ESSA.CN - An Integrated Marketing Communication Experience

ESSA.CN - An Integrated Marketing Communication Experience

July 31, 2023
Life & Work

Table of Contents (Click to show/hide)

Data Analysis Skills |

Active User Rate

Daily Budget

Campaign Budget

Click-through rate increase

Click-through Rate

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Return on Investment

Data Analysis Skills |


Daily Budget

Prioritisation of
Limited Resources

Click-through rate increase


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Experience Enhancement From offline to online

A Toy Foreign Trade Expert Like No Other

In 2017, I joined ESSA.CN, as the marketing specialist and event coordinator. ESSA.CN is an e-commerce purchasing platform for global toy exportation. It differentiates itself from traditional foreign trade by building a cost-effective, accessible membership-based e-commerce service. It targets any buyers who plan to source toy products from China. Currently, it gathers small-medium Chinese toy manufacturers and has over 2 million products available online. 

By the time I started my role, the company had established an excellent foundation since its inception. As such, my aim is aligned with the company's ultimate goal - convert more potential buyers to registered users.

ESSA.CN Office
ESSA.CN Office

A Business Canvas That Boosts Your Marketing Delivery

ESSA.CN has a functional e-commerce platform and a wide range of products ready for delivery. My goal is to convert more buyers into our platform members. With that in mind, I need to comprehend a holistic view of the company's business canvas: 

  • I identified ESSA.CN as a B2B platform that offers a one-stop-shop for global toy commercial buyers. It partners Chinese toy factories as its product supply.
  • Consequently, toy retailers, wholesaler and other commercial buyers are its target audiences.
  • Moreover, I discovered that North America, Middle East & South East Asia were still blue ocean markets.
  • Furthermore, I concluded that Variety, Transparency and Automation are its three primary business advantages.

With that in mind, a list of unique selling points help me organise the messages to the market:

  • It offers advanced online services ranging from automated online inquiry, self-directed LCL to order tracking. 
  • Extensive range of toys
  • Transparent ex-works (AKA factory price)
  • Direct billing with no hidden costs
  • Direct contact with different manufacturers in one platform. 

B2B: Face-to-face Approach is the #1 Approach

Since my target audiences are retailers and wholesalers, I need a marketing practice and content that are geared towards businesses or organisations. With that in mind, my message delivery not only applies to individuals, but it should resonate the values and benefits to all clients. As such, my job was assigned to three categories:

  • Google on search and display Ads
  • Facebook Ads
  • Toy exhibition events coordination
  • Brand transformation

My team and I tried different ways to acquire eligible registered users throughout various marketing implementations. But we realised that face to face approach is the most effective way to achieve conversion in this particular business model. The clients are taking the company brand, reputation and qualification more into account. They prefer visiting the showroom or filing sample requests to verify the integrity of the products and the brand.

Building Awareness - Google Ads & Facebook Ads

Google Search Ads

As an online platform with great features, it is inevitable to build up expertise & reputation online. For paid search campaign in Google, we applied hierarchy strategy in campaign structure.

Identify core keywords:"wholesale toys", "toy factory", "toy maker", "buy toys", "Chinese toys", "toy suppliers", "toy company", "online wholesale toy", "Yiwu toys".

As you can see, we map the keywords based on: 

  • Search volume
  • Core product
  • Service type
  • Locations. 

The location here is a well-known representation, such as "Yiwu", "Chenghai" and "Shantou". They are the locations where most toy factories located. 

Furthermore, we started to build up a hierarchy based on variations:

  1. We set up a five-tier campaign structure.
  2. Use the exact match and phrase match to target different countries. Take advantage of language localisation.
  3. Use the phrase match to combine core keywords with toy function, category, location and end-user keywords.
  4. Use the exact match of brand keywords on the universal product names, well-known factory brands, and trade company names.
  5. Use the phrase match on the universal product names, famous factory brands, and trade company names.
  6. Use the broad match modifier for long-tail keywords. Combining core keywords with toy function, category and end-user keywords

During the course of campaign optimisation, we need to monitor the performing keywords and eliminate the under-performing keywords (negative keywords).

