Digital marketers should not overlook the value of branded online video to their audiences. Much as YouTube experiences huge popularity here, China’s video platforms such as Youku and Baidu Video do so amongst local populations –particularly those of the younger demographic.

Online video has also been displacing television ads, according to an article in Marketing mag. People are visual creatures, and just as TV advertising has been successful at capturing the attention of viewers, online video can provide a similar visual impact.

A major difference however is that with online video, viewers are more in control. People will often sit through TV ads if they are watching a program, even if the ads are boring. But people watching an online video can easily turn off a video at will if it’s not interesting.

This means if your video content is not immediately enjoyable and engaging, people probably won’t be bothered watching it all the way through, no matter how great your product is.

How to create engaging video content

Here are a few tips for attracting attention through video.

  • You need to know your target audience well, just as you would with any type of marketing. This means understanding what they want and need, and getting the language right. Make sure you have Chinese speakers involved in the making of your online videos for China.
  • Use local platforms. YouTube is banned in China, so video marketing will need to be done through platforms such as include Youku Tudou, Baidu Video, and Video Sina.
  • Make sure your videos are very quickly engaging – preferably within the first few seconds. We’ve probably all experienced watching promotional videos that take too long to get to the point, or fail to grab our attention early on. One of the best ways to find out if yours are engaging is to test them on a Chinese-speaking audience, and ask for feedback.
  • Appeal to human emotions. This might include using humour to entertain (make sure it’s appropriate to Chinese audiences), and emotive content such as love and nostalgia to tug at people’s heartstrings.
  • Make your videos professional. While just about anyone can point a camera and press record, your videos should look good and not like they are ‘home-made’. Get help from the experts if you have limited or no experience in producing good video content.
  • Make sure your videos match your brand and make it shine through. How many times have you watched a TV ad or video and come away with no clue about who made it, or even what it is promoting?
  • Share on your networks. Your online videos should form part of your content, so provide access to them from your main website and vice versa. Share them through your Chinese social media pages as well, and ensure they are optimised for mobile devices.
  • Measure your results – such as shares and mentions, and the impact on your leads and sales, so that you can keep improving on your video-making skills.

Need some assistance?

If you are not sure where to start with branded online video marketing in China, we can help! Get in contact with our bilingual China marketing team to find out how.

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