If you are interested in entering the Chinese market and your target audience is young Chinese, you should absolutely know what Bilibili is, how it works, and more surprisingly that you can use it for eCommerce. Let’s see what we are going to talk about:

  1. What is Bilibili?
  2. How fast is Bilibili growing?
  3. Which target can you reach through Bilibili?
  4. What are Bilibili’s main features?
  5. How can you do e-commerce on Bilibili?
  6. Not only e-commerce. You need to work on E-reputation to promote your brand in China
bilibli desktop version home page
Home Page of Bilibili Desktop Version

What is Bilibili?

Some say Bilibili is the most popular platform among ACG (anime, comics, and games) lovers, some say it is the Chinese version of Youtube. In reality, one thing we can say for sure and is that Bilibili, also known as “B-site” or “哔哩哔哩”, is one of the most popular video-sharing platforms in China nowadays.

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Although the focus of the platform was to share ACG content for a niche market at the beginning, the mission has become wider over the years. Bilibili, in fact, host topics about ACG, lifestyle, science, entertainment, and technology.

“Offer a high-quality video streaming service for an audience that wants to learn something”, this is the true essence of Bilibili at present.

2. How fast is Bilibili growing?

The video-sharing platform released its financial statement this august, showing impressive results: 172 million monthly active users reached, including 156 million monthly mobile active users, with an increase of 50% in the same period of 2019.

To understand the importance of the above mentioned data, it should consider the number of Chinese internet users in the first quarter of 2020, around 904 million. And, even if numbers are very high, there’s a lot of potential for growth, since internet penetration in China had only reached 64,4%.

Videos platform bigger than ever in China

In addition, the growth of the online video industry seems to be unstoppable too. As the number of Chinese video platforms’ active users in December 2019 surpassed the 850 million benchmark and it’s estimated that within the end of the year will surpass 150 billion users.

3. Which target can you reach through Bilibili?

Bilibili has a well-defined audience. It is the mobile video app with the highest share of gen Z users, the 81,4%. A feature relevant to luxury brands, that not by chance, have showed a great interest toward the app in recent years.

According to content preferences, while males seem to prefer video games, most of the females show interest in lifestyle-related content.

Finally, we know that the app is very popular among inhabitants of second-tier cities, where, also, the amount of e-commerce services is growing fast, due to a smaller number of international brands present in these cities compared of that of first-tier cities.

4. What are Bilibili’s main features?

Bilibili “loyal community” is what makes it different from all other platforms and the reason why many famous brands decide to invest in it in recent years. Below you can find some other features, which contribute to create Bilibili target audience loyalty.

Danmu”: Bilibili’s distinctive feature

One of the most important features is the “Danmu”, a bullet comment that appear in the videos and live-stream. This feature is mainly related to the first audience of Bilibili (the one addicted to ACG content), which is very involved in writing during the “Danmu” for the sense of community that resulted from it.

Chinese Social Media  and video app: Bilbibili - On-screen comment Function - Danmu
Bilbibili – On-screen comment Function – Danmu

On the contrary, the new audience doesn’t seem so interested in using this feature as many new users prefer to watch videos without any kind of interference.

Bilibili Live-Streaming

Bilibili also provides live-streaming services, where users have the possibility to communicate with KOLs and KOCs.

This function is very useful to create high engagement.

Read more about Bilibili best Marketing Pratices for Businesses

5. How can you do E-commerce on Bilibili?

Not sure where to begin? These main function to promote your brand on Bilibili are:

  • opening a store in the “commodities” column of the homepage
  • adding links in the videos
  • partner with popular KOLs or KOCs
  • using Ads
  • using Mini-programs
  • creating high quality content

Opening a store in the “commodities” column of the homepage

Users can purchase products clicking on the “commodities” column present in the homepage, without jumping in third-party sites.

The main products sold on it are cosmetics and skin care products.

Adding links in the videos

Content creators can insert links to their goods in the “Danmu” or under the videos. Also, there is an area on the purchase page where users can post and comment to review.

Partner with popular KOLs or KOCs

Cooperation with Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) or Key Opinion Customers (KOCs) can be a perfect solution to promote your brand on Bilibili.

Considering the dislike of Chinese costumers for aggressive advertising, choose a KOCs, to whom they trust more because appear more sincere than KOLs, or creating an impressive and good–looking campaign with KOLs, can be the key to success.

Bilibili content creators are on Taobao

In 2018, Taobao let Bilibili’s content creators open their own KOC accounts on it. They mainly sold goods and services related to fashion, lifestyle and ACG novels and movies.

The cooperation between Taobao and Bilibili gave to the second the possibility to explore “content related e-commerce”, letting Bilibili use Taobao analytics tools and improve the user experience.

Bilibili Native Ads

To advertise products on Bilibili, there is also the possibility of place ads in the channels of KOLs or running traditional display ads. This helps advertisers gain their target audience’s awareness.

Bilibili Mini-programs, what is it?

Since Alibaba invested in Bilibili, in April 2019, the focus of the platform has moved from user acquisition to e-commerce. This is mainly due to the appearance of new e-commerce miniprograms on Bilibili, that are the most efficient way to sell on the platform at present.

If you have a cosmetic brand could be interested to know that Bilibili launched a mini-program in 2019, it is called “势能种草机”, where celebrities sell cosmetics.

Creating high-quality content for your Bilibili Marketing

High-quality content is Bilibili’s biggest competitive advantage.

Interest of Bilibili users toward high quality content and great story telling should not be forgotte. Companies that want to invest in Bilibili should absolutely rely on excellent content creators and imagine very creative campaigns. It would work even better if campaigns have something related to ACG.

Fendi - 2020 Peekaboo Ads Campaign on Bilbili
Luxury Brand Fendi – China 2020 Peekaboo Bag Ad Campaign on Bilbili

Fendi created a very original campaign for its Peekaboo handbag. Bilibili’s design team illustrated the campaign with a comic-style design, a move that reaches the attention and engagement of many users.

6. For your online store to succeed in China, you need to build trust

Opening an online store will never be enough to succeed in China. If you want any chance to actually sell with your Online Store, you are going to have to it, grab the attention of Chinese consumers and gain their trust.

Invest in your online and offline reputation, this means that if you are an unknown brand in China from SEO on Baidu, PPC and PR. Using these marketing tools, you’ll get the ligitimacy you need to succeed in the middle kingdoms and set yourself appart from the competition.

GMA - Digital Marketing Agency China

If you are interested in entering the Chinese market or just want to know more about topics related to China, feel free to contact us. GMA’s goal is to help foreign companies to thrive in China with digital solutions. We can work with you to create your e-reputation in China and a KOL marketing campaign using Bilibili.

Read more about Video & Social Media in China:

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