Being based in China certainly has its perks. Not only do you get to bask in the unique culture and eat delicious food, but you also have the opportunity to do business in a country that is rapidly expanding its online presence.
If you’re looking to venture into e-commerce or online marketing in China, then you’d better brush up on your Mandarin as there’s a whole world of difference between marketers who can speak the language and those who can’t. The following will discuss some of the most effective ways you can make the most of your China-based business.
Build A Following On Social Media
If you’re new to China or to internet marketing in general, then it would be wise to learn the ropes from the experts. One of the best places to do that is Instagram. Launched in China in 2013, the photo-sharing platform allows users to post everyday shots that showcase their travels, food, fashion, family and more. And what’s more, you can connect with other Instagrammers and engage with followers through comments and likes. In other words, it’s a perfect place to establish yourself as an expert in your industry.
The advantage of social media in general is that it is highly accessible and allows you to target a large audience with little effort. Established accounts with hundreds of thousands of followers can be found with relative ease on platforms like Twitter and Instagram. So, if you are unable to spend a significant amount of money on online advertising, then social media is a great place to gain traction.
Personal Branding Is The Key
While having a large audience is good, you must also be mindful of your branding. This entails ensuring that your online presence, both in terms of brand voice and visual style, is consistent with your in-person identity. That’s a tall order, but with digital marketing agencies in China expanding their reach to small and medium-sized businesses, the demand for personal branding is on the rise.
The experts at Purple Panda, a digital marketing agency that specializes in SMEs (Medium to Small Businesses) in China, point out that 56% of consumers in their survey said that a brand’s personality and voice are more important to them than the product. So, if you want to succeed in China, your best bet is to establish yourself as an expert in your industry and to align your digital marketing and social media strategy with that identity.
Create A Narrative Around Your Business
If you’re new to the world of online marketing, then you may wonder how to position your business in the crowded digital marketplace. One effective way to rise above the noise is to develop and use a unique narrative around your business.
This narrative serves to differentiate you from competitors and provides an invaluable context for your brand. It also provides a hook for potential customers who may not know what your product or service is but can sense that you are an expert in your field. Developing a narrative that is memorable and compelling allows you to rise above the competition and to convince customers that your product or service is the best solution for their needs.
To come up with a unique narrative for your business, you may want to consider seeking inspiration from the great Chinese storytellers. The art of the narrative is one that is as old as China itself and it continues to be effective today as people living in the country are often looking for ways to differentiate themselves from the masses.
Position Yourself As An Expert In Your Industry
A narrative is all well and good, but you must also position yourself as an expert in your industry. This entails taking the time to learn about your customers’ needs and educating them on the value that you can offer. Positioning yourself as an expert in your industry allows you to stake a claim to knowledge that can be accessed by anyone who stumbles upon your content. This, in turn, allows you to generate credibility and trust when providing advice or information.
There are several ways you can position yourself as an expert in your industry. You can start by publishing high-quality content regularly. Reporters.com’s 2015 Digital Marketing in China Survey found that only 17% of respondents used traditional SEO (search engine optimization) methods to gain visibility, while 71% adopted paid methods. You should consider investing in SEO methods that utilize quality content, authoritative links and social media to gain visibility.
Also, you can become a thought leader in your industry. Leading experts in your industry can play an important role in establishing your business as an authority on the subject.
The final step in establishing your expertise is to simply give good counsel. If you can provide valuable advice on a subject or offer tips on how to best handle a certain situation, you’re in a good position to position yourself as an expert.
If you want to learn more about establishing yourself as an expert in your industry, then consider consulting with a professional who is familiar with Chinese marketing.