We are in the middle of the new year. Have you already implemented your new year resolutions for your business? And what about a China marketing strategy? We have put together the 11 best online content marketing trends this year.
Of course, we assume that you have already set your digital marketing goals for this year. In line with this, we from Tenba Group, your Cyprus digital marketing agency, reveal the 11 top content marketing trends for China and the world, which you must know this year!
No matter, where in the world your business is located, and which products or services you offer, digital marketing in China and around the world is a must in today’s time.
1. Start with a Strategy
In our fast-paced world, every step your business takes online and on your social media channels must have a clear purpose. A successful content marketing strategy is aligned with your business strategy and goals.
In combination with target group-oriented China SEO, you will be successful with your company in China and around the world.
Sounds Logical, but What Does that Mean?
Most international social media platforms (except LinkedIn, for example) are blocked in China. With them, you can reach Chinese people outside of mainland China, for example, Chinese in Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Also, remember that there are Chinese-specific social networks in the Middle Kingdom. The most important ones are WeChat (the super app for literally everything), Sina Weibo, and Douyin/Tik Tok. Being active there is a must if you want to skyrocket your business in the Chinese market!
How do I create a Content Strategy?
Answering the following questions may help you to develop your individual content marketing strategy:
- What do you currently post? How does your audience react?
- Do you talk about your products and services?
- What do your customers and testimonials say about you?
- Are you already an opinion leader in your niche?
- When (day, time) do you publish new content?
- How does your content connect to your business strategy and goals?
A good content marketing strategy allows you to
- create brand awareness
- inform people about your offers
- spark interest in your brand
- encourage purchases of your products and services
With good content, it is easy to turn new prospects into regular and loyal customers.
2. Find your Niche
An unbelievable 3.6 billion people around the world use social media platforms. It may sound tempting to want to reach all of these people at once. When social networks were fairly new, this was also a good strategy.
But nowadays, as the market is becoming saturated, it makes more sense to address a specific niche with tailored offers. Because there are fewer competitors in an (undeveloped) niche market.
Let’s look at this from a more practical angle. For example, instead of a general clothing brand, you could create minimalist fashion for young business people. Instead of a generic gym, you could specifically target young mothers or seniors.
Nowadays it is always a matter of addressing a smaller audience with high-quality information and content. As a result, the conversion rate, meaning from prospects to paying customers, typically will be higher.
Is it the same in China?
Currently, the trends in China are around safe, high-quality household and baby products as well as luxury brands in the fashion and cosmetics sector.
In China, too, there are countless opportunities for your company to serve a special niche or to meet a special need. Of course, that depends on your business model, your network, and your ideas.
3. Be Original
Although internet users generally have a very short attention span, statistics show that websites with added value such as high-quality information can keep users’ attention longer. This is true for China as well as the rest of the world!
For example, do you know the viral videos in which Chinese farmers dance in their fields? Longer blog articles and videos such as tutorials and webinars are great ways to provide users with unique content with tangible added value. Based on this, you can offer premium options, for instance.
Read up on the “benefits of blogging for your business“, including how to make your website more attractive to readers and search engines.
4. Be Authentic & Transparent
Your content must reflect the values of your company and communicate transparently – regardless of whether your company focuses on sustainability or profit optimization. If your business has more appearance than substance, you will lose your customers.
This means that whenever you create online content, you should be authentic, honest, and transparent. It doesn’t matter whether you upload a YouTube video to your channel or publish a LinkedIn article on your company site.
If you publish shorter texts, Sina Weibo is a great choice. Longer texts belong on WeChat. Blog articles belong on your website for Baidu search engine optimization. In fact, Baidu is China’s most popular search engine because Google is blocked.
5. Personalize Your Content
Online users pay attention to where they spend their money. They prefer brands that they value as customers. With personalized content, you can get in touch with your target group. Here are some examples of what you can do:
- Use the poll feature on Facebook
- Customize the homepage of your website, for example for registered members
- Add tags to your WeChat contacts to customize communication
This year is about delivering tailored experiences. Providing personalized content is only the first step.
China has a real passion for personalization and individual content compared to the rest of the world. Since the sense of community is more important than individuality, many Chinese strive to live out their peculiarities and personalities digitally.
6. Connect With Your Community
In addition to the exchange with your target group, your business will benefit from working with other brands. Think about which products or services from other providers could create synergetic effects with your offer.
