If you are not familiar with China market from marketing perspective, you can get an overview from the introduction below. It will give you some ideas what you can do in marketing your product online in China.
Ideally, a digital strategy, custom tailored for China market, is not only necessary but also valuable to your online marketing activities. If you don’t have one, you can get help from Incitez or get started with the tactics below.
There are more users accessing internet from mobile devices than those from desktop computers and laptops in China. Creating localized Chinese websites with fully responsive design will enable brands to reach more audience.
Ideally, websites hosted in mainland China will have better loading speed, delivering better experience to China internet users. If your business doesn’t have a registered entity in China, you can get help from Incitez as a local business entity is required for domain registration and web hosting in China.
Creating other digital assets like mobile apps and e-Books can also be helpful as long as it suites your overall digital strategy for China.
China Search Engine Marketing
According to Chinese research company EnfoDesk, Baidu had 66.91% China search engine market share in the first quarter of 2013 by user visits, followed by 360 with 13.42% and Sogou,owned by Sohu.com Inc (NASDAQ:SOHU) with 9.32%.
Google ranked 4th in Chinese market, closely followed by Soso (owned by Tencent).
As in the rest of the world, search engine marketing including SEO and PPC, is very effective generating leads and online sales.
SEO takes time while PPC delivers quicker results. Paid search (PPC) tactics like AdWords can also be deployed on Baidu, Sogou and Soso in China.
For search engine optimization (SEO), companies should launch full scale optimization from on-site SEO to off-site SEO optimization.
However if you are not ready to spend big bucks on SEO, in which case you could start with content creation, SEO copywriting and link building services to build up organic search traffic as quick as possible.
For companies launching a new or revamped website, an SEO site audit will be very valuable to identify areas for improvement to get more pages indexed and ranked on the first page.
To get quick results, PPC is more helpful. In China, companies can still target Chinese internet users with Google AdWords. However, to reach mass audience, Baidu is the top option. Sogou and Soso are also quite helpful reaching lower tier cities, valuable for companies with lower budget.
Marketing in China Social Media
The most popular social media marketing channels in the world are Facebook and Twitter. As they are not accessible in mainland China, it’s intuitive to find out the equivalent of those two in China social media.
Talking about Facebook, Renren will easily come to many marketers’ mind. Brands can set up Renren Page building an online community. Unfortunately, Renren’s open platform is not as powerful as Facebook and there is very limited things you can do on a Renren Page.
Renren social ads platform is similar to Facebook ads and based on CPC auction model with the minimum required bid of one yuan (about 16 USD cents). Demographic targeting is available as well.
The largest social network in China is Qzone, created by Tencent in 2005. According to Tencent, Qzone has over 600 million users.
QZone allows users to write blogs, keep diaries, send photos, and listen to music. Many Qzone users use other social networks like Renren and Weibo as well but making the content private to her network of friends only.
Companies could create Qzone account with high quality target content being either guides, photos, or apps.
The most popular social network in China is micro-blogging platform Weibo.com, created by Sina. According to Sina, Weibo has about 536 million registered users, over 38 million of which are actively accessing the platform via mobile devices.
Setting up a Weibo account and maintaining it with quality target content and engagement campaigns to grow and engage fan base are the first thing companies can do. The monthly fee for such services costs from a few hundred US dollars to over ten thousands in China.
Weibo also allows promoted posts, display banner advertising as well, which companies could utilize.
Q&A sites, like Yahoo Answers, Wiki-style websites, blogs, local forums and BBS are also important social media channels companies could utilize to reach China internet users and generate an impact.
Visit Incitez China online marketing blog CIW for more China internet trends and insights.