Don’t Have Marketing Budget?
Many businesses have great products and services. However, a common challenge is how to let more people know about these wonderful products.
What Sriracha has done to build brand awareness is possible, but it’s very rare and takes a long time. In order to scale up quickly and get more revenue, businesses need to invest in marketing to let more people know. But the challenge has always been: how do you start marketing without enough capital?
Marketing Is Not Simply Just Advertising
Typically in the marketing industry, there are two types of marketing tactics – brand awareness & re-targeting. While brand-awareness campaigns are focusing on building up brand names, retargeting-based marketing are more about driving conversion and sales. These approaches both take time, money, and extensive learning.
For example, a consumer needs to hear a new brand name 7 times in order to be conscious about it subsequently. Additionally there are many players in the marketing industry. For example, in retargeting marketing, there are many platforms including video retargeting, cookie collection, and double verify. Therefore, how does small-/medium-sized businesses build up awareness?
The Answer is News Feed
News Feed is a part of Public Relation tactic, and often goes hand-in-hand with marketing campaigns. Think of it this way: marketing campaign proactively brings advertisements to consumers, while news feed is not target-oriented but similar to making an announcement.
News feed campaign has these three advantages comparing to marketing campaigns:
- Authority – people subconsciously associate news that are reported by 3rd-party media outlets more trustworthy and credible.
- Less intrusive – Are you getting tired of seeing repeatedly the same ad on products that you have browsed previously? News report is not targeted, and is not tracking consumers. As a result, consumers don’t have the negative feelings associated with the brand, meaning they won’t associate your brand with the wrong first impression. The news feed content is there, and you can read about it only when you want.
- Affordability – it’s generally more affordable. While marketing campaign is an iterative process, and requires long term investment, news report is more straightforward and typically is executed less often (i.e., when there is a new announcement.)
News Publishers (portals/websites) in China
With this understanding, let’s look at how you can leverage the news feed service to build up your brand name in China.
First, you have to understand that there are two types of news publishers in China – traditional publishers and news aggregators.
- Traditional News Publishers – Think of them as your everyday news publishers, for example, New York Times, CNN, or Wall Street Journal. They have reporters that go out to find news, conduct interviews, and report the news. In China, leading publishers in this category includes People.cn, News.cn, CCTV.com. These providers often focus on reporting government/policy-related news, and they have strong authority in this domain.
- News Aggregators – These are sites/platforms where all news are reported and aggregated. They don’t necessarily have the newspaper legacy. Think of them as CNBC, Yahoo Finance where all news from different publishers are aggregated. In addition, big news aggregators also have reporters that go out and collect news. In China, leading players in this category includes Sohu.com, Toutiao.
Why Should You Add News Feed in Your Marketing Campaigns?
First, news feed adds credibility on brand name. Second, news feed has become the leading source that internet users in China discover new information.
According to a iResearch’s publication, Chinese internet users use news webites, social media platforms, search engines, TV, newspaper and radio to discover new information.
News portals/Apps is the leader in this category, with 87.2% of Chinese internet users say they learn new information through news portals, where social media is the second with 70.2%.
Additionally, the research also discusses the frequency of news report as well as time that average users spend on news websites. From the first pie chart below, reading news from news websites once a day accounts for 18% of the overall population.
29% users with 2-4 times read per day,
9% users visits news portals 5-10 times a day, and
26.9% users read it more than 10 times.
In total, 82.9% of Chinese internet users read news at least once a day.
What Is The Preferred News Feed Format?
Now you are ready to let Chinese consumers know about your brand, how should you organize the content?
- 87.6% of users prefer news with both images and descriptions.
- Additionally, pictures with short video is also preferred by 40% of users.
- However, content with text only is less appealing, with only 38% of users choose this as the preferred approach.
In essence, consumers prefer interactive and dynamic content versus text-based news feed.