9 tips to help you market your business during Chinese New Year

Steven Mike Voser
Steven Mike Voser
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In this article, we look at the significance of Chinese New Year for online business and share 9 simple tips to help you take advantage of this huge holiday.
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Chinese New Year is a huge shopping holiday for about 1 billion people around the world.

And for online businesses like yours, it’s a huge opportunity.

You see, Chinese New Year has become a major shopping holiday for nearly all those who celebrate it.

In this article, we’ll show you the huge potential of Chinese New Year and share 9 marketing tips to help you make the most of it.

 

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE ABOUT CHINESE NEW YEAR?

It’s simple:

Chinese New Year is a massive holiday that attracts almost ⅙ of the entire world population.

And while it’s a traditional holiday marking the beginning of the new year according to the Chinese lunar calendar, Chinese New Year has also become a major shopping event.

Today, buying food, decorations, and gifts have all become important tenets of the Chinese New Year celebration.

And while it’s not as big as Single’s Day (China’s biggest annual shopping holiday), it still attracts a lot of spending.

In 2016, for example, Hong Kong Means Business reported that Guangzhou generated roughly RMB 754 billion (USD 118 billion) in sales in just the first 6 days of the festival.

Last year, Chinese New Year sales across various different categories saw a big spike.

According to Criteo, sales across fashion, food/groceries, and health and beauty related industries were up 71%, 101%, and 56% (respectively) from the year before.

This year, Chinese New Year (Year of the Dog) officially begins on February 16th, and sales are expected to be big.

In fact, some sales have already begun, so it’s high time you get into gear if you’re planning on taking advantage of this holiday.

Here are 9 tips to help you take advantage of Chinese New Year sales.

 

9 TIPS TO BETTER MARKET YOUR BUSINESS DURING CHINESE NEW YEAR

 

1. GO MOBILE

If you haven’t already optimized for mobile, let this be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for to get up to speed.

Mobile sales have been on the rise over the last couple of years, and that’s no different for Chinese New Year.

If you really want to step up your mobile sales game, try to target retail apps.

Data by Criteo shows that in Singapore and Vietnam, for example, in-app fashion sales were 29% and 99% higher (respectively) than regular mobile web sales.

 

2. START EARLY

If you want to make the most out of Chinese New Year, make sure you start your sales campaign early.

Data from Criteo shows that sales across Southeast Asia start to peak roughly 2-3 weeks before the start of the festival.

At this time, average daily sales across the region are up by roughly 35%.

As we mentioned earlier, the festival starts on February 16th this year, meaning you’ll want to start your campaign now to make sure you’re comfortably riding this wave, rather than lagging behind the competition.

This goes for all industries, except travel.

If you’re in the travel industry, you’ll still want to start your Chinese New Year campaign early, but make sure to read our next point extra carefully.

Note: Don’t start too early. Christmas sales kick off before December, and you’ll want to make sure your campaign isn’t lost among the hustle and bustle of this equally important shopping period.

 

3. IF YOU’RE IN THE TRAVEL BUSINESS, STICK AROUND

According to Criteo, travel sales are at their highest in the weeks following the Chinese New Year festival.

Like other industries, travel sales start to spike 2-3 weeks before the festival officially starts.

However, last year’s statistics show that travel sales were up by 75% in some regions in the weeks after the festival.

In Vietnam and Hong Kong, for example, a 75% and 70% increase in daily online travel sales (respectively) was seen around this time.

 

4. BE SPECIFIC WITH YOUR TARGETING

Chinese New Year is an exciting opportunity for your business, and it can be tempting to run in head-on and try to take advantage of it quickly.

And while acting quickly is definitely a big part of being successful around this time of the year, make sure you take your time to target your audience properly before you launch your campaign.

Targeting is a huge part of successful marketing, and it’s especially important during big holidays like this one.

So, before you pull the throttle, make sure you’ve taken the time to carefully consider your target audience with this new campaign.

Go through all your analytical tools and make sure you pick out the kinds of customers that are most likely to convert.

Make sure you’ve taken the time to carefully consider your target audience with this new campaign.

 

5. BE BOLD AND TRY SOMETHING NEW

If you’ve been playing around with a new marketing strategy but haven’t felt game to give it a try, this is your chance.

Remember, sales periods like Chinese New Year are highly competitive.

That means your business will be competing with a ton of other traffic.

And while competition can actually be a good thing for your business, it can also mean your message getting lost in the noise made by everyone else in your industry.

And that is never a good thing, no matter how you try to spin it.

This is where that new marketing strategy might just give you an upper hand:

Trying something bold, different, and a little bit out-of-the-box might just garner the attention you were looking for.

Hence, it’s worthwhile to spend some time picking your brain to come up with something truly unique.

One of our favorite examples of an out-of-the-box Chinese New Year marketing campaign is the Marketing Fortune Generator by Hubspot.

As the name suggests, this free tool generates your marketing future for you (like a fortune cookie, but specialized for online marketing).

 

6. EXPERIMENT FEARLESSLY

In previous articles, we’ve made it clear that we’re big on A/B testing.

And there’s no more important time to use A/B testing than during hot sales periods like Chinese New Year.

If you’re not continually testing your marketing campaigns, you’re literally taking shots in the dark at a moving target.

This Chinese New Year, make sure to experiment a ton and keep tabs on EVERYTHING.

Whether it’s Facebook ads, email sequences, blog headlines, or the copy on your most important landing pages, make sure to A/B test it, go with the winner, and then come up with another variable and repeat.

 

7. CREATE VALUE

We’ve said it before and we’re not scared to say it again:

The key to great content is value.

We’ve already told you how competitive Chinese New Year is, and how your message runs the risk of getting lost among a million others.

One thing that might help your message stick and connect with your target audience, however, is value.

There’s a ton content circulating the internet at any given time of the year.

And what really separates the cream of the crop from the rest is something valuable. The minute you provide value to your clients or customers, you stick out (in a good way).

Therefore, pay extra attention to your targeting and make sure you give each person you interact with something to walk away with.

 

8. GET SMARKETING!

Never heard of smarketing?

Smarketing is a term used to describe a kind of marketing “nirvana.”

It is basically when your sales and marketing teams are so well-connected they literally become one entity.

Make this happen and you’ve mastered something truly magical.

So, how do you do it?

Well, it’s all about communication.

Make sure your marketing and sales teams are consistently communicating so that everyone is 100% clear on what they’re trying to achieve.

Once both parties know what is expected of them to help achieve those goals, you’re bound to see great results.

 

9. START TODAY

We’ve just covered 8 killer marketing tips that’ll help your business achieve great things this Chinese New Year.

Now, all you need to do is start.

So get planning, targeting, and testing, and you should be on your way to a successful time ahead.

Remember, if you need help translating or localizing your content for a specific audience this Chinese New Year or in the future, contact us today.