The online marketing scene in China is super-vibrant and your company must constantly stay up to date. This means you need to quickly adapt to market needs and conduct marketing work in the right direction.

We cannot overemphasize the differences in the China market. Marketing skills that succeed in the Western market will not automatically succeed in China. China often used new marketing strategies to develop, and later became popular in Western countries. At other times, what works in China is completely foreign to the rest of the world, and is only effective among China audiences.

Most importantly, everything is taken for granted when launching marketing activities in China. You must do your homework without missing the needs and likes of a specific audience.

Digital Marketing Trends of 2020 in China

In the following, we list the most important digital marketing trends of 2020 in China. You can use this as a reference to determine the direction to concentrate.

Live-Streaming That Focuses on High-Quality 

Even in 2020, real-time streaming advertising campaigns will continue to attract users, but the focus is to shift from simple sales strategies to more entertaining and educational content. 2020 has just begun, and as usual, here at QPSoftware, we are ready to provide you with some tips about the top digital marketing trends in China.

Currently, live events need to arouse excitement, which can be achieved by inviting famous hosts to represent your brand or a trusted KOL (Key Opinion Leader). By 2020, real-time streaming will no longer focus on selling products, but more on entertainment audiences. The goal is to increase the number of likes, shares, comments and new users.

The incentive measures during the live broadcast are still effective and are a good way to attract viewers. However, the content now needs to be more creative and educational, not just for commercial use.

WeChat Groups Integrated with Smart Chatbots

WeChat group is an effective method to attract private traffic. Their integration with intelligent chatbots (even if it cannot replace human administrators) will make the tool more cost-effective and more useful to the company.

Chatbots can be set to answer common questions, promote upcoming events, conduct surveys, gather information about audiences, recommend products based on specific keywords, and more.

Douyin (TikTok)

Douyin, also known as TikTok outside of China, occupies a large part of the social media field. Douyin is known as a place where you can laugh, and its content is now undergoing major changes.

What we have observed now is that users like to use the platform in a more educational way, which includes usage tips, suggestions and storytelling. This makes Douyin a great platform on which online marketers can promote products or educate their audience.

WeChat Mini Programs

WeChat Mini Programs have become an important asset for online marketers. In just a few years, countless companies have launched WeChat applets, including giants such as Alipay, Baidu and Toutiao. Considering that users now want every respected company to have one, in 2020, companies must invest resources to implement or improve their WeChat applets.

A New Target — Lower-Tier Cities

Pinduoduo is an e-commerce platform where users can participate in group-buying transactions. The platform has become popular, thanks to 66% of its users coming from low-tier cities. This phenomenon has caused alarm bells for large companies such as JD.com, who suddenly realized that the potential of these cities is often overlooked by marketing activities.

digital marketing low tier cities china

Despite the low spending power of consumers in these areas, they still represent 128 million Internet users, compared with 74 million in first- and second-tier cities. The potential for generating income from low-tier cities is huge. Therefore, by 2020, more efforts will be made to cover users and consumers in these regions.

Influencers Are Not Influencing as Much as Before

Influencers are still valuable in the field of marketing, but what we have noticed recently is that people’s trust in trust has declined compared to before. On the contrary, micro influencers are becoming more popular. The reason behind this new trend is that people feel the need for credibility, and sometimes they cannot find credibility among influencers of paid promotional products.

People now tend to rely more on feedback from real users. Therefore, they resort to platforms where users can share their experiences. For example, WeChat has launched Good Product Circle. Using this feature, users can share the products in the “mini-program” with their friends, and recommend products based on their personal experience or see what their friends have purchased.

Even Kuaishou, a short video and real-time streaming platform, has introduced a channel called Small Store. Users can use it to share products with major online stores such as JD.com, Taobao and Tmall. After the user clicks on the shared product, they will be redirected to an e-commerce website where they can purchase it directly.

These platforms, as well as similar platforms for connecting with friends, provide the trust that many influencers can’t get behind the product.

A New Approach to KOLs 

This trend is closely related to the points discussed above. KOL (Key Opinion Leader) is still relevant to online marketing, but the methodology is changing dramatically.

The company now tends to sign contracts with KOL, thus making the company the only partner of KOL.

Therefore, influencers will only work with one brand to promote it through its content, social media channels, and e-commerce stores. On the other hand, the company provides KOL with all the support and training it needs to increase the efficiency of its personal brand.


China’s online marketing is still full of new ideas and full of huge growth potential. The new trends we see in this market are both exciting and challenging. This is especially true for online marketers who are not familiar with this unique region of the world. For them, running successful campaigns in China can be particularly problematic. Firmly grasping the local culture and consumer behavior is essential for success in China.

If you need help in planning your marketing strategy in China, please call us immediately. With more than 10 years of experience in the Chinese market, we can help you pave the way for success in China.

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