Chinese Digital Marketing Roadmap & Actiona Plan:
Recently a B2B client of our who sells in over 50 countries came to us asking help in their digital marketing strategy focused particularly on Chinese market using simplified Chinese language. While doing the research on best practices for Chinese digital marketing for generating both organic and paid traffic, we have come up with a highly effective action plan that if used properly can help you achieve your goals in conquering Baidu search engine as well other Chinese digital marketing platforms.
Before we continue to the roadmap, it’s worth mentioning the fact that China government has a very tight surveillance protocols in place and almost every digital movement is recorded by the authorities. Hence the reason, once you start any digital marketing activities in China, you will find that you must have a local company registered inside the mainland China and that you will always need a local Chinese number for the verification purposes to use any local platforms, be it Baidu Webmaster Tools or any other social networking platform. I would imagine this close surveillance was the main reason why Chinese government was extremely successful in combating Coronavirus pandemic within a couple of months of its outbreak.
Here is the action list to dominate your digital marketing strategy in China.
- Create an account on Baidu Webmaster Tool.
- Do a thorough keyword research on your top 10 keywords in simplified Chinese.
- Prepare a list of 3 main competitors in China and identify top 10 keywords of each competitor
- Research and create Baidu Baike page and make sure it passes the verification stage because this is the like Chinese Wikipedia and if it gets verified, chances are that you will show very high in Baidu’s organic search results.
- Optimise your homepage for your top 3 keywords.
- Prepare an excel sheet of all URLs and their respective Titles, Descriptions and H1s using your research data.
- Optimise each page using the focus keyword exact match in the page META Title, following META description and H1
- Use more and more of LinkedIn. Create a daily short post and one weekly detailed content piece for LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the only international social media that is still working in China. That is mainly because of their recent agreement with Chinese government and accepting their terms.
- Identify social communities where audience can be found related to your focus industry and prepare a list. Add them weekly.
- Check all pages on a mobile device and make sure all pages are showing okay on mobile (content spacing, images, padding/borders, font and readability)
- Search on Baidu paid ad options and prepare a guideline with budgets. If you start paid advertising on Baidu, they help you with finding your competitors and listing your popular keywords.
- Small URLs are more preferred in Baidu, so modify the URLs that are too long
- Make a list of all your core language pages and get them translated by a local translator in simplified Chinese and add them to your Chinese language website. If you are using a multilingual website, make sure the Href Language tags are placed properly.
- Revise all the content for any mistakes, typos or misspelling making sure all content is simplified Chinese and not the traditional Chinese.
- Create a WeChat official account (and The Plus) and jot down advertising guideline for your company
- Create your company account on Little Red Book App, Chinese most trusted content sharing platform.
- Create an account on Weibo Platform for social interaction and do weekly shares
Create accounts on the below platforms and keep posting:
- Zhihu (Chinese Quora) top priority for sharing b2b knowledge.
- News 168
- The short video platform Miaopai
Use popular online newspapers for PRs
Also search for a PR agency/agent to make sure that your news will get posted.
Here is a list of the most popular online newspapers in China:
- Sina: the most important web portal in China
- Sohu: the second most important
- 163 / Netease: news.163.com
- Jinri toutiao: the BuzzFeed of China
- QQ News is mass market (like yahoo)
- Renmingwang (the People’s daily)
- Xinhua (New China) Press agency
- Fenghuang (lfeng)
I can imagine, it won’t be easy to action all the above items, but if you can further dig into these platforms and make use of each item, you can slowly and gradually start your brand popularity in the Chinese market.