Collaborations like Nike & Apple or Uber & Spotify show that companies can expand their customer base by examining how consumers use their services and expand their offerings accordingly.
Besides, the trend in China is towards “private traffic”. This means that brands are increasingly looking to communicate with their customers on their own channels, instead of selling platforms such as Tmall and JD (“public traffic”). This makes sense in order to connect customers more to the brand and to reduce external fees.
Is this too much for you to begin with? Don’t worry … start with something easier like a podcast interview or a guest post on a blog.
7. Work With Mini-Influencers
You can also build your community with social media influencers. But, watch out! Nowadays influencers are no longer just celebrities! Key Opinion Leaders (KOL), Key Opinion Consumers (KOC), meaning real consumers, as well as Wanghong, are becoming increasingly important.
Especially in China, but also in the rest of the world, these influencers are becoming increasingly popular. Influencers stand out from “normal” advertising media through their personal and authentic connection to their fans. As a result, they are regarded as trustworthy, which benefits the advertised business and its products and services. Click here to read up on this year’s hottest influencer trends!
In China, influencers play an even bigger role in digital marketing than in the rest of the world. Consumers are much more interested in the experience of real and authentic buyers than in the flood of official brand and company information.
This is partly because, in the past, larger companies sometimes kept problems to themselves and handled them poorly. Perhaps you remember incidents like plastic in rice or toxins in baby milk? This is one of the reasons why Chinese consumers place so much value on the opinions of real consumers online.
8. Implement Chatbots
Statistics show that quick responses are an important factor for customers to make a purchase. What do you think is the average response time of companies for online customer inquiries? More than 42 hours! Would that annoy you? Us, for sure!
Chatbots were developed as a result of natural language processing. You can have simple conversations with customers to solve standardized problems. You can patiently answer open questions and process customer information.
In fact, chatbots combined with machine learning and artificial intelligence are currently THE trend in China. Test this trend in your company too!
9. Be Creative on Social Media
Of course, having a social media presence is a great start. Today, there are many more ways to use this media profitably – from Facebook stories worldwide to WeChat marketing in China.
This year is the perfect opportunity to try out the following new online marketing trends:
- Live streaming on WeChat, TikTok/Douyin & Co.
- 360° photos
- Augmented reality
Trying out new strategies can be tough. But don’t be afraid! Research the format with which you can inspire your target group and simply try it out! Maybe you can even get a viral hit!
10. Voice Search & Smart Speakers
Sales reports from Amazon Echo and Alexa as well as Google Home and Nest show that people love smart speakers. For example, global sales will double between 2018 and 2023, to an estimated 200 million units.
These smart speakers can be used as mobile personal assistants. They not only answer questions but also provide their users with information that they would have previously researched on their laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
The Alibaba Group developed its own smart speaker for the Chinese market in 2017: Tmall Genie. It uses Alibaba’s personal assistance service AliGenie. Just like other smart speakers, the Tmall Genie supports web search, music streaming, controlling the smart home, and order products on Tmall.
Language integration is limited to Chinese (Mandarin) for now. But extensions are already being planned. In addition, two trends come together here: Tmall and the automobile manufacturer BMW have been working together since the beginning of 2018. The BMW Group was the first premium car manufacturer to fully integrate the Alibaba voice assistant into its vehicles.
What Does That Mean for Your Online Strategy?
You should adapt your content to a search in natural language. On the other hand, you should formulate sentences the way people actually speak. Remember that spoken and written language is different. Either way, make sure to include your keywords!
If you want to learn more about how to optimize your website for search, we have compiled the most important information for you here.
11. Use Email Marketing
In general, email marketing is inexpensive, easy to use, and analyze. This year focus on:
- Minimalist design
- Visual stories
- Mobile optimization
If you are looking for a smart email marketing automation tool, try „Mautic managed by hartmut.io“.
But Watch Out!
Email marketing hardly plays a role in China, since digital life mainly takes place on WeChat & Co. Instead of sending a newsletter or a promotion by email, in China, you should publish this content as an article on your official WeChat account.
Bonus Trend: Blockchain
The Takeaway – Top Content Marketing Trends
It was a good first step to get your company online. However, if you really want your company to be ahead of the competition, you should follow these content marketing trends in 2020. If you are looking for a China marketing agency, Tenba Group is here for you!
We look forward to developing intelligent strategies with you so that you can get started in the Middle Kingdom! From online marketing advice to SEO services – we will skyrocket your business! Send us a message and tell us about your project!