How Do You Digitally Market to China?

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I was thinking a little earlier today about Marketing in Asia (more particularly China) and how two of our primary Marketing Channels "SEO" and "Facebook Ads" are basically voided (Google and Facebook are blocked in China for those still wondering).

As far as I'm aware, Youku (their YouTube) and weChat seem to take the reigns with digital marketing to the general population through text, Moments and very minimal push notifications but are there any other digital marketing channels? Has anyone tried to focus their marketing to the Asian demographic/population?
#china #digitally #market
  • Profile picture of the author daronch
    Baidu is the search engine (Google) equivalent for China. I'm guessing to market to them, you'll need to do it in their language?
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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
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      Originally Posted by daronch View Post

      Baidu is the search engine (Google) equivalent for China. I'm guessing to market to them, you'll need to do it in their language?
      Yep, Baidu.




      Originally Posted by WFMarcus View Post

      I was thinking a little earlier today about Marketing in Asia (more particularly China) and how two of our primary Marketing Channels "SEO" and "Facebook Ads" are basically voided (Google and Facebook are blocked in China for those still wondering).
      ...and that was the easiest stock money ever made. China Gov kicked Google out of the country, Google tried to route China traffic through Japan, pissed off China Gov even more... Baidu was the only real choice for China traffic.
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    • Profile picture of the author Best Seller
      Originally Posted by daronch View Post

      Baidu is the search engine (Google) equivalent for China.
      This is good to know! Thank you for posting it.
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      • Profile picture of the author Karma S
        Hi, guys
        I'm a newbie from china, actually this is only the second time that i'm on warrior forum. SO, just a few thins a known to share.

        The search engine: no.1 Baidu, (No doubt this is the most popular and biggest traffic source.)
        no.2 sougou. and 360. (I haven't really studied which one has more traffic. But due to the huge population, these traffic shouldn't be ignore)

        The Sina, as wilhb81 mentioned below, is really worth to mention.Sina can recognized as "Chinese Blogger", AND Sina also has the "Sina weibo", U just think this is a "twitter".
        weibo and wechat. dominate almost all of the mobile traffic.

        According to a Survey, Wechat took 70% of an ordinary Chinese daily mobile phone app using time. (My poor eng, sorry).

        Besides all mentioned above, MOMO (due to there is no Adult website or app), this one packaging itself like a adult dating app.

        XXXtv.com or XXX.tv. Since 2016, live broadcasting is really really HOT, worth to know.

        XD.

        Additions.
        China gov has really strictly rules about website.
        If u build a website, u need a serial procedures to register it to gov.

        AND
        Wechat has a function (application ? idont know how to describe). That's a public account of a person, an organisation or a company. During 2016, this is the most important CPS promotion way!!
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      • Profile picture of the author Marcus W K Wong
        Originally Posted by Karma S View Post

        Additions.
        China gov has really strictly rules about website.
        If u build a website, u need a serial procedures to register it to gov.

        AND
        Wechat has a function (application ? idont know how to describe). That's a public account of a person, an organisation or a company. During 2016, this is the most important CPS promotion way!!
        Thanks Karma S! This is REALLY informative useful stuff, I'd say it's challenging even to recognise through my google searches.

        So user public profiles in China are based through an application rather than a website is that correct? What I mean by this is say for instance on warrior forum we have /members/WFMarcus - I suspect these are a no go in China then?
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  • Profile picture of the author mymeo2017
    the most important is their language. you must have a good SEO plan on this market
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  • Profile picture of the author wilhb81
    Hi Marcus,

    Instead of using Baidu or Youku, why don't you consider to use "Sina"? Since "Sina" is the China's version of "Blogger", you can get more publicity and attention, especially if you're doing the digital marketing part.
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  • Profile picture of the author katerinavaiou
    China's internet market is definitely growing and by far is the most lucrative one. No wonder why everybody is looking to target china market. But the biggest problem is the language which is so hard to learn.
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    • Profile picture of the author Best Seller
      Originally Posted by katerinavaiou View Post

      China's internet market is definitely growing and by far is the most lucrative one. No wonder why everybody is looking to target china market. But the biggest problem is the language which is so hard to learn.
      I was in China in 2016. I was actually all over different parts of Asia during a six month period, and I can tell you that English is very important to them there. Everyone (without exception) that I came across wants to learn better English, and they put a tremendous amount of focus on this. So, there is still a significant English-language market in China even if its not their first language.
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  • Profile picture of the author brettb
    I lived there for a while and have been learning the language (got my HSK2 certificate last year).

    The main thing for me is that Chinese websites look Chinese. They love loads of links. Also QR codes are huge there.

    Also look at Japanese sites - they're just so different from Western sites.

    In general Asian people tend to like the Internet for pleasure, rather than work.

    Online shopping is huge in China. I studied at a Chinese University and there was a corner of the grounds where Alibaba stuff got delivered. It was one of the most popular places on campus.

