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How to promote your seafood to the Asian seafood market

autoreBy Steve Williamson 19 Sep 2016

It’s no secret that people in Asia love their seafood (especially in China and Hong Kong). In fact, in some areas, individuals will eat up to 70kg of seafood in a single year. That’s over ten times the American per capita average.

From cost-effective fish to pricy, delicious delicacies like geoduck and abalone, the Asian palate finds seafood of all varieties enjoyable. In an economic sense, the demand is high. But how do you make sure that your company is the one to fulfill that demand; that you fill the role of “supply”?

According to a report by McKinsey, consumers are displaying purchase behaviour more similar to their Western counterparts than ever before. Not only is word of mouth important, but online reviews and a credible website play a huge role in securing a customer.

In fact, 70% of Chinese consumers said they believed retailers’ websites were credible, whereas Western consumers are more likely to trust third-party websites. So you’ll want to make sure that your website includes testimonials, is clear, and most importantly, is translated accurately into Mandarin and Cantonese, as well as English.

What do customers in the Asian seafood market care about?

Safety

After a slew of recalls and public concern over the safety of goods, providing safe, properly handled food is a huge priority for this population. Be sure to properly convey your commitment to safe food processing across all your communication channels.

Credibility

Brands with an established and well-respected reputation are desirable.

Access to information

Buyers in the Asian seafood market do more research than their counterparts in the rest of the world, and take longer to make decisions. For this reason, having a website and online information that is robust, easy to access, and concise will help consumers make the decision to choose your seafood over any other brand.

The experience

Sure, your seafood is amazing. Top notch. The best in the business. But how does it make people feel? Tell stories to your potential customers, and watch that emotional connection to your brand grow. It’s not just about the crab - it’s about what the crab can do for you.

How to reach customers

Hong Kong social media

Facebook: Focus on authenticity on this social media channel, and provide content that will interest your customers, and that they readily want to consume. For example, you might want to post an article about the best ways to cook lobster, or a creative dish containing clams.

Whatsapp: Recently, Whatsapp has announced that soon they will be allowing brands to communicate with consumers directly in the app. Stay tuned for what this looks like, but it could potentially be a great way to build a community around your seafood brand.

WeChat: More than 300 million people use WeChat, and it’s an excellent tool to communicate your message to a captive audience. Not only is it a social media channel, but consumers are able to make purchases directly in the app - closing the purchase decision cycle sooner and more reliably.

China social media

WeChat is the most popular social media platform in China, followed closely by Weibo (micro blogging and video hosting), Tieba (Online communities & topic boards), Douban (specialized networking & ratings/reviews) and Ren Ren (networking & posting).  QQ is the most used instant messenger and is a great customer service platform.

Having games, giveaways and online-to-offline events hosted within your China social media is a great way to boost your followers and engagement.  

Trade shows

There are a large number of food fairs and exhibitions across China and Hong Kong, and it’s an excellent way to build brand awareness. Ensure your booth is well thought out, professional, and that your staff are both knowledgeable, pleasant and most importantly, are able to engage the booth visitors that lead to sign-ups, business card exchange, or scheduled meetings.

Localized website

We mentioned this before, but you should have a website translated into Mandarin, Cantonese, and English at the bare minimum. To really capture the attention of buyers in the Asian seafood market, your website should be filled with accurate, engaging content showing your brand to be the best value for seafood in it’s class.

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Gfresh team