What makes a great content strategy for marketing in China?

Marketers talk a lot about content marketing, but when it comes to effective content strategy planning in China, it’s vital to take a planned and structured approach.

With the rapidly growing, vast, and hugely enticing Chinese market in your sights, it is vital that you focus on your content marketing strategy to:

– Gain relevant traffic to your Chinese digital platforms
– Generate leads for ongoing follow-up, engagement – and conversion
– Position your brand in your target market as a trusted expert
– Generate powerful engagement opportunities on Chinese social media and
– Give your voice that authentic, positive and compelling voice that Chinese customers value, respect, and want to engage with.

But how do you make a great content strategy for marketing in China? These tips for success will help you.

1. Evaluate where you are at

Assess your digital ecosystem for the Chinese market. Are you active on WeChat, Weibo, and other relevant Chinese social media? Is your Chinese website smartphone optimised, responsive, and designed for your target Chinese audience? Do you have e-commerce enabled, and are you integrated with Chinese payment platforms? Map out your Chinese digital presence to begin with, to assess what is working, and where there may be gaps. Remember, your Western digital assets – such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google rankings – have little relevance in China, where it’s all about Baidu, WeChat, Weibo, Douyin, Little Red Book and dozens of other digital platforms!

2. Really assess your audience

If you can’t yet describe your Chinese user persona, then now is the time to invest in this. Work with a Chinese marketing agency as necessary to really pin down the attributes of your target customer, recognising that you can’t simply map across typical attributes of Western customers! Chinese generations, socio-economic groupings, locations, educational levels, and interests are very different, and in this hyper-connected, highly-informed, and fragmented market, you really need to invest in your market research to succeed at content targeting.

3. See what your competition is doing

It’s well worth keeping an eye on the competition to see if they are doing anything particularly innovative or impactful in your space. But remember, you may need to dig deep to make the link between marketing activities that you can see the competition carrying out – and finding out what is actually working for them.

4. Ask if your existing content is SEO optimised – and localised

Turn your attention back towards your own assets to check that your digital platforms are Chinese SEO optimised for your organic search traffic. This is a long-term piece of work that will support any PPC advertising that you do, but the better you can understand your keywords and phrases now, the easier it will be to seamlessly and naturally incorporate them for strong Baidu placement. With the nature of your content ask if it is localised for your Chinese audience. Most Western brands will now consider creating Chinese targeted content from scratch for this lucrative audience, rather than risk a poor-quality translation or a risk of a Western campaign that fails to cut it with Chinese customers. Assess your objectives before your budget, and proceed accordingly. An investment made early in your brand in China will invariably pay off in terms of a stronger reputation, degree of awareness, and sustainable sales growth – so it’s worth getting it right the first time!

5. Create content with engagement in mind

Ask what your audience really wants and then create impactful, exciting, fun, and informative content that your audience wants – and will engage with. Remember, Chinese customers take and make recommendations within their own networks, so shareable content is vital. KOL engagement is also vital for most brands, and this offers great opportunities for branded partnership and sponsorship content.

6. Work on rich media

Chinese customers love exciting video content which is sophisticated in nature. Really invest in your video content, high-quality graphics, and fun digital shareables such as stickers, branded filters, ‘wrapping’, and competition graphics for better engagement and brand awareness. Chinese customers are arguably more sophisticated than many Western markets when it comes to tech consumption, so poor-quality graphics simply won’t cut it. Similarly, whether it is live-streaming, mass-participation gaming events, interactive product tutorials, or digital competitions, Chinese customers really love innovation, so be creative!

7. Remember your dates

Content plans should always factor in key Chinese shopping occasions such as Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day, Women’s Day, Singles Day, and 618. These are multi-million dollar events, and smart thinking Western brands will plan ahead for them with timely, relevant, and campaign-specific content.

8. Be ready to interact

Great Chinese content marketing will always have a focus on interaction, whether that is via your website chat, social media platforms, or via your choice of KOLs. Have trained representatives who can answer questions about your brand using the correct tone of voice – and Chinese language!

9.Measure, measure, measure!

When you gather the analytics needed to assess the effectiveness of your campaign, you can see what is working and where you need to adjust and evolve. All Chinese digital platforms offer rich back-end analytics – even if these are in Chinese – and with the right Chinese-speaking marketing resource, you can leverage them to gain rich insights into your work. With digital marketing, your content can also be rapidly adjusted and repurposed to hit an opportunity – especially if your content plan includes a wide range of digital touchpoints and content delivery methods – from blogs to videos.

10. Use a Chinese digital marketing agency

Digidea offers a full spectrum of effective Chinese digital marketing services that help you to optimise your brand’s content in China. From research and campaign planning through to multi-format content planning and delivery and ongoing evaluation and campaign optimisation, our team of native language digital professionals is here to ensure your brand’s success. We advise as well as deliver and we work as a flexible extension of your team to offer the services that you need.

Don’t risk making costly, brand-eroding errors with poorly-targeted or insufficient content in China. Contact Digidea for advice and to find out how we can assist you. Call us today for a no-obligation chat about your needs.