Considering the higher mind-share of social apps like WeChat, what is the right role of a manufacturer's website in the Chinese Market? Some marketers would argue that a website is no longer needed in the Chinese market, and that it is a tactic with diminishing returns. For a relatively new/unknown brand (in the China market;very strong elsewhere) already investing in paid postings on WeChat, is there still a right role to play for a website, or is it not really worth investing in that channel anymore?
Many companies entering the Chinese market want to do SEO on Baidu, promote their brand on WeChat and Weibo, and prospect on Chinese online media. This is the first step to get established in the market. However, it is necessary to define your goals. For example, if you want to generate leads, increase traffic to your site, create a community etc. your digital strategy and will flow from your goals. Depending on your goals, in China, you will find 5 ways to market digitally.
SEA is a paid marketing tool that boosts your ranking in the search engines. This tool shows your business on the search engines as an advertisement. (Similar to Google ads.) The advantage of SEA (or SEM) is the speed of its implementation. This tool allows you to choose the keywords you will be found for. SEM also gives better visibility on the web since it includes banner ads.
Although in China, social media channels like WeChat or Weibo are paramount for brand promotion, a traditional brand web presence is still important. Especially for established brands outside China, a brand's website is seen as a "business card" and always contributes positively to a validation process done by Chinese B2B sales networks.