China is now the home of the world’s most successful smart device market, but despite this, many app developers haven’t looked into ways to bridge into the app markets over there. Because of the great potential it holds, it may finally be the time to start your app marketing in China, and present your mobile application to the largest, fastest growing smartphone & app industry in the world.
The Chinese app market is unfortunately a world apart from western app markets, and whilst ASO, keyword optimization, and other marketing techniques are still present, the overwhelming presence of internet censorship and the difference in language and written dialogue mean that your business will need to invest a larger chunk of investment and research before beginning your app marketing in China.
How to Bring your App To China
Once you’re confident you want to make the move to bringing your app to China, there are a few things to take into consideration.
Translation and Localization
If you’re going to start app marketing in China, you are going to need to create a localized version of your application suitable to the main used language in China, which is Mandarin Chinese. It’s also important to remember that the text used in China is very different to most English or European speaking countries. Investing in decent translation services to get your application translated properly will do you favors, and will make sure you aren’t turning Mandarin speaking people away because of poorly translated text.
You may also want to think about the content that your app includes- will anything in your app offend the average person living in China? If your app is about sensitive topics, your app marketing journey into China may end here. Hopefully though, you’ll be able to change parts of your app to ensure it doesn’t reference topics that could be hard to touch on such as politics, realistic violence or content that may be censored on the internet past the Great Wall. Links to Facebook, Twitter, etc, will also need to be removed. As a matter of fact there are only a few apps that are not utilizing these services, but China has its own unique set of social networks and services. Hence connecting to networks like Renren, Weibo and WeChat instead should be taken into consideration.
Relying on Content Instead of Online Marketing
Because you won't be able to rely on social media websites or various parts of the internet to reach out to potential new Chinese customers, you will need to find other methods for app marketing in China.
The best way to reach new customers is through word of mouth, and to get people talking about your app you’ll need to create an app with good content. Many of the most popular apps in China are similar to popular apps here; things such as Plants Vs Zombies and Temple Run have also become hits internationally.
Rethink your Revenue Models
Piracy is a big thing in the Chinese app market, so pushing out a paid-for app will only punish you. You will need to rely on other sources of revenue.
Much like the western market, you’ll have better luck by relying on in-app purchases and ad revenue.
Avoid Chinese app store fragmentation
IOS / Apple App Store is a given but when it comes to Android there are literally hundreds of stores users can download apps from. For a start it probably makes sense to stick with the biggest players in ther Chinese Android market: for the launch publish to the big three carrier stores and see where you get to - China Mobile, China Telecom, & China Unicom. Don't forget to track downloads and revenue metrics.
The rise in the Chinese smartphone market has made it hard for app developers to ignore the app marketing potential in China, and you too should consider the potential that your business could harvest from the new world’s largest smart device industry. This article should give a little insight into the potential of bringing your app over to China, and the tasks that must be completed before doing so.