Insight & Analysis

7 Top Digital Marketing Trends in China


Digital marketing trends in China are very dynamic, changing and shifting just as they do in western markets.

If you’re marketing to China, it’s important to know the market, and to be aware of current trends and make the most of them.

Statistics on digital behaviours in China

Marketing strategies naturally need to match with users’ behaviours and needs. Data published on digital intelligence firm netimperative’s website shows that at September 2015, there were:

  • 668 million internet users.
  • 594 million mobile internet users.
  • 659 million social media users (nearly 99% of internet users).
  • 574 million mobile social media users.
  • 100,000 new users on the internet each day.

Research also found that:

  • The most-used Chinese social media networks were QQ instant messaging, Qzone, and WeChat.
  • Mobile chat apps have been growing in popularity amongst users.
  • Popular uses for mobile devices include checking the weather, m-commerce, instant messaging, using mobile payment services, and travel bookings.
  • One in three internet users make use of e-commerce to buy products or services every month. This peaks in November during the Double 11 Festival.

Popular marketing trends

  1. Use of multiple content tools, with popular ones according to a PR Newswire survey including news releases, websites or mini-sites, and social media such as Weibo or WeChat.
  2. Reduced use of traditional channels as marketing becomes more interactive and visual, and greater use of social media, websites, images, and videos.
  3. Adopting new digital media for brand communication, media attention, increasing web traffic, improving brand loyalty, and making more product sales.
  4. Higher use of social media to connect and engage with audiences and to invite user participation.
  5. Increase in the use of tools to invoke emotion, such as moving videos, humour and entertainment.
  6. Use of ‘image ambassadors’ or opinion leaders to promote brands.
  7. Making use of LBS (Location Based Service) technologies.

 Making the most of current trends

It’s clear that traditional methods of marketing and advertising are not in vogue right now and that there is a strong shift towards connection, engagement, interaction and fun, with the ultimate aim for marketers of achieving greater brand loyalty and product or service sales.

Tips for utilising the trends include:

  • Get to know the mindset and needs of your target audiences and use this as the basis for your digital marketing strategies.
  • Develop an understanding of the power of marketing referrals / word-of-mouth marketing in China.
  • Build a Chinese website and optimise it for mobile use.
  • Spend time becoming familiar with the various social networks so you can develop different strategies for the ones you intend to use as marketing tools.

If you need professional help with your Chinese marketing strategy, including leveraging the latest trends, contact us. Our China Online Marketing division has years of experience in engaging with Chinese audiences.

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