How to Market Your App in China

Tik Tok, launched in September 2016, now has millions of users and followers. The app faced a lot of controversies but despite being heavily criticized by the authorities, it became a huge trendsetter for teenagers and adolescents. Similarly, PUBG Mobile, technically a subsidiary of a Korean game developer, Bluehole, was converted into a mobile version of the game.

What is common in Tik Tok and PUBG? Both were developed by Chinese developers.

We tend to believe that a particular app, just because it is being used in the USA or UK, must be developed in its respective region. However, that is not the case. Most apps are developed by one country with a target audience of an entirely different region. It is quite a common practice, and also one of the most popular ones these days.

China is the world’s leading tech market. It is the most internet usage driven country around the globe which attracts several tech giants to develop and launch apps for the Chinese market.

The Chinese market is tempting and open for all but not all companies were successful in the past. To make your app successful in China you need to consider cultural values along with Chinese Translation Services. Without it, you can’t have a successful app in China.  Even though China and the U.S are often on conflicting waters, many western developers can’t help but target audiences in China to reap rewards in the form of the best trending app.

A Step by Step Guide: Ways to Market Your App

Before you do anything, you need to learn about the Chinese market. To navigate your way to the monopolizing market you need to see a clear picture;

Start from the basics: know your audience

The basic methodology is to learn about the consumers, their mobile habits, apps currently in use, and other essential information.

On average, a Chinese mobile user installs 50 apps on their smartphones. 30 out of 50 apps are in active use. This usage trend can lead to your next app survey to observe which apps are currently tending or slowing dying away. For example, Chinese mobile users are fond of video streaming apps like Tencent Video and Youku.  Learn from the local apps to understand how the consumer behaves with the app updates and more.

Translation is effective

China is language-sensitive. This means the app you intend to develop must specifically be available in Chinese. It is impossible to sell an English app with no translation. A translated app can mean several things like:

  • The company takes care of the audience
  • Company is culturally sensitive
  • They are ready for more exposure in the Chinese market and so on

The use of the Chinese language is the most effective strategy to make an app acceptable and successful. To initiate the right exposure with the audience as they are most comfortable in their native language. Not only the marketing material needs translation but features like the app’s name, description, and interface too must be translated.

Use of local promotions

China has the most downloads around the world, which means the Android store keeps track of the highest downloaded apps and highlights them under the category of “Most Trending”. But how can you make your app easy to search?

With thousands of downloads every hour, chine’s mobile market keeps growing. To make a way for your app you need to target following niches;

  • Games
  • Video streaming
  • Online shopping
  • Tech

This is vertical media. You can target any of this specific niche and contribute videos or articles to promote the product or service via your functional app and other platforms.

Some of the best Chinese app stores like Xiamoi, 360 have promotional activities known as New App Self-recommendation or Most Beautifully Apps. These are the in-store app campaigns you can target to get high visibility. Another strategic tactic is to promote your app via another app! Tik Tok is still highly engaging the audience all over the world. It makes it an ideal platform for the promotion to increase traffic volume and also costs way less as compared to traditional promotional activities.

Establish your credibility

There are two ways to make sure to establish your app credibility;

  • Business license or  a Chinese ID or passport
  • APK signature – some apps require to sign in for APK file

Moreover, the more followers you have, the more reviews you get.  Positive reviews will always work in your favor. Besides, you can gain a high volume of traffic by engaging the right SEO practice. By using appropriate native keywords you can rank higher on the Chinese Android stores.

Your star rating is also helpful to indicate your status in the viewers’ eyes. Once you get positive feedbacks and especially if it’s from one of the KOLs, your credibility score strengthens.

Use of alteration business models

Chinese audience is quite reluctant to pay for apps, they want to use apps that are free or least costly. So that’s one of the major reasons why free pirated app versions are quick to prop up on the independent app stores.

If you drive revenue through In-App-Purchases or Advertising, it is most effective in the gaming industry. Keeping eye on the trends is another way to go. The Chinese market has high tolerance over the web which means the apps function as active offline as they do online. Xiaohongshu, Douyin, or QQ are some popular examples that work this way.

Besides this practice, having leverage on social media is a creative way to generate traffic. Social networks pertain to their own set of apps. Although some popular channels like Facebook or Twitter are broken in China, WeChat and Weibo are the trendiest social networks to use.

Read More
Zahid Hussain July 16, 2020 0 Comments

Chinese Business Tips: 4 Western Habits to Avoid

Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution was the reason behind a drastic change in how we perceive growth. Now fast forward it to the 21st century and illustrate the changes in the business world. It’s a far cry from the actual theory but it gives you a much-needed perspective on how markets grew and established all over the world. How businesses adapted according to the environment and survived through the natural elimination process.

