Given the distinctive digital scenario of China, B2B marketing in China has presented challenges for international firms, not to mention the evolving marketing landscape in the post-Covid world.
With a wide selection of social media platforms and tools available in China, here’s a lowdown on the main B2B channels you can get started with to bring the best of both online and offline channels.
Four essential B2B marketing channels in China:
1. Social media: WeChat
WeChat is the most prominent Chinese social network in China. Setting up a WeChat Official Account allows you to establish a digital storefront that opens to over 1.24 billion monthly active users. Packed with diverse content marketing features, WeChat is where B2B businesses post thought leadership articles, corporate news, videos, and live-stream webinars to nurture and convert leads. WeChat Mini Programs and H5 pages also come in handy with custom functionalities to further promote professional services and facilitate lead generation. For many B2B businesses, WeChat plays an integral part in their B2B marketing strategies, which need a dedicated team with local knowledge to keep up and operate.
2. Search engine: Baidu, Qihoo 360, and Sogou
Search engine marketing is a different story in China. With Google stepping out of the China market, Baidu, Qihoo 360, and Sogou have become the top go-to search engines for Chinese internet users to search about information and products. From enhanced search experience, digital advertising options to analytics tools, these dominant players offer a package of innovative advantages for B2B businesses to effectively optimize SEO performance, increase traffic, and generate quality leads.
3. Webinars and in-person events
Presentations and social networking in events are still vital for B2B businesses to meet clients as industry leaders. In the post-Covid period, webinars become a phenomenal B2B marketing tool in China, enabling B2B firms to tout their valuable insights and interact with a larger audience beyond the limit of location. Webinar sessions can also be recorded for on-demand content for further engagement and lead generation.
Meanwhile, in-person events are still important to offer the human interaction that webinars cannot beat. In the digital-first world, businesses can incorporate digital transformation into these physical events. One actionable example is that businesses can boost the subscription of their WeChat Official Accounts by showing a trackable QR Code at their booth or on sales representatives’ name cards. While trackable QR codes allow businesses to measure the traffic of events, businesses can engage these leads by posting company updates on WeChat.
4. KOL and vertical media marketing
KOL marketing works effectively for B2C marketing in China, but B2B influencers also have their charm. Despite the efforts many B2B businesses make to become thought leaders among their peers, many professionals look up to renowned subject matter experts for their in-depth and “unbiased” insights into market trends. Chinese vertical media also attract industry professionals to keep abreast of market trends, updates, and events. KOL and vertical media engagement effectively reach a highly relevant target audience and promote your professional services and industry events.
Top questions that international firms ask for B2B marketing in China
Due to the unique digital landscape in China, international firms often ask these common questions when consulting us for B2B digital marketing strategies in China.
1. How do I make an overseas WeChat official account?
Many non-Chinese businesses create an overseas WeChat official account because they provide almost the same functions as a native WeChat account. First, you have to pick the right account type. Account registration also requires information such as company registration and admin’s personal and contact information. What follows is account verification, registration payment, and setup of profile and menu content.
2. How can I open a website in China without an ICP License?
Companies must obtain an Internet Content Provider (ICP) license to host websites on servers in China, but the application process can be long and complicated, and requires a Mainland Chinese Business Registration Certificate. If you only need a simple landing page to deliver content and collect leads, H5 pages running on your WeChat official account can be a great alternative. Talk to us to learn more!
Kickstart your B2B marketing in China with INITSOC
Feeling excited and apprehended to expand into China? With extensive B2B marketing experience in China, INITSOC is your trustworthy China digital marketing agency. From Chinese social media, search engines, KOL marketing to webinar marketing, INITSOC develops bespoke strategies so you can navigate the changing market with confidence. Talk to our experts now and learn about what works the best for your business!