This article originally appeared on Dragon Trail Interactive, a digital marketing agency focused on outbound Chinese tourism.
Live streaming for the Chinese market is here to stay, and its impact on jump starting domestic tourism spending shows high potential for international travel later in the year. So what do you need to start live streaming for a Chinese audience?
1) First, you need to pick a platform – there are more than 200 to choose from in China, but an easy option is Yizhibo, which is integrated into Weibo, and you can sign into it through an existing Weibo or WeChat account. Mafengwo’s platform also has an easy application form to fill out to add your live stream.
2) Next, you need a host. This should be a native or totally fluent Chinese speaker, preferably with experience live streaming, presenting, guiding, and/or selling. This is important first and foremost on a linguistic level – presenting in a foreign language will make the live stream much less accessible, and proficiency in Chinese is needed to read and respond to questions and comments sent in by the audience during a live stream. Moreover, a Chinese host is also going to have the best understanding of the style of live stream presenting that Chinese audiences expect and respond to, and they’ll know how to present a product, attraction, or destination in a way that’s most relevant and interesting for Chinese viewers. (For more on this topic, check out our interview with UK-based live streamer Feixue Huangdu.)
3) Live streams might be presented on the spot, but good ones require a lot of planning and content preparation behind the scenes. Plan your route and talking points carefully, and experiment with your equipment to make sure you optimize light and angles and don’t run into unforeseen technological issues.
4) To attract viewers, you’ll need to promote your live stream in advance. This includes promotion on your own Chinese social media channels, and potential media buy to boost the broadcast. If you choose to work with Mafengwo, for example, you can also partner with them to promote your live streaming through their channels to a large audience of engaged travelers. If you find a Chinese live streamer or other KOL to host your live stream, you’ll benefit from their established audience and promotional reach, too.
5) As a final consideration, don’t forget the importance of timing for a live broadcast. Tourism live streams in China work best at around 7pm or 8pm on weekdays. This may prove challenging for certain time zones – in the case that this is too early in the morning or late at night in your destination, you might consider a weekend live stream to broadcast during the day in China.