The road is going to be long and will be troublesome ( such as administration) but the Youth English teaching market in China has not reached a dead end yet and a well-optimized business that is able to adapt fast to the changes of a fast-moving country will succeed.
Do you want to launch your English teaching eBusiness in China?
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- And we know how to help to develop your Business among Chinese Parents…