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23 Chinese New Year Marketing Tips for Your Website and Social Media

by Rebecca H

January 16, 2020

Marketing Guide, News & Trends 7 min read

23 Chinese New Year Marketing Tips for Your Website and Social Media

The Chinese New Year festival to most Asian communities is exactly what Christmas and Thanksgiving Week represents in the USA.

Dubbed as the 'Spring Festival', Chinese New Year is a global phenomenon today. Celebrated with much vigour and extravagance, this unique festival falls on January 25th, 2020 this year and is known to cause one of the largest human migrations in the world.

heat map chinese new year

Image Source

How Chinese New Year Affects Your Business

In 2015, an estimated 80 million workers from urban cities were seen travelling to their rural hometowns to be with friends and family. Furthermore, research suggested that 1,000 tickets were sold every second, and around 3.6 billion trips were made in China that Chinese New Year.

At this point, you might be wondering how CNY impacts your business at all. Here are some facts that’ll help you understand the significance of this festival for businesses and individuals alike:

  • Factories and businesses tend to shut down 10 days before the festival.
  • Hordes of workers tend to shift jobs leading to higher attrition rates.
  • Retailers and importers relying on China start pre-planning to get the shipments out before the country shuts down.
  • The stock market gets affected and trading volumes lower as countries like Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Malaysia (which comprise large Chinese majorities), South Korea, Vietnam etc., are on a break.
  • Spending skyrockets. In fact, as per China UnionPay, Chinese consumers spent 926 billion yuan during CNY 2018, and the Ministry of Commerce suggests that this figure is going to increase by 10% year-on-year.

You get the big picture, right? Chinese New Year is a big deal across the globe, so make the most of this festival through marketing. Widen your organic reach with these tried-and-tested marketing tips for your website and social media platforms:

23 Marketing Tips to Try Out this CNY

Curate Creative Content

1. Focus on offering valuable content

Like any other national holiday, your customers are busy cleaning the house, shopping and stocking essentials, making travel plans and doing up the decor, among other things. So why not create content that comprises helpful tips like "how-to" guides, online tutorials, or short videos?

2. Highlight CNY-centric merchandise

Take a cue from brand experts at Starbucks, who released limited edition mouse-themed drinking mugs to commemorate CNY 2020 as the "Year of the Rat." It always helps to showcase real-life pictures of CNY-centric merchandise across your website and social media platforms to reel in the readers.

Starbucks tumblers

Image Source

3. Use relevant CNY references

Harper's Bazaar hits a gold mine by curating content that fits the holiday theme (think: Zodiac Sign and lucky colours) and shows relevant products (beauty and makeup) for the user. The idea is to marry creativity with usefulness and market the final product to the users as a package.

Another example that comes to mind is Ikea Singapore recommending furniture based on the user's zodiac.

IKEA Zodiac 2014

Image Source: IKEA Singapore

4. Opt for series- or countdown-based posts

You can post engaging and interactive content leading up to the Chinese New Year. It could be any of the following topics:

  • DIY CNY decor
  • DIY CNY-based cooking recipes
  • Safety tips to follow this CNY
  • Amazing gifting ideas this CNY
  • Insane and easy photo and video tips for this CNY
  • 'Caption This!' posts

Make sure to pair this concept with prizes, promotions, and contests to keep the CNY momentum alive!

5. Create infographics

This helps to engage more readers. It is creative, crisp, and interesting to readers whose attention spans currently stand at a mere 8 seconds!

Make viral videos 

6. Hop in the holiday vibe with interesting videos

YouTube, Facebook videos, Instagram stories — when it comes to brand storytelling, the options are aplenty.

Data by Google suggests that 6 out of 10 people would rather watch online videos than television. Additionally, research by Insivia claims that mobile video consumption is rising by 100% every year.

Brands and businesses should focus on making the most of this marketing format to engage and entertain their audience. In 2019, tech giant Apple showcased a film that was supposedly shot on iPhone XS. This seven-minute film is all about getting a taste of home — the essence of Chinese New Year.

Another example worth considering is a CNY campaign by Malaysia Airlines, which spoke about spreading love and reuniting with family.

7. Think of an emotional and engaging theme

Creating content and videos centred around a unified theme can do wonders to your marketing campaign. For instance, Watsons Malaysia came up with a beautiful theme #HappyBeautifulYear to celebrate CNY in this heart-stirring video.

8. Pinterest away

Speaking of themes, it helps to create CNY-themed boards on Pinterest. You could promote the page on Instagram and other social media sites and get the CNY chatter going.

9. Take inspiration from real-life events

Nothing speaks to your reader's heart like the four words: "Inspired by true events."

Case in point? The RHB Group celebrated CNY 2019 by using real-life stories of people who achieved their dreams by believing in oneself and garnering support from loved ones.

