Digital, inbound marketing has developed to become the most effective way to generate leads. Instead of pushing your product and service to your potential customers you pull them by providing them with incentives to interact with your brand and product.
In 2018, experts expect China’s economy to be the largest in the world, more than 50% of the Chinese population are currently online with this internet penetration rate continually growing. China is already the biggest e-commerce marketing the world, it represents a $ 672 billion market (15.9% of the retail sales in China), to put this into perspective the U.S is currently worth $330 billion. China is set to be double the size of the American e-commerce market. China has evolved and now is a leading global economy with the RMB, digital strategy is how you penetrate this market.
Content : Good Content Attracts Quality Leads
The key factor to any good digital campaign is CONTENT. Your content will reflect your brand and your professionalism. It needs to be accurate and relevant to your audience – specific to your targeted market. Great content will bring you more attention and therefore more leads. In China this content needs to be interactive, multimedia in order to increase your chances of going viral. It also needs to be adapted to the Chinese market, what is popular? Cartoon, animated graphics and a strong colour palate remain popular. All of this is very relevant in the orient, the Chinese love to share content and reviews with their friends and love high end products and services. You need to make sure you understand what your segment is and how you will communicate with them via well curated and produced content.
Having good content is the start of the process but it is not enough. You then need to develop your visibility on Chinese search engines. Google is blocked and banned in China. You will need to developing your visibility on Baidu, the leading search engine presiding over 70% of this lucrative market.
In order to make sure Chinese customers can easily find you on search engines, you need to:
- Translate your content into Chinese and host this content on a relevant platform in China
- Make sure your content and website is Search Engine Otimized (SEO) with BAIDU
- Implement a pay per click campaign in order to support your SEO effort and accelerate the visibility you receive.
SEO: natural ranking , the most qualified traffic
Search Engine Optimization is the top method for generating traffic and leads. This tactic will allow your website to gain visibility at the top of a search results page but it takes expertise and an effort to do so. Your content must be relevant and accurate for your readers, have clear titles , be properly written with the right keywords and tags. It must attract your readers.
Backlinks from quality information websites are also important for SEO and you can create partnerships with other reliable websites, in order to get more backlinks and increase visibility to your website.
All of this will also increase your website ranking (in search engines) and your readers’ trust. An SEO optimized website and content will enable your website to be trustworthy and reliable.
PPC: Baidu Ads
On Baidu, like on Google, at the top a search results page, you find sponsored links (ads). Of course those links don’t create as much trust as an organic link (you generate from SEO efforts) and the click rates are lower but you will still get receive extra visibility. It is good to use them initially for market entry but you need to know when to start and when to stop. Baidu specialized agencies help you to control the cost and will create the best banners for your website.
E-Reputation and positive attention
Chinese love social media and to be part of a community.
They share and comment on everything they or their friends do or buy.
In 2016, the top 4 most popular social media platforms in China are:
- Sina Weibo (equivalent of Twitter; 500 million users)
- Tencent QQ (instant messaging with micro blogging and more; 400 million users)
- Wechat (an incredibly diverse social network with 700 million active users)
Developing a presence on these popular social media platforms and attracting attention from key opinion leaders and influencers in China will support your positive image. You need to make sure your potential lead in China won’t find any negative reviews and opinions about your product or company. This is done through up promoting positive content and starting positive conversational threads.
To conclude lead generation in China represents significant opportunities for US based companies and affiliates, you need to embark on an intelligent digital strategy to attract quality leads necessary for your continued and sustainable growth in the Chinese market.
Benji is a digital marketing specialist based in Shanghai, China. For more information see his blog and website here. www.ecommercechinaagency.com