If you are a company in China, you can’t do without at least a bit of Wechat Marketing. With 1,2 billion monthly active users as of 2020, Wechat is China’s most important app. More than just a chat App, Wechat is a super App and Wechat marketing is a must in any serious brands strategy in China. You can use Wechat to pay, book a holiday, buy things, create “moments”, send messages, follow brands, inquire about, and much more. It has 1.070 million daily active users, more than 1.5 million active brands, more than 17 million official accounts, and it is used for 86% by people 18-40 years old. Brands can use Wechat for a huge number of functions: communication, customer service, loyalty, e-commerce. This app is a must for a marketer but to succeed, there are some simple practices to follow. Here is a quick list of the things you should do to optimize your WeChat.
- WeChat Marketing step 1: Register a WeChat official account
- WeChat Official Account Marketing tools
- Create valuable and emotionally appealing content for your Wechat Official Account Posts
- Story Telling on WeChat with Official Account
- Membership & VIP Coupons are effective Wechat Marketing tools to create engagement
- WeChat Official Account for brand communication purpose
- WeChat official account Qr Codes to promote your brand offline and online
- Promote your Official Account Content with WeChat Group Marketing
- WeChat H5 Brochure: Cost-efficient Solution Suitable for any companies wanting to do business in China
- WeChat CRM & Menu for Official Account
- WeChat Mini-program
- WeChat Marketing: Paid advertising
- With WeChat Marketing you always have to keep up
- Do you need help with your Wechat marketing strategy in China?
WeChat Marketing step 1: Register a WeChat official account
We strongly suggest you use a Wechat Official account. Why?
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- Attract potential customers;
- Increase brand awareness;
- Send push notifications to contacts following the page;
- Build customer loyalty;
- Redirect the user to the website/e-commerce page of the company.
Individuals can follow official brand accounts by:
- Scanning a QR Code,
- Using the “Search for” function,
- Sharing the business card,
- Adv on the “moments” board with a button that leads directly to the official account
Better visibility means better credibility.
High-quality creative content is the key to attracting an audience. Through an official account, you not only have greater contact with customers but it is also possible to create real advertising campaigns. Therefore, there are many foreign brands that use Wechat as the main portal for their advertising.
3 Types of WeChat Official Account for Wechat Marketing
There are 3 types of accounts on WeChat: the service account, the subscription account, and the corporate.
- Service accounts appear in the “chat” section like any contact. As a result, they offer greater visibility than subscription accounts, however, only four posts per month can be published.
- The subscription accounts are grouped in a sort of folder called, precisely, “subscription” visible in the “chat” section of WeChat. Through this type of account, you can send your followers more than one push notification per day.
- The corporate account, also called enterprise accounts, helps you maintain organized internal communication so that you can carry out marketing plans, streamline collaboration, and improve efficiency. Any employee with an email address from the company can use a corporate account.
How to open a Wechat official account?
The procedure for opening an official WeChat account requires:
- at least 2/3 months on average,
- documentation that must be verified by Tencent,
- high investments in Adv and CPM,
- the procedure must be requested on the Chinese version of the WeChat site, otherwise, the account would not be visible in China.
WeChat Official Account Marketing tools
Create valuable and emotionally appealing content for your Wechat Official Account Posts
You have to carefully choose what content are you going to use but also calculate what is the optimal time of the day to reach your audience without being disruptive. Consider three elements:
- The tone of voice: how the message is communicated, respecting the characteristics of the Brand e considering the target of users to which it refers (colloquial, smart, formal, …)
- Layout: Chinese users usually don’t like posts that are too rich in the text; they prefer articles with many images and videos.
- Graphics: Chinese users like curated and engaging content.
Your content should be useful and consistently good.
It appears that video posts are the last trend. They are visual and entertaining. Industry such as fashion and beauty should especially go for it.
In order to optimize your WeChat marketing results, your post should include one of the following “activities”: Delivering e-coupon, issuing a virtual VIP card, sending promotional offer notifications, using the membership function.
Story Telling on WeChat with Official Account
Communicating through WeChat requires some tricks. Posts are longer compared to what we are used to and appear as a newsletter as if the Brands tell their story to the user.
These may contain images, GIFs, or videos and can be “open” or not. “open” content can be viewed by anyone who is shared. Otherwise, the post is “private” and visible only to those who follow the Brand on WeChat.
WeChat allows you “one-to-one” communication which makes it a great CRM tool, it would be foolish not to make the best out of it. It’s the best way to increase customer loyalty and relationship management.
Membership & VIP Coupons are effective Wechat Marketing tools to create engagement
Using WeChat membership functions you can convert your followers into members. Keep your members interested in loyalty programs. This also allows you to get valuable information. A member can use the geo-localization function to pair up with users by their Wechat ID or phone number. This is perfect to create more custom marketing content that will reach your audience more efficiently.
There are three typical ways to integrate WeChat into your marketing activities:
- Issuing a virtual VIP card
- Sending promotional offer notifications
- Delivering e-coupons.
