China is one of the fastest growing consumer markets in the world and the rise in spending prowess of an average Chinese makes it one of the most happening global marketplaces. Moreover, an increasingly high number of Chinese tourists go on visit each year with an average Chinese staying longer and spending more than visitors from any other countries.
Australia is a very popular holiday destination for the Chinese with nearly a quarter (22%) of the country’s total tourism revenues contributed by the Chinese tourists. Moreover, there is a huge community of Chinese students and expats in Australia with a potential to advertise their good experiences in the country back home to a market of more than a billion. Given the huge opportunities of business offered by the Chinese consumers, who possess a marked taste and affinity for western brands and services, it is important that service providers effectively reach out to them and market themselves by shaping their online strategies as per the taste of the Chinese audience and in compliance with local laws.
China is a tricky market for any business. The potentials of commerce with the average customer is huge but given the government’s stringent measures in censoring online content it is not easy to reach out to the Chinese online customers via means that are effective elsewhere. Popular websites like Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc. are outright banned in China and one has to resort to local versions of these popular sites in order to connect with the Chinese people. The end to end monitoring of online sites and contents by the authority means that hosting and SEO practices must also be in accordance with local practices. One must understand and make use of Chinese online platforms that host millions of customers and because Baidu is the search engine of choice for the Chinese, you must understand the best Baidu SEO practices.
Baidu, 360 Search and Sogou are the largest search engines in China. Most of the optimization practices that work for global search engines like Google work with Baidu SEO as well but because of the relative primitiveness of Baidu and the compulsion to adhere to local laws, there are some differences in ways a business must optimize its online product in China. Inability to crawl deeply layered sites, refusal to properly rank sites hosted outside of China and a necessity to use China exclusive domains are among the few things in contrast to regular SEO practices elsewhere. Popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat etc. are banned in China and one has to use local platforms like Tencent QQ, WeChat, and Sina Weibo among others to connect with the huge Chinese consumer market and create a buzzword and a referral chain built around their products.
Therefore, one has to align their strategies based on the complications and limitations and in accordance with the taste and cultural practices of the Chinese denizens. When the market (other than outgoing tourists) is having a hard time reaching out to the rest of the world and there are barriers for businesses to reach out to them in the traditional/practiced norms then it is up to the businesses themselves to find ways around the existing difficulties and modify their modus operandi to connect to a growing market of spendthrifts.
With our experience in preparing and executing successful growth driven digital marketing strategies for businesses in Australia to help them capitalize on the Chinese visitors, we are confident that the following series of posts will provide your business with the most useful dos and don’ts in developing your China centric digital strategies for 2017 and beyond: