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5 Chinese Video Platforms to Explore for Your Digital Marketing Efforts

Maria Krisette Capati, Author

14 May 2019

Editor’s note: This is the first installment of a two-part blog series about Chinese Video Platforms. This is an overview of how each platform works. The next blog post is about how global companies use these platforms for promotions and brand awareness.

You can never go wrong with video marketing as long as you use the right tools and understand where your audience hangs out.

In China, different video platforms are overlooked because most global marketers focus on popular social media channels like WeChat and Weibo.

There’s nothing wrong with that, too. Depending on the demographics and goals you want to achieve, there are other ways to amplify your message across China social media channels and websites.

READ MORE >> How Chinese Video Translations and Captioning Can Improve E-Learning Efforts

Videos are one of them. In the west, we’re familiar with YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Vine, and among others.

In China, there are also good platforms to explore for your digital marketing efforts. Imagine, there are more than 600 million online video users as of the writing. According to new research, the number of paid subscriptions on China’s online video platforms is set to exceed 300 million this year.

Here are other video platforms you may want to explore to reach out to them.

#1 Youku

Youku chinese video platform

Say hello to China’s YouTube video platform, Youku. Youku has one of the largest user bases with 580 million users as of 2018. The Alibaba-owned video is one of the practical tools to promote your brands, which offers different advertising options.

From a digital marketer’s perspective, you’ll find static banners, animated text links, call-to-action buttons, and branded viral videos for promotions.

With millions of viewers, you can leverage on ad placements as videos roll out. In-between those videos, there are pauses, which are seen before, during, and after the video played.

And even if you can’t produce your own in-house videos, you can also sponsor live streaming events that are rolled out in this platform.

Youku hosts movies, drama series, and other shows that require premium subscriptions, too. Unlike Youtube, which is mainly user-generated content.

#2 Douyin (or TikTok)

Douyin tiktok chinese video app

Douyin is popular among young Chinese users and viewers. Although adults are also exploring its features, global brands that target post-90s generation can take the necessary measures to use this app.

The male and female ratio of users is 4:6, and 70% of users are based in first- and second-tier cities. Interestingly, videos are short clips that last up to 15 seconds.

As a social app for short music videos, the features are akin to Dubsmash where users can record short clips and add background music, audio, a soundbite from movies and other sound memes on the internet.

Filters are also available to make sure the face looks smooth. Animations and GIFs are amusing.

From a global marketer’s perspective, creating promotional videos in a short span of 15 seconds means it has to be punchy, compelling, and relevant.

With a user base of almost young people, global brands need to understand what evokes emotions and their interests. Plus, they have a short attention span, so the video must have a surprising, compelling message to keep them curious.

#3 Tencent Video

Tencenet video

Here’s Youku’s fierce competitor, Tencent Video. Another online video service platform, which Tencent owns (the maker of the popular app, WeChat), boast more than 82 paying subscribers according to recent data.

Just like Youku, it hosts several Chinese tv shows, movies, documentaries and dramas with more than 100 million daily active viewers.

Tencent’s recent partnership with Vice Global aims to build a user base comprising young Chinese viewers. Their collaboration seeks to create a content series about global youth culture, trends, and tribes.

From a global marketer’s perspective, you can use Tencent Video marketing, users also upload videos and use it for live streaming. Banner ads and textual links also work for promotions.

#4 Kuaishou

Kuaishou fast hand chinese video app

Kuaishou or also dubbed “Fast Hand” when translated in Chinese was once a photo-sharing app that morphed into a video sharing platform.

One of the key features of this platform is it highlights user-generated content, from live stream videos to pre-recorded short clips.

Kuaishou boasts of 120 million daily active users and is popular among young people. The demographics of users are quite interesting as most of them are from third-tier cities and rural areas.

Users upload a variety of videos, to record the real lives of people, lives in rural areas, original short clips of the farming, DIY (do-it-yourself) tips, and more.

It’s competing with Douyin these days and although monetization from ads is somewhat unlikely to be generated in this platform, it can be a platform for global brands to target a specific group and create content from GIFs to short videos and tutorials, from interesting to bizarre ones to start engaging with your audience in emerging cities.

#5 Meipai

Meipai chinese video app

Meipai boasts of 250 million daily views, and most of the users are young people. Videos in this platform are user-generated, and there are three ways to use it as a marketing tool.

Short videos can go viral, which give a room for global marketers to advertise in creative ways.

Since Meipai is also linked to WeChat and Weibo accounts, users can leverage on promotional activities such as the reward marketing campaigns, hashtags, Channels, and other special features like red packets, and more.

Global brands can create a thematic competition that users can participate and offer red packets as money rewards if they follow the mechanics like posting short videos in exchange for more likes and exposure.

Another function is the Channels that offer categories for users to browse videos based on topics. From beauty to fashion and funny channels, they can use this to search and browse content that will be more relevant to them.

Channels are ranked by popularity, based on the number of views and engagement from audiences such as the number of likes and popularity. Brands can leverage on KOLs to help them promote their products or services.

So, how can you make the most out of these Chinese video platforms for marketing?

You need a team of social media experts and specialists to handle your video account and create a custom strategy so you can focus on your target audience.

If you choose Youku marketing, you need a team of Chinese social media specialists to work on the banner ads, analyze data, design both textual links, and work on the copywriting on your texts.

china market writer

Maria Krisette Capati

Krisette or "Sette" for short is a professional writer and copywriter who loves to cover disruptive technologies, digital trends in China, and a myriad of geeky and innovative topics. She's the Content Strategist at AZ-Loc and currently manages the English website and in-charge of the social media channels. She has been writing about China markets, business, and startups since 2012. She has gained her expertise as a China internet specialist and is fascinated by its business ethics, language, and culture. She's a major of Business Management and Entrepreneurship and an advocate of faith-based non-profit organizations. When she's not writing or dabbling with Sophie and the team, she satiates her wanderlust as a digital nomad. 

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