Douyin is essentially the original TikTok and with over 600 million active users it is an indispensable tool if you want to advertise your games in China. The app is especially popular among the Gen Z, so the content produced for the app should reflect the relaxed attitude of the main audience. From this article you will learn how to start your journey with marketing your games on Douyin in 4 steps - even if you don’t speak Chinese.
This is a summary of a video series made by our Chinese Marketing Specialist, so if you prefer watching to reading, make sure to check out the links below.
Table of contents:
Influencer campaigns can be amazing for promoting games but it has to be done right. We need to make sure that the person we choose is going to be the right fit for our product, that’s why first we are going to look at how as a game studio can you find the right influencer to promote your game on Douyin. We can search for influencers based on 2 different criteria: game recommendations and game explanation.
- Game recommendations (游戏推荐) - in this category you will find influencers who recommend games without getting into too many details about the game, instead they will just recommend games that are new or exciting. The influencers that post videos in this category are called KOL’s - Key Opinion Leaders. If you want to collaborate with these influencers you can search for them from the ‘’user’’ category.
- Game explanation (游戏解说) - videos from this category will go into a lot of detail about the game, for example: history of the game, strategies, tips, instructions how to play the game, what to avoid. If you want players to know more about your game this is definitely the option for you.
The influencers that make these videos are called KOC’s - Key Opinion Consumers, they usually have a smaller following, but it’s a very loyal one!
There is no right or wrong answer in choosing between these two, if you want as many people as possible to know about your game then KOL’s could be a better choice. However, if you want to build a community then definitely search for the KOC’s.
When it comes to influencers on Douyin we need to verify their authenticity and make sure they are still posting regularly. As a good starting point we recommend to search for videos by a game title - it can be your game or a game from the same genre. To make life a little bit easier for ourselves, instead of browsing hundreds of results we get we can use the filter function.
- Latest release (最新发布) - this category will help you find active influencers as it arranges the videos in the chronological order. Once you find the influencers that are a good match for your game, you can send them a message and ask about possible cooperation and the next steps.
Make sure to also check the type of videos they upload - if you make PC games then an influencer making videos about mobile games is probably not the best match. It’s also important to check the number of likes and followers.
On Douyin the number is written slightly differently to what we are used to on TikTok, so just remember that 1w=10k.
- Most liked videos (最多点赞) - when you use this filter, make sure to also select ‘’within 6 months’’ - after all we don’t want to waste our time browsing videos from users that are no longer active or upload different kinds of content. Then you can search for videos that resonate with the style of your game.
Even without speaking Chinese you can learn a lot about the influencer, make sure to look at how engaged their community is and check their whole content. Sometimes users upload a huge variety of videos and it makes it impossible to tell who their target audience is.
In some cases influencers will have contact information in their profile description, you can use that as an alternative to the ‘’message’’ button.
When creating videos the first but probably the most important step is choosing the topic. That’s why we will start by looking at how you can find inspiration for your videos on Douyin, using 2 different categories: hot points and featured.
- Hot points - this is the perfect place to start if you need inspiration, as this section will show you a ranking of the current hot points, which are basically the topics people are interested in. It’s the best and easiest way to get to know Douyin and the videos people search for.
If you want to go viral or just get a ton of views then following these trends is crucial.
- Featured - this section will show you recent videos that fit your personal preferences. It could be beneficial to use it if the algorithm already knows you and of course if you watch loads of gaming videos! If you want inspiration for a more specific type of video then don’t worry - there are many categories to choose from.
So now that you have found your inspiration and uploaded your first video (if only it was this easy in real life), it’s important to know how well your content is performing. You can find this information in the Creator Services Platform.
In this section you will find information like:
- Number of video views per day
- Followers increase
This also provides you with great insights on how your account is growing. It can give you an idea of what type of content people enjoy and what you should focus on in the future.
In Creator Services Platform you can find other incredibly useful tools like:
- Video rankings - a list of trending videos
- Music rankings - this shows you which sounds are trending and it’s important to check this regularly as using popular music will boost the number of views on your videos
- Livestream rankings - very useful, especially for gaming content. Here you can check what types of livestreams are currently popular
- Popular courses - depending on the type of your account, in this section you will find matching courses, for example: game or e-commerce. These courses can teach you how to create a video or a video series and they will clear out any doubts you might have had about uploading on Douyin!
Another important section is Creative Inspiration:
As the name suggests the Creative Inspiration section is here to inspire us, and to do that we can browse these sections:
- Hot videos - basically trending videos, it’s the content that people are likely to interact with and will be excited to watch
- Hot spots - topics that people are currently discussing
- Hashtags - before releasing a video it’s important to check what hashtags other people are using, make sure to use gaming related hashtags, this will make it easier for people to find your video and learn about your game!
- Keywords - popular phrases that people search for
- Hot props - popular filters, special effects and emojis
- Hot music - trending sounds
If you want to create videos on Douyin first you need to watch and learn about trending videos, you can definitely use Creative Inspiration as your source. After that it’s important to keep track of how your videos are performing in the Creators Learning Center, and then keep repeating the process!
Livestreams are super popular, especially amongst the gaming community. There are many influencers who do livestreams and even more people who watch them. That’s why it’s very important to not forget about them in your marketing campaigns!
What makes livestreaming so useful?
- Comments section - nothing beats the feeling of live interactions and no other content will get you as close to this as livestreams. During the stream viewers can ask questions (hard to miss as they appear on screen) and influencers have a chance to answer them immediately, which gives them a great opportunity to interact with their audience in a more meaningful and fun way.
- Competitions - organising mini competitions can be a great idea to build a community and create hype around the game, it’s especially popular for games like DOTA.
- Tipping area - appears at the bottom of the screen and it’s a place where viewers can give gifts to the influencers!
There are some visual differences between Douyin livestreams on phones and PCs, so let’s have a quick look at that!
When you’re using the phone app livestreaming rankings are a good place to start - this shows you the list of the most popular streamers.
One of the most popular types of streams in China is ‘’live e-commerce’’. During this kind of livestreams influencers present different items, and viewers can purchase the product. It is incredibly popular and it can easily influence people into buying your product - and it should be easy to do it with games as well!
- One of the reasons why it is so popular in China is the discounts. Items presented during these livestreams are always cheaper
- Douyin has an ‘’add to basket’’ button, so it’s super easy for people to shop on the spot!
If you want to make the most out of streaming then write down those dates: 11.11; 12.12; 618 (June 18th), these are the busiest livestreaming seasons and people will be on the hunt for bargains!
With so many active users and so many different advertising opportunities, marketing on Douyin should be obligatory! We know this guide just scratches the surface but it’s important to remember about the huge potential of this app, especially if you care about your wishlist numbers in China. It is definitely possible to use Douyin without speaking Chinese, but if you prefer the expertise of people that are familiar with all the ins and outs of the app and the Chinese culture, then send us a message!