The Chinese New Year is the perfect time for seasonal marketing. Chinese consumers spent around $149 billion in 2019, and the number is only on the rise with each passing year.
Online marketing and seasonal advertising ideas will help you take advantage of the season and rake in the same profits that many big businesses already do. Brands like Gucci and Apple regularly use seasonal marketing to reap the harvests of the Chinese New Year.
What is the Chinese New Year?
The Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year, or the Spring Festival, is roughly a two-week celebration that takes place at the beginning of spring.
The strong tradition of gift-giving and merriment makes the Chinese New Year an unmissable seasonal marketing opportunity for any business.
Create an online marketing strategy that’ll help you increase sales during the next Chinese New Year!
10 Seasonal Marketing Ideas for the Chinese New Year
Your seasonal marketing ideas for the Chinese New Year must be carefully drafted not to affect the cultural sensibilities of the Chinese citizens. To do this, you must integrate the traditional customs of the Lunar New Year with your own seasonal marketing strategy.
Here are ten good marketing ideas for the Lunar New Year:
1. Appeal to Cultural Sensibilities
The Lunar New Year is all about tradition and family. Your content marketing strategy should make use of these feelings of home and warmth to market to the audience. Apple does this very well. Every year, they release a digital advertisement that focuses on a story the people can resonate with.
- Keep customers happy.
- Showcase brand awareness about the Lunar New Year.
- Specifically target people looking to purchase products during the Lunar New Year.
- Potential to hurt sensibilities if done wrong.
- Collaterals from digital marketing campaigns can only be used once.
2. Know when to time your Seasonal Marketing campaign
When people travel to their homes during the Chinese New Year, it’s known as ‘Chunyun’. It typically takes place a few days to a few weeks before the Chinese New Year begins. This is a time where you can take advantage of the increased spending in retail shopping, especially among expats.
- More people who celebrate Lunar Year are online, increasing the number of the target audience.
- Potential to increase brand visibility.
- People are busy and looking through multiple options.
- Less lead conversions despite heavy traffic.
3. Use celebration specific imagery in your Seasonal Marketing Digital Campaign
Integrate the animal the year is themed after in your branding. In 2020, it was the ‘Year of the Rat’. Brands were quick to bring in the famous Mickey and Minnie Mouse to celebrate the year, a great example of seasonal marketing ideas that are relevant and enhance the customer experience.
- Potential to create viral content.
- Increases engagement with customers.
- Unless you have a deep knowledge of the zodiac animal and Chinese traditions, it’s best to stick to simple concept designs.
4. Integrate the Chinese New Year colors
During the Lunar New Year, families gift younger members with ‘lucky money’ in red envelopes. Red and gold are considered the symbolic colors of this festival. A simple way to include the Chinese New Year colors into your marketing campaign is by introducing a ‘limited season only packaging’ with red packaging for products. You can even add the option of a gold bow or other decoration. This will really enhance the customer experience.
- People will immediately associate the colors with the Chinese New Year.
- Is advertising in itself as it shows consumers that your brand is also celebrating the Lunar Year.
- Improves customer engagement and builds brand loyalty.
- Can be confused with Christmas if you only use red packaging. A gold accent can make all the difference.
5. Target a younger demographic for your Seasonal Marketing Campaigns
The Chinese youth are also known as big spenders. In recent years, healthy lifestyles and sustainable living have become popular. Not only that, the youth enjoy gifting themselves as well. This is different from older generations who retain a more conservative and community-oriented approach to celebrating. Understand your target market so you can sell to them better.
- The younger demographic spends more on themselves.
- They also tend to be more loyal to brands they like.
- Missing out on the other demographics.
- Gift buying in bulk for large groups of people absent.
6. Everyone loves free international shipping
According to the China Internet Report, China has over 904 million internet users. That makes the country and its citizens largely digital. Introduce international shipping, as well as free shipping above a certain checkout amount, to encourage more people to buy from you.
- Gain new customers.
- Compete against local Chinese brands.
- Low return on investment unless the order value is enough to justify free shipping.
7. WeChat and Weibo marketing should take center stage for your Seasonal Marketing Campaigns
Your social media strategy shouldn’t be restricted to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. When it comes to China, the platforms WeChat and Weibo are the most important. At the same time, Chinese nationals living in other countries often use Facebook and Twitter. The Lunar New Year is also a major celebration in places like Singapore, Hong Kong, and many others. That’s why your social media strategy should be two-pronged – one for those celebrating inside China and another for those celebrating outside the country.
- Communicate with millions of Chinese customers.
- Specifically target Chinese customers.
- Good knowledge of Mandarin as well as Cantonese Chinese required. Mainland China speaks Mandarin, and places like Taiwan and Hong Kong use more Cantonese. Your digital marketing campaign should come in two sets – one Mandarin and one in Cantonese. Remember to hire a qualified expert if you don’t speak these languages.
8. Introduce bundles and package deals
Luxury brands make serious profits during the Lunar New Year. People don’t just like to spend money – they prefer to spend on quality items. Searches for ‘gift deals’ or ‘CNY deals’ are more common than discounts. Focus your online marketing strategy on showcasing deals and bundle packages. Personalized packages are also popular during this time.
- Products will sell faster.
- Good opportunity to clear out old stock.
- New and in-season products make less sales.
9. Engage your customers on social media platforms like WeChat for your Seasonal Marketing Campaign
Introduce games and events to increase engagement and enhance customer experience. These could be in the form of tagging your brand in pictures with your products to get a prize, for shoutouts, giveaways, and more. You can also introduce products and offers specifically for the Chinese New Year. A bakery could introduce bread or cakes shaped like the zodiac animal of the year. These really increase social media engagement and help brands build a loyal customer base.
- Opportunity to present quality digital marketing content.
- Enhance customer experience through direct engagement on social media.
- Generate brand awareness through content.
- WeChat may be an unfamiliar platform.
- Communicating in a foreign language.
10. Get a head start on the next Chinese New Year
You should roll-out your digital advertising campaign for the Lunar New Year by late-October to early-November. Many people prefer to shop earlier, especially the younger generation.
- Sell stocks earlier and gauge what people are interested in.
- Time and opportunity to modify the online marketing calendar if advertising campaign isn’t working.
- People may get confused with other year-end celebrations like Christmas and New Year’s.
The Lunar New Year is one of the most abundant sales periods and is unavoidable when it comes to seasonal marketing.
Data shows that consumer spending between 2011 and 2019 during the Chinese New Year witnesses a continuous upward trend. Use these seasonal marketing strategies to take advantage of the upcoming Lunar New Year.