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Digital Marketing in Hong Kong: What You Need to Know

how-to-conduct-digital-marketing-in-hong-kong

Digital marketing refers to promotional strategies conducted over the internet or using electronic devices. Companies depend on various channels such as email, search engines, social media, and their websites to do online advertising and reach out to both existing and prospective clients.

The most popular forms of digital marketing are email marketing, search engine optimisation, paid search, content marketing, and social media marketing.

The primary reason behind the popularity of these digital marketing strategies is the widespread use of the internet. Every day, more people are relying on the internet as the main source of information thereby making it a lucrative source for potential customers.

Digital marketing for Hong Kong is an expensive affair. According to Statista, the region has so far spent $1.153 billion on digital advertisement since the start of the year. The most prevalent form of digital marketing is banner advertising, as it has a market volume of $502 million in 2019.

Marketing in Hong Kong is distinct from other global business hubs, as it draws influence from both Chinese and Western cultures. This calls for a unique approach to digital marketing in the region.

In this article, we cover the main digital marketing strategies that you can count on to help your brand get a firm footing in Singapore namely:

  1. Your website should support both languages -Chinese and English
  2. Which is the Best Version of Chinese for a Hong Kong Website?

  3. How to Configure a Multilingual Website in Hong Kong

  4. Should You Use Chinese URLs on Your Website?

  5. The Significance of Mobile in Hong Kong

  6. Desktop Generates More Conversions than Other Platforms

  7. How to Optimise Apps for Hong Kong

  8. How to Build a Brand and Promote a Website in Hong Kong

  9. Your Sales Funnel Should Features both Online and Offline Marketing Strategies

digital marketing

Strategies you Should Focus On if You want To Thrive in The Hong Kong Digital Marketing Sector

1. Your Website Should Support both Chinese and English Languages

Hong Kong has a cosmopolitan population that comprises of the Chinese and people from other countries, who mostly speak English. Ideally, your site should support both English and Chinese to ensure that you reach the broadest audience possible and increase the effectiveness of your digital marketing for Hong Kong.

However, you can optimise your website to support either of the two main languages depending on your target audience.

If your website sells or promotes luxury items, you should use English. The majority of prospective customers for this niche have a fluent understanding of English.

Websites which offer services to locals should use Chinese. Examples of sites in this category include personal banking platforms and websites which advertise blue-collar jobs.

If your website is built for expats, it should use English exclusively. This is the language that most foreigners use to communicate with fellow expats as well as the Chinese locals.

Lastly, websites targeting a particular age group might need to incline towards a certain language. For instance, the older population is unlikely to be familiar with English, meaning that you should use Chinese in most sections of your website.

2. Which is the Best Version of Chinese for a Hong Kong Website?

The Chinese language has many dialects, and it can be quite challenging to find the most suitable option for your website. The general rule in digital marketing for Hong Kong is that a website that targets locals living in Hong Kong should use Cantonese, which is also known as Traditional Chinese.

3. How to Configure a Multilingual Website in Hong Kong

Most websites in Hong Kong have a domain that ends with .com or .com.hk. If your website falls under that category, you should set it up for multilingual support by adding /zh-hk and /en-hk as subfolders.

If you are confident that your website will use either of the two languages in Hong Kong, you should have a no/language-country subfolder for the primary language and use a /language subfolder for your secondary language.

For instance, www.mywebsite.com/ for the primary language and www.mywebsite.co/en-hk for the secondary language.

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If your website uses Chinese, you need to specify whether it is Traditional or Simplified.  You should do this in your language code, subfolder URL structures and in hreflang code, which tells the search engine which language it should display.

Here is how you should specify the version of Chinese used on your website.

  • Traditional Chinese

The HTML language code for Traditional Chinese is zh-Hant, meaning that its URL would be www.mywebsite.com/zn-hant.  Its hreflang code would be <link rel=” alternate” href=”https://www.mywebsite.com/” hreflang=”zh-hant” /> accompanied by all other website language variations used on the page.

  • Simplified Chinese

The HTML language code for Simplified Chinese is zh-Hans. Its URL structure would be www.mywebsite.com/zh-hans. The hreflang code would be <link rel=” alternate” href=”https://www.example.com/” hreflang=”zh-hans” />, accompanied by any other language variations used in the webpage.

