Douyin B2B Marketing in China Guide

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GAB Team

Douyin (known as TikTok outside of China) is arguably the trendiest social media app that young people are using today, and revitalized short-video content since the days of Vine back in 2013. People use Douyin to watch the latest live streams and short videos liked and shared by thousands of people. Douyin has become such an intimate part of how young people in China socialize and consume media, that it accrued 600 million Monthly Active Users (MAU) in 2021. Additionally, users spend upwards of 26.6 hours a month on the app!

Based on future growth projections of Douyin, all signs indicate that Douyin is here to stay as a major player in the social media space. So how can brands benefit from this app? Just like Douyin’s competitors, you can find plenty of advertisements integrated inside the app. But Douyin extends beyond this by allowing brands to direct customers to their products on external e-commerce platforms such as Taobao, JD, and Tmall. If you’re invested in B2B e-commerce, it is vital that your brand has a presence on Douyin, and that you’re actively leveraging all of its features to expose your product to Douyin’s large consumer base.

Still not convinced? Let’s take a look at some more reasons as to why Douyin is essential for B2B marketing in China.

Why Should I be on Douyin?

Whatever preconceptions you may have about Douyin being an app used by teenagers, you must first understand that Douyin’s user base and content has expanded significantly over the years. No longer is Douyin known as that app of teenagers posting videos of themselves lip-syncing to their favorite pop song, or pulling pranks on friends. Now, Douyin’s content has become extremely diversified, with people using the app to share knowledge and tutorials on all types of topics like sports, art, and culture. This means that your brand is likely to appeal to a subsection of Douyin’s user base, however niche or popular your industry is.

The global consumer base is getting younger and younger in age. Hence, brands are acknowledging this reality by accommodating their marketing campaigns and strategies to target and capture the attention of millennials and Gen Zers. In other words, as a brand you must follow and understand where your consumers are and what they’re interested in, if you want the best results for your brand.

This is no different in China. Douyin attracts an overall younger audience, with 80% of users under 30 years old, and over 40% of users living in either first or second-tier cities. Additional stats reveal that 60% of Douyin users are college educated and roughly 57% of Douyin users in China were mobile users. So what do all these stats mean? They suggest that the majority of Douyin users are young, educated, affluent, have disposable income, and are on their mobile phones.

B2B brands should take this information on board and use it to their advantage. Douyin is a great platform for B2C brands, but there is a huge opportunity for B2B brands to stand out from the crowd and reach potential new customers and clients. If you’re not entirely familiar with how B2B marketing on Douyin works, let’s cover the integrated features in Douyin that allow brands to market their product.

B2B Marketing on Douyin

Before you start your B2B marketing escapade on Douyin, you need to be familiar with the type of ads that brands can use to market themselves in China. These ads range in size, appearance, and impact. It’s important to understand each type of ad and decide which is the most appropriate to employ for your brand.

(Note: Douyin is only available for download for mainland Chinese residents. In order to advertise on Douyin, you will also need an advertising account on DOU+, ByteDance’s ad platform. Gab China can help you promote your business on Douyin, contact us for details).

Open screen ads. An open screen ad is the first thing that pops up when you open the app. Open screed ads can appear in the form of a dynamic video (that lasts four to five seconds) or a static poster (that lasts three seconds). These ads have an immediate and noticeable impact, because users can’t skip through these ads, meaning they have no choice but to be exposed to the ad that’s appeared in front of them. Open screen ads are paid based on cost per impression (CPM).

 

 

 

Feed ads. When browsing through your Douyin video feed, you may come across a video or channel that’s incongruous to the type of content you typically watch. You just came across a feed ad. Feed ads are basically disguised as the same short videos you watch on Douyin. And because these ads are integrated seamlessly into your feed, it’s important for brands to produce eye-catching and memorable ads that will make users want to continue watching.

 

 

Sticker ads. If you want to be even more creative, sticker ads allow brands to create customized stickers to promote a product or brand. Users can play around with these stickers on their phones. Sticker ads are like face filters that fix a user’s face as they turn on their selfie camera. These ads are great for spreading brand awareness, especially if the sticker is visually appealing, funny, and interesting.

 

 

(We provide our clients with bespoke ads for their Douyin accounts. Book a free consultation with us if you need assistance).

Ads can start from $10 per CPM, and may vary depending on your industry. Access to DOU+ offers brands the ability to display their ads directly to their target audience – for a price. On DOU+, you can play around with settings to further refine your target audience based on age, gender, location, and interests.

(Accessing DOU+ requires a Chinese account. Contact us for more info).

Tips to Generate Leads on Douyin

Now that you know about running ads on Douyin, let’s take a look at some other B2B marketing strategies your brand can implement to increase brand awareness and generate leads.

Create hashtag challenges. Hashtags are everywhere on social media. They’re a great way to search for content you’re interested in, and to discover users that post content under a specific hashtag. Hashtag challenges and competitions are an easy way to incentivize users to popularize your custom hashtag (which could include your brand name) by producing content based around the hashtag. This is especially the case if there are prizes up for grab!

Connect Douyin to your e-commerce stores. Within the app, you can connect your account to your online stores on Taobao, JD.com, and Tmall. Douyin allows brands to include links to product pages. This makes purchasing your product a more seamless experience. However, this feature is only available to brands with more than 1 million followers.

Collaborate with a KOL In China, KOLs have some of the biggest and widest influence amongst people. So much so that collaborating with KOLs has become an essential strategy for B2B marketing in China. With that being said, Douyin is full of KOLs live streaming and posting product recommendations on their channels. Customers are more inclined to give your product a chance if they see that their favorite and most-trusted KOL is recommending it.

 

 

(To find the right KOL for your brand, contact us now).

Conclusion

Leveraging Douyin is another example of optimizing your presence on major social media platforms in China. Douyin attracts a unique user base that is young and willing to open their wallets. Give Douyin a go now!

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