China news publisher Jing Travel" /> David H Boggs Search Marketing Blog: How to gain influence with Chinese Millennial travelers

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How to gain influence with Chinese Millennial travelers

18 October 2017

China news publisher Jing Travel has released a report entitled Where next? What’s influencing Chinese millennial travelers to which staffers of media network Carat, programmatic ad services provider Amnet and Shanghai Data Exchange SHDX were key contributors.

High points:

  • 55% of Chinese millennial travelers live in first-tier cities (Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzen) and 45% in second- and third-tier cities.
  • 95% of Chinese Internet users connect via mobile devices.
  • Chinese millennial traveler segments:
    • Adventurous Influencers
      • Smallest group but most influential
      • Trendsetters, opinion leaders
      • Interested in cultural experiences, outdoors, live music
      • Share actively across social networks
    • Followers of Fashion
      • Most affluent group - seek and willing to pay for high-quality experiences
      • Want to be seen in most popular places; pursue latest trends, novel experiences
      • Influenced by Adventurous Influencer
      • Want to relax
    • Culturally Curious
      • Largest group
      • Ambitious, believe themselves destined for success
      • Primarily want cultural enrichment
      • Heaviest users of travel sites like Mafengwo and Qyer
  • Path to booking
    • Engage in communities via entertainment apps
    • Browse destinations via user-generated, knowledge-sharing apps
    • Use search engines like Baidu to find tourism information
    • Book with OTA, airline or hotel Web site, Weidan or offline agency
  • Influential platforms:
    • Weibo
    • WeChat
    • Douban
    • Tieba
    • Qyer
    • Mafengwo
    • Bilibili
    • Zhihu
  • Booking horizon: 37% book 1 month prior to departure, 33% only 1 week before
  • Key travel periods: summer and winter holidays, Chinese national holidays
  • Key search periods: summer and Golden Week (October)

So, what's actionable here for tourism destinations and businesses in North America and Europe?

  • Chinese millennial travelers are targetable by location (concentrate on cities).
  • Our ads and communications need to perform flawlessly on mobile devices.
  • We need to reach the Adventurous Influencers - themselves smallest in number, but influence all the others.
  • Need there to be a buzz in social media about what we're selling.
  • Need to be visible in Baidu, which has a 76% search share in China vs. less than 2% for Google.
  • Need to be especially visible in high search seasons: summer and early October.

To which I would add: if there are reasonably high concentrations of Chinese nationals at your destination, for work or study - think Boston, NYC, Montreal, London - reach them via your usual North American or European channels - Google, Facebook, etc.- because those Chinese workers and students have tremendous WOM influence on their friends and relatives back in China.

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And if you have questions or comments, you can easily send them to me with the Quick Reply form, below, or send me an e-mail.

David Boggs    - David
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