4. Should You Use Chinese URLs on Your Website?

The type of website you have and the location you are targeting determines the language you use on your URLs.

If your digital marketing for Hong Kong is targeting both mainland China and Hong Kong, you need to use Chinese URLs so that you get ranked in Baidu, the leading search engine in the region. Most of the people who use the search engine are locals.

If your website content is mostly written in Chinese and focuses on local topics, you should use Chinese URLs. On the other hand, if your content is in English and focuses on international issues, you should use English URLs.

The best way of choosing the language to use on your URLs is by comparing the search volumes for your keywords in Chinese and English. You should use the one that has a higher volume.

Digital Marketing in Hong Kong: What You Need to Know 1

5. The Significance of Mobile in Hong Kong

Most people in Hong Kong use mobile devices to browse the internet, which explains why the majority of websites in the region use a mobile-first approach.

You can check if your website is responsive by using either the Google Mobile-Friendly Tool or manually testing it across various devices. Also, you should configure your Google Search Console so that you get mobile usability reports periodically.

6. Desktop Generates More Conversions than Other Platforms

Although most people use handheld gadgets to browse the internet, desktop platforms still lead the way when it comes to conversions. According to a recent Google Consumer Survey, Hong Kong residents prefer buying items and filling forms on desktop over mobile.

One of the reasons behind the inclination towards mobile is that shoppers have concerns over the security of mobile networks. Also, people may prefer purchasing while at home as opposed to when they are on the move. When at home, they have more time to ensure that the action they are taking is free of errors.

If you are digital marketer, you should make a responsive website so that you appeal to the preferences of all people.

7. How to Optimise Apps for Hong Kong

Apple is the most dominant mobile platform in Hong Kong. In the rest of Asian countries, Android has the upper hand. If you want to promote an app, you should focus your efforts on the Apple App Store because it has more users than other platforms.

8. How to Build a Brand and Promote a Website in Hong Kong

The first step of building a brand and promoting a website is research. Studying the market, especially your niche, helps you to understand your audience. You can then use the findings to optimise your website for maximum effectiveness.

The second step involves deciding the focus of your brand and website. You can choose to focus on either the locals or the expats, or both.

Once you define the focus of your site, you need to choose your preferred digital marketing channel. Facebook is the ideal platform if your content is mostly in video or blog format. It is also a useful option if you run a B2C company. If you have a B2B company, you should use LinkedIn.

The final factor that affects website and brand promotion is the type of content. Several studies indicate that Hong Kong residents have a bias towards videos over other forms of content, such as Podcasts.

You also need to know the kinds of activities that people do on their smartphones when devising strategies for digital marketing for Hong Kong. For instance, this graph shows that many people use social media and search engines, meaning that you need to invest in SEO and social media marketing.

9.  Your Sales Funnel Should Features both Online and Offline Marketing Strategies

According to the Google Consumer Barometer Survey, most shoppers in Hong Kong purchase their items from physical stores. This shows that the internet is useful for research, but most purchases occur offline.

Online marketing strategies have a significant influence on the buying decision. You should formulate your strategies in such a way that they encourage buyers to purchase products from your outlet.

A smart way of linking your online and offline marketing strategies is by having an optimised Google My Business profile. A GMB listing ensures that prospective clients get the directions to your store when they search for your brand on Google.


11 Branding Tips to Give your Website a Fresh Look

We have scratched the surface on how to do digital marketing in Hong Kong. These tips work and will help unlock your business’s full potential. The success of your business is mainly dependent on your website branding. 

Let’s dive in and look at expert branding tips that you should use to get ahead of the competition. Please note these hacks work for both new and established businesses.

  • Go for a Limited Colour Palette

The colour palette have a significant impact on the appearance and success of your website. Different colours evoke different emotions. The colours also communicate the brand’s personality and vision. For example, red increases website visitors’ blood pressure and heart rate. Its commonly used to create a sense of urgency, especially when running promotions.

Orange is another commonly used colour on websites. It shows a playfulness personality and works well with other warm colours such as yellow. Use a colour palette with these orange and yellow to show your brand’s enthusiasm and focus on becoming the best product or service provider. 

