To drive business growth in today’s highly competitive market, you need to learn how to develop a successful B2B marketing strategy for China.
This involves building brand awareness and generating more demand for your products from your target businesses. This is a challenge, especially in the Chinese market, which differs significantly from global digital platforms in terms of search engines, internet regulation, and social platforms.
For instance, while Google is the leading search engine internationally, in China, it’s Baidu. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook/Meta, and even LinkedIn are inaccessible in China; instead, platforms like WeChat, Zhihu, Bilibili, and Douyin, (the Chinese version of TikTok), are the platforms you need to master.
The behavior and purchasing decision-making processes of Chinese B2B customers have undergone significant changes. Modern corporate procurement managers are more inclined to search for products and services on the Internet, obtaining information through online channels for comparison and evaluation.
Digital marketing, with its multi-channel information and customer engagement, better meets the informational needs of customers during their decision-making process.
By adapting to the changing business environment and deeply understanding the shifts in online behavior among your target audience, B2B businesses can better seize market opportunities. Digital marketing has become a vital link connecting businesses with the market and customers, propelling companies to stand out in fierce market competition.
WeChat is a must-have for B2B companies when doing any kind of business in China
In China, nearly everyone uses WeChat, which is a core channel for B2B marketing. If you haven’t lived in China, WeChat might seem a bit complex to understand. It’s quite different from social platforms in other parts of the world. Click here to learn more about WeChat.
From a general user’s perspective, with WeChat, you can:
- Follow brands and friends’ updates
- Discover interesting videos
Moreover, WeChat is also a:
- Payment application
- Work communication tool similar to Slack
- And much more
In summary, it’s an all-encompassing application!
If your business doesn’t have an WeChat Official Account, it’s essential to register one!
Different types of businesses use WeChat official accounts in various ways. From a B2B marketer’s perspective, the main advantage of a WeChat official account is that it helps companies cultivate relationships with their specific target audience in the Chinese market.
Once potential customers follow your WeChat official account, you can push articles to them weekly or monthly. These articles are sent as push notifications and appear directly in the message bar of the WeChat official account. At this point, your followers are likely to open and read your articles.
The articles appear directly in the message bar and are not hidden, do not require payment to be read, and are not buried in platform algorithms. For B2B brands, the number of followers of the WeChat official account increases as more and more users discover your company’s account.
It’s important to note that the WeChat platform is a quite closed ecosystem. As an example, the WeChat search engine is independent of the Baidu search engine ecosystem. Meaning that content that is being published on WeChat will not appear in the search result pages on Baidu, and vice versa. This enhances the importance of having a strategy and tailored content plan for WeChat.
Generally, B2B-related articles don’t spread very quickly. The key is that the B2B WeChat official account is meant to attract more “relevant” followers. Quality articles will also be seen by more followers.
What kind of content should you post on a WeChat official account?
It’s recommended to publish content relevant to your customers or other stakeholders.
- New product launches
- Instructions for use
- The latest status of your company and products
- Upcoming events
- Case studies
- Promotional activities
Adjust the layout to make it easier to read. Typically, use some concise text and design elements. Publish content relevant to your customers or other stakeholders.
- Upcoming events
- Case studies
- Promotional activities
A reminder: when you post articles on the WeChat official account, followers receive a notification in their message bar.
Follower Growth Strategies
The first step to gaining followers is to share your WeChat account everywhere, encouraging users to follow by scanning a QR code with their smartphone. In China, QR codes are synonymous with “scan with WeChat.”
Here are some zero-cost methods to start:
- Place the QR code on your website
- Add a QR code to salespeople’s business cards
- Send emails with a QR code to your Chinese customers
- Let potential customers contact you through the WeChat official account
If not rely solely on organic growth of followers on WeChat. The most effective way to gain followers to your company’s WeChat account is by activating a mix of media buy activities on WeChat.
