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Wechat is arguably the most popular and useful mobile app in China, with most Chinese citizens using it for both their personal and professional life. But it’s not just the people who rely so heavily on the increasingly popular app. Wechat has very cleverly developed an abundance of ways in which companies and brands can use Wechat to help their businesses thrive.
When conversing with a new client in order to gage and understanding of their requirements, they all very early on, insist upon having a Wechat account created for them. When further asked why it is they require this, the response is generally along the lines of “I don’t know, but the Chinese use Wechat so my company must do the same’’.
Time and time again I have experienced conversations that follow this pattern. So without further ado, here are the top ways in which Wechat can help lead your company to success.
WeChat Marketing Top Strategies for B2B, B2C
WeChat Followers Acquisition and Engagement is not an easy Job. Competition is more and more fierce and 10% of the Wechat account get 90% of the views, interactions.
Develop your Wechat Visibility is not cost effective at all and Engagement of your Community is the key (and is one of the hardest jobs for Marketers in China)
For B2B, tourism, or services industries, you can use Wechat to communicate with your target audience and generate leads. It is not the most efficient way of doing this (Wechat is a closed platform, so can therefore be difficult for your target audience to find you), but it can work well.
Wechat can also act as a newsletter for your audience. Many Chinese do not regularly check their email accounts, however, they frequently read their Wechat messages. In fact, 70% of the Chinese rely on using Wechat in work over email to communicate with clients, suppliers and colleagues, organize work and read professional information about their work on Wechat when they have time.
It is crucial to have a clear Wechat introduction for your company. The Chinese like fancy presentations, H5 pages, videos and minisites, so it is important to consider these when building your Wechat account. When your audience sees your Wechat account they will decide their first impressions of your company based on your account page, so it is hugely important to get this right
Content is the most important part of Wechat Marketing. It can be difficult to get visitors on Wechat, so producing good quality content regularly can help increase your visibility. Content including useful tips, market information, special offers etc can really help encourage your audience to follow you on Wechat.
Before starting a Wechat project, we usually carry out a content strategy, where we evaluate what the target audience of our client may be interested in and from there, we create articles around that.
Another aim of producing good content is that it becomes shareable content. Whether your audience shares it in targeted groups, by direct message or in their own moments, this all leads to great visibility for your company. To have the best chance of producing shareable content, it generally needs to include:
It is difficult for companies in B2B to produce shareable content, and most of them have the temptation of producing corporate only content. For our agency, if we were to only send information about Gentlemen, we would probably not have many followers. Therefore, we choose to produce added value articles for our broad target audience, including market information, tips to achieve success in China and how to maximize results.
It is a Great plus for a B2B company to have a Digital Brochure, Html5 Page explaining the Company Activity.
As previously mentioned, Wechat is a closed platform and in the early days, you will really need to heavily promote your account and your content. It may sound simple, but 95% of companies in lead generation fail to promote and share their content in groups, forums websites, and other media platforms. Some companies also forget to share their QR code for their Wechat account on their website and with emails to clients. By not doing this, your company is potentially missing out on a lot of followers. Big companies will benefit from having a community manager; somebody that will integrate themselves into targeted groups, will interact with your target audience regularly share your content in groups and on their moments.
Community Management takes time because you first need to identify where your audience exchange information. You also need to spend time finding influencers who appeal to your audience who can also help share and promote your content.
Spending time integrating, communicating with the right message and replying to questions, and creating groups of members of your audience can be very time to consume initially, but can really pay off in the long run.
Having an active customer service base on Wechat can be hugely beneficial in terms of instant interaction with customers who have queries. This is a great way to provide instant and direct information and quotations if necessary.
Robot chats are quite popular in China, as it helps your team avoid having to answer the same question time and time again.
After gaining an understanding of these four steps, many clients will ask ‘’Should I run my Wechat by myself’’? Generally, the setup requires a combination of design, technology, and a thorough understanding of your target market.
Content: If you have the resources to produce quality content, then yes, write it yourself. It can be difficult for an agency to understand specific B2B markets or what the exact needs of the customers are. Agencies can help you to simplify content or make it more appealing.
Community management: Usually Chinese marketers can advise how to identify groups, how to share content, etc, but this can be a simple task for your company to carry out in-house once an understanding of Wechat is gained.
Customer service: It is better if one of your employees can reply to questions and make quotations as they should have a very thorough understanding of your products and services.
Wechat is the most popular communication channel for brands in China. High-end brands like the idea of privileged access and members deals, whilst mass-market brands have to produce viral content in order to receive maximum exposure.
For brands, we recommend having really high-quality design pages, H5 pages, and eye-catching videos to give an attractive introduction of your brand to your consumers. Wechat is a great tool and you can personalize a lot of aspects of your Wechat account to give a personalized image of your brand.
