In China, the Internet has become a part of everyday life. They’re addicted to the web and modern technologies. 650 million people with access to the internet spend 25 hours per week on the internet. One-third of this time is spent on Chinese social media.
We’re going to explain and give details on how brands must use the following strategies in order to increase their number of followers.
1. Use virtual Hongbao
When the famous WeChat hit social media, the idea was to launch a free service of “hongbao” that is a great success among Chinese Internet users. A Chinese New Year can’t exist without the small red envelopes that adults give children during this famous day. “Hongbao is a ritual that’s impossible to ignore during the “Chunjie”(New Year). Tencent uses this ritual to attract people. In just 24 hours, 5 million people have sent more than 75 million “hongbao”. Many small amounts have been sent through the virtual payment system Tenpay. Each person was able to send the sum they wanted to the person of their choice in a simple and fast way.
2. Use social media to sell funny or weird items
To differentiate yourself from competitors, you have to sell different products. For example, Taobao decided to launch a service to rent a boyfriend. Like Christmas in the west, in China the Lunar New Year is a time for family to get-together. For some women, it could be a highly stressful time when relatives start asking questions about weddings. So Taobao saw this problem as a big opportunity. Taobao proposes a list of men offering their services as pretend boyfriends. Proposing unusual things like this can increase your notoriety. Taobao has more than 800 vendors that sell alive scorpions. You can also find breast milk soap on Taobao. Weird stuff isn’t it?
3. Personal branding
All brands which wants to enter the Chinese market need to create a Brand Culture. In a market increasingly competitive and huge, brands must be able to stand out but also attract Chinese consumers and develop a relationship of trust with them. If you want to have an efficient communication campaign, engaging Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) and create a good story are a must for your brand. Major brands have done it successfully. You don’t need to use several KOLs, but be smart about it and choose the KOL which correspond to your brand. It’s even more efficient in China, in fact when a product or service is promoted by someone they know and trust is much more effective than promotion via traditional channels. You can take the example of a successful Chinese Marketing story :
In the past 2 years, this marketing campaign could be one of the most successful with 200 tons of oranges sold in the first month online. Because of this phenomenal campaign, Chinese marketers now need to re-think how to come up with a marketing strategy to achieve a successful online campaign and attract more customers. Chu arrived on the market with a good story but instead of telling it directly, he used several famous KOL’s which included the writer Han Han, the national volleyball player Zhang Rui Rui and the film director Huang Hai. These 3 were this products campaign’s big opinion leaders. They told their fan’s that ‘Chu orange’ is good and made the campaign more interesting with popular online phrases. They’re fans interact with them, discuss and share the story of “Chu’s oranges”.
Create a personal brand with a good story promoted by good KOL’s will lead you toward success.
4. Intrigue and buzz
Some restaurant may use a buzz to increase their notoriety. For example, in Beijing a brand decided to launch a street marketing operation. Hundreds of guy dress in Sparta costumes walked in the street and were arrested because the brand didn’t have the authorization for the gathering. This operation was a success, and the media talked about the event.
Another example is the Chinese restaurant Zhengzhou. They created a new concept called «pay with my face». If you have a nice face, you may received a free meal. Clients scan their face, and the pictures are transferred to a specialist team. The jury determines who eats free. Here again, the restaurant creates a buzz about its concept.
Another restaurant decided to launch a street marketing operation. A Chinese restaurant had the “brilliant” idea to put students in front of the restaurant, making them wear a crab mask to encourage peasants to stop by the restaurant to eat crab. Yes, it’s limited but it created an intrigue for this restaurant and a lot of people stopped by and talked about it which created a strong word of mouth.
5. Incentive sharing
Motivate people and make them feel special by giving them something unique or exclusive in return for sharing.
Many brands reward fans by providing early access to content or offering them discount in exchange for sharing.
If reaching Chinese consumers through digital Media is vital to you and your brand, you need to be aware of the challenge it presents and understands how it works.