The number of China internet users exceeded 801 million with a penetration rate of 57.7% according to the latest data from CNNIC. Live broadcasting, short videos, and personalized content will continue to be essential parts of digital marketing strategies in 2019.
1. User Attention Highly Distracted
On average, each user installs 44.2 mobile apps in China as of Q2 2018. Fifty-nine apps have exceeded 100 million user base. The number of WeChat Official Accounts is over 3.5 million according to data from iResearch.
2. Increased Difficulty in Competition
The Chinese population has been more diverse with multiple segmentations including Gen-Z, post-90s (people born in and after 1990 and before 2000), new middle-class, the town youth (those living in tier-3 and lower tier cities between 18 and 30 years old), etc.
80% of marketing resources are in the hands of the top 20%.
3. Rising News Feed Advertisement
China’s online advertising revenues are estimated to reach 491.4 billion yuan with a growth rate of 31%, which is about one-tenth of China’s internet economy (4.73 trillion yuan) according to iResearch.
Mobile advertising accounts for about 70% of China’s online advertising market and is estimated to increase to 77.6% in 2018 and 82.8% in 2019.
Mobile news feed ads grow further this year accounting for nearly 24% of the total, compared with search 31.7%, e-commerce ads 19.5%, and 11.4% from display ads.
China’s native ads market totals 242 billion yuan in 2018 based on iResearch’s estimate, accounting for 49.2% of the entire online ads market with strong growth of 40.9%. It’s estimated to further grow to 53.5% in 2019.
4. More Diverse Marketing Channels
The growth and development of online videos, news, live broadcasting, OTT, and online marketing have led to multiple advertisement formats. Search remains a critical channel on desktop while social and videos play an important role on mobile.
Online video ads market is now worth 45.93 billion yuan; OTT over 4 billion yuan; news ads 42.47 billion yuan; and, online live broadcast marketing 3.4 billion yuan.
Many marketers have seen and enjoyed the power of content marketing and social media marketing in 2018, either following and utilizing the trending topics or making new ones. Mobile apps in short video market worth your attention are Kuaishou, Tik Tok (Douyin), and Miaopai.
Verified organization accounts (companies, government agencies, and media) on Tik Tok exceeded 12 thousand. Short video has seen massive adoptions by marketers in China as one of the essential online marketing channels.
The e-commerce giants Taobao, Tmall, and JD.com have cooperated with at least 10 short video platforms so far. The video view of short video at Taobao and Tmall exceed 100 million, closely followed by JD.com.
5. Influencer marketing
More online celebrities may emerge and some can have a high impact on driving brand awareness and sales, especially in social and live broadcasting e-commerce. Many brands would increase their investment in key opinion leaders (KOL) in 2019, who often create very relevant and quality content.
The adoption of AI has increased the efficiency of China’s marketing industry by 20% according to iResearch. Advertisers and marketers’ adoption of technologies will extend from adtech to martech. IoT could potentially enhance the user experience. And, advanced speech and facial recognition, AR, and VR will drive higher engagement and deliver better user experiences.
7. More Personalized Social Content
Top technology companies in China, such as Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu, and JD, has been tracking integrating various channels and delivering to users more personalized content. WeChat’s recent update also shows Tencent’s efforts in personalized and social content.