You’re not in China yet and want to reach this market? Many companies don’t think about brand development and don’t see any interest in a proper brand identity or product specificities. Which lead to low investments and losing possible clients.
Generally, the industrial sector or BtB companies have low interest in marketing, such a pity… Because in China, buyers put their trust in a Brand, in a company able to demonstrate expertise in their area. Therefore, good exposure is essential.
Let’s see the main key points to succeed in China
First of all, it’s important to know that the internet is under censorship. Chinese people do not have access to Google, Facebook, Youtube, and other foreign mainstream websites or media… they have their communication system.
- Google: Baidu
- Facebook/ What’s app: Wechat
- Instagram: Weibo
- Youtube: Youku
- Chinese people don’t read their mails, they use WeChat
- Chinese people don’t speak English very well (in general)
- Your website is not visible in China, it needs to be host in China/Singapore or Hong Kong
- A Website is a must-do in China. When you need information about companies or suppliers, you go on google, right? Well, in China it’s the same. But instead of using Google, they’ll go on Baidu, the Chinese browser.
- To succeed, work on your brand awareness (even if you’re well known abroad, it may not be the case in China)
- To increase your client’s portfolio, develop your e-reputation
- EVERYTHING is digital in China
To develop a successful e-marketing strategy in China, it’s important to identify your client’s needs, the new trends and innovation to be as efficient as possible on your chosen market.
Market segmentation can be done by sector, by size or geographical areas for example. Then you need to look for the best way to reach your main target.
How to attract clients?
Develop your visibility in China
Many surveys showed that 80% of Chinese buyers start sourcing companies on the internet and 95% of industrial Chinese buyers use it to find their suppliers.
Owning 80% market share, Baidu is now the leader of Chinese browsers, and in China, referencing and SEO have to go through Baidu.
Adapt your website to the Chinese market:
- Host your website in China, Hong-Kong or Singapore
- Develop it in Mandarin
- Optimize your website for natural referencing/ audit
- It’s very important that your website is both well structured & clear for internet users
SEO: natural referencing on BAIDU
- Target keywords, and make deep research of your market competitors
- Work on your contents (always looks for optimizing your contents)
- Backlinks (backlinks enable you to be taken seriously by internet users. Seeing that other website trust you will help you to gain their trust easier, plus they may do word to mouth and help you to get new clients)
- Trust rank is made for measuring the number of websites talking about you (the more website talks about you, the more famous you’ll be, and the higher will be your trust rank)
- Updating your website is another key to success. You constantly need to renew and update your information and content.
It requires work and patience… referencing takes time. But it works, especially for B2B.
SEA: paid to reference on BAIDU
In the beginning, it can be interesting to pay for referencing, to drag traffic on your website because SEO takes time. But only working on PPC won’t be enough, you also have to work on natural referencing and TARGET LONG TERM RESULT.
Get a good reputation
Maybe you already have a good reputation abroad… what about in China?
A good reputation in China is necessary. It will guaranty your respect and consideration from your clients and partners. Chinese companies are very strict about it. You need to get good feedback from your clients to comfort your future clients.
Developing a good reputation takes time, you know it… and you’ll have to start again for this new Chinese market. (don’t forget that the internet is blocked in China, they don’t have access to Google, Facebook…)
Furthermore, China is the country of fake and scandal. Counterfeit is a real problem in China. And we can notice here two main issues:
- Fake products
- Chinese companies pretending to be foreign companies
Therefore, it’s important to comfort your clients and to show them that you can be a trustful company offering quality products and services. This will enable you to turn internet traffic to new clients and increase your conversion rate.
It should not be neglected!
Online Press Relation
Specialized press relation is very important tools in e-marketing because they allow professionals to be well informed about the reliability of a company’s services. Plus, expert recognition is always positive for a company (in China as in every country).
You could appear in the specialized magazines, or mainstream media (Sina: the most important web portal in China, Sohu being the 2nd one).
Wechat: the Chinese social network
In B2B, bet on Wechat. But on a professional and verified Wechat account, from Tencent company (many companies got unfortunately cheated…)
- +1 billion users
- A most famous social network in China
- A complete ecosystem
- Average user: 4h/day on Wechat
- Great tools for storytelling & brand awareness
- Semi-closed social network
- Professional tool: contact your clients and prospects
- Chinese people don’t read emails, they use Wechat
Advantages of a professional account on Wechat:
- Wechat is an excellent tool for lead generation. (Wechat allow users to share contents about companies within their network, which can lead to better exposure for companies and attract more leads)
- Wechat is very similar to What’s app: you keep contact with your clients
- Chinese people read on Wechat. In the “Moments” section, they enjoy a wild flow of information about their network or official accounts they may be following.
- You can create an e-brochure: an online booklet referring your products and services to your clients and prospects.
GMA. OUR MISSIONS:
- We help B2B companies to develop themselves in China
- We are specialized in lead generation strategy
- We are result-oriented
- Pragmatic approach
- Deep knowledge of the Chinese Market
- We know your target and the different problems that may face a foreign company in China