China’s market is not only one of the strongest and largest but also one of the most important from a global perspective. The growth was largely influenced by the overall increase in the purchasing power of its citizens and, at the same time, the digitalization of the country which made buying things easier.
China and the Chinese consumer have also opened up to foreign brands and businesses which is why now more than ever is the best time for foreign investors to penetrate and take advantage of the massive potential of the Chinese market.
No matter what industry you’re in, it’s important to know that you have a chance to make it big if you put the right marketing strategies in place. Here are China’s marketing strategies that might just set you up for success.
What Marketing Strategies are Key to success in China?
Branding in China is Crucial
A consumer’s perspective on a certain product may greatly change the moment they hear its brand. Effective branding can mean a huge difference in how much it will be sold for so it’s not a step in your business building that you can take for granted.
Chinese consumers will welcome foreign brands but will, of course, only be willing to spend their hard-earned money on known ones, or at least the brands that are well marketed or established.
And then, take note that there are domestic brands that you need to compete with. Domestic brands will have a lot of advantages. For one, they have lower operational costs so their products are cheaper. Expect that they will also know their target market better.
So, it’s imperative that you excel at branding.
Make sure that your brand resonates with your target market. Take note that Chinese consumers need their attention caught by bold branding. Go all out with your colors, but make sure to impart your message clearly.
Also, it’s important to tell a story with your branding strategy. The Chinese consumer loves a good story, especially if it speaks to their emotions.
Before we move on, let’s talk about two other aspects that you need to remember before you work on your marketing/branding strategies: counterfeit & social status
The policies or laws that help fight counterfeit in China are not as solid as the ones in Western countries. If your brand gains success or momentum, be sure to get your organization ready for knock-offs because it’s likely to happen.
Make sure to build your brand with this issue in mind so you can mitigate the risks as much as you can and also, register your trademark in China!.
Lastly, it’s important to take note that the Chinese consumer doesn’t only buy things because they function well or because it’s a product from a famous brand. They also buy items that they think are appropriate for their social status.
If you sell luxury products, be sure to brand them and market them as a luxury brand. Chinese consumers are big spenders on the right products.
So, now that you have a well-branded product, what’s next? It’s time to build awareness surrounding it.
Build Your eReputation (Online Reputation)
Today, and in the foreseeable future, the best way to build a strong presence for your business is to invest in online marketing in China. The Chinese consumer utilizes the internet for almost everything that they do and almost everything that they buy.
This is especially beneficial to foreign businesses that are looking to sell to the Chinese consumer as they don’t really need to have a physical presence within the country, or at least, depending on the platform that they are going to choose to sell on.
Tmall, Taobao, and JD.com are some of the platforms that will give you a chance to sell to the Chinese consumer. They do have policies that are inclined to give foreign businesses a chance to do business in the country so it’s important to check them out as well as a ton of other platforms that you may take advantage of.
Your Brand/Company Needs High Online Visibility
You already know that the key to the hearts and minds of the Chinese consumer is through their computers and smart devices via the internet. Now, we will give you a few effective ideas on how you become relevant in the Chinese digital space.
You must put out content that resonates, work on your SEO, take care of your reputation as a brand, and take advantage of WeChat as a marketing platform.
There are two kinds of content that you can put up on your website, or guest post to other websites, i.e. video and blog content. Douyin is where TikTok came from and, as we already know, it’s a platform where you can upload short video content.
Yes, short video content, as well as influencer marketing, is here to stay. These marketing strategies are especially effective in China. Make sure to effectively embody your brand through your video and blog content.
As mentioned earlier, Chinese consumers love a good heart-warming story. Instead of branding, go for storyboarding. Use short video content wisely. Feel the pulse of your target market so you can reach them effectively.
Seo on China Search engines
Content and SEO, in a way, go hand-in-hand. Make sure to be well-versed in Chinese search engines and how they work, especially Baidu, the Google of China. Baidu takes in almost ¾ of the online queries of the Chinese population. From that, we think it’s self-explanatory how this platform is important for businesses.
Paid Advertising on Chinese Online Platforms
Also, learn how to put out ads effectively on China’s largest application. You have more choices than you can count to advertise in China.
- WeChat. WeChat offers a ton of ways that you can advertise on its platform, and while it may be just a bit costly for beginner brands, trust us, it will be worth it if you’re in front of a billion people monthly.
- Weibo: great for paid advertising no matter your industry.
- Toutiao: Perfect for lead generation, great targetting
- Douyin: need to target gen Z with the highly integrated app? say no more
Read more about Paid Advertising in China
Embrace Chinese Social Media & Kols Marketing
As mentioned, social media is such a huge aspect of life in China. This is not just because of the population factor, it’s really because the Chinese love to spend time on these platforms whether it’s for leisure, uploading content, communicating, or following their favorite celebrities.
It’s said that almost 95% of people living in large Chinese cities have at least one social media account.
We already mentioned WeChat, now you also have to familiarize yourself with Weibo, Douyin, Xiaohongshu, and so on. Put up unique, interesting, and concise marketing campaigns to reach your audiences naturally on these social media platforms.
It’s also important to integrate KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) marketing into your strategies. They will make you more relevant in the Chinese consumer’s eyes. KOLs help you connect to your target audience with a specific demographic and will be key to you getting in front of your target market.
After all, what’s the point of having great branding and products if you can’t find your ideal client?
FMCG Brands in China Should Embrace E-Commerce
If you run an FMCG brand then know that E-Commerce is a space you can’t ignore anymore, and that is very true in China where the number of online shoppers keeps growing every year with a boost during the pandemic. All industries have felt the negative effects of the pandemic in the past couple of years and so all FMCG brands have had to pivot and sell their products online instead of the usual brick and mortar shops.
Chinese E-Commerce platforms may be a brutally competitive space, especially for FMCG brands, but when strategies are executed right, you will be rewarded handsomely.
China has many e-commerce options to offer to merchants and buyers. From industry specifics (Xiaohongshu, beauty, and lifestyle) to low cost (Pinduoduo) to super-giants like Tmall.
Any brand can find a Chinese e-commerce app that will be the best fit for it and if a company is not in China yet, it can still sell in China through cross-border e-commerce.
To wrap up China’s marketing strategy
Set your business up for success with effective branding, building your internet presence, and embracing Chinese social media. It’s also important to know the Chinese market like the back of your hands so you leave no stone unturned and lose no business opportunities.
Learn how to adapt. Foreign investors should learn that while there may be similarities in marketing concepts that are utilized in China, there are subtle distinctions that make a ton of difference once implemented.
Want a marketing strategy for china that will work for your brand?
Working with the right partners will go a long way for your China marketing strategies. If you need help strengthening your marketing strategies as you build your business and presence in the Chinese market, don’t hesitate to contact us today!