While TV ad spending still dominates in China, this is expected to shift within the next few years, with market commentators expecting digital video to overtake TV by 2021.

According to eMarketer, digital video ad spending is expected to reach $64 billion ($US50.3 billion) in 2017, with nearly three-quarters of this going to mobile devices.

Digital video ad trends

Here are a few digital video trends:

  • Digital video is growing faster than online display ads, and is expected to account for more than 13% of all ad spending by 2021.
  • As always, quality content is king – with a key driver of digital ad growth being that of “strong content” according to eMarketer.
  • Some companies involved in video marketing are seeking professional partnerships to facilitate expansion of their advertising reach and influence.
  • BAT (Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent) will continue to dominate in the digital ad sphere – especially Alibaba at more than 35% (and tipped to grow to 38% by 2019). Alibaba appears to achieve its dominant position by incorporating video and social media elements into its m-commerce app.

Digital ad spending and growth areas

China was initially behind in latching on to the internet, but has since been making up for lost time. This has been reflected through digital ad spending – which almost tripled within five years!

Overall advertising forecasts show that digital ad spend in China will reach close to $107.5 ($US84.4) billion during 2017.

Advertising growth areas in China include content marketing, out-of-home digital ads (such as interactive billboards), and mobile video.

Non-growth or falling areas include TV ads (other than on China Central TV), print media, and radio ads.

Influencing factors regarding digital advertising include increased urbanisation, high mobile use, and the availability of Big Data.

Recommendations for digital marketers

  • Make the most of the various digital video apps available to create your own marketing videos, or get a professional video producer to assist you.
  • It’s important not to put all your digital advertising eggs in one basket (so to speak) but to use a mix of digital channels to maximise your reach.
  • Incorporate social media advertising into your digital ad strategies.
  • Consider partnering with successful companies to increase your advertising influence.
  • Always keep abreast of digital advertising in China to see what the trending patterns are.

Finally, if you’re not sure where to start, get in contact with our multi-lingual China marketing team for professional assistance. We can guide you through digital video advertising and developing an overall marketing strategy for reaching your target market in China.

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