With digital, Inbound marketing development has become the most effective way to generate leads in China (and the world). Instead of pushing your product and service to your potential customers, you pull them by giving them reasons to interact with your brand and product.
In 2018, experts expect China’s economy to be the largest in the world, more than 50% of the Chinese population currently uses the Internet. China is already the biggest e-commerce marketing the world, it represents a $ 672 billion market (15.9% of the retail sales in China) whilst the U.S is 330 billion short of this with $ 340 billion a year. China evolved digitally and now is a leading global economy with the RMB.
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Content: Good Content Attracts Quality Leads
The key factor to any good inbound program is CONTENT. Your content will reflect your brand and your professionalism. It needs to be accurate and relevant to your audience – specific to your targeted market. Great content will bring you more attention and therefore more leads. This content needs to be interactive multimedia in order to have a chance to go viral. All of this is very relevant in the orient, the Chinese love to share content and reviews with their friends and love high-end products and services. You need to make sure you understand what your segments are and how to communicate with them.
Having good content is a start but it’s not enough
Chinese customers and businesses/industries look online to find information about a product or a company. As you may already know Google and Facebook are banned from China and most of the browsing is done is Chinese (Mandarin). You must understand that you will have to adapt to the local tools and culture.
Maximize your Search Engines visibility
You will need to be present on the popular digital platforms in China. BAIDU is the most popular search engine in China with a 70% market share.
In order to make sure Chinese customers can easily find you on search engines, you need to:
- Translate your content into Chinese and host this content on a relevant platform
- Make sure your content and website is Search Engine Optimized (SEO) with BAIDU
- Implement a pay-per-click campaign in order to support your SEO effort and accelerate the visibility you will get.
SEO: natural ranking, the most qualified traffic
Search Engine Optimization is seen as the top method in order to generate traffic and leads. This tactic will allow your website to get visibility at the top of a search result page but it takes expertise and an effort to do so. Your content must be relevant and accurate for your readers – users, have good titles, be properly written with the right keywords and tags. It must attract your readers…
Backlinks from some quality information websites are also important for SEO and you can create partnerships with other reliable websites, in order to get more backlinks and increase visibility to your website.
All of this will also increase your website ranking (in search engines) and your readers’ trust. An SEO optimized website and content will enable your website to be trustworthy and reliable. Thus, leads will flow to you!
PPC: Baidu Ads
On Baidu, like on Google, at the top of a search results page, you will find some sponsored links (adds). Of course those links don’t create as much trust as an organic link (you generate from SEO efforts) and their CTRs are lower but you will still get receive some extra visibility. It is good to use them initially for market entry but you need to know when to start and when to stop. Baidu specialized agencies will help you to control the cost and will create the best banners for your website.
E-Reputation and positive attention
- Chinese love social media and being part of a community.
- They share and comment on everything they or their friends do or buy.
In 2016, the top 4 most popular social media platforms in China are:
- Sina Weibo (the equivalent of Twitter; 600 million users)
- Tencent QQ (instant messaging with microblogging and more; 400 million users)
- QZone (social networking; 300 million users)
- Wechat (WhatsApp; 700 million of active users)
Developing a presence ionthe popular social media platforms and getting some attention from key opinion leaders will support a positive image. You need to make sure your potential lead in China won’t find any negative reviews and opinions about your product or company.
Leads through Page Optimization
Having an efficient landing page is important to funnel and initiate action from your users and potential buyers. You need to bring them a little further forward in the relationship you established with them. You got their attention now it’s time to get something from them…it could be a simple subscription to a newsletter, a meeting request or a sale! The design of the page where they landed has to have a purpose and a flow which entices them to do what you want them to do… The design must be clean, sleek, professional and enticing. This user experience (UX) will maximize the success of your digital platform. Two aspects you need to focus on in China are the loading time and the responsive design. 80% of the Internet usage in China is done through mobile therefore you need to make sure your website is displayed properly on a mobile and is not too slow to use. Your website must be hosted in China to have the best loading performance.
Leads Nurturing: Wechat is more powerful than emailing in China
It’s important to attract potential users who eventually transform into leads (you have their name and know-how to contact them) but sometimes those leads never transform into sales or at least they are not ready to buy your product yet…
It’s important you keep in touch with those leads by feeding them with some relevant information (related to your product or industry).
Wechat is a great tool to use because it has great functionalities (such as the QR code, payment, easy sharing) and is easy to develop and manage.
If you nurture your leads in a proper way some of them eventually will buy your products.
All these steps are kes to implementing a great inbound marketing program which will generate you leads.