In July 2019, Adelaide Chinese digital marketing business Jetek China Digital is on the Advertiser BUSINESS JOURNAL.
It is about Chris Cheng and his partner launched a new platform – Rover Apps to tap into Chinese social media influencers and their ability to capture a growing market for South Australian brands.
Rover Apps co-founder Chris Cheng said while “micro-influencers” and “nano-influencers” had smaller audiences than celebrities and “macro-influencers”, they could speak more “authentically” about a brand or experience. – BUSINESS JOURNAL on 9th of July 2019
SOUTH Australian businesses are being given the opportunity to showcase their goods and services to an untapped international market through a new technology application.
And the best part is that it will not make a big dent in their marketing budget.
Adelaide technology start-up, ROVER, has created a unique platform that connects businesses with local Chinese residents, who act as ambassadors for their brand.
ROVER is a micro-influencer marketplace for western brands, agencies and destinations to access Chinese marketing methods. ROVER recruits local Chinese influencers and rewards them for their advocacy of local brands and experiences.
Businesses connect with Chinese influencers, who create authentic and engaging content including photographs, videos and text. This content is shared through WeChat and boosted using targeted 58.com advertising to market products, services and experiences to Chinese consumers living in Australia and overseas.
Chris Cheng, Rover Co-Founder and CTO said Rover could be harnessed as a major sales and marketing tool for businesses looking to broaden their Chinese customer base.
“Influencer marketing represents 2% of the global $327.28 billion digital marketing market,” Mr Cheng said.
“This proportion of marketing spend is increasing, as
influencer campaigns are earning an average media value of $5 to
every dollar invested, which compares favourably to other channels.
“In China, influencer marketing is even more important than in other parts of the world, because Chinese consumers rely on peer-to-peer information to make their purchase decisions.
“Conversion rates are higher in China from influencer marketing, as the latest Chinese marketplace and social media platforms allow influencers to unashamedly direct their followers to a call-to-action.”
ROVER has partnered with 58.com Australia, China’s largest marketplace operator and major media player, and Jetek – Adelaide’s leading Chinese marketing technology provider.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, about 1.2 million Chinese nationals were living in Australia in 2016 and of these, 52,310 were residing in South Australia.
“About 60 per cent of all Chinese residents in Australia use WeChat as their primary source of news and information, making it an important tool for businesses to use in the current market,” said Chris Cheng whose other business Jetek China Digital and supplier 58.com Australia partners with Rover to deliver these marketing solutions to Australian business.
“A growing number of our clients are taking a back-to-basics approach, scaling back their use of celebrities for so-called micro-influencers who have smaller audiences, but can speak more authentically about a brand or experience.
“Companies can engage Chinese micro-influencers to experience their products or services and share their experiences through video or photo content to the ROVER WeChat mini-app.”
These influencers are compensated for their work at the time that they produce the initial content and then downstream as their content measurably drives results for the brand.
“It is a unique part of our offering that ROVER maintains a relationship between the influencer and the brand after the initial engagement,” Mr Cheng said.
“From our research with marketers, is important that the brand maximises its influencer content marketing spend by developing a growing network of fans, who are willing to sustain their ongoing brand loyalty and keep generating referrals.”
Wirra Wirra Wines at McLaren Vale has been selling wine in China for about 15 years.
Rover recruited two Chinese influencers, including Summer Jiang who visited Wirra Wirra earlier this year.
The duo streamed video during their visit that reached over 8,000 viewers in a live broadcast. The content was re-marketed by ROVER during a five-day campaign, with a resultant 42,448 social media interactions.
Wirra Wirra Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Kay, said the emerging technology made it much easier to reach audiences abroad to create selling opportunities. – BUSINESS JOURNAL on 9th of July 2019
“We’ve done it the hard way for a long time – getting on a play, fly to China. I’ll do seven cities in seven days, seven dinners then I collapse,” Mr Kay said.
“But now, to be able to connect so many people online is great.”
Mr Cheng said the results at Wirra Wirra were favourable.
“It is fascinating to watch the influencers impact on their followers in real time,” he said.
“During the live video stream of a premium wine tasting at Wirra Wirra, 71 people asked where they could buy the wine.
“ROVER is measurable and highly targeted. It’s very easy for us to develop a Chinese
marketing strategy with our clients that delivers specific returns on marketing
In the first couple of months of trading since launch, ROVER has already secured some well-known South Australian brands and will make some major announcements shortly.
It has also partnered with marketing agency, Society.
“This is an accessible new marketing tool for brand managers,” Society managing director Dena Vassallo said.
“Society is able to integrate ROVER into its service offering, so we can help clients to cost-effectively reach Chinese consumers and measurably convert them into customer.
“Rover gives us another string to our bow.”
Unusual for a start-up, ROVER is ready from immediate international growth.
With a technology that can scale globally and proven client engagement, ROVER is looking to partner with Chinese and western marketing agencies to distribute its platform.
“ROVER has helped our strategic partners Jetek and 58.com Australia to engage new clients in Adelaide,” Rover Co-Founder and Director Adam Rowe said.
“We intend to replicate this with other licensees and have been approached by several already. We have a second round of capital investment under way and have been delighted with the response from the local Adelaide investment community.
“Our plan is to have licensees distributing ROVER in at least five overseas territories by the end of the year, which will establish us as a market leader.” BUSINESS JOURNAL on 9th of July 2019
For more information about ROVER, or to find out how your business can capitalise on Chinese influencer marketing, visit www.roverjourney.com