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NBH Guide to Industry Media: The importance of PR for B2B in China

NBH Guide to Industry Media: The importance of PR for B2B in China

The marketing strategy for many B2B companies has until recently been more traditional in the form of exhibiting at fairs, participating in events, exchanging business cards, and building business relationships through dinners.

But the digital progress has slowly changed the strategy and way of thinking when it comes to marketing for B2B. The pandemic has, to say the least, accelerated that development and more or less forced B2B companies to create a stronger digital presence.

Today it is digital content that you need to keep up with: Social media, pods, blogs, short videos, webinars, and more. According to figures from Accenture, a vast amount of B2B deals initiates online, and three out of four B2B brands use social media platforms as their primary channels for information to clients.

Many B2B companies are familiar with platforms such as WeChat and Weibo, they might know the importance of running an account on social media platforms. But how do customers reach that account, and why should it be trusted?

In this guide, we will talk PR (public relations). In China, adding PR to your marketing strategy can be the key to success.

The digital ecosystem of PR

The importance of Industry Media in China

The physical newspaper has long been appreciated in China, but like everything else, they have also moved into the digital landscape. For B2B companies in various industries, there is a range of different media platforms, local news- and e-branch papers.

Being visible through PR in industry media, not only creates credibility, but it’s also a way to increase your SEO in China. Read more about Baidu SEO here.

So how do you create PR to increase your online visibility and credibility in China?

Image: Adobestock

Get to the language and localize your content

Back to the basics, to start, in China, there are two types of written Chinese:

  • Traditional Chinese which is primarily used in Hong Kong and Taiwan
  • Simplified Chinese which is primarily used in mainland China

When writing articles or making press releases, it’s important that the language is authentic. Getting it done can be difficult, but a slippery slope can quickly throw you into a media crisis. Therefore, always use local writers who have good local knowledge.

Don’t underestimate the role of local media

PR creates momentum with local media, but it requires patience, long-term goals, and relationship building. It requires that you build credibility with qualitative material and interesting angles for the journalists to work with.

The more exclusive material they get the more they will publish.

To ensure that your narrative is local and demonstrates your expertise, get outside help. Collaborate with an agency that has experience working with PR in similar industries and has good contacts. Because yes, in China the PR media world is very much about the right contacts.

Result of PR client case with Easy-Laser

Use press releases

A cost-effective way to create visibility is to do press releases and create visibility on industry blogs and websites. Articles and news updates direct visitors to your website and your business.

Get better ranking in search results

Google may be the search engine you have to deal with in the west, but in China, it is Baidu that is “The” search engine. To get the most out of your articles, it is important that you optimize your content for Baidu. Read more about Baidu here.

High visibility on Baidu increases your credibility, and visibility and generates more traffic to your website. This, in turn, also makes you more attractive to industry magazines and industry sites, which in the next step increases your credibility and speed even more.

It’s an ecosystem or a loop that can lead to massive success if you play your cards right.

Result of PR client case with Roxtec

Use social media

As we mentioned at the beginning, traditional media is being replaced more and more by digital media. In China, social media is huge and there are many platforms. Some of them are also particularly important to keep in mind if you are active in B2B, for example, Zhihu and Bilibili.

Working with PR and gaining visibility can also provide content for one’s own account. Because who doesn’t want to share a really good industry article about one’s company that a big digital industry magazine published?

Collaborate with KOL:s

Doing PR in China is expensive. The costs in recent years have dragged on and are significantly higher than in the West. The main reason for that is KOL:s (influencers).

KOL:s have a much stronger role in B2B in China than in the West where we perhaps mostly relate influencers to B2C collaborations. Collab with a KOL in your field can add value to your targeted customer. The important thing is just to find the one that suits your industry the best.

If you are active in wind power, a local researcher with high credibility may be an option. In pharmaceuticals, it can be doctors, etc. Broaden your perspective on influencers and do careful research on which ones are the most tailored to your specific area.

Finally

Don’t forget that China is a big country with a huge population. Local differences can be large and therefore local knowledge is critically important.