- Ads from the official company account on WeChat
- Cooperate with industry accounts on WeChat to publish articles about your business
- Cooperate with industry opinion leaders (KOLs)
In B2B marketing, it’s crucial to target your message towards your specific target audience that you want to engage with in China, as the value of each follower is relatively high. Focus on potential buyers, partners, influencers, etc.
B2B WeChat Advertising
Ads can direct users to an external link, a WeChat official account, or a landing page provided by WeChat. Note that if you use an external link, you need to have an ICP license for that website. We typically use landing pages provided by WeChat, which are not only easy to set up but also offer good conversion rates.
Video Account B2B Marketing
WeChat has a feature called “Video Account.” Compared to other features of WeChat, Video Account is more like a mini-app within the app, similar to TikTok. The content on the Video Account can spread wider than WeChat articles, and users see content that the algorithm thinks they will like while browsing this channel.
If you already have video content, then the cost of simultaneously publishing on Video Account is low.
If your content is interesting and popular, it’s also suitable for a Video Account. For example, if you are a logistics company, you can show the entire process of how goods are transported from Chinese manufacturers to customers. You can showcase transportation machinery, ships, oceans, etc.
Build a formal and professional B2B website for China
When learning how to develop a successful B2B marketing strategy, creating a company website is one of the most effective tactics.
But why is this the case?
It’s because your website is the first point of contact between your business and your target buyers. A well-structured website framework allows your content to be displayed more rationally, stimulating user interest, increasing visitor retention, facilitating search engine crawling, promoting the inclusion and ranking of website content, thereby gaining more exposure and display, and acquiring precise intent customers from search engines.
For many B2B customers, a supplier’s website is one of the key resources informing them about the solutions they are seeking. Your China website must showcase your expertise and provide solutions for potential customers.
To stand out from the crowd, your website needs to be an industry resource, clearly telling potential clients what you do without requiring them to dig deep into the pages.
Creating a professional and informative website can benefit your business in several ways, as follows:
- It enhances your business’s online visibility, helping you reach customers faster and more easily.
- Increases efficiency.
- Allows buyers to learn about your products, services, and brand story.
- Serves as a 24/7 sales tool.
- A well-optimized website can improve user experience.
- Improves sales.
- Enhances brand image.
When establishing a B2B-related website in China, the following points need attention:
- Optimize for both mobile and desktop devices. Currently, a significant proportion of internet users in China are on mobile devices.
- Your Chinese website should maintain the same style and content consistency as your international homepage.
- Websites set up in China need an ICP license, as required by Chinese law.
- The website should include important contact information and relevant links. In addition to phone and email, web forms are also a great way to capture information from online visitors.
- Feature a blog with the latest, engaging content.
- Include links to your Chinese social media accounts on the Chinese website. Do not link to Western social media accounts.
All the points mentioned above are areas where NBH has specialized in for many years. Click here to read more about Chinese websites.
With our experience, we support companies to develop and design websites optimized for China and Baidu (The no. 1 search engine in China) and at the same time ensure that your brand stays close and follows the visual identity of your company.
Success Stories China Website
The websites developed by NBH for clients have been recognized as among the best in Chinese web design by DesignRush. NBH collaborated closely with Kolmeks to enhance the brand’s website for the Chinese market.
Data-driven B2B content marketing
For maximum B2B success, brands should create a data-driven and adaptable content marketing strategy. You should leverage various types of content across different lead-generation channels. Beyond the web pages mentioned above, NBH operates mainstream, popular, and powerful content promotion platforms, typically including WeChat Official Accounts, Zhihu, as well industry media article promotion, among others. In addition to articles, promotion is also done through video formats on channels like Douyin and Bilibili.
B2B content marketing differs from B2C, the content demands are relatively high. B2B customers need dynamic content that provides actionable guidance, for example.
Here are guidelines for creating actionable B2B content:
- It must be easy to read, valuable, and to the point.
- B2B content should be professional, and targeted.
- It must align with your business’s overall marketing strategy and objectives.
