The range of digital channels available to e-commerce businesses in China for acquiring new customers is boundless. They include paid search marketing, organic search, a presence on social media networks, display ads, mobile apps, and that is only mentioning a few. On the surface they are diverse, but one thing they all have in common is that they all require content in order to be effective e-commerce marketing channels.
This content can take many forms including:
- Text such as product descriptions
- Photos that display what products looks like
- Video narratives or visual interactions with products
Here’s my checklist for using the main digital platforms in China, and how to optimize your content strategy for each one.
Major Content Distribution Platforms in China
In China, brands often have two websites: one for desktop and tablet users, as in www.example.com, and the other for mobile device users, such as m.example.com. Normally the master and intensive content plan are first implemented across the website. Businesses will then want to syndicate the content from the website to their mobile site, but with the mobile site carrying less content.
There are several reasons for this. The small screens on mobiles make it difficult to display too much content at once. Also, mobile users often prefer to finish a purchase more quickly than they would on a desktop. Therefore, users don’t want to spend time browsing across multiple screens with intensive content.
Another reason comes down to page loading speeds. Large photos and videos can negatively impact page-load efficiency, and it becomes a problem for the mobile user experience.
In short, only select and display content that is absolutely necessary for users to make a purchase. A good content strategy combined with good website architecture and proper search engine optimization in place will lead to more conversions and a higher organic ranking on search engines.
2. Mobile Apps
Again, as the mobile device has a smaller screen, only content that is absolutely necessary for making purchases should be considered for mobile apps.
WeChat is a tool that can cover both mobile and tablet users. Once a WeChat public account has been created for a brand, followers need to be acquired. Due to the closed nature of this social platform, a key component of this is contingent on content. A typical WeChat public account is a mini-app or mini-site within WeChat where you can create menus for navigation, track the performance of your content, and publish new articles with text, photos, and videos.
For long-term content operations of a WeChat account, think of it as similar in style to blogs on the Web. It is imperative that WeChat accounts are regularly fed content in the form of articles. These can be about products, including how-to or DIY tutorials featuring the products. Just note that WeChat only allows you to publish one article per day, so always put your best content forward.
Similar to Twitter, Weibo is an online account where you can publish short content in quick succession. Mobile is a common touchpoint for Weibo users in China. While Twitter limits text to 140 characters, Weibo’s limit is 140 Chinese characters, which gives brands more room to express their message. Embedding links is also allowed, as is publishing multiple photos within a single post. Additionally, it is okay to reuse some WeChat content on Weibo. With Weibo, it’s best to cut down the text content, but you can make up for it by using more video and photo content.
The caveat with accounts on Weibo and WeChat is that they are property of Weibo and WeChat. This means you must have ways to bring users from Weibo and WeChat back to your website or app where the user can actually purchase your product.
Some important questions to consider while generating and managing content are:
What is the purpose of creating the content?
Content is required for users to understand your products. This includes but is not limited to product features, product specifications, and prices. Other content might be used to drive users to a brand’s website or app. In addition, some content marketing can be done to improve a website’s visibility in organic search results.
Who is the content targeting?
This can vary depending on the product. Who is your target audience? Are you targeting the right people? How likely is it that the customers you are currently targeting will buy from you?
How will new content be generated?
How will the new content creation process be managed? Should full-time hires, freelancers, or both be employed?
What is your current staff like? Are they dependable, quick, creative, dedicated employees that are consistently prepared to continuously create new content? How much content can they produce per week?
What’s the frequency of new content?
Does it make sense to publish 10,000 pages of new content per day? If not, then what is a natural frequency that fits with the rate of new content production?
How will content be categorized?
For instance, should content creation for baby products be broken down and re-categorized into baby powder, baby clothes, baby diapers, and so forth, or will this not benefit your overall strategy?
And finally, as you monitor user operations in relation to content, it is important to consider what level of user interaction is required.
One simple user interaction is getting your customers to write product reviews. Under each product page, allow your customers to write product reviews for each specific product. Showcase the reviews on each individual product’s page.
Measure and report the effectiveness of all the content being produced over a six-month period from new customers to existing ones. For instance, if a product sees a conversion rate improvement of 500 percent over a six-month period, try to determine the cause of this increase as it correlates with your content model.
I hope this checklist is useful. Feel free to add your comments below.
*Homepage image via Shutterstock.
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