If you want to prepare an effective marketing plan for your business in China for 2024, you should first look at the new marketing trends to see where the odds are.
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China’s marketing landscape in 2024 is characterized by several key trends, heavily influenced by technological advancements and evolving consumer behaviors. Here’s an overview of the most significant trends:
- Mindful Consumption: Chinese consumers are increasingly gravitating towards smaller, premium, and local brands that emphasize sustainability and quality. This trend reflects a growing ‘value mindset’ where responsible consumption is a priority. Brands need to align with these values and communicate their commitment to sustainability and ethical practices digitally.
- Douyin’s Influence: Douyin (TikTok’s Chinese version) has experienced extraordinary growth, challenging established e-commerce players. It has become a primary channel for discovering high-quality products, with social media being the most trusted channel for gathering information about products and services in China. Douyin’s e-commerce revenue and live-stream shopping sessions have seen remarkable growth, highlighting its importance in the digital commerce arena.
- Rise of Social Shopping: Online retail sales of cosmetics, for example, have begun to surpass in-store sales, with social shopping accounting for an increasing share. Douyin, in particular, has seen a significant increase in beauty product sales, thanks to its in-app payment solution and powerful social shopping capabilities.
- RED and UGC Focus: The platform is heavily reliant on user-generated content (UGC) speically on little red book. Users create posts (called “Notes”) sharing their personal experiences, tips, and product reviews. This content is considered authentic and trustworthy by its community
- Importance of KOLs: Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) have high trust levels and vast followings, making them extremely effective for brand awareness and sales driving. Brands are advised to carefully select influencers that align with their marketing goals, leveraging data and insights for more efficient collaborations.
- AI KOLs: AI-generated Key Opinion Leaders are gaining popularity due to their ability to engage audiences constantly and their perfect brand alignment. These virtual influencers represent a blend of technology and creativity, offering unique marketing opportunities.
- Livestreaming and Entertainment : particularly in the context of entertainment, has become a significant cultural and commercial phenomenon worldwide, including in China.
- Advertising on Douyin: Douyin offers various advertising formats like TopView Ads, In-feed Ads, Native Ads, etc., each serving different campaign objectives. Brands need to tailor their content and strategies specifically for the Chinese audience, considering the local market’s nuances.
- Co-Branding: Brands are utilizing tailored digital marketing strategies, leveraging the latest technologies, and establishing local partnerships and co-branding for effective market penetration
- Most important new marketing trend, personalization & customization marketing level revolves around personalization. Because the social media user is increasingly overwhelmed by a tsunami of content, custom-made marketing becomes an increasingly prominent role. Due to an excess of incentives, the consumer’s tension is shrinking, but it grows its blind spot for generic content, in both form and message. So: how can you attract and hold the attention of your target group
Video commerce and livestreaming have become pivotal components of the e-commerce landscape in China, revolutionizing the way brands interact with consumers and sell products. Here’s an introduction to these trends:
- Definition: Video commerce refers to the use of video content to promote and sell products or services. This includes product demonstrations, tutorials, and branded storytelling.
- Platforms: Major platforms like Taobao, JD.com, and Pinduoduo have incorporated video features to enhance the shopping experience. Smaller, niche platforms also participate in video commerce, catering to specific audiences and product categories.
- Engagement and Conversion: Video content is highly engaging, helping to better explain products and create an emotional connection with viewers. This leads to higher conversion rates compared to traditional e-commerce methods.
- Influencer Integration: Influencers often play a key role in video commerce, leveraging their following and credibility to drive sales.
- Popularity: Livestreaming has become one of the most popular and effective sales methods in China. It combines real-time video streaming with the ability to purchase products featured in the stream.
- Platforms: Douyin (TikTok’s Chinese version), Kuaishou, and Taobao Live are among the leading platforms for livestreaming. Each has its unique features and audience demographics.
- Interactivity: Livestreaming allows real-time interaction between the host (often a KOL or celebrity) and the audience. Viewers can ask questions, comment, and make purchases instantly.
- Sales Volume: The sales volume generated through livestreaming is substantial, with events often reaching millions of viewers and generating significant revenue.
Live-streaming: Shopping entertainment
A development that we have already noticed in recent years, and especially in China, is the advance of video and live streaming. Video content is the fastest-growing ad format. From next year onwards, it will be the mainstream marketing tool, included in the content plans of brands and companies, and supported by the social media culture of ‘ mobile-first ‘. Our expectation for 2024 is that 80% of the social media content will consist of video.
Little Red Book (Xiaohongshu) , a must have in 2024
Red Book, also known as Xiaohongshu, is a popular social media and e-commerce platform in China. It blends lifestyle content with user-generated product reviews, making it a unique fusion of a shopping guide and a social network.
- User Base and Content: Primarily attracting a young, predominantly female audience, Red Book is a platform where users share experiences, reviews, and recommendations about a wide range of topics including fashion, beauty, food, travel, and lifestyle.
- UGC Focus: The platform is heavily reliant on user-generated content (UGC). Users create posts (called “Notes”) sharing their personal experiences, tips, and product reviews. This content is considered authentic and trustworthy by its community.