    If you have a good idea there's no reason why you can't crack China. One Western person who has done very well in that market is with a website to help Chinese people choose modern sounding Western names.
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  • Profile picture of the author xiao31
    Weibo is the "Twitter" in China.
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    • Profile picture of the author Best Seller
      Originally Posted by xiao31 View Post

      Weibo is the "Twitter" in China.
      Thank you for this valuable information!
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  • Profile picture of the author Marcus W K Wong
    Originally Posted by yukon View Post

    ...and that was the easiest stock money ever made. China Gov kicked Google out of the country, Google tried to route China traffic through Japan, pissed off China Gov even more... Baidu was the only real choice for China traffic.
    LOL I had no idea Google was 'blackhatting' the Chinese government. Interesting that they'd do that though, the crazy thing is though - Hong Kong has access to Google but 'technically' is still part of China.

    Originally Posted by wilhb81 View Post

    why don't you consider to use "Sina"?
    Just took a look at Sina, interesting to say that it wasn't what I expected.. I think the thing that gets me the most about most Chinese websites / blogs / news channels is that they're all non-mobile optimised. It's literally a page for desktop only. I'll do some more digging, thanks for the tip though!

    Originally Posted by katerinavaiou View Post

    But the biggest problem is the language which is so hard to learn.
    Yeah I'll agree, as an ABC (Australian Born Chinese) myself, it's pretty hard to learn the language especially if you've been brought up to speak but not be literate. Whole new game there...

    Originally Posted by brettb View Post

    I lived there for a while and have been learning the language (got my HSK2 certificate last year).

    The main thing for me is that Chinese websites look Chinese. They love loads of links. Also QR codes are huge there.

    Also look at Japanese sites - they're just so different from Western sites.

    In general Asian people tend to like the Internet for pleasure, rather than work.

    Online shopping is huge in China. I studied at a Chinese University and there was a corner of the grounds where Alibaba stuff got delivered. It was one of the most popular places on campus.

    If you have a good idea there's no reason why you can't crack China. One Western person who has done very well in that market is with a website to help Chinese people choose modern sounding Western names.
    Great Insight! I think for me I was kind of targeting those living and breathing in Asia to see if they could share their thoughts and marketing tactics that have worked outside the Google / Facebook arena.

    I was talking to my colleague earlier about how the value of numeric domains have skyrocketed in China over dictionary words. At the same time, we were also talking about how painful it is to look at non-responsive designs (it's a phobia I swear haha)

    I'm interested mostly in how we can apply marketing tactics that 'can crack China' and see how they would result in the western world. Thanks for your input though

    Originally Posted by xiao31 View Post

    Weibo is the "Twitter" in China.
    Yeah! I just downloaded Weibo last week to check it out. Should probably dabble into it more before I can give my feedback about ads and what not.
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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
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      Originally Posted by WFMarcus View Post

      LOL I had no idea Google was 'blackhatting' the Chinese government. Interesting that they'd do that though, the crazy thing is though - Hong Kong has access to Google but 'technically' is still part of China.

      The whole issue started with China Gov trying to censor Google SERPs for Chinese traffic.
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    • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
      Originally Posted by WFMarcus View Post

      I was talking to my colleague earlier about how the value of numeric domains have skyrocketed in China over dictionary words. At the same time, we were also talking about how painful it is to look at non-responsive designs (it's a phobia I swear haha)
      As an aside the use of numbers was one reason Penfold wines sited as a reason for their success in the Chinese market.

      They found it was far easier for their Chinese consumers to remember the Bin number for repeat purchases and also as a way to recognise the price point of a particular vintage.

      Best regards,

      Ozi
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  • Profile picture of the author Best Seller
    Originally Posted by WFMarcus View Post

    As far as I'm aware, Youku (their YouTube) and weChat seem to take the reigns with digital marketing to the general population through text
    This is great information! I was wondering the same thing as you ... what is their YouTube? What is their Facebook? Because I noticed all of that was blocked for me when I was in China in 2016.
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    • Profile picture of the author socialentry
      Originally Posted by Best Seller View Post

      This is great information! I was wondering the same thing as you ... what is their YouTube? What is their Facebook? Because I noticed all of that was blocked for me when I was in China in 2016.
      Youku,
      Wechat
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  • Profile picture of the author Gary Chapple
    Baidu, So & Sogou, some of the biggest problems in china are slow loading websites.
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  • Profile picture of the author bary wanders
    Actually, the Chinese market is oppenning to the entire world. They have the biggest population on the world. The middle class is increasing and they are more interrested by occidental stuffs than 10 years ago. I think it's a very interresting thing for most of the international firms. But I also think that the market is just oppen for the biggest firms for the moment.
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  • Profile picture of the author trevorwang
    As a Chinese, I need to say the rule of Baidu is different from Google, and it is more difficult drive traffic from Baidu than Google.