NBH expertise in Chinese online behavior and the Chinese digital market can help your brand to increase your digital presence in China.

We have extensive experience and great references working with B2B clients. We act as a full-service agency and can make your company reach new levels with the help of PR and digital marketing in China. Find how we work with PR for China here.

NBH Guide to Industry Media: The importance of PR for B2B in China

NBH Guide to Industry Media: The importance of PR for B2B in China

The marketing strategy for many B2B companies has until recently been more traditional in the form of exhibiting at fairs, participating in events, exchanging business cards, and building business relationships through dinners.

But the digital progress has slowly changed the strategy and way of thinking when it comes to marketing for B2B. The pandemic has, to say the least, accelerated that development and more or less forced B2B companies to create a stronger digital presence.

“B2B companies are undergoing a transformation when it comes to digital marketing. Digital presence & campaigns are increasingly important to reach your industry clients in China” Richard Hårdänge, CCO, NBH.

Today it is digital content that you need to keep up with: Social media, pods, blogs, short videos, webinars, and more. According to figures from Accenture, a vast amount of B2B deals initiates online, and three out of four B2B brands use social media platforms as their primary channels for information to clients.

Many B2B companies are familiar with platforms such as WeChat and Weibo, they might know the importance of running an account on social media platforms. But how do customers reach that account, and why should it be trusted?

In this guide, we will talk PR (public relations), publicity in industry media. In China, adding PR to your marketing strategy can be the key to success.

The digital ecosystem of PR

The importance of Industry Media in China

The physical newspaper has long been appreciated in China, but like everything else, they have also moved into the digital landscape. For B2B companies in various industries, there is a range of different media platforms, local news- and e-branch papers.

Being visible through PR in industry media, not only creates credibility, but it’s also a way to increase your SEO in China. Read more about Baidu SEO here.

So how do you create PR to increase your online visibility and credibility in China?

Image: Adobestock

Get to the language and localize your content

Back to the basics, to start, in China, there are two types of written Chinese:

  • Traditional Chinese which is primarily used in Hong Kong and Taiwan
  • Simplified Chinese which is primarily used in mainland China

When writing articles or making press releases, it’s important that the language is authentic. Getting it done can be difficult, but a slippery slope can quickly throw you into a media crisis. Therefore, always use local writers who have good local knowledge.

Don’t underestimate the role of local media

PR creates momentum with local media, but it requires patience, long-term goals, and relationship building. It requires that you build credibility with qualitative material and interesting angles for the journalists to work with.

The more exclusive material they get the more they will publish.

To ensure that your narrative is local and demonstrates your expertise, get outside help. Collaborate with an agency that has experience working with PR in similar industries and has good contacts. Because yes, in China the PR media world is very much about the right contacts.

Result of PR client case with Easy-Laser

Use press releases

A cost-effective way to create visibility is to do press releases and create visibility on industry blogs and websites. Articles and news updates direct visitors to your website and your business.

Get better ranking in search results

Google may be the search engine you have to deal with in the west, but in China, it is Baidu that is “The” search engine. To get the most out of your articles, it is important that you optimize your content for Baidu. Read more about Baidu here.

High visibility on Baidu increases your credibility, and visibility and generates more traffic to your website. This, in turn, also makes you more attractive to industry magazines and industry sites, which in the next step increases your credibility and speed even more.

It’s an ecosystem or a loop that can lead to massive success if you play your cards right.

Result of PR client case with Roxtec

Use social media

As we mentioned at the beginning, traditional media is being replaced more and more by digital media. In China, social media is huge and there are many platforms. Some of them are also particularly important to keep in mind if you are active in B2B, for example, Zhihu and Bilibili.

Working with PR and gaining visibility can also provide content for one’s own account. Because who doesn’t want to share a really good industry article about one’s company that a big digital industry magazine published?

Collaborate with KOL:s

Doing PR in China is expensive. The costs in recent years have dragged on and are significantly higher than in the West. The main reason for that is KOL:s (influencers).