- E-commerce Integration: Red Book has integrated e-commerce capabilities, allowing users to purchase products directly through the app. This feature is especially popular for beauty and fashion items.
- Community Engagement: It emphasizes community interaction, with features that encourage users to follow, like, and comment on posts. This creates a highly engaged user base.
- Influencer Marketing: Influencers, known as Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs), play a significant role on the platform, influencing trends and purchase decisions.
- International Brands: Many international brands use Red Book as a gateway to the Chinese market, leveraging its influence to reach young, affluent Chinese consumers.
China KOL – Key Opinion Leaders
If a brand message does not succeed, it may have several causes. One of them is the originality and authenticity of the content. Many marketers, for example, notice that the target group is increasingly affected by fake company values. In 2024 , there is, therefore, a definitive turnaround: All online marketing expressions must be authentic. A realistic representation of reality will be rewarded with the user’s appreciation.
The success of influencer marketing cannot be separated from this development. But the deployment of influencers is nothing new, right?
Nevertheless, 2024 is described as the year of the rise of influence. This has everything to do with a shift in brand campaigns, where the emphasis on relevance and authenticity has come to lie.
Where brands competed for the largest key opinion leaders (KOL) until recently, the ball is now in the court of the micro KOL. An influencer with millions of followers gives no guarantee. The use of a micro KOL with less, but for your brand, relevant followers, is much more effective, on the other hand.
It is expected that brands and influencers in 2024 are more likely to have a long-term relationship. This means that there is no longer the search for influencers per campaign, but that a brand will collaborate with two or three influencers, who are engaged for a longer period of time. These influencers are loyal to the brand and serve as an extension of their own content creation team.
With a sophisticated, relevant strategy, you can make the connection between influencer and target group work to your advantage. A clever marketer, therefore, makes a budget free for influencer marketing next year.
Livestreaming and Entertainment
Livestreaming, particularly in the context of entertainment, has become a significant cultural and commercial phenomenon worldwide, including in China.
- Format: Livestreaming in entertainment often involves real-time broadcasting of events, performances, or personal experiences, where viewers can watch and interact with the streamer through comments and reactions.
- Platforms: Various platforms support entertainment livestreaming, including Twitch, YouTube Live, Facebook Live, and, in China, platforms like Douyin and Kuaishou.
- Content Variety: Content ranges from video gaming, music performances, talk shows, to everyday life vlogs. This diversity caters to a wide array of interests and demographics.
- Interactivity: A key feature of livestreaming is its interactivity – viewers can engage with the streamer in real-time, making the experience more personal and engaging.
- Monetization: Livestreaming has become a lucrative business for many content creators, with monetization coming from advertisements, sponsorships, and viewer donations.
- E-Sports and Gaming: Livestreaming has a significant presence in the gaming community, with e-sports tournaments and gaming sessions being popular content.
- Influencers and Celebrities: Many influencers and celebrities use livestreaming to connect with their audience, offering a more intimate and unfiltered glimpse into their lives.
- Community Building: Livestreaming helps in building online communities around specific interests, where viewers not only interact with the streamer but also with each other.
China Marketing Trends: Let’s wrap up in 2024
Many challenges in 2024, but also many new opportunities! What’s the keyword? Personalization. To shake off the competition and generate more range and conversion for your brand, you will need to know what your target group is moving to. Therefore, keep the trends for 2023 closely monitored, but with a critical look. Not every brand needs to follow any trend. Be authentic, stay close to your company’s core values and work on the trends that make your brand stronger.
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Gentlemen Marketing Agency (GMA), a digital marketing agency based in China, ecommercechinaagency.com is the e-Comemrce division. GMA has established itself as a prominent choice for brands looking to enter or expand in the Chinese market. Here are some key reasons why brands choose to work with GMA:
- Cultural Adptation: GMA’s team has a deep understanding of both Western and Chinese cultures, which is crucial for effective marketing in China. This cultural awareness ensures efficient and high ROI services.
- Digital Native: The agency stays abreast of the latest digital marketing trends in China, ensuring that clients can leverage the most current tools and strategies.
- Performance & Focus: As a digital performance agency, GMA bases its services on KPIs like sales, leads, or clicks, focusing on tangible results for its clients.
- Communication: With offices in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Paris, Moscow, and Bangkok, and a team proficient in multiple languages, GMA offers a global perspective with local expertise.
- Comprehensive : They provide a wide range of services including market consulting, brand positioning, e-commerce operations, social media marketing, public relations, advertising placement, and influencer marketing.
- Experience : GMA has worked with over 700 companies, ranging from startups to multinational corporations, adapting their strategies to each brand’s specific needs.
- industry: The agency has a dedicated team for fashion and luxury brands, F&B, Cosmetics , health helping them navigate the unique aspects of the Chinese market.
- Client-Centric Approach: They view clients as partners and focus on building lasting relationships based on trust.
- Innovative Solutions: GMA continually develops new digital solutions to offer the most up-to-date services.
- Market Insights: The agency provides valuable insights and analysis of the Chinese market, aiding brands in understanding the competitive landscape and consumer preferences.