- Determine the types of content to create and the distribution platforms to use.
- Promote your content across various platforms.
- Measure the results and make adjustments.
- Flexibly and efficiently incorporate keywords, such as solutions, products, and industry-relevant keywords into your content. This aspect will be elaborated on separately below.
NBH’s team of marketing experts covers professional content creators. Beyond expertly publishing content on major platforms, we also track post-release data and continuously improve our work in line with evolving trends. Based on client needs, NBH tailors high-quality articles according to product releases, uses, market demands, and offline events.
For Industry media articles, we publish them for clients on relevant industry media platforms and record and analyze data related to geographic location, click numbers, traffic, and lead generation.
Furthermore, NBH places significant importance on the production and optimization of video content. More and more people enjoy watching video broadcasts; videos convey a real and warm feeling to the audience, with fast and efficient information dissemination.
If you’re already using video marketing, live streaming can further upgrade your strategy. NBH’s team in China is very familiar with the video content business, professionally handling various aspects such as setting up video channels, inserting Chinese subtitles, voice-over, and background music, as well as editing audio.
Search Engines Optimization for B2B in China
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a valuable strategy for the success of your B2B business. In the Chinese market, B2B customers use Baidu search, the biggest search engine in China, to learn about the solutions or products they are looking for.
What does this mean, and how should you view search engines?
- Search engines drive organic traffic to your website.
- SEO is a primary source of online traffic.
- Search engines can help in building brand awareness.
- Search Engine Optimization is an effective B2B lead generation strategy.
- Optimizing your B2B marketing efforts for search engines can help shorten the sales cycle.
- A successful B2B search engine strategy can help establish trust and credibility.
SEO is a powerful digital marketing strategy that includes optimizing web content to help your website achieve high rankings in Baidu search results. Search engines can enhance the visibility of your website to other businesses researching the products or services you offer. This helps strengthen your marketing efforts and ultimately accelerates your business growth.
NBH implements effective strategies for B2B Baidu search engine optimization in the Chinese market:
- Determine the objectives of your B2B search engine strategy.
- Conduct B2B keyword research focused on your niche.
- Understand the B2B search intent behind your keywords.
- Develop a successful B2B content strategy.
- Optimize your web pages, content, and other elements.
Baidu SEO and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) are closely intertwined. NBH, while optimizing client websites for SEO, also engages in SEM on Baidu. This involves bidding on keywords and placing ads. Such a combined approach ensures an increase in the ranking and exposure of the client’s website. Click here to read more about how NBH work with search engine in China.
Develop advertising promotion strategy
Complementing your marketing efforts with advertisements can more easily garner favor. On platforms like Baidu or WeChat, sharing advertisements or articles can attract a wide range of target customers. If you can make customers recognize that the content you publish is useful, you gain an early advantage.
NBH places advertisements for clients on mainstream platforms such as Baidu, WeChat, and Zhihu. This strategy not only enhances the visibility of the brand but also engages the target audience effectively. By leveraging these popular platforms, NBH ensures that its clients’ advertisements reach a broad and relevant audience, thus maximizing the impact of their marketing campaigns. Additionally, this approach allows for a more targeted and efficient advertising strategy, focusing on platforms where the target demographic is most active and receptive.
The service details provided by NBH encompass a comprehensive approach to digital marketing, including:
- Advertisement Placement on Different Platforms: Strategically placing ads on various platforms such as Baidu, WeChat, and Zhihu, selected based on the target audience and the nature of the product or service.
- Keyword Bidding and Purchase: Engaging in competitive bidding for relevant keywords that potential clients are likely to use in search queries. This ensures higher visibility in search results, contributing to effective SEO and SEM strategies.
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising: Utilizing PPC campaigns where advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. This is a way of buying visits to your site, rather than attempting to “earn” those visits organically.
- Industry Media Article Distribution on Major Media Platforms: Crafting and distributing articles across various influential media platforms. This not only enhances brand visibility but also builds credibility and authority in the industry by providing valuable content to the target audience. Click here to read more about industry media.
