This article first appeared on Maximize Social Business in its original form.
Vine Clones in China
If you follow the tech industry in China and around the world, than you should know that “Clones” are very common within the industry. So, it is no surprise to see Vine clones in China. The two most popular Vine clones are Weishi and Wanpai. We will talk about each app and how marketers can use these apps to reach their target markets in China.
Wanpai was created by YouTube founders Hurley and Chen. According to Tech in Asia, “Vine’s Chinese doppelgänger is called Wanpai, and it brings the video-sharing fun to Chinese social networks Sina Weibo, Tencent Weibo, and Renren.” Wanpai allows for social sharing on some of the more popular social sites in China. This app is basically a clone of Vine, from the user interface to the video feed.
According to TechCrunch, “The content stream is also very Vine-like, except for the salmon theme color instead of Vine green. It shows an Instagram-style vertical feed of one clip after the other. Unlike Vine, users must tap each clip to get it to play, but things like comments and likes are all in the same place.” The major twist with Wanpai is it has been designed for Chinese users in mind, so, it provides additional features within the app like the ability to add filters, choose to include or mute audio, and decide the direction the video will play in. Many videos seem to enjoy playing with the revise play filter, but few brands seem to have embraced short form video in China.
Weishi was created by Tencent and it is also a Vine-like app. But unlike Wanpai, it has one major advantage: WeChat. Weishi allows videos to be shared within the WeChat app, which currently has over 430 million users. According to The Next Web, “Recording a video on Weishi is exactly like how you’d do it on Vine or Instagram. There are additional bells and whistles on Weishi though — other than filters, which Instagram also has, Weishi lets users add background music and watermarks to their videos. They can even choose from six themes that come with preset music and watermarks.”
How popular is Weishi? To understand how popular these video’s are here is an example: This video was uploaded and received over 1.4 million views within a week. The video is a simple 9 second video of a nurse waking up a patient in a less than tolerable way. The Next Web also said, “The app, Weishi, which is only available in Chinese for now, chalked up 160 million video views in a single day on Valentine’s Day this year, which also coincided with the Chinese Lantern Festival.”
Tencent is a major player in the Chinese internet industry with multiple apps and products that boost user bases of hundreds of millions. So, it is no surprise to see Weishi receiving millions of views per day. But, again like on Wanpai, there seems to be few brands sharing content, which leaves the door open for foreign brands to capitalize on this untapped marketing tool.
Marketing with Tencent Weishi and Wanpai
Marketing on Weishi and Wanpai is similar to marketing on Vine or Instagram. Videos, like this one, use product placement to market a product. In the video, a man is using Coca-Cola cups and is standing in front of a Coca-Cola vending machine. The video has received over 50,000 views and over 200 “hearts.” This type of marketing is become more popular in China and is effective in short form videos because it is often hard to voice advertisement within 6-10 seconds and still create compelling content.
According to intuit, the best marketing on short form video highlights Workplace Culture, Products and Services, or involves Crowd Participation.
Short videos showing clients and customers your workplace culture leads to greater transparency and trust. These short videos showing employees enjoying their work and workplace create a human element around your brand, which often leads to greater trust and loyalty. At the same time, employees can be using products or services allowing a natural product placement within the short form video.
Another marketing technique is to involve crowd participation. One notable campaign was started by General Electric. According to TalkingTree Creative, “Their #6SecondScienceFair campaign got tons of engagement by asking users to submit 6 second videos of simple and interesting science projects they came up with; rocket ships made out of tea bags, for example. Over 600 people submitted videos, and GE later released a compilation video which garnered 800,000 views.”
Intuit also provided additional tips for marketing on Vine, which can be considered for Weishi and Wanpai:
- Have a well-thought out plan for your posts. What kind of impression do you want to leave with your followers? What do you want them to do?
- Give an otherwise boring idea a new and exciting outlook. For example, clothing retailer ASOS reminded its customers how exciting it can be to open a package from an online order with a fun demonstration.
- Use illustrations to make your video unique and memorable. You can also use drawings to provide humor or nostalgia, such as an animated flick book.
There are many different strategies that can be used on Weishi or Wanpai, but again, like on Vine and Instagram, humor seems to be the clear winner. When creating short form videos, consider how your product or service can be used to create humorous situations or how your product can be placed within these situations. Overall, getting your content on Weishi and Wanpai will be a step in the right direction and allows you to capitalize on two under utilized marketing channels within China.