China is the largest country in the world, with a population of just over 1.4 billion. As a nation that has developed greatly over the past decades, and given the globalisation that the introduction and rise of the internet has provided, it presents a lot of opportunities for interested CEOs.
Aside from exporting and importing business, a huge area that is often overlooked is digital marketing in the country. This could have a lot to do with the ban on Google, Facebook and Youtube, which are popular and powerful in the west. That doesn’t mean digital marketing doesn’t exist though and it could be an option you’re waiting to seize.
Mobile’s Continuing Rise
Mobile usage is increasing rapidly in China, with 753 million mobile users at the start of 2018. Of these, the proportion of internet users using mobile phones also reached 97.5%, which is an incredible number that’s predicted to keep growing. The market for mobile advertising has grown significantly to reflect this and now account for just over 60% of all internet advertising. More websites are taking a mobile friendly approach to jump on the back of this trend, while paid search marketers are starting to focus more on mobile than desktop campaigns.
The Popularity of WeChat
In China, WeChat is the most commonly used instant messaging tool in the workplace. At the end of 2017 it reported having 902 million daily logged in users, and while they’re clearly not all in China, the country makes up a large bulk of them. Given its popularity, using WeChat should be a priority, both in terms of marketing campaigns and communication. Get in touch with prospects through WeChat to show you’re on the same wavelength, while it may be the quickest way too if it’s their choice of communication.
A Sensitive Intranet
It’s important to remember that China’s internet is essentially a large intranet system. With the ‘Great Firewall’ controlling a lot of what goes on, you will have to be careful to not offend or create a campaign that falls outside of their regulation. It’s best to just avoid sensitive topics or seek expert advice if working on campaigns for certain industries, such as financiers or the food and drink sector. Any trademarked content you create outside of China will not be copyrighted within it either, so it’s advisable to work from inside the country.
China is massive, home to ten megacities with populations over 10 million and five different time zones. Plus, while Mandarin is the ‘universal’ language, there are still a range of traditional ones used too. These factors all offer an opportunity and requirement for geotargeting when it comes to considering SEO in China. Especially for smaller campaigns and businesses, focusing on just one area is probably a more realistic idea.
There are many digital marketing opportunities in China for an innovative CEO and more are likely to emerge in what is an exciting market.