The modern economy, global and local, is fast developing and to no one’s surprise, China is surpassing as one the fastest growing economy. China is a fine example of the grandeur and a plethora of cultures but European or American companies find it the most difficult to adapt their market values. Many tried and failed big times while some recovered from the fast-changing trends.

It’s hard to keep up in China. Business customs and etiquettes are different than the rest of the world and the market is culturally sensitive too.

The Business World of China

How long does it take for a company to develop a strategy? Perhaps at least 6 months?  The major drawback the foreign companies face is their long term planning is useless in the Chinese market. Trends and consumer buying habits change often which makes these gold-digging companies dumbstruck.

It’s important to realize that Chinese markets work anti-clockwise.  Many fail to succeed so keeping this factor in mind some things need to be considered as a foreign business;

Be Fast and Furious

China has a fast developing market. Trends may change overnight which leaves businesses hanging by the thread. You do not have to be a  company loaded with money; all you need to be is smart.

Companies working alongside Chinese translation services understand this factor more than any other company. Translators can relate to the native market, the consumer pattern, and sometimes even predict the trends too. It’s best to work with a native translator to overcome the communication barriers.

You may not be aware of the fact but Chinese companies can

  • Manufacture 100,000 bikes in overnight
  • They generate a replica of iPhone in one night and so on

It’s not even an exaggeration by any means. Zara is one of the world’s most popular retail brands. It was late in the game to enter China in 2012, their major focus was not on the sales but on how to minimize the risk in the unknown territory of China. Thanks to their modern web design, they catered to the attention of Chinese consumers and adapted their advertisement style to make them the best fit for local behavior.

Perfectionism is a Lost Cause

In China at least you do not strike for a perfect product, you always aim for a fast sale. The reason behind this strategy is that Chinese consumers are used to not having a 100% perfect service or goods. As long as your product functions for time being and is in trend, it will sell.

This sound absurd from western consumer’s point of view who are always looking for the product worth investing in. They want a long-term benefit rather than for a few hours. So it answers one of the pending questions: the mindset of Chinese consumers and western consumer is a lot different.

For instance, Google is a popular search engine in the western world but due to its disagreement on censorship with the Chinese government, China allocated Baidu as the national search engine.

What are you saying? Chinese do not use Google? Yes, they don’t. Baidu is the official Chinese version of Google. The reason is Baidu understands the local market better than Google does. Its features are more adaptive and changeable overnight like bulletin boards mobile search, advanced technology research in Mandarin, and so on.

Change the Western Mindset

Launching a product costs tons of money. But one successful product in the U.K doesn’t guarantee success in the Chinese market. From product launch to consumer behavior, every experience is unique so it’s better to adapt according to the Chinese market.

To become successful, you need to be flexible in business and marketing strategies. It’s a smart move to understand Chinese culture and traditions. That’s when localization will come into play.

Starbucks dominated the Chinese market in a short time. More than 90% of consumers are mobile users and therefore Starbucks initiated the use of WeChat, one of the most used apps in China. With this tool, they launched recent campaigns, informed consumers about the latest item on the menu and discount offers.

The most successful campaign so far is “How are you feeling today?” and users answered with a relevant emoticon.

Starbucks tailored marketing campaigns according to the cultural preferences of the consumers and keep changing it with the latest market trends.

Plan for Short-Term Strategies

This is the most effective way to make your way in China. Long-term strategies cost more and are not workable in the fast-changing economy of China. A short-term success works in favor of China, which given business plenty of time to change, bring creative customized ideas for branding and advertising.

Using Chinese translation service is a welcome strategy on board and each foreign company can use their help to adapt according to the Chinese market.

In 2013, Coca Cola recycled its campaign “Share a Coke” in China. Originally this campaign began in Australia in 2011 which showed a 4% increase in sales. Chinese consumers showed an optimistic response as Coca Cola focused on trending words like “fans” or “your sweetheart” instead of using a regular name like Paul or Sara.

Unlike the western market, the Coca Cola campaign localized according to the local market showing a boost in sales.

Follow the Tips to Survive

In terms of culture, China has a particular distinctiveness. To become a successful brand you must be creative and show flexibility;

  • Learning Chinese or hiring a native linguist always works in your favor
  • They help to interpret the meaning and cultural connotations
  • Moreover, the use of a social media platform like WeChat is yet another effective tool to target your audience so you can kiss twitter and Facebook goodbye and adapt to Chinese versions of communication
  • Keep evolving.

A tip may not be perfect but it gives you a much-needed perspective and insight about the market. China is different, so be like Chinese.

