This article on Content Marketing in China is another in our simple basic “what is” series written for beginners or novices. It is not an indepth, tech dissertation. In builds n our previous talks about Chinese User Experience [UX] and website optimisation for China
Marketing content today is no longer a one size fits all. Different platforms, different customer sectors demand specific content. Content is now a primary indicator in search rankings.
- A Content First approach to your marketing recognises customers are different
- Shift the focus of your content onto the consumer
- Search bots prefer user oriented content
- Content: more than text
Uengager: A Content First Philosophy
The content first philosophy may appear relatively new but in has been around since pre digital times.
In simple terms, content marketing creates marketing material targeted to a particular sector or niche consumer. As our head image illustrates, not everyone thinks, dresses or behave the same. Different people have different ideas. For success in China, your web site needs to be able to cater for that.
Contrast with “Mass Blasting” where everyone receives ads for pantihose regardless of gender.
The argument was that males would buy for their lovers wives or… but roughly, 50% of marketers budget was wasted. You also risk turning users off.
Tom Fishburne illustrates customer frustration from “Push Marketing” or mass blasting Email spam.
2012, Google declared war on Black Hat SEO
[ practice of manipulating search engines with fake keywords and spammy content.]
Search and ads became a major source of Google’s income- a competitive business. Financialy unwilling to lose users because of poor search results, they upgraded search engines to “read” pages as a human. Display decisions hinged on “content value” [relevant, and useful to their user.] Content meeting users search keywords scored higher in search results. Many sites tumbled in rank, others disappeared from search. See the CMI definition of content marketing.
Marketers began rethinking their proposition. As the Internet developed, devices became faster. Mobile stretched the boundary, 3G, 4G, 5G mobile and technology gave users more control over what they allow onto their screen. Social media shifted power or control.
Initially dependent on a brands sales team,Chinese customers matured from passive consumers into well educated, proactive expert shoppers. Brand driven push marketing was no longer welcome or tolerated.
Consumers now proactively reach out to brands, demand quality information and superlative, personalised service. Chinese shoppers expect brands to listem to them, listen and react appropriately.
Content Marketing develops consumer trust and brand rapport rather than just generating sales. This User First mentality matured into UX- user experience.
Many marketer’s ideas of content was the written text on their webpage. However, content does not confine itself to the printed word.
In today’s  interactive web site we can represent content by:
This list is from from complete, for example:
- White Papers
- Side Shows
- TikTok short video
- And in China, currently white hot; Live Podcasts
Segment and target each piece of content appropriately to your audience, eg; blogs would be less successful in China than games, videos or live podcasting.
Horses for courses.
Content isn’t directly about you or your brand.
We know that you love your brand, are proud of your company. That’s natural. But at the end of play, this isn’t about you. It’s really about your customers. So use content to tell a story, make the customer the hero, your brand as a bit player.
Inform, educate, describe something new focusing on the user, not you. We all like to be made to feel special.
Include video showing customers how they can get better value from your product, use less, save more, multiple uses. Stand alongside your customer.
Create content with social shareability in mind- develop content people love and can easily share. Create a comedy, drama, love story. Dove chocolates did extremely well using the last scenario.
Uengager and Content Marketing
How does this fit into Uengager?
With the plethora of content available to us now, websites are more complex, more interaction, more links.
With this increase comes a decrease in UX- and increased FU [ Frustrated Users] who find difficulties navigating your site.
If you have read this far, thanks. By now you will have realised that a sloppy, auto translation of your English, French or what ever language site is simply not going leave the ground in China.
It’s not just about natural, native, colloquial Chinese text, the entire site needs to reflect Chinese consumers culture, their tastes and preferences. Images of fellow Chinese. Look at any Chinese website- see the difference?
This brings up the final credits on our article today, if you were not a content covert, we hope this short article has given you food for thought.
How can Uengager help you use MarTech in China?
Baidu Optimisation – SEM
Baidu may look like Google or Bing, but under the hood it is a different beast. Eg: Baidu still recognises keywords.
When most people think of website optimisation they tend to associate it with SEO. Setting off arm bells. Rightly so.
However, it is important not to confuse the name- which became synonymous with cheats, liars and crooks, with the actual scientific process.
But if we look at it from the perspective of CEO -Customer Experience Optimisation- then it begins to make sense to ensure your website performs at its best. Yes?
Many companies believe they take it seriously, but oft just “pay lip service” by limiting it to their customer support staff.
But, to be successful in China, or anywhere, a brand needs to portray a unified image and message throughout its total consumer interaction.
That means having the entire staff on board, from the cleaning lady to delivery drivers down to the C Suite and CEO- maybe you!
It must be company wide- or not at all.
Talk to Everlyne about a training or update program tailored to your team, your budget, your needs.
Social Media; WeChat, Weibo
Chinese use social media for almost all everyday situations from booking tickets, paying accounts, ride hailing, shopping, travel, entertainment news and relaxation.
Mobile is the GOTO medium of choice, WeChat the current platform of choice.
Social Media could be your main branding, sales CRM and data tool in China. Introduction to WeChat Operation.~
Marketing, like many things in China is in a state of constant flux. It is difficult for in house teams to stay ahead or even up to date. Uengager can help.