Wechat, Weibo, Toutiao, Baidu. 2018 Traffic Battle Is On

PLTFRM Digital Team explored the current content distribution trends on different Chinese platforms, such as Wechat, Weibo, Toutiao and Baidu.

WeChat content trendWith the rise of many content distribution platforms, over the past 5 years the audience started developing a bit of a ‘content overload’ feeling. According to Holst, the third-party data platform, on average, in the first quarter of 2017, the content published on Wechat public accounts achieved 4.63% opening rate, other sources report 2%. That is to say, if not done right, for the majority of followers your content could just be lost in the universe of public accounts they had subscribed for, but never open the updates. It’s hard not to agree with one of Tencent co-founders Zhang Zhidong: when you have about 10 subscriptions, every new update is exciting, but if you’re following 100+ accounts, the updates become a sort of ‘content noise’.Some of the new media giants already prepared for this situation. Take ErGeng as an example. The video platform’s content has an average of 20 mil+ plays across the internet, where public accounts stand for 15% of traffic, and the majority of results come from other media. Among Wechat’s 1 mil+ public accounts, only a handful of 1.5% can achieve similar results. Digital media promotion is gradually going in the diversification direction, with new media stemming from success of individuals and unusual collaborations appearing more and more. For example, MiMeng, the ultra-popular Wechat public account, is expanding it’s influence to another account, targeting post 95’ audience; Papi Jiang, the viral star of Weibo, established a new brand papitube; the ‘dark horse of fashion new media’ If Fashion collaborated with the Forbidden City; also books-related public accounts has started exploring offline promotion channels.

Big data to the rescue

When ‘content overload’ becomes a norm, more and more people are actually seeking authentic, in-depth content. The rise of this trend also raises the value of a smarter way to target and service customers, using data collection and analysis for a ‘tailored informational experience’. Weibo and Toutiao are, undoubtedly, at the helm of the trend. Already they are using algorithms to allow users spend less time getting more quality content that matches their interests. Every click and ‘stay on page time’ is recorded, becoming instrumental for users’ experience and platform’s operation, as well. While the user can get more ‘selected’ content, with a deep understanding of audience and their digital behavior, the platforms also have a lot to offer for brands and advertising industry.

Quality content as relevant as ever

Despite low engagement rate for articles on public accounts, marketers are not announcing the end of the Wechat era, it’s just the end of an era as we knew it: when click-baits and even content of questionable quality could easily attract a massive following. We’ll go further saying, that now more than ever the content quality is perhaps one of the most relevant win-factors. The other factor is digital sensitivity, in other words creating and adapting the content according to the specifics of the distribution channel. For businesses and individuals to be heard among the ‘digital content noise’, when deciding where to put your content, it’s imperative to balance the pros and cons of every channel and use insights-based marketing tools at your disposal.




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