Read More
Zahid Hussain July 9, 2020 0 Comments

5 Best Practices to Increase Your Sales in the Chinese Market

China’s economy has taken rapid and exceptional transformation in three decades. It has emerged as the world’s largest global economy and trading partner. To be a part of the global business world, every entrepreneur wants to do business with China. You can take advantage of the growing opportunities in China if you tailor your business as per the market trends.

Let us have a look at how you can increase your sales in the Chinese market.

Understand the Chinese Market Trends

Knowing the culture and people of any country is not a piece of cake. Extensive research and competitor analysis are needed to develop your business strategy for tapping into new markets. When it comes to the execution of business strategies in any foreign market, you realize the significance of the cultural values of the country. The more you know about the target market’s values and trends, the better you can pitch your products and services to resonate with them.

Chinese customers are different from Western customers. Their values, way of thinking, way of living, and shopping preferences are different. Their demands and how they perceive products are also different. Thus, when you decide to sell your products in Chinese markets you need to be specific about marketing strategies such as price, promotion, place, and placement according to the regional culture.

Let’s take a quick look at some interesting Chinese shopping trends:

  • Chinese people prefer to buy economical products.
  • They have a great impact on their social circle so they give great importance to the word of mouth. Therefore, you need to care about the quality of your products.
  • They also give great importance to their health and safety and spend lavishly on baby milk and food-related to the maternity industry.
  • While resonating your product with the Chinese market you need to keep your Western identity as Chinese people value brand recognition.
  • Expats in China know that a fixed mindset will not work in China. So they spend ample time in understanding the Chinese people’s mindset, their cultural preferences, and learn the Mandarin language to perform their business operations smoothly.

Adapt to Fast-Paced Market

China has a very fast-paced market. Planning of strategies and their implementation is done swiftly. China is evolving according to the latest trends and is investing heavily at a very fast pace. You can well understand the rapidness of the market by observing how Alibaba has established mobile payment service in every major shop across the country within just 6 months.

If you want to generate high sales in China, you need to keep the following points in mind:

  • While doing business in China, you need to make decisions very fast. If you take time in making important decisions then you will lack behind and your competitors will win over you.
  • Sales and marketing strategies should be devised and executed in a swift manner otherwise you will miss great sales opportunities.
  • Flexibility and speed are required to do business in China.
  • Some entrepreneurs go for perfectionism and in the pursuit of perfectionism, they take business decisions with delay. It is important to understand that there is nothing perfect in China’s market.
  • Imperfections give you more opportunities. If you have required resources then do not waste your time and launch your product in China’s market.

Leverage the Power of Social Media

It is an era of digitalization. China has the largest number of internet users. To operate in China’s market successfully, you need to create a strong online appearance and engage your audience on popular social platforms.

In China, people are  using social media differently from the Western world. They are using mobile phones, WeChat, and Baidu, the search engine. Thus, global companies and brands need to be digital while operating in China because China is an advanced country with majority of people using different social platforms.

Furthermore, Chinese consumers are adopting new digital technologies keenly. These digital tools will help entrepreneurs in enhancing sales.

Resonate with your Target Audience

A few years back, the Western world used to think that starting a business in China is easy. They assumed that they just had to open a shop and be successful, but now the scenario is entirely different. It is very difficult for a western brand to start a business in China and compete with the local brands. Chinese brands are quite popular in local markets and are making international growth rapidly.

For example, Xiamoi is the famous smartphone market and it is considered equivalent to globally known brands for Chinese people. Other technology-based companies like Haier and Lenovo have a large market share in China and they are also showing their global presence. With the technology and economic development, Chinese consumers have become very knowledgeable and confident. They are very demanding and know their buying preferences very well. They want better quality at economical rates.

For generating sales in China, you need to understand consumer behavior and market trends and device your strategy accordingly. Connect with the local audience, associate your products with their needs and wants, and give them a reason to shop with you!

Follow a Practical Approach

China has such a large market that will surprise you at every step, no matter how prepared you are. Do not go for facts and figures, but see the ground realities. Know your consumers, suppliers, business partners, Chinese friends, and colleagues. Be practical and fast like Chinese people and implement your result-driven business strategy without making any delay. In this way, you will cope up with the fast Chinese market.

Wrapping Up

China’s business landscape has changed with the passage of time. Before entering the Chinese market, it is essential to gain knowledge about its culture and the latest business trends.

Adapt your business as per the target market’s preferences and communicate to the audience in their native language. For eliminating the communication barrier, we are providing fast, fluent, and reliable Chinese translation services. Get in touch to know more!

Read More
Zahid Hussain July 2, 2020 0 Comments