Digitalisation key to connecting with Chinese luxury travellers

Reuter: Intelligence, in partnership with ILTM China, has released a new study looking at how travel and hospitality brands can master WeChat, build up their digital presence in China and stand out in a crowded marketplace by winning hearts and minds through creative content.

The importance of emotion and storytelling

Luxury travel brands cannot only focus on the capabilities of platforms available in China’s social media landscape, but must provoke connections beyond mere digital, elevating engagement and making emotional connections. According to the report, big content wins of recent years found success thanks to boldly presenting more meaningful storytelling that was based on Chinese cultural moments and issues.

Travel and hospitality brands need to build creative content on top of mastering technology like China’s super-app WeChat to connect with Chinese travellers: study

Breaking down marketing labels across sectors

Marketing labels such as aspirational, immersive and inspiring are also broken down within the report, which describes their true meaning in relation to the functionalities offered by WeChat, and how Red and Douyin are being best employed by savvy luxury brands. A view outside of travel and hospitality takes a look at how leading brands in other sectors such as fashion and beauty are winning with luxury Chinese consumers.

The report also examines the closed-loop functionality offered by WeChat, explaining how the big content wins by international brands in recent years have not only been about mastering the technology, but winning hearts and minds. These successes have been achieved through telling stories that provoke emotional connections.

UGC and interactivity key for younger consumers

For luxury brands, the WeChat superapp must still be the foundation of digital communications in China, while user-generated content (UGC) platforms such as Red and Douyin offer exciting new opportunities for innovative connections with affluent Chinese consumers.

On Douyin, they don’t only want to watch, they want to “give it a go” themselves and get involved in whatever’s viral. Although a luxury brand may want to appear slick, luxurious and on-brand elsewhere, Red is the place to go under the cover, beneath the surface and behind the scenes. Red users have seen flashy and slick corporate communications a million times and expect to be able to enter the real world of the brand and product in their own Red world.

The report is available for free download here.

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