KOL:s have a much stronger role in B2B in China than in the West where we perhaps mostly relate influencers to B2C collaborations. Collab with a KOL in your field can add value to your targeted customer. The important thing is just to find the one that suits your industry the best.

If you are active in wind power, a local researcher with high credibility may be an option. In pharmaceuticals, it can be doctors, etc. Broaden your perspective on influencers and do careful research on which ones are the most tailored to your specific area.

Finally

Don’t forget that China is a big country with a huge population. Local differences can be large and therefore local knowledge is critically important.

NBH expertise in Chinese online behavior and the Chinese digital market can help your brand to increase your digital presence in China.

We have extensive experience and great references working with B2B clients. We act as a full-service agency and can make your company reach new levels with the help of PR and digital marketing in China. Find how we work with PR for China here.

The NBH Guide: How to use Baidu SEM to accelerate  your online precense in China

The NBH Guide: How to use Baidu SEM to accelerate your online precense in China

If China is an important market for your company, then Baidu should have the same priority as your Google strategy.  

Baidu can easily be described as “China’s Google”, and if you take a quick look, there are many similarities, partly in appearance, but in terms of search engine, SEO and SEM there are a lot of differences. Read more about Baidu here.

In China, whenever you want to search for something you “Baidu it”, and to reach the top of the search result, your Baidu strategy is fundamental.

Are you aware of how you and your competitors appear in searches on Baidu?

This guide will give you deeper insight into succeeding with Baidu SEM. We will answer questions such as the difference compared to Google and what’s important to consider when it comes to Baidu SEM.

If you would like to get a more profound knowledge about Baidu, and Baidu SEO, please read our guide: The NBH Guide: 10 steps to succeed with Baidu SEO.

Baidu logo

Fascinating statistics on Baidu usage in China

We’ll give some figures to understand the usage and importance of Baidu in China.

Baidu No. 1 search engine in China

Although China is one of the most important markets for many companies, Baidu is still relatively unknown to many.

Many people think that a Chinese-language website is enough or that the google strategy works as fine for Baidu, but this is not the case. You have to adapt your digital marketing strategy for China, and including China’s No. 1 search engine could be a very good first step.

Investing in Baidu SEM will get you:

  • Impressions
  • Clicks
  • Directs leads
  • More understanding of your China market

Baidu SEM (PPC)

Baidu SEM (Search Engine Marketing) can also be referred to as PPC (Pay-Per-Click) or ads on Baidu. Read more about Baidu SEM here.

Baidu PPC can be a cost-effective way to get a higher, or perhaps top result on Baidu. These kinds of Baidu ads can also be added with images, such as product pictures or special campaign images.

Most importantly is that you adapt the ads for your targeted audience in China and perhaps market yourself with the right timing. This should be included in your marketing content plan.

Example of Baidu PPC ad including promotional images.

SEM and SEO, are all about keywords. What will the potential customer search for and what would be your keywords in China?

Once you have your ad live, and the user searches for related keywords, they will find your ad in their search result, and hopefully among the top results.

  • CPC (Cost-Per-Click)

Every time someone clicks on your ad there will be a CPC (Cost-Per-Click). The cost of the keywords (the CPC) depends on the bidding of the keyword, in other terms, how competitive the targeted keyword is.

  • Market your landing page

In order to get a good first impression, why not market your landing page in search results?

Take the chance and market your webpage according to your brand guideline and targeted audience in China. Show your products and services in a tasteful and “want to know more of” way!  

Baidu ad with contact form

Track your performance with Baidu SEM

As with all marketing, it is essential to be able to measure your results. No matter what marketing activities are being done for a company, data is the key to getting knowledge about your performance. 

Knowing your performance will take you one step ahead in optimizing your digital marketing in China.

NBH believes in transparency and we always want what’s best for our clients. Please read more about how NBH works with data tracking: Data tracking in China.

How NBH can help you with Baidu SEM?

NBH has years of experience creating ads (SEM) so that companies easily can be recognized, creating relationships, and direct leads. 