EXAMPLE TWIST AND DRINK
Publish less, but publish better. A service account has a better opening rate than a subscription account by around 7%.
Wechat articles are long, detailed and informative. We encourage our customers to develop a good content strategy and really focus on what their target customers like. (more information )
A video is a new way of producing high-quality brand content. If you have the budget, you can, like Nike, introduce a nice video every week in order to sustain your brand’s visibility and create awareness. If the budget is restricted, develop a video magazine channel, or let users speak about your brands via their own videos.
Video articles are easy to share, and a video engages more users by letting them jump more into the brand’s universe. (see other case studies)
It is always better when you start to have followers to animate your community, with games, online contests or appealing infographics during events.
Wechat is the perfect tool to create a VIP program. Let your users register and receive special privileges for being a follower.
IWOM (Internet Word of Mouth)
Why is Wechat so powerful? Because people trust other people and when one of your followers shares your content or account to their friends, you are more likely to gain a new follower.
Chinese people do not trust in corporate communication and official media and prefer to listen to their own circle of peers.
KOL on Wechat – Wechat popular accounts
There are many key opinion leaders on Wechat who can help share your content with their fans and ultimately increase your number of followers. It should be noted, however, that there are a lot of fake accounts, with fakes followers and fake views.
So how can you identify the right and wrong accounts to use? Good question.
By carrying out a thorough check of the account can help you gain the information that you need. By checking the views of an account, checking the history etc. An account created 3months ago cannot get 1million followers, for example, it takes time. We read their content and assess the quality.
Mister Bags is the leading KOL in luxury.
Advertising on Wechat
You have many ways to advertise on Wechat
Advertising on moments is one way.
Wechat Moment Advertising was expensive. You really need to produce high quality, effective ads for this to become a successful way of advertising.
Tencent is developing a special Technology based on Facebook Ads to target better Wechat Users and allow Brands better results.
You can also advertise through the banners at the bottom of popular articles. It is cheaper and you can pay by engagement or actions. It can be a good way to highlight your account at the beginning but please note, just because people click ‘become follower’ does not necessarily mean they will follow your account. They are curious and will usually unfollow the account if it does not match to their interest.
On Wechat you can now find out what the trending and popular topics and keywords are. This can help guide you to write and produce content based on what is currently popular.
Should I internalize my Wechat Marketing Campaign?
Why Most brands externalize Wechat Marketing.
Copywriting takes a lot of time, and you need really good Writing to get Shares
Promotion On Wechat – Animation of the Account: Most of the time, Chinese marketers working for brands do not have time to spend on sharing content and interacting with people. And if they have time, they do not know how to do it.
Community management on Wechat take a lot of time but is necessary to increase the popularity of the account. It can also detect problems, crisis and complaints. It gives a closer feeling to users, to know that a human is working for the brand and it is not being run by an automated computer.
Games – Event – Buzz: Usually Brand externalize this to a special agency because it requires specific action.
Special development: usually brands give this task to specific companies, not doing marketing but focussing more on development. It is usually 2 different core businesses.
Customer services: The agency can assist and consult on customer service but it is best to do it in the house where customer service agents have more of a specialized and in-depth knowledge of their products and services.
It is quite popular now to develop a Wechat store and sell on Wechat to the community. Many luxury brands have launched a Wechat store, where they can expose their new collection and sell to their VIP customers. Wechat is probably the future of the e-Commerce market because many Taobao shops are disappointed by the commission and the lack of visibility that they have on Taobao/ Tmall. To sell on Wechat, you need a targeted community and a wechat Store (+ Wechat payment).
The first step is to build a community and get followers on Wechat (tips on how to achieve this given above).
As explained on the branding part, you need a good content strategy and community management.
After receiving a certain level of followers or groups, you can start to build your Wechat store and offer your products to your community.
On Wechat, sales are never high the beginning because you do not get free visibility as you sometimes do on Taobao (search engine of Taobao). On Wechat, you have to engage people into following, then expose them to the benefit of your products. It is not a short-term process, like every social networking strategy, but can be rewarding.
One great thing about Wechat stores is that consumers have less choice to compare products to others. (further readings here)
Users can buy straight from the brands official Wechat store to ensure the product is genuine and of high quality.
Trust is difficult to gain on Wechat because comments and notations are not developed. However, word of mouth works well so a lot of Wechat is heavily reliant upon that.
More and more KOL/influencers open their Wechat store to sell directly to their community and Daigous (personal Shoppers) start to develop their business on WeChat, because it is easier to communicate and they can show more loyalty to their clients.
Wechat is a wonderful tool for companies and especially for building brands. Tencent builds an ecosystem around Wechat, Tencent video for Wechat, Tencent music, mini apps. Every year, this super App creates new tools and new options for users.