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;
- Video streaming
- Online shopping
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.