We develop your Baidu SEM strategy and make you competitive in the market. We create a tailor-made keyword list for Baidu and create ads aligned with your brand and specialized for your Chinese audience. To be competitive, we do the daily operation of Baidu SEM, including bidding keywords. Learn more about how we work with Baidu SEM here, also find out how we can optimize your Baidu SEO here.

We also offer monthly reports in English in order for you to take ownership of your digital marketing in China.

NBH takes you to the Moon(cake): Find out how  brands adapt their marketing for the Mid-Autumn Festival

NBH takes you to the Moon(cake): Find out how brands adapt their marketing for the Mid-Autumn Festival

The Moon festival is taking place this weekend September 10th. The Moon festival, mostly known as the Mid-Autumn festival and Mooncake festival, is one of the biggest holidays in China!

With this said, if you are a marketer operating in China, this festival is also important for you!

Mid-Autumn Festival is well known for its Mooncakes. During the festival, people buy mooncakes as gifts to family, colleagues, partners, clients, and friends. This is something that brands have picked up over the years. Brands take the chance to market the finest and most creative gift boxes with innovative mooncakes flavors!

In this insight, NBH will give you a brief introduction to the Mid-Autumn Festival. Why -and how is it celebrated, and most importantly, how do brands market their Mooncakes 2022?

Here is a sneak peek of our Mooncake gift box 2022.

NBH Mooncake gift box 2022

The celebration of Mid-Autumn Festival  

The festival has a history of over 3000 years and has therefore many meanings and mythic stories. It is celebrated on the 15th of the 8th lunar month after the Chinese lunar calendar. The festival’s custom is to worship the moon and thank it for the harvest.

Today, the holiday is known for gatherings with family, having dinner, welcoming the autumn, and eating mooncakes!

This year the festival falls on the 10th of September and is celebrated until the 12th of September.

How does brands “celebrate” the Mid-Autumn Festival?

Mooncakes and various decorations can be found in the shopping windows, weeks before the festival! The mooncake has truly become the symbol of this holiday, and brands almost compete to make the most creative mooncake gift boxes.

NBH has dived into how global brands have chosen to market their mooncakes this year 2022!

Looking into social media -and eCommerce platforms the feed is full of gift boxes, mooncake tutorials, pictures, and mooncake hauls.

NBH gives you a few examples:

  • Dior

Dior, did a comeback this year by doing a spectacular mooncake box with different flavors. Here is a post taken from the lifestyle platform Little Red Book, read our Little Red Book guide here.

Dior Mooncake box 2022. Images via the social media platform Little Red Book.
  • Mercedes Benz
Picture: @Elvira – Little Red Book.
  • Gucci

Scrolling on social media, the box from Gucci is seen a lot. Their box sure is something extra, check in this video:

Video showing the Gucci Mooncake box of 2022

  • Oatly

Looking up to the brands in the north of Europe. The Swedish food supplier Oatly, thinking outside the box by making this playful box.

Image: Taobao
  • NBH

Mooncake box is also a very common way to show gratefulness to colleagues, partners, and clients. For our clients in China, we at NBH created this box.

NBH Mooncake gift box 2022

The Mid-Autumn festival is really a good opportunity to create relationships with your followers, clients, and customers. The Mooncake gift has really no limits to creativity and tells the story of your brand.

How does your brand adapt to China’s Cultural festivals?

NBH has years of expertise in working with digital marketing in China. Our expertise is available in both Europe and China.

Depending on your industry and audience we adapt your marketing to the right platforms.

The NBH Guide: Meet Douyin, the mother of Tiktok. How can you as a marketer use Douyin for your  China online presence?

The NBH Guide: Meet Douyin, the mother of Tiktok. How can you as a marketer use Douyin for your China online presence?

If we say Douyin it might not tell you much, but if we say Tiktok I hope you are on it!

Although Tiktok is the western version of Douyin, there are many big differences. As often when it comes to digital China, new platforms are faster adopted by the users and quickly acceptable to use as a marketing tool. In the west, Tiktok is mainly an app for young adults and teens but Douyin is used among all ages and all types of persons.

The app has in a short time, since it appeared in 2016, sprung out of no wear, as an incomparable success. It is fair to argue that it’s the most successful digital phenomenon in China ever.

