You have a WeChat Mini Program and search to promote it, get visibility on WeChat? You need an agency in China?

This article is for you

 

 

WeChat has become in a couple of years the most famous but also the most used APP in China. International brands are now looking for optimizing the way they can reach their audience through this platform.

Until recently, brands could only have one official account, but since 2017 mini-programs have been set up by the Tencent APP.

We will give you here more details about:

  • WeChat Mini Programs highlights.
  • What does it bring to your brand?
  • How to use it and promote it with efficiency?

 

1.    How to describe a WeChat Mini-Programs (WMP)?

WMP(wechat mini program)  in few words…:

  • Launched in January 2017 by Tencent
  • Over 2000 mini-programs launched at the start
  • An App lighter than any other App: around 2MB

As soon as it got launched, WMP followed a very high penetration rate among different industries such as:

  • Mobile payment
  • Online Videos/Pictures/Music
  • Maps/navigation
  • Retail/E-Commerce & Group buying

Also, as those retail store mini-programs do not require coding capability, it can, therefore, be adopted by a large number of small retailers.

Fast to be developed and pretty cheap, it’s a perfect tool for companies.

“Mini-programs will not replace the mobile APP as you know it, but they will be very efficient to help the main app to acquire new users”

Moreover, with 517 million players in China, WeChat published mini-games that turned out to be very popular. Gamification of the app used by Brands to raise awareness and convert fans.

About mini programs users:

They don’t need to download, install, or register to run the app programmed within the WMP framework. In contrary to the mobile app which will require complex features and functions.

Users can launch a mini-program directly through an official account, a menu or as soon as the user will start following the account for the first time.

To conclude this WMP introduction, here is a list of policies implemented in March 2017 boosting all Mini-programs:

  • Wechat MP can be launched from the WeChat official Account’s menu
  • WMP can be launched from regular or existing 2D code
  • It supports third-party platforms to develop/manage WMP
  • Provide data on the user’s journey (location, visit trend, retentions, and other statistics)
  • An official account can be linked to 3 WMP of different parties or 10 programs from the same developer
  • Can use the same name as the Official Account

So, WeChat Mini Programs sounds good, right?

Here’s what you can do in practice…

 

2.    WMP in real life

You can find a lot of MP useful for your brand… here are some examples of WMP:

  • Music/Videos management
  • Tourist destination audio guide
  • Bike-sharing
  • Voice translation
  • Free WIFI in public places
  • E-Commerce store (very, very, very popular)

Let’s see how brands can use it in their daily operations in China.

Longchamp.

The Luxury French Brand used 2 mini-programs going through personalization and User-Generate-Content.

  1. An online boutique/store: focusing on product customization, they allowed users to custom their unique Longchamp bag, with options such as 2 colors, 3 badges, and an imprint.
  2. Location-based photo-sharing platform: it allowed users to search for the nearest store while using a digital map to find their way there. Following what, users can share pictures of their Longchamp bags with the brand’s community.

Expert advice:

Basic and minimal. The custom function is awesome but could be a bit more developed. However, it provides data and insights that can be very useful to the brand to, later on, provide a better personalization service. For the location app, it helps people to reach easily their favorite store, but also build a community and encourage fans to share pictures. They built there a new ecosystem integrating user’s habits on WeChat.

 

Dior Mini Program

Yes… even Dior needs WMP.

They build here again 2 mini-programs.

  1. Online boutique: they offered limited items ranging from 300 to 600 yuan while offering product introduction and campaign videos matching these ones.
  2. Gift Sharing app: matching with the Chinese Valentine’s Day, they allowed people to offer a gift card with a love message on the cover. Plus, they enable their clients to choose a gift option to be purchased: lipstick or perfume.
  3. Once the client decided what to buy, the lovely card will be sent directly on WeChat and the gift can be picked up from the nearest Dior’s retail store.

Expert advice:

Dior is a well-known luxury brand but they offered pretty cheap items to be purchased, meaning an easier buying decision for the customers. And which lady won’t be happy to get Dior branded gift?… an excellent move to expand its customer base. The virtual gift card is also very interesting. Basically, something working in China, but as a luxury brand, it could lead to a positioning issue… it looks cheap. In that case, people prefer a real luxury wrapped gift.

 

3.    How to use WMP as a key success factor in your brand’s development?

We saw that WeChat mini-programs can be very interesting to engage your community, build brand loyalty, and even enable your customer base to reach a new high.

However, to expect any result with your mini-programs, you need to have people ready to use it. Sounds logical but it’s true.

Don’t forget: WMP = APP.

A very lightweight App (2MB), but still an App. And if nobody knows both your brand & App, nobody will use it…

Therefore, here is some basic advice for you to promote your WMP and get closer to your objectives.

 

Do people know your brand?

If you’re already in China, I’m sure you know how important it is to be visible on Baidu or maybe to have a Weibo account. If not, here’s why:

  1. Chinese people don’t have access to Google, Facebook, Instagram or other Western platforms
  2. Baidu: the Chinese google
  3. Weibo: the Chinese Twitter

Therefore:

  • If they have a problem or look for a product to solve their problem: they’ll check on Baidu
  • If they don’t know you and want to be sure you’re not a scam or fake company: they’ll check on Baidu and on Weibo

But being visible in China is not enough. Thousands of new brands appear every day in this market.

So, to be a minimum well-known and recognize by netizens (meaning to make some sales), successful companies work on their reputation.

In a country of 1.4 billion people, being born is not enough. To be a star you need to work on your fame. It’s the same with products. Here’s how to do it. It’s simple but not easy:

  • Be present on Social media: Open an official WeChat account, be present on Douyin, Youku, and any other social media.
  • Show yourself as a quality brand! use PR, blogs, KOL, and forums. People need to talk about you You’ll need to get positive comments/reviews.
  • Are you making enough money? In China, nobody trusts a brand that is not making money. And Chinese people don’t like to be the first one to buy… So, if you have good products then you need to have some sales and show it. Join E-commerce platforms and show how popular are your products through the huge amount of products you sold.

 

To conclude, you’re in China, people know your brand and you start having a good reputation. It’s perfect. Now you’re ready to promote your WMP and develop: your sales, community, brand loyalty, etc.

How to promote your WeChat mini-program:

  1. Link your WMP to your official WeChat account. Then, it will be easy for your community to access your mini-programs and will allow you to interact with them and integrate them with efficiency.
  2. Use WeChat groups. As you should already be a member of WeChat, you may know about groups. If not, consider that groups are a good way for companies to share information, discounts, coupons and more generally interact with people. You can make your own groups or join other’s groups.
  3. Use ads. It’s a possibility for you to promote your WMP, but ads on WeChat are not very efficient… You’d better use Ads to develop your fan base on Social Media which could, later on, lead to new followers on your WeChat account, meaning new people using your App.
  4. The power of KOL. You can use Key Opinion Leaders or micro-influencers to spread the news about your brand/product/app, among their own community. Chinese people act like sheep… If an influencer tells them “this product/app is awesome, I use it every day…”, they’ll use it. End of the story.

For more information about WeChat Mini-Programs or doing business in China, feel free to contact us.

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