WeChat Official Account for brand communication purpose
It seems obvious but offering an enjoyable experience to the customer is one of the key elements of your success in China.
With WeChat and its one-to-one communication, you can provide the customer the feeling to be the sole focus, to be important – meaning you care about them.
Make sure to send a greeting message to the new joiner and be proactive. Now, you are not going to answer your followers one by one because Wechat gives you the possibility to sets prescribed answers. You can define responses that co-relate to various keywords and there are no limits to the number of keywords. You also have the possibility to use visual and audio content. If you have a website, let your customer know about it.
Optimize your Wechat Marketing Effort with Followers Feedback
Not only you can share about your brand and make the customers feel unique and unforgettable but it is also an amazing tool to get users’ feedback. It is always good to have access to direct feedback from your audience, listen, and adapt your product/strategy according to their comments.
WeChat official account Qr Codes to promote your brand offline and online
QR codes are an important part of daily life in China and they are an excellent way to get new followers.
Companies that want to increase their number of followers on WeChat associate a QR Code with their existing accounts or sites. This also applies to points of sale or any sales support material used offline. As soon as someone scans the QR Code they become a member of the community and receive all the content shared by the brand.
Brands often invite users to scan QR Codes through promotions, discounts, sweepstakes, souvenirs or WiFi passes, or they show the QR Code on the Weibo pages. If you do the delivery, add your QR code on your packaging.
WeChat automatically creates a QR code for each official account, along with an inbuilt QR code scanner so no worries about it. You can also customize and personalize the QR codes that match your branding perfectly. For example, here’s the Qr Code of a company that produces brakes for cars. Get creative!
Promote your Official Account Content with WeChat Group Marketing
WeChat groups are the fastest and easiest way to distribute content to WeChat users interested in your type of product or service. Then, if your brand is recommended by one of the users, people will have more faith in the brand and will arouse the interest of other users. Therefore, Wechat groups can reach a larger community and have better visibility.
Businesses should consider Wechat groups as a forum where to provide useful information and develop a relationship with their audience. Businesses should then post regularly at peak times.
WeChat H5 Brochure: Cost-efficient Solution Suitable for any companies wanting to do business in China
WeChat Brochure is good for online and offline because it is easy to send and distribute.
It is great for product listing and for company introduction.
The benefits of WeChat H5 Brochure are:
- Easy to share and lightweight
- Interactive & nice to look at
- Bring your QR code to every salon instead of printing a flyer
- Alternative to your unsuccessful mass mailing with heavy PDF
- Show potential Business Partner in China that you Understand the market
WeChat CRM & Menu for Official Account
Set up and use the in-app Wechat CRM. It is a great tool to communicate with your followers/customers and can be used as a replacement for a newsletter. Remember, email marketing does not work in China, people don’t read emails. With a well-set Wechat CRM, answers automatically any questions your followers may have, welcome new ones, offer special discounts, etc. You don’t spend time doing it, and it increases your trust level with followers.
In 2017 Tencent has released “mini-programs”. A mini-program is an internal “mini-App” to the WeChat ecosystem. These applications do not need to be downloaded on your smartphone. There are 600 million active users every day. They help to increase the permanence time on the platform. This is an emerging trend that brands are using to increase engagement with customers and consumers.
It basically enables brands to set up a full mini website to complete their brand experience. Each day about 20 000 mini-programs are uploaded and competing for the attention of more than one billion daily active users on the WeChat app. The interest in mini-programs never ceases to grow.
Here are some tips for your mini-program:
- Aesthetic needs to be top-notch because that is the first thing your potential customer will see and this is how they will decide to click or to leave.
Think Multi-Channel. Do you have a physical store? Display your location and draw your online customer directly to you.
- Use the mini-programs as a CRM, remember => customer is always first.
Be social, which is the core of WeChat. Let your customers interact with their friends via your mini program.
- Entertain your customer, be smart. For example, Louis Vuitton launched a mini-game called “Trunk in the Sand” which makes the exhibition at the Shanghai Exhibition Center, which traced the history of the Brand since its foundation, a unique experience.
A treasure hunt in the middle of the desert driving a historic pickup truck branded LV. Treasures are chests that contain products of the Brand and related information.
WeChat Marketing: Paid advertising
Ads campaigns can be great to increase your brand awareness. Get creative to get your target’s attention. For instance invite people to vote, games, and quizzes. It should be attractive, entertaining, and rewarding. Remember, creative campaigns can always attract followers to your accounts.
There are 3 types of Wechat advertising:
- WeChat Banner Advertisements
- WeChat Moments Advertisements
- Key Opinion Leader(KOL) Promotion
Banners Advertising on WeChat is rather classic and comparable to other website ads. The good things are that it has performance-based pricing and it makes it easier for users to enter your website.
