CHINESE NEW YEAR IS CELEBRATED GLOBALLY
Chinese New Year is a celebration that focuses on giving gifts, fending off a vicious beast, and ushering in a year of good luck. Celebrated the world over, billions of people take part in China, Philippines, Indonesia, and many major Western capitals. Tapping into the spirit of Chinese New Year can not only unlock new e-commerce markets, but show a genuine understanding and appreciation of cultural traditions—a move that is bound to impress Chinese and Western customers alike.
With China possessing the world’s largest online retail market ($899 billion), and up to 6.5 million wealthy Chinese people travelling abroad for the occasion, this is an opportunity you cannot afford to miss. Navigating the intricacies of the holiday can be a little tricky, especially as marketing needs to be specifically tailored for the event. With that in mind, Yuqo has put together a guide that any e-commerce business can utilise.
HOW CAN YOUR BUSINESS CAPITALISE ON THIS PRESTIGIOUS HOLIDAY?
Follow the strategy below, and your marketing teams will learn everything they need to know about the significant elements of a Chinese New Year marketing campaign. Or, if you are a fledgling e-commerce business with a smaller consumer base, many of the strategies can still be implemented at a local level.
STEP 1: PLAN YOUR STRATEGY IN ADVANCE
The holiday is more than just the day itself. In China, new year celebrations last roughly 15 days, culminating on the 19th of February. This makes timing critical, something we will cover in more detail in Step 4. Planning for the holiday can also be particularly difficult because it happens directly on the back of Christmas.
To ease workload, it’s best to have the basic premise of your Chinese New Year marketing campaign conceptualised alongside any Christmas content. Then, when the festive period is over, you can focus on quality, rather than trying to scramble for New Year’s-themed marketing material.
STEP 2: RESEARCH WILL MAKE THE DIFFERENCE
Arguably the most crucial aspect is research, research, research. Capitalising on spending habits during such a widely acknowledged holiday presents a massive opportunity for businesses. However, get any of the terminology, ideology, or imagery wrong, and you could have a PR disaster on your hands.
To help streamline the process, here are five quick facts about Chinese New Year:
- This year, Chinese New Year falls on Tuesday, 5th of February, with the zodiac animal of the “pig”.
- Each sign is associated with specific characteristics. The pig is a symbol of wealth, good communication, and kindness.
- Celebrations typically take place at home while being surrounded by family.
- The colour red is commonly associated with Chinese New Year as it symbolises good luck.
- It is traditional for family members to exchange gifts with one another.
STEP 3: THE THEME OF CHINESE NEW YEAR SHOULD UNDERPIN YOUR MARKETING
For any campaign to be successful, it needs to be relatable. Chinese New Year is a holiday focussed exclusively on the giving of gifts and promoting good luck for the year ahead. Given we already know that most celebrations take place in the home, it is no good trying to push a night out, or activities aimed at couples. Data suggests that fashion, food and groceries, and health and beauty are some of the categories that see the most significant uplift.
When deciding to promote an offer during this period, try to focus on products that fall within these categories. That doesn’t mean all other goods and services are excluded, but you will need to be able to relate your offer to the theme of gift-giving and family values.
STEP 4: TIMING IS CRUCIAL TO ENGAGING CUSTOMERS SUCCESSFULLY
We alluded to this earlier, but timing is a crucial factor in building engagement. Start too late, and you’ll miss the opportunity; start too early, however, and the messages may become lost in the focus on Christmas.
With the dates of Chinese New Year changing in-line with the lunar calendar, you will need to adapt your timing each and every year you run the campaign. If we use this year as an example, the 5th of January onwards will give your business four weeks to build and promote the celebration. Also, don’t forget that events continue until the 19th—does your strategy have a big finale to honour the Lantern Festival?
STEP 5: USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO BRING GIFT-GIVING TO LIFE
It is true that social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are widely prohibited in China. If you wish to market products directly to Chinese audiences, you will need to use one of the country’s own platforms like Weibo, WeChat, RenRen, and QQ. That doesn’t mean Western social media platforms are useless. We have already alluded to the events that go on in numerous capital cities, and the significant number of Chinese people that travel abroad for Chinese New Year.
Correctly utilising Facebook or Instagram can skyrocket engagement statistics. If you are trying to promote a product, why not send your Facebook Shopping page followers a gift or a discount code? Perhaps anyone that shares your marketing post with their friends will receive the same discount, but with five additional codes to give to family members?
As you can see, all we are doing is making Facebook do the legwork for us, while keeping the theme of Chinese New Year in mind. On Instagram, ask users to share their own pictures of new year celebrations for a chance to access exclusive promotions, or ask followers to use a predetermined hashtag on Twitter.
You could even go with a more traditional format and offer the same coupons via red envelopes posted to loyal customers. Be bold and don’t be afraid to think outside the box.
YOUR IMAGINATION IS THE LIMIT
Having followed all five steps, you should have a detailed understanding of how to market Chinese New Year. With the right focus and the right products, capitalising on this prestigious celebration couldn’t be easier. Opportunity exists for both multinational companies and those operating at a local level, so there really is no reason to miss out!