As a Western business looking to tap into China, content is king.
In the world’s most competitive economy, where businesses pump millions into standing out, content marketing can unlock some incredible opportunities. Not only will it drive traffic to your Chinese-language website and help you engage an audience on social media, but it will position you as an expert, and give you an authentic voice that consumers will listen to.
But how can you create content your Chinese audience will love? Below, we offer some tips.
Understand your audience
First up, getting to grips with your audience is critical. Work out who your Chinese customer really is, their needs and aspirations, and how you can create content that motivates them.
Unless you can speak Mandarin and have a good understanding of Chinese culture, it pays to work with a local marketing specialist who can delve into the psyche of your target market and prepare personas and content treatments that you can sign off before you launch.
To get into their mindset, ask yourself the following questions:
- What is your target market’s age range?
- How much time do they spend on social media?
- What problem will your content/product/service solve?
- Why should they listen to your brand above other brands?
- How much do they have to spend on solving their problem?
This research stage will take time and requires in-depth analysis and data, but it will allow you to invest your marketing budget into content that will grow your brand in the country.
In the six days from 15-20 February, Chinese social media users sent more than 230 billion WeChat messages, 2.8 billion WeChat Moments posts, and uploaded more than 17.5 billion minutes of video content. That’s without taking into account the growing number of brands who are investing in their content strategy, pumping out Mini Programs, posts, and video.
If you want eyeballs on your content, you must be able to offer more value than your next biggest competitor. What can you offer or give away that others can’t? It might be Western expertise, freebies, access to influencers, or exclusive product launches and tie-ups.
Every piece of content should inform, educate, thrill, and excite your audience. If you’re just churning out posts, videos, and apps for the sake of it, you’re not going to generate an ROI.
An increasing number of brands are turning their attention to fun, quirky, and original digital marketing content, like quizzes, games, and shareable media. Find ways to encourage your followers to interact with and share your content; the further its reach, the greater the impact.
Consider your platform
You wouldn’t share a tweet as a blog post or type up a 1,000-word tutorial for your Facebook page, and it’s the same in China. The country’s social media platforms - like WeChat, Weibo, and Douyin - are continuing to grow at break-neck speed, each serving a different purpose.
Before creating content, consider the power and reach of each of your platforms; for Douyin, short-form, humorous videos work best, where on WeChat, you can afford to be in-depth with your posts and offer users tutorials, guides, and product information in WeChat Articles.
Use your time and budget wisely, and prepare content for social media, your company blog, and advertorials that you can spread across Chinese digital newspapers and magazines to build your digital PR and search engine presence. And where possible, recycle and reuse that content; a blog post can be chopped down into bite-sized chunks for WeChat posts.
Let them do it for you
Harnessing the power of influencer marketing in China makes sense. With billions of users, WeChat is the world’s biggest social networking platform, so tapping into micro-influencers who have a loyal and engaged following is often more cost-effective than trying to build your own from scratch. Pay influencers to promote your content and products, encouraging them to follow your company channels, and you won’t have to worry about your content creation.
Alternatively, run a user-generated content campaign, where your target audience can create content for your channels in exchange for freebies, discounts, or entry into a prize draw. If your campaign goes viral, you’ll have thousands of social media users posting about your brand, creating content that you can reuse for months to come, and only have to pay for a couple of products or discounts. Audience awareness and timing are important, though.
Measure your returns
Finally, be sure to monitor analytics (from social networking channels, search engines, and your company website) to determine the effectiveness and spread of your content. With the right data, you can see what is and isn’t working, making changes to increase engagement.
Timing is also important. With WeChat users scrolling through tens of thousands of posts per day, repurposing content will extend reach and cut costs. Experiment with different content placements and schedules and tear up the rulebook; what works for another company might not work for you, and vice versa.
If you’re struggling to create content that resonates with your Chinese customers, let Zudu China’s digital marketing experts help. From social media and branding to public relations, we’re on hand to help you tap into a market of more than 1.4 billion potential customers.