The importance of content marketing for the Chinese market
How to win the hearts of Chinese consumers and gain access into the world’s largest market is a question that many companies are asking themselves. In addition to a very solid business plan capable of responding to all the economic and bureaucratic peculiarities of this Asian giant, communication plays a key role. In short, among the first things to think about there is undoubtedly a content marketing strategy dedicated to China and its audience, with particular attention to digital channels, from WeChat to Weibo.
A brand identity optimized for China
The cornerstone of a digital communication strategy (and of any content) can only be the brand’s identity, expressed according to the demands and attitudes of the Chinese market. The personality and distinctive traits of the brand must be reflected in each content area, defining the key concepts that represent its values and specific visual features (reference colours, imagery, styles, etc.).
The billion and more Chinese connected to the web, which in 79% of cases purchased online during 2020, must first know and recognize the distinguishing features of the brand, associating them with the products or services offered so as to give it its own specific personality in the sea of online proposals.
To achieve this, there is the need to adapt all communication aspects to local standards. This means creating a unique, purely Chinese experience linked to the brand, making the most of the possibilities of geolocation.
Once defined the main aspects to be addressed in communication, such as the tone of voice, the seasonality or otherwise of the key concepts and products, all that remains is to choose the digital channels most suitable to intercept the target audience and organize an overall calendar with all the publications useful for telling the brand’s story. Here are some interesting and useful ideas.
Content marketing on WeChat and Weibo
Among the tools to consider for any organization there are certainly WeChat and Weibo.
WeChat is great for brand awareness activities and for interacting directly with a huge number of Chinese users. However, among the most common difficulties in managing communication on this channel, there is the continuous updating that must be ensured to exploit its potential, as well as the high quality required of each content to arouse interest among followers.
Generating interest is crucial for keeping your community active on WeChat: but what contents are useful for achieving this? First of all those capable of combining emotionality and informativeness; those that show the operation of a product or a service, acting as tutorials; those with captivating details (thanks to images, style, direct introductory and advertising text) and able to attract attention in just a quick glance.
Experiential photos and videos dominate the scene, but also contests and influencers interventions help to enliven interest and collect views, interactions, requests and useful traffic. Each branding activity is managed on a daily basis, with a massive and continuous commitment.
Weibo is the digital space preferred by the under 30 age group [link su approfondimenti social riguardanti anche Weibo], and thus perfect for content focused on entertainment, with a large space for creative videos capable of communicating through gamification, quizzes, funny stories, and enter into relation with the lifestyle of users and the trend topics of the moment.
As a result, the contents linked to Chinese holidays, to the most discussed hashtags, to the most popular personalities can be the driving force for the launch of new products, promotions and discounts on services, and for effective brand awareness strategies capable of involving many users.
Also in this case, the audio-video contributions are fundamental, as well as the participation of key opinion leaders capable of directing the attention of the public and influencing entire markets, for an intensive communication that knows no rest.
The most suitable contents for Baidu Tieba
Separate mention should be made of Baidu Tieba, the social platform of the most used Chinese search engine. To be successful, posts must first and foremost be highly interactive and capable of generating discussion. It is not so much formats or styles that matter, but the topics chosen, which must intercept the interests of the user community.
In this environment SEO becomes extremely relevant, as well as the ad-hoc optimization of each content and the need to create discussion trends that last over time.
These standards lead brands to make use of Baidu Tieba for discussions with the public and Q&A sessions, and posts with high-impact titles and serial content, capable of expanding on specific topic step by step. Strategic plans on the channel tend to be aimed and focus on high quality, avoiding the quantitative excesses typical of WeChat and Weibo.
An analysis of the context, competitors and Chinese users
What else is there? A must is an accurate analysis repeated at regular intervals of the context in which the brand operates. This means knowing very well the habits, customs, demography and distinctive characteristics of Chinese society, the internal dynamics of each sector and the relevant competitors (local and international), as well as the profile of the typical user.
The definition of the buyer persona, in a context often very different from the European and American one, can make it difficult to identify the target audience, especially online, but it is a crucial step for the success of any content marketing strategy.
Expert support, expertise and creativity
In order to overcome the many challenges and tasks that the arrival in the Chinese market imposes, Retex provides a team of experts in communication, marketing and strategic business with extensive knowledge of China.
From the definition of the context and the key concepts for the strategy to the drafting of a multichannel calendar capable of organizing all the contents in the best possible way, and from the support in the creative phase to the analysis of the results, Retex guides brands to discover and conquer the Asian giant, promoting their online positioning and dialogue with consumers, exploiting their full potential thanks to digital technology.