by Atina

China is a unique market that many businesses would like to enter due to its strong buying power. The reason why I said it’s unique is because the Chinese culture and Chinese lifestyle are quiet different compare with other countries especially when we talk about online marketing.

Due to the exist of Chinese internet firewall, Chinese people have a different system of internet tools, such as Chinese people use Baidu instead of google, use weibo instead of twitter, use wechat but not whatsapp to communicate, and use taobao or tmall etc. shopping platform to do online shopping instead of using ebay and Amazon (Though Amazon occupies certain market share in China).

According to China Internet Information Center, Chinese online users increased rapidly from 450 million in 2010 to 770 million in 2017, specifically, mobile online users occupied a large scale, which is 750 million in 2017. This means that when you do online marketing in China, mobile online marketing is a strong focus since people gain information from it.

After know the user data of whole Internet, let’s move to online marketing as follows:

1. Internet advertising and mobile adverting in China

Mobile advertising market quickly increased from 53.2 million in 2012 to 2648.8 million in 2017 and it continues to increase in China, which expects to reach to 4842.5 million in 2019.

reference: smart insight

It can be obviously seen that both Internet advertising market and mobile adverting market are rapidly occupied whole advertisement market. Moreover, percentage of mobile ad is taking over Internet ad market, which held 68.2% in 2017.


From above data, we could know the importance of mobile advertising marketing. Foreign brands who would like to open their awareness in China, especially for those whose target is final customers, should consider carefully and analyse the ROI from desktop and mobile and allocate finance across different devices. For example, whether to build up a responsive website users could visit it both on computer and mobile phone. In addition, you need to pay attention to evaluate your mobile site performance since SEM might lead traffic to your mobile site.

Moreover, when you run a campaign on mobile, the guideline outlined by Baidu should be observed. Link: Mobile Search UX Whitepaper for Advertising 3.0

2. Social Media Marketing

When mention social media marketing, Wechat is a must to say. With more than 1 billion monthly active users, its eco-system has been built up and the potential to do marketing on Wechat is huge.

1) Wechat official account

Wechat official account is a channel to publish content, people subscribe account and it can be delivered to them when content posted. It’s like EDM, users could gain information when they subscribe it. It’s an effective way to share and update news, products, knowledge to users especially it’s a necessary tool that become an apart of live.

From Wechat Impact Report 2018, we could know that most subscription of official account in different categories is increasing, which means more and more enterprises in diversify industries aware the importance of doing marketing on Wechat.

(Source: CAICT Wechat Economic and Social impact Report 2017, Walkthechat)


How to achieve social media marketing on Wechat?

– Wechat is an instant message tool, when users read an article and would like to share to certain people, she or he could just share article etc. content to individuals or groups.

– Wechat Moment is a function that providing a place to post images, videos, text and articles. Users could brose content there, give likes, do comment and re-share. According to Wechat Impact Report 2016, 61.4% of users check Wechat Moments everytime when they open Wechat,which means content post to Moment could gain attention.

– On Wechat Moments, advertisement feature is developed. When users brose posts, Ad would show out among the posts. It’s a very direct way to promote activity and improve brand perception.

– H5 page. Html5 is a program language, which could create dynamic and fancy effects to attract users. Since H5 is fixed with Wechat, many brands adopt H5 to do marketing and share it on Wechat.

Case: Tecent Video – Starwar.

2) Weibo

Weibo is also a popular social platform in China, unlike Wechat Moment, it’s a public platform. When you do post, public could see it. Therefore, many public figures open their accounts on Weibo and share their personal live or promote themselves on Weibo. Fans economy born and rapidly develop on weibo as well. A lot of grassroots bloggers seize this chance and become KOL(key opinion leader), which earn a lot of traffic and easier to promote products, values etc.

Weibo marketing is another topic that could observe, it develops to an ecosystem nowadays. I’ll talk about it later.

3) Zhihu

Zhihu is like Quora in its beginning phase, users drop questions and people who know answers could reply. The questions are diversity, including all industries, Internet, Physical, Entertainment, and Education etc. What makes Zhihu special is that many answers are professional and high quality. Users share their knowledge, experience and opinion on Zhihu, the answers are integration of logic, emotion and humours, which people could be inspired. When Zhihu become a community that people freely discuss about knowledge and experience, it launched “Zhihu lesson Live”, which is a paid knowledge sharing.

Lecturers share their knowledge in terms of certain topic to users whom are willing to pay for it. Brands would promote on Zhihu via advertisement, content or KOL.

3. Content Marketing

According to《The Content Marketing Institute》, Content is a strategic marketing, it attracts and keeps target audience via creating and distributing valuable, high-dependency and continual content, and drive profitable user behaviours in the end.

Content marketing is a long-term investment, you could not see an obvious return in the beginning, while once it reaches the line, the reward is huge.

A way to judge whether your content marketing is effective or not: recognizing whether your business is in a high knowledge domain. In finance, fitness and fashion etc. area, users prefer looking into more information and suggestion. If you target your brand as a trustful source that users rely on, you could strengthen the reason for your own products. Target yourself to a trustful specialist and show your professional knowledge to them.

Insights —

How to create an attracting content?

  • You need to lock your target customers, link your content with industry knowledge and marketing skills, a good post create its own logic and make readers follow it. In addition, do not neglect a good design of the content. It can be helpful to attract attention of readers.
  • Content localization is a focus when you do content marketing in China. Knowing Chinese people’s habits, interests and market hotspot is important when you create the content.

4. SEO

Doing SEO in China needs to focus on Baidu, which is the most popular search engine there. SEO is based on content related with your brand and products displayed on the Internet. More relative content you create, easier for you to do SEO.

Before you do SEO, you need to analyse below factors: lock up your website position, demand analysis and choose good content, inner-site optimization, outer-site optimization, promotion, data analysis, experience analysis.

These four points that describe how to doing online marketing in China is not detail enough. I’ll talk about more for each one in the following days. If you’re interested to know more about online Chinese market, do not hesitate to follow my Medium account.

If you’re interested in any topics of Chinese online marketing, you could also send your propose to my email:



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