Their hashtag for the campaign couldn’t get any more heartwarming: #TogetherWeProgress

Take advantage of user-generated content 

10.  Let your customers do the talking

The Chinese New Year is the time to holiday greetings and ang paos, celebrate with family, and posting photos and videos of what they're up to. Use this to your advantage by sharing your customers' posts.

11. Get your audience to contribute

Ask users to contribute posts, videos, photos, even memes, to your social media pages based on the following hot topics such as:

  • CNY traditions and activities (reunion dinners, exchanging red packets, viewing lion dances, lighting lanterns, etc.)
  • CNY food spreads (Think scrumptious dumplings, candy, and noodles for long life!)
  • True-to-life horoscopes
  • Travels and leisurely vacations

When in doubt, go the emotional/funny route 

12. Emotional and entertaining content always wins

Singtel released a short film that memorably demonstrates the adventures of rediscovering family traditions:

The results? This video has over 10M views.

Another tear-jerker is a CNY-themed video by Petronas:

In terms of an all-out entertaining content, take a look at Samsung Malaysia's ingenious and feel-good video. It shows a grandma taking a selfie in an endearing attempt to stay in touch with her family:

Get social on social media 

Did you know that in 2019, “CNY" was mentioned 300K times across Twitter, blogs, and forums? Simply put, if you're not active on social media, you won't be alive in your consumer's mind.

Here are some ways you can catch your audience’s attention and bring a sense of the new year on your virtual platforms:

Customise your social media

Start by creating a CNY-themed cover image on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms.

You can steer clear of the same old zodiac sign pictures and red-colour palette. Add a refreshing twist if you must. You could showcase new product launches like Adidas did for CNY 2020.

adidas

Image Source

14. Get into the right conversation circles by using popular hashtags

Hashtags can be used everywhere from Instagram to even LinkedIN.

15. Speak your reader's language and post relatable GIFs and memes

16. Use social media apps to entice buyers

Ikea launched a digital store named IKEA Mini app on WeChat, which allows users to select their favourite products. When they do so, they see a “time tag” instead of a price tag. A challenge is presented to the user. All they have to do is to not touch their smartphones for the duration to win the reward.

The result? Users get promos and discounts upon completing the challenge.

17. Create a microsite to ring in this CNY

Tiger Beer came up with the campaign "The Reunion Project" for Chinese New Year 2018. At first, it showcased a touching video featuring 65-year-old Singaporean David Lee who hoped to be home during CNY.

But that's not where the magic ended. The brand launched a microsite asking consumers to nominate their loved ones for a trip home so that they could spend time with their family. Two lucky winners got travel vouchers for a round trip in exchange for appearing in promotional material for the brand. Branding and marketing at its best, if you ask us!

18. Use tools at hand

Convert your homepage into a CNY gift card for your buyers. Trust us when we say that it works every single time!

You can easily customise your homepage display with a website builder. Simple actions like changing your website banner, website content, or adding content blocks help you change up your website just in time for Chinese New Year.

19. Recreate your logo and branding collaterals

Godiva embraces the spirit of CNY as shown above by painting its collaterals red (quite literally). You could also send E-Card, CNY Greetings, Thank You cards etc., to users that highlight the Lunar New Year theme.

Godiva 2019 Chinese New Year Collection

Image Source

20. Run online contests on Facebook and Instagram

Some examples of contest topics include:

  • Asking users to comment or like a post
  • Inviting users to share personal CNY memories and loving anecdotes about the holiday
  • Tagging friends in posts
  • Posting family photos
  • Answering brand-related or CNY-related trivia questions

Live videos attract a following

21. Create CNY-themed live videos

Here are some creative ideas to explore:

  • Offer discounts and promotions to surprise your customers.
  • Showcase product demos and combine it with useful how-to information.
  • Partner with social media influencers or brand ambassadors to attract a wider audience.

Offer CNY-themed downloadables

22. Give away ebooks with high-quality content

Offer free ebooks related to the CNY theme. You could make it informative by showcasing your brand's personal journey and what drives it forward. Then connect it with the evergreen CNY theme of love, joy, and close family ties.

This is also one of the best ways to build your list of leads. Use your ebooks or other lead-generating content to entice customers to provide their contact details in exchange.

23. Build a Downloads section on your website

There's a lot you can offer your site visitors in line with the spirit of the Chinese New Year. CNY-themed e-calendars, web design templates, e-cards, a customised wish list — you name it!

Make sure the templates are minimal and clean. This will give users plenty of room to customise them.

All they have to do is download the digital asset, and if they’re grateful, share it on social media. This creates awareness and ensures that you always have a loyal following!

Cheers to a prosperous year

Which of these tips did you like the most? Take a thing or two from these tips and keep your brand relevant to the season — and to your audience. This auspicious festival is just around the corner, and we have four words for you: "Xin nian kuai le!"

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