That said, you should be careful about the colours. Too many colours will hurt your website as users will get mixed feelings about your brand. Therefore, it’s recommendable to go for a limited colour palette that matches the target audience’s expectations.

Avoid including flashy links and buttons on the pages to avoid ruining the user experience. If there are too many links, the audience won’t know which ones to click or the next action they should take after landing on a page. 

Simplicity works like a charm, and you should use it to portray the right message to your audience. 

  • Be Consistent with Styling

Consistency is essential when designing a website and marketing your brand in Hong Kong. The audience should get the same vibe on all the pages. That is, whatever you do on the homepage should be mirrored on the service pages or the landing pages. 

The website should elicit the same emotions and offer the same browsing experience to your visitors regardless of the page they are on, or the stage in the sales funnel. You should also consider adding two or three different languages to target customers from other regions.

Otherwise, if the content is only available in one language, a section of the audience won’t browse the page or know how to go about the checkout process.

Visuals help communicate a message without using any form of text. Customers find it easy to understand visuals than blocks of text. They won’t also have time to read the entire page. Incorporating visuals in the pages will help you establish a cordial relationship with the audience.

Note that visual branding is more than just a logo. The various page elements should be consistent with the theme and logo. The font used on different pages should be the same. If used well, the fonts will lend your credibility. Take time to search the web for a unique font that represents what your brand stands for and the goals.

  • Leverage User-Generated Content

User-generated content is effective in convincing customers to buy. Pictures or videos of customers using the product will tremendously crank up your sales figures. Don’t shy away from posting videos and text-based feedback on your social media pages to create a buzz. 

Some brands go the extra mile to set up a dedicated page with only testimonials from clients. They include CTA buttons to the different landing pages to quickly get the target customers into the sales funnel. 

Also, posting genuine testimonials shows that your brand is authentic and the products are worth the money. However, you should not bribe the customers to write positive reviews. The reviews should be genuine for them to impact sales positively. 

If not, the customers who purchase the product after watching the fake videos or reading the testimonials will return and post negative reviews. 

  • Use Social Media Marketing for Promotions

By 2025, there will be more than 4.41 billion active social media users. Posting links to your website on social media platforms such as Facebook will get the word out there about what you offer and increase traffic to the website. 

Check the results achieved from each platform to know which one best resonates with your brand. If your target audience is millennials, market your brand on networking sites fond of them, such as Instagram and Twitter. 

Make time to interact with the followers via live video sessions. Inform them when you will be going live and request them to submit questions or topics they want you to discuss in the session. Ideally, it would be best to inform them at least three business days earlier to get as many attendants as possible. Send them links and reminders via email. You can also record the session and share it via email and YouTube to expand your clientele base. 

  • Make Sure the Site Layout is User-Friendly

Google and other search engines prefer user-friendly websites. As you develop a branding plan, make sure that you settle for a user-friendly site layout. Put yourself in the shoes of the website visitor – what would you want to see on the homepage or service page to convert? Are there any friction points in the checkout process?

The entire website should be mobile-friendly and intuitive. The graphics and other elements on the website should pique the customer’s attention right from the minute they land on the homepage. One of the challenges of running a multilingual website is finding a way of communicating the intended message using as few words as possible.

We recommend hiring a professional copywriter or digital marketing team to help you create the content. 

Another essential factor that you should consider is usability. If the website is not friendly, the bounce rate will be high, and the click-through rate will be low. Good usability will increase the performance of your website by encouraging the customers to shop. The various elements will convince them that your brand is the best and you’re an authority in the niche.

Here are four key factors to consider when redesigning your Hong Kong website.

  • Page load time
  • Information architecture on the pages
  • Mobile compatibility
  • Good error handling

If you notice that some pages are not performing, consult a professional website design agency that helps businesses based in the country select the best page designs. Instead, don’t try to wing everything yourself; hire the experts to create the pages. That way, everything will be right from the onset, and you will only need to make adjustments based on the results achieved.

  • Invest in a Quality Logo

The logo represents your website in the competitive and fast-based digital business landscape in Hong Kong. It can make or break your business depending on its impression on the audience. 

Invest in a quality logo that represents your desired brand personality. It should be clear and memorable to help customers identify your business when browsing the web. There are free logo makers online that you can use to create one, but we recommend hiring a logo designer to create a custom logo for you.

