While no one has a crystal ball that can predict the future with absolute certainty, when it comes to content marketing, we can usually take an educated guess by examining where current trends are going.
Certain trends look set to dominate content marketing in China for the rest of this year, and into 2017 – here are eight of them.
- A strong and personalised customer focus
Trends are moving away from mass marketing into a more personalised form – tailored for individuals and where they are in the decision-making / purchasing process. This requires shifting focus away from your brand and products, and placing it squarely on your customers. It includes greater engagement, knowing your customers well, having a good understanding of what they want and what makes them tick, and relationship building.
- Lots of quality content
People are looking for fresh content, which has high value for them. If quality is lacking or content is slow to load or difficult to access, users are likely to go elsewhere to look for a better experience. Content also needs to be interesting and well optimised, which brings us onto our next few points.
- Interesting and varied content
Videos, audio and images as well as text can all be used to deliver messages and tell stories about your brand. Interactive content – where the user gets to respond in some way – is also important. This might involve inviting customers to post their own photos or text, enter competitions, or answer questions online.
- Adaptable and integrated content
While people in China are using their smartphones a great deal, they also use desktops, tablets, laptops, and iPads. This means that content needs to be adapted for different devices and applications, and also integrated in some way – which might involve inviting video watchers to comment on social media, or to register votes or enter competitions through particular mobile apps.
Mobile device use is not slowing down in China and neither is e-commerce. Combining the two through m-commerce provides the best of both worlds in terms of speed and convenience, and is likely to continue as a popular trend.
Alibaba’s Taobao also recently launched ‘Xiaopu’ – a tool designed to make m-commerce easier than ever by enabling sellers to easily set up mobile businesses, post and dispatch products through the use of barcodes, promote their businesses using QR codes, and offer location-based, personalised services.
- QR codes
QR or quick response codes are another popular and useful trend. QR codes can be programmed to store loads of useful information which can be easily and quickly accessed through QR reader software, such as that found on the WeChat social media platform.
- Social media apps
Social media platforms, such as WeChat and Weibo, continue to be very popular in China and useful for digital marketers. Here are some stats from China Internet Watch:
- WeChat – WeChat grew to more than 800 million users in the second quarter of 2016.
- Momo – this location-based instant-messaging service is experiencing some strong growth, with its net income having grown by more than 800% in the year to end June 2016.
- Tencent QQ – the number of monthly active users on this platform currently stands at almost 900 million.
- Word-of-mouth and influencer marketing
Word-of-mouth remains popular in China, and collaborating with key opinion leaders (KOLs) and other influential people is likely to continue being a trend.
According to a China Internet Watch survey, 66% of consumers said they would spread the word about a brand they had a good experience with. Many also said they would interact with the brand more, follow the brand on WeChat and Weibo, install the company’s app, post comments on the business’s social media page and also share their posts.
Certainly it seems that Chinese citizens love their technology, and digital marketers need to be aware of this, and to also look at what is trending for the months ahead in order to take full advantage. For help and assistance with this, don’t hesitate to contact Digital Crew’s bilingual China marketing team!