China is a digital marketing powerhouse. It boasts the world’s second-largest search advertising market and spends more on digital advertising than Japan, Australia, Indonesia and South Korea combined. With the world’s largest population — more than 1.4 billion people live in the “Land of the Red Dragon” — breaking into this market could prove lucrative for your organization. Here are three of the hottest digital marketing trends in China right now.
1. China is a Global Player When it Comes to Voice Marketing
Chinese brands have invested heavily in voice marketing technology in recent years, and experts predicted that the country’s intelligent voice market was worth more than 6.21 billion in 2015. Millions of consumers across the country use their smartphone to search for goods and services with just their voice.
“One of the obvious reasons for more rapid adoption is the complexity of the Chinese alphabet,” says Eye for Travel. “With thousands of individual characters, typing on a small screen is rather more difficult than for those using the 26 letters of the Latin alphabet.”
While intelligent voice assistants like Alexa and Siri dominate the U.S. market, innovations like Baidu’s Raven H lets Chinese consumers access information with simple voice commands. Raven H looks nothing like the Amazon Echo or Google Home — it’s essentially a stack of multi-colored squares.
As more people in Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen purchase smart speakers and voice-enabled mobile devices, expect China’s intelligent market to grow even bigger in the next few years.
2. Artificial Intelligence Marketing in China is Booming
China uses more artificial intelligence (AI) devices than any other country in the world, according to a recent report. Twenty-one percent of the country’s population already has an AI device like a home robot or autonomous car and 52 percent plan to buy one in the future. In the United States, only 16 percent of people own an AI device.
The booming AI market has prompted Chinese marketers to engage with consumers in new and exciting ways. Marketers here use the latest AI technologies to personalize communications and offer customers unique interactive experiences that increase brand awareness.
Take AI apps, for example. Customers can immerse themselves in virtual environments where they can learn more information about a brand’s products and services.
3. Search Engine Optimization Still Dominates
China has the world’s largest online population — around 772 million and growing — which proves profitable for brands who break into this market. Despite recent technological innovations like voice-enabled devices and AI, search engine optimization (SEO) is still one of the most popular (and powerful) digital marketing methods here.
Although SEO is a little different to the US and other Western countries, the process is essentially the same. Websites that rank the highest on search engines like Baidu, Sogou and Qihoo 360 generally receive the most traffic. Marketers optimize sites in order to increase their position on search engine results pages.
One of the biggest differences between SEO in China and SEO in the US is mobile search. Mobile device owners in China make up the bulk of search users, with 88 percent of the online population searching for information through their smartphone or tablet.
Want to grow your organization’s impact in China? The three trends on this list are a great way to generate leads and improve brand awareness. Use voice search marketing technology to target potential customers, AI to enhance the customer experience and SEO to move buyers through your sales pipelines. Expect these three trends to keep dominating China’s digital marketing landscape over the next few years.