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A Guide To WeChat Campaigns
WeChat requires a Unique Approach
A lot of people tend to compare WeChat with Facebook but this is really not the case. WeChat was created by Tencent originally as an Instant Messaging Application rather than a fully-fledged social network. Later it certainly integrated key elements associated with Facebook such as the ‘moments’ (news) feed and user profiling but ultimately the app is more akin to Whatsapp than FB.
You cannot adopt the same campaign strategies you would use on Facebook as the format and structure of the app is completely different whilst user behavior also varies dramatically.
WeChat Campaigns are the most effective way to increase engagement in China on the nation’s number one social media tool. There are currently a whopping 865 million active monthly users on this application which has developed into China’s primary social network with a host of other integrated features including e-payment, e-stores, taxi ordering, gaming, dating, mapping, geo-localization and ticket booking to name just a few.
Tencent created WeChat to become a ‘one stop shop’ for the Chinese end user and explains why it is so vital to developing intelligent campaigns on this behemoth of an application.
WeChat does not have any established frameworks in-house for campaign management so this will have to be outsourced to the right, specialist agency.
Here are the four main types of campaigns you can engage in on WeChat to grow your visibility, reputation and ultimately sales:
The major purpose of a Q&A campaign is for user feedback, introducing and testing your concept and for user-generated content. Q&A campaigns can often be included in a market survey to validate a concept based on direct feedback from Chinese consumers.
It is a great way to drive engagement and grow your follower base, ‘social approaches’ are evidently the most effective on the WeChat network.
The key is to offer quality incentives and offerings to encourage user participation in this type of ‘WeChat Survey’. It also needs to be connected to your brand.
There are two main types of Q&A campaign:
Follow and comment:
This is typically the most popular way to run this campaign as comments assist with the visibility of the post and increase collective user engagement.
An official account publishes an article which explains the campaign, what is it about? What is the deadline? What information are you seeking?
Only ‘followers’ can comment on WeChat, therefore users will have to first follow your account and then comment below the article itself.
By commenting they are entered into a ‘lucky draw’ type prize system as an incentive to engage with your survey.
The account administrator can select which comments are public and collect all this data. They can also then announce the ‘prize winner’ in the comments section for example.
2. Sending your answer as a private message:
The other option is that users can be entered into a ‘lucky draw’ by sending a private message, this has the effect of increasing audience response via the private instant chat service but it does not assist with the visibility of the post, in the same way, it depends on what time of content you are trying to gather.
If it is a personal question evidently a private message is the best option.
Direct messages sent to an account can be collated and then the winner announce via a push notification from an official account to all followers, you have to follow to be in with a chance of winning. The Chinese like this type of reward based interactivity on WeChat.
With Q&A campaigns you need some followers initially, they can also be incentivized to promote the ‘lucky draw’ in exchange for answering your query to their friendship circle on their moments. It can be a good way to grow your following if the incentive is strong enough. This can be financial, a special experience, an exclusive offer/trip etc.
Exclusive Quality Content Sharing
WeChat is often referred to as the ‘WeChat Times’, this is because users turn to new media platforms for much of the content that informs their worldview, as in the rest of the world traditional print media is a really a dead form.
With this in mind, you can use your WeChat account as a ‘launchpad’ for quality content such as new statistics, data, a white paper, exclusive news etc. This can help increase share rates and follower number.
As the demand for quality content is so high you can require followers to go through a number of steps in order to gain access to this information.
The process tends to look like this:
- A push notification article goes out that details the white paper, what information they will exclusively access and how they can do this.
- This will typically be based on them following the account and then sharing the article on their ‘moments feed’.
- They can send you proof that they have shared this via a screenshot which is shared with your account.
- Upon receipt of this, you provide a link to access the ‘white paper’ or ‘exclusive news’ (for example).
This can create a buzz around your account, peak interest in the information as it is not readily available and help establish you as the expert in your field.
Html5 Orientated Campaigns
This is the most popular campaign type on WeChat with many brands incorporating H5 pages into their posts and official account. This format is optimized for WeChat so therefore increases the quality of user experience in the most direct way.
You can think of an H5 page like a quality mini-site that allows for a high degree of user interactivity.
Most H5 Campaigns revolve around:
- Event Promotion
- Brand Promotion
- Product Introduction
- Market Feedback & Analysis
For event and brand promotion H5 pages are far more flexible in terms of design and format. They can convey that quality brand aesthetic and really help promotional content stand out. They are also highly adaptable when it comes to changing the product ranges and offering etc.
H5 can offer interactivity, multiple page links, video can be incorporated and visuals which respond to a users interaction with the page, in short, this is the most advanced way of ‘branding’ yourself.
This requires the highest budget in terms of page creation as well as how it needs to be marketed and promoted.
WeChat Store Campaigns
WeChat is now truly a ‘social commerce’ platform and campaigns are increasingly adapting to this. Many brands now have their official account connected to their WeChat store.
The issue? There is currently no search function on WeChat for locating a brands store or relevant stores based on keywords. You therefore have to drive traffic through your own marketing efforts.
Some approaches used to drive traffic include:
- Push notifications to followers with QR code link embedded for the store that outlines aggressive, attractive offers.
- Store links can be embedded in posts to groups and communities of followers that you build up.
- A lot of traffic can actually be driven from outside of WeChat to the store via your official website (for example), store payment can be an option given with the QR link.
- H5 pages can facilitate interactivity between the store and official account for a more seamless transition & greater click through and conversion rates.
WeChat campaigns need to be focused, targeted and offer ROI in terms of followers attracted, sales facilitated and brand awareness achieved. It is vital to work closely with a specialist in this area, we at GMA are a dedicated team of 25 international marketers focused on WeChat development.
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WeChat Campaigns need to be properly devised, constructed and implemented to ensure maximum return on investment and results.
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