When brands come to China, we always advise they take a close look at the messaging to ensure it is audience appropriate and will be well received in what is a very different market from the West.
But that doesn’t mean everything that has gone before needs to be jettisoned, especially not all that expensive and polished material the marketing department have crafted with much blood, sweat and tears over the years, and especially not in the generally more stable and globally-minded B2B space.
While you will have to do some things differently to succeed in China, there are a few fixes you can make that will ease the expensive and time-consuming content creation process, especially at the start of your brand’s journey into China.
Zut Alors! Frogs legs for the China market – with the rest of the frog still attached!
Use what you have
Those videos that cost (almost!) as much as a Golden Globe-winning TV series and took the best part of a year to get from concept to release, you’ll be wanting to get as much mileage as you can from those, right? In China you can. Think, will a Mandarin voiceover or subtitles make this something that can be used in the market? You’ll give a pricy collateral a new lease of life without breaking the bank.
Obviously, you’ll be working on the specifics of your Chinese messaging and how to ensure this is reaching your target audience, but what about the stories you’ve already told. Content about achievements, successful projects, awards and company history can be carefully translated and polished, inserting key phrases, while keeping the narrative thread of the original language version. This is great content for things like WeChat posts.
Leverage Global reach
If you’re a global company, don’t be afraid to look like it! And even if you’re not, leverage your German reliability of British heritage or Italian deliciousness, whatever it is. The Chinese are more conscious of the outside world than ever before, and often make positive associations with foreign brands, so ride this wave. Particularly good if you have done a costly website redesign recently. You still need to host the Chinese site in China, but can you make a few small changes to the template that will make for a great UX in the Middle Kingdom while being consistent with your look and feel elsewhere in the world?
More small changes now, but these can make a big difference. Photoshoots – could you arrange with Chinese models to show a scene more familiar to your audience? Social media campaigns – can you make amendments to your publishing calendar to take into account Chinese holidays like Chinese New Year the way you would Christmas? Social media campaigns part 2 – are you utilizing the full potential of WeChat to spread your message in China? Infographics/whitepapers/etc – have you tested them with Chinese people to see if they appeal?