Last Updated on June 19, 2023
The Rise and Future of Fintech in China
China’s Fintech industry is continuing to develop as more and more companies are looking to expand into this constantly growing market. With services such as mobile banking, insurance, virtual data rooms, Fintech M&A and wealth management, Fintech is now an integrated part of the day-to-day operations of e-commerce in China.
In the past decade (2010-2020), we have witnessed the exponential growth of Fintech services in China. In 2018, investment in consumer finance technology reached 15.71 billion Yuan, with 9.36 billion in cutting-edge technology. In 2022, it is estimated that investment in just cutting-edge technology alone, will reach 29.78 billion RMB.
(Source: 2019 China’s Fintech Industry Report (iresearchchina.com))
China’s three tech giants (Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent) hold the majority of the market share. But with a renewed government anti-monopoly policy, China could be set to open their doors in 2021 to Fintech companies like never before.
However, emerging into the Chinese Fintech market still proves to be extremely difficult, as multiple e-commerce businesses, banks, asset managers and Fintech start-ups are all fighting for their piece of the pie.
This is why traditional finance services will need to adopt digital marketing solutions and develop their online presence if they want to win in China.
Lead Generation Is The Way
Chinese consumers base a large part of their business decisions on a brand/company’s reputation, or guanxi (关系). Reputation is a fundamental part of the culture and it’s just as important in the business world.
Establishing good guanxi requires brand awareness, endorsements from KOCs and KOLs, social media presence, SEO optimization and the integration of other digital marketing strategies.
In other words, Chinese Finance Community is the most aware Fintech community in the world as they have been through a lot of experience that will not make them rely only on ‘what a corporation says about itself in its official website and owned social media accounts’. What is needed is visibility beyond the owned channels.
On Baidu, you want your company to be one of the top results so that you get the most interaction possible. This can be achieved with SEO organic traffic methods such as referring domains, improving keyword rankings and content sharing. But Baidu SEO is nothing like Google SEO.
Another option to consider is the use of Baidu PPC (Pay Per Click). At a certain stage of any healthy Lead Generation campaign, traffic is much needed. Baidu PPC provides that traffic boost for the short term although there are few keywords limitation for the Finance industry in China.
In addition, your website must be functional in Chinese, with a Chinese/Mandarin page, have a Chinese URL and be hosted on a China friendly server. This will allow Baidu’s “Spider” technology to prioritize your website.
China Online Press Release
Official Chinese publications are highly respected by Chinese consumers as they are strictly controlled by the authorities that will only allow high quality content and news.
Appearing on Baidu search results with not only your website but also with links to online PR articles about your company, will not only increase the Fintech company’s online reputation but will also increase the likelihood to be contacted and generate even better quality leads. Leads that have read positive content about you when they searched Fintech related keywords in Baidu.
Influencers: KOL or KOC
Using Key Opinion Leaders (KOL) or Key Opinion Customers (KOC) is a great way to connect with the younger demographic in China.
KOLs or Influencers are popular social media users who have created a viral platform for themselves. They regularly provide their followers with brand advice, reviews, and instructions. In China, KOLs have a stronger presence than in other countries. This means they can pull a lot more traction to a particular brand and influence purchasing decisions.
In recent times, we have seen the increase of Chinese KOC marketing. Getting a key opinion customer on your side will increase your brand’s reputation with their positive reviews. The relatability and friend-like appeal of a KOC will elevate the way millennial customers value your company.
Online Reputation Management
If you want to generate leads in China, it is crucial to understand how to manage your online reputation.
You will also need to manage your “unofficial reputation”. This means your brand needs to be active in forum discussions such as ZhiHu (知乎). These Q&A sites provide a platform for natural discussions about your brand.
The rise in social commerce or referral marketing is another noticeable trend we are seeing coming out of China. Social commerce is a way to encourage users to generate engagement with their friends on WeChat. In return for pulling people into the brand’s h5 page or official account, they will receive special discounts and offers.
WeChat Official Account is Useless Without a WeChat CRM
It is well known that for a brand to localize well in China, they will need a WeChat Official Account (OA). WeChat rules the social media ecosystem in China with over 750 million users. This platform is deeply rooted within the daily life of Chinese citizens, with users spending around 1.5 hours a day on official accounts. A WeChat OA enables you to create industry-based content, discuss financial consultations and talk about the newest trends.
However, without a WeChat CRM, your ability to properly engage consumers will suffer. A WeChat CRM operates within the WeChat ecosystem, capturing data from WeChat Work, WeChat Pay, WeChat OAs, WeChat Mini-Programs, Offline QR codes and other touchpoints.
With this information, the WeChat CRM will create individualized user profiles that will tell you their name, age, interests as well as their transaction data, consumer behavior and unlimited ways to tag and segment your followers to better approach them by pushing ultra-targeted content to specific target audience.
The WeChat CRM is then able to manage data and segment users so that you can send targeted content to followers, leading to subscribers receiving relevant and interesting articles, ads and offers.
Digital Marketing Solutions are endless and we tried our best to keep this article as general and holistic as possible. Each project is different, that is a proper expert advice is very important to know exactly what is needed to help your Fintech project in China.
Sekkei Studio has been around for around 13 years, helping, consulting and executing China Digital Marketing strategies for companies around the world. Share your project with us, we’ll be happy to let you know how to take your Fintech project to the next level.