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back to index backCHINAtalk November,  2016


Navigating the Digital Marketing Landscape in China

Venturing into the digital landscape in China is one of the most fascinating and unique propositions for savvy marketers. It’s a huge market with over 710 million internet users, according to China Internet Network Information Center—more than double the population of people in the U.S.

It is, however, wholly unique. Due to internet censorship by the government, well-known communication channels and social platforms in the U.S. have not been able to establish themselves in the region. This is an uncertain and very different context for foreign brands, from the U.S. and other countries, to market within.

Here are some key features that marketers should know about the Chinese digital landscape, as well as some useful, practical advice on how to market in that region:

Different Media Platforms in China

What is commonly referred to as the Great Firewall of China” specifically blocks foreign digital platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Youtube. In effect, Chinese citizens without a VPN can only access authorized websites. One of the main reasons for this is that the state supports Chinese digital companies and has created an online environment where they can thrive without competition from the established foreign players.

Accordingly, domestic Chinese platforms dominate. Here’s a rundown of the key communication platforms in China:

WeChat: Tencent’s WeChat has expanded all across Asia, but its largest user base is in China with over 600 million users. It is an intelligently designed social platform—a cross between WhatsApp and Facebook. It originally launched as a simple messaging platform but has morphed into a fully formed network with a news feed, messaging system (incorporating text, sound bites, and visual cues), payment/wallet system, gaming center, and now even a taxi app to provide an even more comprehensive service.

One caveat with using WeChat is that users need to be connected with a brand in order to see and interact with any content that’s posted. To engage WeChat’s audience, marketers need to set up official accounts for their brand on WeChat and encourage users to follow their page, often by offering incentives and promotions for new followers.

On WeChat, there are now paid advertising opportunities, referred to as WeChat Moments Advertising, so businesses can pay to get their posts or ads seen by users who aren’t following them. These promotions appear on a user’s news feed as promoted content. Here’s an example of what a WeChat ad looks like on a mobile phone:

To read entire article, please click here.

Source: Marketo - GAI





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