Questions About Chinese Digital Media – You Asked, We Answered.

Questions about Chinese Digital Media – You asked, we answered.

This article is also available in: 简体中文

At Balmer Agency we help Australian businesses break into the Chinese market by leveraging an array of Chinese digital platforms, marketing, and advertising strategies. When we introduce Chinese digital marketing to our clients, they’re usually unfamiliar with the platforms we work across and the opportunities that are available to them. 

Here are the answers to a few questions we get asked…

1. How does the Chinese digital landscape differ from the Australian digital landscape?

In China, access to platforms that are popular in the west, such as Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and Google are restricted. Digital users in China spend their time on Chinese digital platforms – many of which have achieved worldwide popularity e.g. Tik Tok – a version of the Chinese app DouYin that has been rebranded for the global market. 

Here are some of the top digital platforms in China:

  • WeChat WeChat  is a multi-purpose messaging, social media and payment app  – Think Facebook or Whatsapp for comparison). Due to its extensive capabilities, the app offers a variety of marketing, advertising and e-commerce opportunities that businesses can leverage. It currently has over 1.2 billion monthly active users, making it the most popular social media platform in the Chinese digital landscape.
  • Sina Weibo the most popular micro-blogging platform in the Chinese digital landscape with 550 million monthly active users. Weibo is used widely amongst KOLs and businesses.
  • Tencent Video – with over 900 million monthly active users, Tencent Video has a large audience base, making it a great platform for businesses to leverage in order to raise brand awareness.
  • Xiao Hong Shu (Little Red Book) – Xiao Hong Shu is a content sharing platform focused predominantly on product reviews. Users can browse and shop products within the app and share their own experiences within the community. It’s a popular platform for KOLs, who can directly influence sales by posting positive reviews. Xiao Hong Shu has a younger and mostly female demographic, making it ideal for selling, fashion and beauty products.
  • DouYin – the original version of Tik Tok. Douyin has 518 million monthly active users within China (800 million worldwide). Businesses can post content on the platform and engage with KOLs to raise brand awareness.
  • Baidu – The top search engine in China with over 70% market share in the search engine market. This makes it a vital part of every Australian business’ strategy to tap into the Chinese market. However, ranking on Baidu is not the same as ranking on Google and will require a different set of SEO techniques and tactics.

2. What is the cost of entry for Chinese social media?

In short, you can get started on WeChat or Weibo for around $5,000. However, further investment is recommended in order to develop a comprehensive and consistent Chinese digital strategy.

  • Account set-up and verification – to begin your Chinese digital journey, we recommend setting up verified brand accounts on China’s top social media platforms – WeChat and Weibo. This will allow you to start posting organic content and open up opportunities for native advertising. Having a ‘verified’ account is important as it demonstrates that your brand is legitimate and reliable. Balmer Agency can help get your account set up and verified for a one-off fee of $5,000 (per platform).
  • Content creation and management – once your account is set up, it’s time to start building a following by posting impactful content and engaging with your target audience. Our content creation and account management services start from $5,000 and include content creation, content translation, content scheduling and community management.
  • Advertising and KOLs – If you’re looking to build brand awareness amongst a specific target audience, paid advertising and KOL advertising is recommended. Our WeChat advertising services include media buying, scheduling and KOL engagement throughout the course of your campaign. Prices start at $10,000 and will vary depending on ad placements and KOLs.

3. What is the set-up process for WeChat and Weibo accounts?

Setting up verified brand accounts on WeChat and Weibo requires more time and effort compared to setting up accounts on western social media platforms. You will be required to submit a signed application letter with supporting documentation with information about the account holder and business. At Balmer Agency, we guide you through the process to make it as easy as possible.

4. What is the targeting capability on Chinese social media?

There are two ways you can target an audience on Chinese social media. Some paid advertising placements e.g. WeChat moment ads or automatic banners, will automatically display your ad to your desired audience at the right times and in all the right places. 

You can also target a specific audience by selecting relevant KOLs for article buyouts and in-article banner placements. At Balmer Agency, our team of Chinese social specialists can help you develop a strategy that utilises a range of marketing tactics and advertising placements to reach your target audience.

5. What are KOLs?

KOLs (key opinion leaders) is a term used to refer to a wide range of media outlets and influencers that make up the Chinese digital landscape. KOLs can range from local news media sites, niche blogs, industry publications, to digital celebrities with millions of followers. Engaging KOLs are a great way to get your brand seen and heard and can help boost your reputation and following online. 

KOLs can be engaged to endorse your products, post articles or positive reviews about your business online, demonstrate and showcase products through livestream, host events through livestream, and can even participate in offline activations such as public appearances, brand events or product launches.

Balmer Agency has a wide network of KOLs both in Australia and in China and can help you find the right ambassadors to represent your business.

6. What are the e-commerce options for Australian businesses looking to enter the Chinese market?

When setting up an e-commerce store for the Chinese market, we recommend creating a WeChat shop using WeChat’s dynamic mini-program feature. Setting up a WeChat store is more affordable than setting up a store on TMall and can yield similar or even better results when successfully executed.

On WeChat stores, customers can browse and purchase your products all within the app using WeChat Pay. The appearance and layout of your store can also be customised to optimise customer journeys and fit your brand’s look and feel. 

There’s a lot of opportunity for marketing to your desired consumers in China, and we’re here to help you simplify your strategy.  Reach out to us to chat through your questions and discover opportunities for your business to tap into new markets for 2021 and beyond.