A Moments Ad allows advertisers to advertise within the Moments section, which is comparable to Facebook’s Newsfeed. It is worth noticing that Wechat Moments advertisement offers an easier and more affordable way to advertise on the app:
- Graphic part: up to 6 images or videos of max 15 seconds;
- Textual part: text to be customized;
- By clicking on photos, videos or text the user can be redirected to the WeChat mini-program or to the WeChat newsletter;
- Engagement with comments and likes
WeChat Kol promotions
In China, influencers (known as KOL, Key Opinion Leaders) Key Opinion Leaders are even more important than in the West. Their relationship with the fans is intimate and direct and the influence they exert on purchasing decisions can be enormous. For this reason, when you start marketing with WeChat you cannot ignore the collaborations with KOL. Naturally, both the influencers and the content they will convey will be chosen according to the brand identity and the reference community.
Since August 2020 companies that have an official account and a mini-program can use the live streaming function on the platform. Consumers can interact with the host and can receive instant answers and info. Kols and live streaming are a perfect match.
Brands can search KOLs on Wechat or through marketing agencies.
There are two types of campaigns:
- Product Placement: They are the most common way to promote WeChat KOLs. Your product will be featured in an article written by the influencer you are in partner with.
- Product Reviews: This practice is great for your e-reputation. As many WeChat Kols are experts, they will provide many informative comments to potential customers helping them to make the final decision. These campaigns are often associated with a give-away to increase engagement and shares.
2 Examples of Great Wechat Marketing Campaigns
- Perfect Diary group management
Why is Perfect Diary Wechat Marketing strategy working so well:
- The “flirting with Xiaowanzi” function that allows you to add Xiaowanzi as a friend on WeChat. Xiaowanzi is the user name of the girl in charge of running Perfect Diary’s official account, as well as the chat group. And it’s that was carefully selected. Xiaowanzi consists of three Chinese characters: 小 (xiao), 完 (wan), 子 (zi). The middle one “完 (wan)” is the same as the first Chinese character of Perfect Diary’s Chinese name “完美日记”. Therefore, Xiaowanzi is a name that both associates its user to the brand and also appeals to Perfect Diary’s target customers, which are mainly female millennials.
- A couple of times a day, Xiaowanzi posts a mini-program link or announces a promotion in the group, and those who are interested can tap the Mini Program to go directly to the item they want to buy (with a discount of course).
- The pop-up WeChat group is another one of Perfect Diary’s powerful strategies, which operates like a surprising event.
- The pop-up group promotion and live-stream take place at night, after the dinner hour, and before bedtime, so the entire time before customers go to sleep can be spent in the happy-shopping-Perfect-Diary Hour. The pop-up group aims to grab only an hour of the customers’ attention on WeChat, increasing the likelihood of a sale.
- Pandora: Innovative WeChat mini-program Campaign
Compared with other companies, Pandora carefully considered the Chinese market, looking in particular at occasions when young Chinese consumers express their love. On the 20th of August 2020 (Qixi festival day), the brand launched a mini-program, E Jian Lian Ai, which allows consumers to send gifts to their WeChat friends. This is the strongest attempt any brand has made at incorporating social aspects into its operations.
From a technical level, it directly engages the Qixi market with new retail ideas. Each year, on the seventh day of the seventh month on the Chinese calendar, the Qixi Festival or the Double Seventh Festival is celebrated. A holiday almost equivalent to Western Valentine’s Day has been celebrated in China since the time of the Han Dynasty.
It originates from a fascinating legend: Zhinü, the daughter of a goddess, marries the common mortal Niulang and they have two children. However, this marriage causes the discontent of the gods, who bring Zhinü back to the Gods and forbid the two lovers to spend their lives together. From this moment Zhinü and Niulang live their love separated by a mythological Silver River. Only once a year, on the seventh day of the seventh month, the two lovers can meet.
With WeChat Marketing you always have to keep up
Wechat is an app in continuous and rapid evolution. Some of the latest innovations include the addition of delivery service to the mini-programs, the creation of a score and reward system for customers, and the launch of the so-called WeChat Mini shop. Features that will be implemented in brand strategies in the months and years to come. It cannot be otherwise on the Chinese market, where everything moves very fast and every day there is amazing news. It is, therefore, necessary to monitor all the new features of the App proposed by Tencent. Only in this way it can be adequately used for one’s digital strategy in China.
WeChat Marketing: WeChat Channel
This is a new feature within the WeChat ecosystem that allows users, influencers, and brands to create and post short-form content and distribute them through a media feed:
- sub-one-minute videos
- photos (up to 9 pictures in succession)
A similar type of feed as the popular short-video Chinese APP called Douyin (Tik Tok as it’s known internationally). The users can scroll through the feed infinitely to discover what their friends and their favorite brands have posted as well as content from the other users, influencers, and public accounts.
From Channels, WeChat users are able to explore content and follow users that are not in their contact and WeChat Official Accounts that they are not following.
Do you need help with your Wechat marketing strategy in China?
GMA is a marketing agency that helps foreign company grow their business in China. Get in touch with our Wechat expert to get some insights on your project and learn more about our Wechat Services here.