China Short Video Apps: Upgrade Your Online Marketing Strategies

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COVID-19 crisis has hampered the business operations of several industries like aviation, hospitality, and tourism. But online activities remain unstoppable in China. While the pandemic is pushing people to embrace the new norms, contactless transactions are rampant across the country.

Even during the pre-pandemic times, cashless payments using WeChat and AliPay were already the norms among Chinese consumers. In 2019, Gartner said that China has emerged as a digital bellwether for global brands especially in social commerce, short video apps, and mobile payments. 

In this article, explore the short video apps that help global brands upgrade their online marketing strategies.

  1. Douyin – music-inspired viral videos
  2. Kuaishou – a staple short video app for lower-tiered cities
  3. Bilibili – a blogging hub for China’s youngsters

Going online as videos become a staple in business

As lockdown eases in China, global brands can’t overlook the big shift to online activities. Social distancing, the mandatory wearing of masks, and washing of hands are the new normal when visiting shops, restaurants, and other establishments.

Meanwhile, businesses are taking it to the next level. For example, the oldest and biggest trade fair, Canton Fair will run virtually. Tencent, one of China’s biggest internet players will provide infrastructure to host it and provide a system that will match exhibitors and buyers. Through videos and interactive live streaming products will be available for interested buyers.

In general, online videos help businesses thrive during these times. But investment in technology is also part of it, including adapting to short video apps that are also becoming popular these days.

The rise of short video apps like Douyin and Kuaishou has shaped the way Chinese millennials buy online. It’s one of the best ways to increase online visibility if you have a strategy that fits well your niche or industry.

China short video apps to explore to increase online visibility

There are many ways you can incorporate short video apps as part of your online marketing strategies.

Douyin — music-inspired viral videos 

ByteDance tech giant created Douyin in 2016 and has become one of the most sensationalized short video apps on China’s internet. Its international version, Tiktok is also making rounds overseas, and this short video app is now available in 75 languages. Users can create 3 to 15 seconds short music videos or short-looped videos at 3-60 seconds.

70% of users are aged 18-35 and most of them are urbanites women living in tier 1 and 2 cities. Douyin’s algorithm is based on users’ virality engagement with a video. What it means is that if users keep on engaging — liking, commenting, or sharing it — it spreads further. It has live streaming options, thus it’s the best way for influencers to interact with followers.

Kuaishou — staple short video app for lower-tiered cities

Kuaishou is Douyin’s competitor when it comes to short video platform usage among the youngsters, but attracting different target audiences. Most of its users are living in lower-tier cities who are engaging heavily in video content like sharing and commenting. Apparently, male users dominate the percent of use, with different types of videos that are being shared like comical to entertainment and sharing the rural life in snippets. 

Kuaishou’s videos may look different than that of Douyin’s and because of the low quality of content being published, there are limited features and profitable models when it comes to advertising for brands. They are not keen to invest, however, the live broadcasting function where viewers pay to interact with broadcasters is how Kuaishou gets its revenue.

Bilibili — vlogging hub for Chinese youngsters

Another booming market that’s linked to livestreaming and short video apps is vlogging. Bilibili, an emerging video platform is becoming a vlogging hub, which comes with long forms of videos. It’s still a short video sharing app but most videos are related to comics, animations, and games. Most of the users here are the Gen-Z, ranging from students and young professionals. 

Users share, comment, and like anything about anime and cartoons on this platform. But Bilibili is also offering premium membership subscriptions for special shows, e-commerce deals, and more. While it’s different from Douyin and Kuaishou, what makes it unique is its revenue-sharing model that attracts more video creators.

How can you use China short video apps for your business?

These short video apps have a mix of revenue-generating models to attract both video creators and brands. For example, fashion brands and retailers of cosmetics can use these short videos to provide snippets of new products or a quick tutorial on how to use them. 

On the other hand, global brands can also work with influencers who are also in the same industry to help them gain more exposure through affiliate links, mentions, and endorsements of their brands or products whenever influencers broadcast their videos, whether in premier or live. 

Businesses can also partner with a local digital marketing agency to plan a short video marketing solution based on the target market and goals. In this way, brands can both apply organic ways to attract customers using these short video apps or use paid ads to get more visibility and results. 

There’s no one-size-fits-all online video marketing strategy, but short video apps are here to stay, and businesses should catch up and work their way to stay relevant to customers. 

Let us know how LIMPID can help you get started, building your digital strategy, professional Mandarin voice-over, Video production, and more.