Otherwise, if you rely on the pre-design templates, standing out will not be easy since thousands of other businesses are already using them. Involve the digital marketing team in the selection process to ensure that you don’t overlook any factor. 

You may have to change the logo once the business grows and based on the market data. In that case, make sure that you consider the pros and cons of such actions. Inform the customers of your intentions by posting the information on your website and via sharing via email.

  • Select the Right Website Design

Unlike before, there are thousands of website designs that you can use to place your business on the map. The themes are mobile-friendly and compatible with most content management systems such as WordPress. 

You may not have enough money to invest in a custom website design at the infancy stage. You can use the pre-designed template, but consider upgrading to a custom website once your business gets off the ground. 

Check out the competitor’s website for inspiration, but please don’t copy. Your website should be different for it to promote your branding efforts successfully. 

  • Study your Target Audience

One of the main reasons most branding efforts fail is a lack of accurate information about the target audience even before creating a website; it’s crucial first to study the target audience.

  • What are their aspirations? 
  • What do they expect from your business?
  • How much are they willing to pay for the service or product? 

The information gathered will ensure that your website design matches their expectations.

For example, if your business is in the art niche, create a website design that radiates your love for art. Understanding what drives or motivates a customer to purchase a product will enable you to create a site that resonates with them. 

The worst mistake you can make is settling on a particular design based on assumptions. Group your customers depending on their interests and other factors such as age and buying behaviour. Then, create buyer personas comprising people who are likely to be interested in your products. 

With a clear understanding of their motivators and pain points/friction points, you will be able to create a high-converting website. Otherwise, you may end up spending thousands of dollars on web redesign projects 

  • Set Website Goals

Now that you understand your audience, the next crucial step that you should take is setting website goals. The assumption that all businesses invest in websites to generate sales is wrong. There is a website whose primary reason for creating a website is to foster brand awareness or connect with customers looking for information about a product online.

The result is to generate sales, but the website may not have systems of processing transactions. Take time to determine your website goals and then develop a plan on how to achieve them. 

For instance, if your goal is to offer valuable information and not process sales via the website, there is no need to have a checkout page. The goals will help you decide the website’s size in terms of pages. Avoid slowing down page load time by ensuring that it only has relevant pages and elements. 

  • Develop a Cohesive Content Marketing Strategy

The customer’s decision to convert largely depends on the information that you share on your website. Create a robust content marketing strategy to communicate effectively with the target customers. Set key performance indicators such as the desired ranking after one month and the amount of traffic you would get from the different social media platforms.

More importantly, the content marketing strategy should align with SEO best practices. Search engines rank websites with fresh, evergreen, and accurate content better than websites with shallow content. Come up with a plan to frequently upload new content and add fresh content to existing blog posts.

Some may argue that developing a content marketing strategy at this stage is jumping the gun. We beg to differ; if you don’t have a clear idea of what you want to do or offer, you will end up with a half-baked website and ineffective in spurring engagement with the customers. 

If you offer the services in different locations, it’s imperative to create custom content for each of them to rank well in local search engine results pages. The design details of your website will be informed or guide your content marketing strategy. Ensure that you monitor the results to know which areas you should tweak or improve on to rank better and ramp up sales.

  • Establish a Content Marketing Calendar

Simply put, a content marketing calendar will enable you post new content on specific days consistently. The audience will get accustomed to getting a recent blog article on the website. Stick to the calendar and, if you can, set alarm reminders.

You don’t have to use sophisticated software; a simple Google Sheet or Excel spreadsheet will get the job done. Share the calendar with other team members to ensure that everyone is working towards the same goals. 

From experience, Google sheet is the best as you can share it with your colleagues and collaborate on projects.


Conclusion

If you want to succeed in online marketing, you should know the strategies that are most applicable to your business. The tips mentioned above offer an excellent starting point, but you can always tweak them to suit your context.

It is crucial to continually measure the progress of your digital marketing for Hong Kong campaign so that you identify what is working and what is derailing you. You can then decide whether to abandon or improve on the strategies that are not productive.

Get in touch with us for more tips on how to do digital marketing and get tangible results without spending a fortune. 

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