    Nowadays, Chinese focus on social media like weibo or wechat.
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  • Profile picture of the author Slavko Desik
    Just read this guide from Builtvisible

    I guess contacting influences can also work, if you know how to find them. Combined with affiliate marketing which is fairly common in western companies - and I'm not entirely sure whether the Asian market "knows" of this powerful marketing feature - this can be a quick way to scale there.

    But then again it would depend much on the product or service in question.

    Interested to learn about this myself
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  • Profile picture of the author rockllama
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  • Profile picture of the author ExeFort
    I think Taobao and Tmall is a good place to do business, and also jd.com amazon.cn and other popular eCommerce platforms. I suggest you find a local partner in China to help solve online marketing issue.
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    • Profile picture of the author VirtuaCeline
      I perfectly agree ExeFort, the best thing is to find a local partner in China to help you set the perfect offer for that segment of market...
      I try to get in touch with some big actors of the online market over there but it's not easy to get their trust...
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  • Profile picture of the author Reed Floren
    My cousin dates a Chinese lady and they seem to use weChat for everything. It's like a super app that combines Facebook/YouTube/Google into one program. It seems you can just live inside that app in China

    This youtube video from the New York Times explains how powerful weChat is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAesMQ6VtK8
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    I've been thinking about China for a long time. My problem is the language barrier. I know how horrible and unreadable some non-native English speakers can be on our sites. I don't want to be "that guy" on Chinese sites.

    The only way I would consider it is if I could find a partner fluent in Chinese.
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    • Profile picture of the author bruce0929
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  • Profile picture of the author rockllama
    In addition to language, understanding modern Chinese culture is also quite important.

    Just like how US internet marketing has its own mentality (e.g. how to write a great copy for high conversations in niche X), China has its own version of internet culture, memes, and consumer behavior. In that sense, even if they are fluent in Chinese, they may not be fluent in marketing or Chinese internet culture. I think the equivalent is hiring an American for writing native English text. Unless that person has had copywriting / marketing experience before, the outcome may be grammatically correct, but may not achieve the desired marketing effect.
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  • Profile picture of the author Marcus W K Wong
    Originally Posted by Oziboomer View Post

    As an aside the use of numbers was one reason Penfold wines sited as a reason for their success in the Chinese market.

    They found it was far easier for their Chinese consumers to remember the Bin number for repeat purchases and also as a way to recognise the price point of a particular vintage.

    Best regards,

    Ozi
    Hey Ozi! Thanks for referring this, I think I've found my weekend Google session haha

    Numbers hold a considerably significant value in Chinese culture. When I worked in the camera industry in Sydney, there would be a flock of resellers coming over to buy luxury cameras (Leicas, Hasselblads to name a couple) based purely on the Serial Number.


    Originally Posted by rockllama View Post

    In addition to language, understanding modern Chinese culture is also quite important.

    Just like how US internet marketing has its own mentality (e.g. how to write a great copy for high conversations in niche X), China has its own version of internet culture, memes, and consumer behavior. In that sense, even if they are fluent in Chinese, they may not be fluent in marketing or Chinese internet culture. I think the equivalent is hiring an American for writing native English text. Unless that person has had copywriting / marketing experience before, the outcome may be grammatically correct, but may not achieve the desired marketing effect.
    On the basis of copywriting ads for China, I was reading up on this article:

    https://econsultancy.com/blog/66929-...hinese-market/

    TL;DR: Conversion Copywriting in Traditional Chinese varies results based on the person's origin (China, Hong Kong or Taiwan for example).



    Quoting from the article for a moment:

    "People across Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan feel very strongly about the unique characteristics of their language and testing the acceptance of other Chinese variations may well have a considerably negative impact on the perception of your brand."

    I'm trying to see applications where we might see a similarity in our own marketing in the western world that isn't defined by localised marketing.


    Originally Posted by Brent Stangel View Post

    I've been thinking about China for a long time. My problem is the language barrier. I know how horrible and unreadable some non-native English speakers can be on our sites. I don't want to be "that guy" on Chinese sites.

    The only way I would consider it is if I could find a partner fluent in Chinese.
    lol "that guy" on chinese websites sounds alot like me. I've been using Google Translate + copy/paste on AliBaba with suppliers. Found it's far easier to open up in chrome > right click > "translate to english" > paste in my conversational responses in chinese and we're good.


    Originally Posted by Reed Floren View Post

    My cousin dates a Chinese lady and they seem to use weChat for everything. It's like a super app that combines Facebook/YouTube/Google into one program. It seems you can just live inside that app in China

    This youtube video from the New York Times explains how powerful weChat is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAesMQ6VtK8
    Yeah I've been using WeChat this month with a few colleagues to get a feel for the UX. I'll start a thread somewhere about it soon and see if others have the same mentality as me with it
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