Each of these services is tailored to maximize the reach and impact of the client’s marketing efforts, ensuring a cohesive and comprehensive approach to their digital marketing strategy.
B2B influencer marketing in China, KOLs
Using B2B influencer marketing can significantly enhance your brand marketing efforts. This type of marketing helps tap into the purchasing power of loyal followers of well-known figures in your industry. Influencer marketing can help build trust and strengthen connections with your target audience.
In general, influencer marketing is a strategy where brands collaborate with influential or well-known individuals to promote their products, brands, or services.
NBH can find influential people on the most popular social media platforms such as WeChat and Zhihu.
Zhihu KOL Marketing
Nowadays, many companies choose Zhihu KOL placement as a way of promotion to enhance their brand’s influence among users.
So, how can NBH achieve marketing through Zhihu KOL placement?
NBH pays attention to the following aspects to achieve marketing through Zhihu KOL placement:
- Identify the target audience: Before starting the Zhihu KOL placement, it is essential to clarify who the target audience is. Understanding the characteristics and interests of the target audience helps in selecting suitable KOLs.
- Find the right KOL: There are many KOLs on Zhihu, but choosing one that matches the target audience is key. Consider their expertise, popularity, number of followers, and activity level, which should align with the needs of the target audience.
- Establish a cooperative relationship: Before contacting and cooperating with a KOL, understand their requirements and conditions. Communication can be done through private messages or emails to discuss the details of the cooperation, ensuring mutual agreement.
- Develop an execution plan: After confirming the cooperation with the KOL, develop a detailed execution plan. Specify important matters such as promotional content, format, and timeline, ensuring a tight and orderly arrangement.
- Provide quality content: Offer valuable and attractive content material to the KOL to ensure the effectiveness of the promotion. Cooperate with the KOL to create original content and plan topics together, attracting users’ attention and participation.
- Track and analyze: After the placement, track and analyze the data promptly to evaluate the effectiveness of the placement. Adjust and optimize the placement strategy based on the analysis results to improve accuracy and return on investment.
For Zhihu KOL placement, choosing NBH as your marketing partner will yield more effective results.
NBH is committed to providing comprehensive Zhihu marketing and promotional services for businesses, helping our clients achieve precise marketing on Zhihu. NBH offers services including the selection and cooperation of Zhihu KOLs, content writing and editing, and data analysis and reporting. Through cooperation with NBH, businesses can maximize the advantages of the Zhihu platform to achieve their precise marketing goals.
Using influential parties or KOL in your B2B marketing strategy has many benefits
- It can help you reach new audiences.
- It can cultivate loyal customers.
- It adds credibility and authenticity to your brand and content.
- Influencer marketing can accelerate content creation and promotion.
- It helps establish thought leadership for your brand.
In the interconnected landscape of Chinese social media, it’s more effective to use a multi-platform strategy rather than focusing on a single social account. Each platform like WeChat, Zhihu, and Douyin serves different purposes and reaches different audiences. By strategically using multiple channels, businesses can leverage the strengths of each, ensuring broader reach and more robust engagement. This approach allows for cross-promotion, more diverse content, and a stronger digital marketing strategy. In essence, a composite strategy across various platforms maximizes reach and effectiveness in the dynamic digital environment of China.
Taking Baidu search, WeChat Official Accounts, Zhihu, and websites as examples, we at NBH have simply outlined their relationships, mutual connections, and beneficial strategies for you to grasp an overview.
Without a strategic marketing plan tailored for China, B2B companies cannot gain in-depth insights into their industry landscape and potential market opportunities, significantly diminishing the effectiveness of their marketing efforts.
A formal marketing plan is a crucial step in efficient marketing strategies, allowing for adjustments based on the company’s capabilities and industry demands.
We are happy to explain the state of digital marketing in China, discuss possible strategies, and share our experience with you. To book a meeting with us click here.