Chinese B2B Social Media Marketing Trends

WRITTEN BY

Emerging Communications

LAST UPDATED

Mar 18, 2024


Kawo has released its 2024 B2B Social Media Marketing Research Report with a comprehensive analysis of the current trends and future directions for B2B companies in China. With insights gathered from 50 multinational corporations across various industries, this report sheds light on the pivotal role of social media in B2B marketing strategies.

We’ve taken a look at the key highlights and given our take on the future of B2B marketing in China:

Key Findings:

Social Dominates Marketing Channels:

Social media is emerging as the leading marketing channel among B2B companies due to its cost-effectiveness and strong integration between content marketing and 1:1 CRM.

Following closely are offline events and paid search. So digital channels aren’t taking all the budget but some consistent strategies that have stood the test of time are still working.

Brand & Lead Generation Remain Objectives

The dual objectives of improving brand awareness and generating leads, both converge on the strategic use of social media. For many businesses, particularly SMEs, the main goal is to enhance visibility and drive customer acquisition.

It’s interesting that “increase loyalty” appears on a chart about social media, but it reflects the heavy use of WeChat in B2B, with its common use for CRM, as well as content marketing.

B2B struggling to track social ROI

Impressions, views, and reads are the most tracked metrics, highlighting the importance of content reach. However, there’s a growing interest in metrics related to lead generation and sales conversions, reflecting a shift towards more outcome-focused marketing.

Tracking sales on B2B programs has always been a trickly exercise, but closer attention is being paid to lead volumes with tighter integration between social and CRM functions.

WeChat reigns supreme for B2B

WeChat Official Accounts and WeChat Channels are essential tools for all 3 of branding, product promotion, and lead generation. B2C platforms like Douyin are gaining attention for their potential in B2B marketing, despite initial skepticism, but there’s still a gulf between these and WeChat.

Content frequency is a challenge

The majority of companies publish content weekly, focusing on product/service updates, industry trends, and client needs. This approach underscores the challenge of creating engaging content that resonates with the target audience. Broad, relatable content hasn’t taken off in the same way as it has for consumer brands and B2B content still has a way to go in capturing the imagination of social users.

The future is social, but also offline

All areas of social, including influencer marketing and community marketing are expected to take a bigger slice of the pie in 2024. Social media remains a key area for increased investment in 2024.

Conversely,display ads and email marketing (which has never been as big in China as in the west) will see budgets reduce.

WeChat Official Accounts are expected to stay central to B2B social strategies, with an openness to exploring new networks, but nothing comes close to the powerhouse of Chinese B2B that is WeChat

Conclusion:

Kawo’s 2024 B2B Social Media Marketing Research Report highlights the critical role of social media in shaping B2B marketing strategies.

As companies navigate the complex digital ecosystem, the focus on cost-effective platforms, engaging content, and analytics that can show a return on content marketing investments, all combine to show the evolving nature of B2B marketing.

A content strategy that performs well in lead generation, underpinned by paid search and offline events, is a solid foundation for most B2B businesses, and any new market entrant should seek to master these before trying more innovative approaches.

If you’d like to see more about how Emerging Comms have put these channels into action for B2B businesses in China, watch our China B2B Marketing webinar replay: