Ctrip Digital Marketing to attract Chinese outbound tourists during Chinese New Year

Chinese outbound tourism has a number of particularly important periods, including Chinese New Year, Summertime and October’s Golden Week. In this blog, we’ll look at how Ctrip digital marketing can help your Western brand to market effectively to Chinese outbound tourists for Chinese New Year, which next falls on 25th January 2020.

Now is the time!

It’s important for Western brands to start planning ahead now. A 2016 WorldPay study found that over 90% of Chinese outbound tourists book their flights and accommodation within three months of their travel date.

Why do Chinese tourists matter so much?

Western leisure, retail, tourism and services brands, in particular, will want to engage this growing audience. Chinese tourists spend more when they travel overseas and they seek out high-end products, accommodation, experiences and dining. They love city trips, and the top 10% will spend up to US $2,225 daily during their tips. Younger Chinese travellers are also looking for authenticity, independence, discovery and fresh content for their social media!

How does Ctrip digital marketing help?

Ctrip is the biggest Online Travel Agent (OTA) in China, with 65% of the country’s online travel market. In the West, it is better known under its Trip.com brand.

How should you prepare?

Once you have defined your target audience, take your time to:

Localise your brand (if necessary), your website and your content.
Consider your Chinese new year campaign strategy, combining OTA use with online marketing, such as Baidu PPC, social media and KOL engagement, and other activities depending on your goals and budget.
Add visual Chinese New Year specific campaign elements, such as graphics, competitions, digital red envelopes and so forth.

If you want to do this quickly and effectively, but don’t have native in-house Chinese marketing professionals, a Chinese marketing agency can help. The right agency will smooth the process, avoid any cross-cultural issues and ensure that you stay in line with China’s strict advertising and content publishing rules.

Using Ctrip

This Chinese OTA is so powerful that around seven million Chinese outbound tourists used it to book their Chinese New Year trips this year. The platform is particularly popular amongst young, trendy and aspirational middle-class travellers who like to put together their own trips and itineraries, rather than relying on guided tours. In fact, 70% of Ctrip’s users are these Free Independent Travellers (FITs). Ctrip users can use the platform to book everything from their hotels and flights through to entertainment, dining out and travel services.

Who should you target on Ctrip?

Western marketers should look at travellers who have booked (or are looking to book) overseas travel services such as flights, car hire, holidays and WiFi. The powerful capabilities of Ctrip’s big data means that Western brands can benefit from precise targeting. For example, you might search for Chinese outbound tourists who have already booked their flights to the UK within the next five days, or you might search for Chinese travellers who are already touring the USA.

Using Ctrip to market for Chinese New Year

Ctrip offers a number of key benefits to Western tourist, retail and destination brands; primarily its AI, big data and cloud deployment which provides incredibly targeted, advanced marketing services. User preferences and online behaviours are recorded in minute detail and then mined to generate rich insights for customised marketing campaigns. For example, you can create highly targeted push adverts for your target customer group, according to their key user periods and the drivers that will result in a purchase.

Choose your type of advertising

Ctrip ads are placed throughout the website / app and in line with the customer’s user journey – beginning as they carry out research for a planned trip and through to their review of the experience. Western marketers can choose:

1. Retargeted banner displayers, with precise targeting against buyer behaviour
2. Hero apps – which again, drive conversions through varied channels and offer precise targeting by demographics, travel habits and buyer interests.
3. Brand placement – putting your brand in front of your target audience as they carry out their searches (and remembering that Chinese audiences find online advertising to be useful and informative, in contrast to Western audiences who often see it as a nuisance.)
4. Trip moments – which is akin to Instagram and which offers marketers the chance to place branded content against product placements, keyword searches and native feeds with discovery and city categories (bearing in mind that Ctrip Moments span 16,000 destinations with over 1.5 million posts!)
5. Joint promotion opportunities  with WIFI/car rental: O2O, target real-time, destination-oriented tourists effectively.
6. VIP Club promotion to high-end travellers and business travellers.
7. Sponsorship and advertising on official Weibo and WeChat Ctrip accounts.
8. Partner arrangements with KOLs for Trip Moments.

How to get real value from your Ctrip marketing campaign

As mentioned, the true power of Ctrip lies in its high-tech algorithms and precise targeting which are based on incredibly rich data insights from their user’s behaviour. If you can fully leverage this data for your own targeting, your budget will go much further and your adverts will actually get in front of your target audience. If, however, you don’t precisely target, you risk wasting precious digital marketing budget on adverts which are either crowded out by competitor brands or which are never actually seen by the right customers.

At Market Me China, we have the digital expertise and native language skills that you need to master Ctrip. We can help with every stage of your Chinese New Year digital marketing campaign journey, such as:

– Chinese New Year digital marketing strategy on Ctrip
– Identifying your target audience
– Curating, repurposing and creating content that makes their needs
– localising your website and the Chinese New Year visual assets that will bring it to life for the occasion – think red envelopes, celebration graphics, competition popups and so forth!
– Engaging with the right KOL for your brand to sponsor and promote your content in the right way.
– Organising, managing and evaluating the right type of Ctrip advertising campaign for your objectives

Contact us today

Interested in knowing more about Ctrip and the value it can offer to your Western brand for Chinese New Year? Our team of experts are here to help. Please contact us to find out how we can assist your brand, whether you are new to marketing in China or keen to build your brand presence further within your Chinese outbound tourism market.