Our 3 top tips to capture the Chinese market

Understanding your Chinese visitors is essential to attract them and make sure they enjoy their stay.

Close to 1.2 million Chinese travellers visited Australia last year, were you ready for them?  Chinese tourists help drive Australian Tourism, so it’s vital to engage them authentically by not only speaking their language, but by demonstrating your respect and understanding of their culture, too.

Putting yourself in a travellers shoes, and thinking about how you would like to be engaged with is always a good start. Don’t have time for that? Don’t stress, we’ve done it for you. Check out these three simple steps to better reach your Chinese audience.

1) Consider your branding

For any business, branding is key. However, when targeting international travellers, it is wise to consider just how your branding will be received. For example, colour preference is important in the Chinese culture. Black and white symbolise death and mourning, where as red symbolises joy and good fortune and yellow is the colour of heroes. When designing Chinese specific marketing material, it can be useful to keep these preferences in mind.

Chinese-speaking consumers traditionally use images and poems to share information, so this can be a fun way to communicate your message too.

From travel brochures, to business cards and winery tasting notes, these branding considerations are easy and relatively cost effective tactics to try.

2) Analyse your website

If you were on a website that was in a language you didn’t understand, a big button with ‘ENGLISH’ would be pretty reassuring wouldn’t it? That’s exactly what non English speakers look for. As English speakers, we can become complacent about the fact that we speak the global language, so being aware that it isn’t that simple for our non English speaking audience is a great place to start.

With websites, we talk about pathways (how you get from A to B), and making a simple pathway to in-language information is a must. Having a language button is the best way for your audience to access information in their language quickly and easily, avoiding website drop off rates and optimising visitors, ticket sales or whatever your end goal may be.

Translating entire websites can be a costly endeavour, but choosing select material and creating a ‘micro site’ off the language button helps keep costs down and material relevant and tailored to your Chinese market.

3) Rethink your social media

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, these social media platforms are probably already part of your current marketing strategy. But what about Weibo,WeChat, Qzone and Ren Ren, are they in there? Probably not! It’s important to know where your Chinese audience is hanging out online, so that you’re not wasting valuable marketing dollars trying to find them where they’re not going to be.

For varying political reasons, Chinese citizens are blocked from accessing western social media sites. Despite being free of those when restrictions when in Australia, many Chinese-speaking travellers still choose to communicate and consume information via Chinese social media sites during their stay.

Chinese consumers generally follow the same decision-making process as other consumers around the world; so reaching a Chinese audience via social media is reassuringly similar with just a few extra steps to take into consideration.

No matter how you decide to target Chinese travellers, the most important consideration is to make sure you use professional translation. Machine translations like Google Translate are literal and do not consider tone, cultural references or humour, and despite all your efforts, your message will get lost in translation.

About the author

LOTE Marketing specialises in the strategic development, production and delivery of ethnic communications to all cultural groups that make up our broader community. From multicultural research to marketing and language translation services across 150 languages, LOTE can help you reach your diverse audience.

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