But what is the key to the success, and how can it be used for you as a marketer in China?

NBH gives you a brief insight and presentation!

The background of Douyin

Douyin was originally launched in 2016 by the company ByteDance. The western version of Tiktok was released in 2017 but wasn’t booming until 2018. It’s vital to understand that Tiktok and Douyin are two different but similar apps, hosted on different servers, and has no other connections to each other than the mother company. 

Douyin is in many ways a very simple app that gives the user the ability to record short (15 seconds to 10 minutes) videos with filters, and watch (15 seconds to 10 minutes) videos in a continuously never-ending flow. The user-friendly functions make it easy for ordinary people to be creative and playful. In fact, most of the content on Douyin is produced by ordinary users.

The founder Zhang Yiming has created an AI-based algorithm that learns user behavior to adjust and tailor the content. In addition to Douyin, Zhang Yiming has also created the news app Toutiao, which has also been widely spread in China. Perhaps we will have the opportunity to return to it later in our insights series.

Some figures

  • Douyin reached over 180 million active users in only two years from its release
  • It is estimated to have over 600 million daily users by the end of 2022
  • It’s predicted to have over 800 million daily users in 2025
  • The average user of Douyin spends about 120 minutes a day on the app
  • The everyday user time has increased by 25% a year since the release

The key to the success

The simple explanation for Douyin’s great success lies in the well-developed technical platform with sophisticated algorithms. The algorithms direct the content towards the specific user’s behavior pattern in order to arouse as much interest as possible. Because the content is adapted to the user, no feed is exactly the same as another.

The user also has limited opportunities to influence the content through, for example, searches. A video is displayed and can either be viewed or clicked away. The algorithms receive direct information about which material is appreciated or not.

Douyin has also been marketing the app to just the right target group, early adapters. Initially younger women in their middle or early 20s. With increased popularity, the app has since then been spread among different ages and genders.

All of these factors together can be summed up in the fact that they released a well-developed app, to exactly the right target audience, at exactly the right time. And let’s be honest, isn’t a good product and the right marketing the recipe for success?

Image via Appstore. Douyin taking over the scene of e-commerce.

Why use Douyin for marketing

The first and most obvious reason to include Douyin in your marketing plan is that no other app can get as large a visibility in such a short time frame as Douyin.

They also have many suitable solutions such as:

  • Direct linking to e-commerce shops, if you have more than 10 videos posted
  • A self-developed native e-commerce ecosystem where the user is able to make purchases directly in the app

With its constantly growing user base and its e-commerce ecosystem, it’s fair to think that it’s mainly for B2C. And of course, you can’t hide the fact that it is huge for B2C. Clothes, cosmetic, and food is by far the most popular e-commerce categories on Douyin. But on the other hand, it also brings lots of opportunities for B2B.

Since the competition is not as tough when it comes to B2B companies that market themselves via Douyin, there are opportunities to reach out to their customers in a creative, new, and fun way. Why not film from the production or film a tutorial with the pros and cons of using your product?

How to use Douyin for marketing

There are different accounts that can be used for marketing on Douyin. There are both certificated accounts and business accounts. If you want to brand yourself, a certified account is the way, but for companies, a business account is the easiest way. There are many advantages by getting a business account, among other things, the possibility to make longer videos, get access to advertising, sticker-adds, and more visibility through the algorithms.

Another big advantage of having a business account is that once you get approved by Douyin, you get a lot of credit. It simply becomes more trusted.

It’s also important to keep in mind that Doyin is first and foremost a video app with music. In order to capture interest and create visibility, it is therefore important to adapt to the platform. Create creative and exciting materials that feel genuine and well-produced.

Work with KOL:s

The most effective way to get visibility on Doyin is to work with KOL:s. The KOL already has its fan base and the algorithm reaches out to its followers. If you which to do a collaboration with a KOL it’s therefore important to pick someone that reaches out to our targeted audience.

NBH has years of expertise in working with digital marketing in China. Our expertise is available in both Europe and China.

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