Having measurable key performance indicators (KPIs) is a must for digital marketers. Your KPIs help you quantify how your website, social media channels, or other digital marketing approaches are working. But if you’re trying to reach a Chinese audience, the usual KPIs may not apply.

Online forms and newsletter sign-ups

 The success of a website is often measured by how well it converts. A conversion is where a user to your website undertakes a specific desired activity. Buying a product is a common type of conversion.

Having users subscribe to a newsletter is another, as is filling in a contact form specifically designed to generate leads.

But neither newsletters or contact forms are effective when you’re trying to reach a Chinese audience. Why?

First, email newsletters don’t have a huge appeal to Chinese readers. This type of communication is slow and unwieldy, and works – problematically – on the assumption that your audience will be checking their email on a daily basis. The same is true of contact forms, which lack the instantaneous response your Chinese users will expect.

Rather than making newsletter or lead generation form signups a KPI, make your social media channels a KPI. Direct your would-be users to your social media channels – with a specific emphasis on the hugely popular WeChat.

For contact form alternatives, consider WeChat, QQ, direct phone numbers and live online chat features.

How your Chinese audiences uses – and finds – your website

 Bounce rates are high for Chinese users, with some verticals seeing bounce rates as high as 70%, according to Alexa data.

This reflects the fact that Chinese browsers require highly relevant information, and will quickly move to other channels if your website does not perform.

Research the appropriate bounce rates for your vertical for a Chinese audience, and see how your site measures up.

Additionally, when measuring the success of your website SEO strategies, it’s not enough to just track how your site ranks in organic search. That’s because Baidu, China’s most popular search engine, doesn’t just display organic search results.

It features videos, ads, wikis, forums and more – meaning that it’s not just your overall domain you need to be mindful of, but the SEO of all of your site’s assets. When it comes to SEO, look beyond your site’s overall ranking, and relate your KPIs to how effectively your site displays on Baidu’s multifaceted results.

What kind of things should you be tracking?

 For English-speaking audiences, engagement can be measured by things such as likes, shares, reads, and comments.

But for a Chinese audience, a key metric is peer recommendation. Because Chinese consumers tend to buy based on the recommendations of people they trust, tracking endorsements of your brand or product is key.

Some of this behaviour will occur organically, but you’ll want to try to create an incentive for your brand followers to actively endorse your product – whether it’s through writing a positive comment on a post, or receiving a reward for sharing your product or service details with their friends and family.

Make them relevant

Measuring the usual KPIs may not be effective when it comes to your digital marketing activities in China. Like every aspect of your business operations, it is essential that you tailor your KPIs specifically to the Chinese marketplace for best success.

For more information on designing, monitoring and meeting KPIs for a Chinese audience, contact one of the experienced consultants in our China Online Marketing division.

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