Google Display Ads

At that stage, we use the following creatives to target different countries:

  • Product pictures
  • Website features
  • Branding creatives (text-based) 

In the meantime, we are optimising the publisher lists based on Cost Per Mille (CPM), Click-through Rate (CTR), Conversion Rate (CR) and Cost Per Click (CPC). 

Google Ads Screenshots
Google Ads Screenshots

I was able to achieve: 

  • 1.33% - 2.17% click-through rate(CTR), 
  • 1.58% conversion rate(CR) with an average of US$0.57 cost per click(CPC) 

in Google search campaign

  • 1.45% click-through rate(CTR), 
  • 0.34% conversion rate(CR) with an average of US$0.025 cost per click(CPC),

in Google display campaigns.

Facebook Ads

Facebook is very different from Google networks. It is not an array of pictures or keywords that easily accommodate every blank layout. it is a place that illustrates the values and engagement for the target audiences. 

With the infusion of the custom audience and look-a-like audience, I decided to apply two primary objectives:

  • Conversion: registration
  • Awareness: page engagement and page likes
Facebook Ads Creative |
Facebook Ads Creative

In addition, I have added three creatives:

  • Product pictures (carousel and video)
  • Website features (video)
  • Branding creatives (video) 

I established ESSA. CN's social media profiles and decided to promote it with a clear message based on videos. With that in mind, I soon contacted and arranged a video shoot for the company profile. The video at the end became one of my best Ads. After the optimisation, I was able to achieve:

  • 4.54% click-through rate(CTR) in Middle East countries
  • 3.01% click-through rate(CTR) in south-east Asia countries 
  • 4% click-through rate(CTR) in the US with an average CPM of $26

With my content marketing (educational and concept-selling) and paid campaigns on social media, I managed to gain over 200% FB followers growth within a month.

Facebook Performance in Middle East |
Facebook Performance in Middle East |
Facebook Performance in Southeast Asia |
Facebook Performance in Southeast Asia |
Facebook Performance in the US |
Facebook Performance in the US |

Enchanted Enhancement Event

A business target to businesses requires constant presence in international events. I coordinated six successful events for overseas exhibitions—which attracted between 73 000 to 200 000 attendees. I had the opportunity to go to Dubai, Guangzhou and Hong kong to host the booths. Planning an event is not signing up and paying for your booth. It's about having the initiative to come up with the unique appeal to engage attendees and being detail-oriented for the product, material, logistic and budget control.

ESSA.CN Exhibition in Dubai |
Exhibition in Dubai
ESSA.CN in DUBAI Playworld Exhibition
ESSA.CN in Dubai Playworld Exhibition
ESSA.CN in Canton Fair
ESSA.CN in Canton Fair

I was honoured to work with a very talented graphic designer. I designed the event flyer and gift bag on a sketch, and he redesigned it to a sleek and simple finished product. 

Flyer Design |
Flyer/brochure Design
Product Catalogue/brochure design |
Product Catalogue Design
Gift bag design |
Gift Bag Design

Creative Juices Are Flowing 

Several successful campaigns are not enough to build a long-term client-platform relationship. It is important to create a brand that educational, trustworthy and professional. With the weak online presence in ESSA.CN, I know this is an excellent opportunity to be innovative and create something amazing:

  • I scripted the video and coordinated a team to shoot a film for ESSA.CN.
  • I directed the voice-over and the edits on the final cut.

Finally, it yielded an amazing result:

The End

Every journey has an end. My experience in ESSA.CN was extraordinary, and I appreciated the opportunity on multi-facet marketing channels.  It is bittersweet to leave, but I am grateful to have worked for such an exceptional company that continues to innovate in the foreign trade. After all these years, I have seen them developing a better platform for the supplier side and improving the user experience on the website. they have the potential to grow more prominent, and I can not wait to see what they do next!

Case Studies
Google Ads
Marketing Strategy
PPC Tips & Tricks
Brand Communications
Paid Social
Dean Long | Expert in Growth MarketingHongxin(Dean) Long

Dean Long is a Sydney-based performance marketing and communication professional with expertise in paid search, paid social, affiliate, and digital advertising. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Information Systems and Management and is also a distinguished MBA graduate from Western Sydney University.

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