In April 2016 the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) said China’s foreign exchange (Forex) market reported a 10.71 trillion yuan ($1.65 trillion) turnover in March, increasing by more than 60% compared to the previous month (up from 6.55 trillion yuan). Of this 10.71 trillion, 82% (8.85 trillion yuan) comes from the transactions between inter-bank forex transactions.
This turnover is expected to continue to grow as more investors continue to enter the Chinese market. In 2015, in order to position its forex market as a transparent market, China opened it to overseas central banks and similar institutions and has since accepted over 20 new overseas, central banks.
The Forex Trading market in China is notoriously difficult to break into. The Chinese government has set up a host of rules and regulations for western companies that want to conduct forex trading business in China.
• The Forex technical system in China is very different from other international models and this can lead to complexities affecting Chinese economic growth.
• Experts see Forex Trading as a risk-prone market that could bring a lot of instability to the Chinese economy. Many Chinese people are involved in this market with the potential loss of people’s investments and savings.
An important point about the Chinese forex market is that the majority of transactions are traded in Yuan rather than US Dollars. This is an indicator of the strength and status of the RMB as it grows on the international stage. It also aims to generate wealth in the local currency and strengthen the domestic market.
THE CHANGING MARKETPLACE
The Chinese marketplace changes constantly and it is important to keep on top of the latest developments. Baidu, the largest search engine, is now tightening its grip on Forex advertising. Baidu announced a ban on binary broker ads and limitations placed on forex brokers placing paid ads. The news is sobering for forex brokers in China who typically rely on direct client acquisition models. Baidu holds 70% of the entire search traffic in China, reflecting about 6,000,000 searches per month related to forex and binary.
OPPORTUNITIES IN THE FINANCE INDUSTRY
With every cloud comes a silver lining. The regulations do not affect those with the right business licenses on Baidu and the limitations are placed on advertising links, not on optimization in the natural search results; this is where the highest quality of lead generation occurs. Baidu remains the number one platform for business development.
Restrictions in many ways present opportunities with competitors dissuaded from entering the market, a greater emphasis placed on visibility in the natural search rankings are no bad thing, this is the most sustainable and long-term approach to improving a forex company’s reputation and presence online in order to drive leads.
Alternatively, in the last few years, social media, mobile app development, various forms of DSP campaigns and even offline activities have been on the rise. Finding new marketing channels is a priority for serious marketing players who realized the trend early.
The changing regulations underscore the importance of partnering with a local specialist who understands the marketplace and is aware of local trends for Forex businesses to capitalize upon.
The forex market is very competitive in China, let’s see how Digital Marketing and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) can help you to succeed in this market..
PR / E REPUTATION
In order to grow visibility, and reputation and generate leads you need to position your business as expert in the Forex market. In order to do so, you will need to publish relevant articles on specialized industry websites and blogs in China. Great exposure combined with external references from other sites will position you as an expert in the industry. You need to target some leading financial websites and influential newspapers such as forexqq.com.
First, before investing with any forex trading agency, the Chinese will search online. You need them to find good comments and reviews about your services, if not, they won’t trust and believe your service is reliable. If you have negative comments from aggressive competitors, you have to know how to manage them. Positive comments need to be up-ranked and highly visible so potential leads find them.
A quality website in Chinese is vital. Video content on the home page is immediate and attractive whilst in-built customer messaging and links to content and an official WeChat page is considered the norm. Chinese web pages have a certain aesthetic style in terms of the front end. Regarding the back end, the site needs to be optimized for Baidu with Chinese character references, meta descriptions, and internal links. Hosting on a Chinese server is also important as Baidu prioritizes the speed of load times in the search results.
Video of Introduction of a Chinese Financial Services Company
PPC (PAY-PER-CLICK) & ONLINE ADS
Despite the changes in regulation, PPC advertising is still a viable option, providing Forex companies obtain the correct business licenses. With Search Engine Marketing, you can buy keywords relating to your activity (market and Industry). This paid system enables your product ad to appear at the top of the search results page. The advertiser only pays when an ad is clicked on by users.
BAIDU is the most popular search engine in China with a market share of 70% and offers the PPC system. Advertising on Baidu will enable your product to quickly gain visibility to potential investors who are interested in the forex market. You need to have a strong presence based on Mandarin Character keyword searches. It also complements your SEO efforts (ranking highly in the natural search results).
The Chinese business community search for information before investing anywhere. Baidu is the most important portal to develop yourself on for lead generation in China.
FINANCE ONLINE COMMUNITIES
In China ‘Forums’ remain very important, in-fact in Baidu’s search results forum threads and comments will often appear next to an official website. For specific communities of financial investors, this is key. The main goal in Forums is to build a reputation, to generate positive conversational threads and comments. This legitimizes your Forex Company in the eyes of the investor.
This tactic is very popular because it helps potential clients and leads receive their information, questions need to be answered promptly and accurately. It also personalizes the relationship you build with a user so you can build loyalty and trust. It makes your service more tangible, especially important in the services industry. Web chat can increase your sales revenue if this is well implemented and managed.
ENGAGEMENT THROUGH WECHAT
One way to engage your users is to build an online community by providing them with accurate and relevant content in Chinese. The most popular social media platform in China to build a community on is WeChat.
boasts over 750 million users, this is a highly engaged community spending on average 1.5 hours per day on this single application. On your Wechat official account, you can talk about new trends, economic developments, and news related to Forex to attract your audience’s attention.
Your official account acts as a ‘mini-site’ with in-built customer services and is a branding exercise for any Forex company.
Below is an example of FXCM, a forex trading company offering a range of content on financial and economic news topics.
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We identify two different types of customers you need to communicate with:
• Customers who are unfamiliar with the Forex trading market. The market might be too complex and they might feel completely lost because of complicated figures and explanations. You need to educate them and make it simpler and more accessible for them to understand.
• Investors who are familiar with Forex trading agencies and who look for advanced tips and information. The content you will need to provide will be more niche and technical.
WeChat enables you to differentiate between these two types of users and to better target them through profile analysis, tagging of different customers, and pre-engagement survey articles.
A GOOD TIME TO INVEST
The Forex exchange market is complicated and even more so in China due to changing state regulations. It has however opened up to foreign investment like never before and now is a lucrative time to be expanding into China. The whole nation is embracing international investment to further fuel successful markets such as a foreign exchange.
As the primary objective is getting leads in this new market, you need to adapt your marketing strategy and tactics in line with the culture and utilize the local platforms Chinese people use.
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