Develop your new digital marketing strategy 2023 for China

Now that 2023 is upon us, it’s time to really focus on building a strong digital marketing strategy for China. After all, if you’re serious about building your brand and gaining a loyal customer base in this vast, lucrative market, it’s important to stay one step ahead of the competition. China remains a focus for brands across the world, in both B2C and B2B markets, and its customers are extremely discerning, tech-savvy – and willing to switch their spend at the click of a button.

So with everything to play for, what steps should you take to develop the most successful digital marketing strategy 2023 for China that you can? Here are some tips to get you started:

1. Review your progress so far

Perhaps you have a Chinese language website which is already optimised for unique Chinese customer UX and smartphone optimised – or perhaps you are still reliant on the translation of Western content, and just dipping your toes in Chinese e-commerce. Maybe you already have a strong brand presence on Weibo and WeChat, or perhaps you are wondering which of China’s many cutting-edge social media platforms to invest in for your target audience. Wherever you are at, use this point to gather data about your progress, results to date and key areas for focus. What worked well with your China marketing strategy last year? What would you do differently?

2. Build your Chinese customer profile

If you don’t yet have target Chinese customer profiles, then consider creating them so that you can clearly understand user personas and target your Chinese digital marketing activity with clear groups in mind. For example, are you looking to target mid-aged, affluent urban sophisticates in Tier 1 cities, or are you more interested in the emerging Gen Z customers in high-growth Tier 3 and 4 cities?

3. Set some priorities

It’s impossible to do everything at once – at least, without an unlimited budget and team behind you! So set some priorities and measure what you do to see what is giving you a strong return, and what might need further focus, optimisation or shelving for the time being. For example, it’s impractical to have a brand presence across every Chinese social media platform, so perhaps choose a couple, to begin with. Equally, your budget will erode rapidly if you attempt to hit every target keyword for Baidu advertising. So think smartly, research carefully to find some less common and less competitive keywords and keep tracking your campaigns. Remember to invest too in the things that take longer and don’t necessarily bring immediate returns, such as Baidu SEO for your longer-term organic search gains.

4. Review your brand

It’s very easy for Western brands to make errors when it comes to launching their brand in China. After all, China is a very contextual culture, and elements such as numbers and colours can have a profound meaning that is very different to accepted meanings in the West. To avoid clumsy cultural mistakes that turn off sophisticated Chinese customers, it helps to assess your brand with the expert help of a Chinese digital marketing agency, which can review your brand and key messages with a test audience. This type of acceptance testing can be done as part of wider customer research for confident brand positioning.

4. Look to localisation

For many Western businesses, the immediate focus – after brand optimisation – will be on localisation efforts for their websites. This will often mean creating targeted, Chinese language content, optimising hosting and UX, resourcing engagement channels, and considering your marketing messages, brand position, use of graphics, images and other elements carefully. Localised, expert knowledge can be very handy here and help to avoid expensive mistakes later down the line. If you invest in quality, Chinese content then you can repurpose it widely to maximise its value. A Chinese marketing agency can help you to target, create and repurpose your Chinese language content for the best possible results, and to optimise your website UX to work for Chinese readers.

5. Consider your channels

For most Western firms seeking to build their brand in China, it makes sense to have an integrated, omnichannel strategy, but these more complex approaches to marketing in an overseas market must be carefully planned for and managed. For example, if you are going to invest in Baidu PPC advertising, Baidu SEO for long-term organic search gains, website optimisation and development, social media and KOL influencing and ePR, it’s important to have a tightly integrated plan with accompanying ongoing measurement. Native language skills are also a must when it comes to successful digital marketing in China 2023 because most Chinese platforms are only available in Chinese. For many brands, it makes sense to focus on limited channels initially in order to prove an approach and to build up a knowledge base about what works and what doesn’t. From this benchmarking position, it is then easier to grow efforts and multiply gains.

6. Get the right team in place

Some bigger brands may have the luxury of a well-resourced in-house Chinese digital marketing team with native Chinese language skills, but most will not, and need access to these specialist attributes. A Chinese digital marketing agency can give you the flexible access to digital marketing expertise that you need for the China market.

Our professional digital marketing experts have native Chinese language skills and excellent experience in the China market. We work with clients across all industries to help them achieve their Chinese marketing goals, whether they are seeking to launch a brand to build their online sales capabilities. With our flexible, bespoke support packages built around your needs, we are pleased to evidence the results of our work to prove our value to your business.

Find out more

To find out more about Market Me China and the ways in which we can help your brand to succeed and grow in the China market, please contact our friendly team for a no-obligation chat.