In China more than anywhere else, instant chat applications are increasingly used and represent a real challenge for companies wishing to break into the digital market. With a strong head start, WeChat is the undisputed leader in China and offers to brands an efficient way to communicate. Here we will give you some insights of what this application can offer to its professional customers.
What is WeChat?
WeChat is an instant chat application, a platform allowing everyone to freely discuss with messages, audio or video worldwide. WeChat has other more or less core features such as the location, file sharing and even remote payments. These features make the application popular and it is targeting both a public and a professional audience (the application has around 700 million users). But how to take advantage of the popularity and functionality of your WeChat communications to succeed in China?
The different types of account
Before you jump into your WeChat adventure, you must know its basics and know what type of account you need. There are two types: subscriptions accounts and service accounts.
The subscription accounts
If you are a business and you want to open an official account, the subscription account is the basic choice. It will allow a fairly basic method of communication approaching Facebook and Twitter in terms of marketing on social networks. A major advantage of the “subscription account” is the possibility of being frequently linked to its target, because unlike the other type of official account, you can send more messages to your followers each week.
However there will be no push notification and these messages will be searchable in a folder grouping subscription account’s publications as shown in the image below. Not allowing mobile payment or the creation of interactive menus, this type of account will suit a business strategy focusing just on publishing regular content.
The service account is the premium choice for a company wishing to have an official account on WeChat. It offers more features than the subscription account such as the creation of mini applications, creating mini sites, direct sales of products with instant mobile payment as well as the location of outlets. Unlike subscription account, it limits the message sent to the followers by 1 per week, however these will come up into as push notifications, which will necessarily result in better click rate. This type of account is suitable for companies wishing to provide a good user experience to its customers thanks to quality services and a simplified e-commerce offer and integrated into the application.
You can read more about WeChat digital strategy in China.
What happened once the account is opened?
Like any other social network, the keywords for your success is “content” and “user experience”. Combining interesting content in a fun and entertaining way to use or consult your WeChat page, you put all the chances on your side to succeed and reach your target in the best of ways.
It is not translation, it is not simple content… it is Content Marketing. Engagement is the Key, the user at the end of your content, needs to do something. Share, think, send to his friends, comments or just like it….
Wechat a loyalty tool!
To make your customers loyal nothing is better than educating them. To achieve this objective, you can seduce them with interesting content. However, before users can follow you on WeChat, you will have to attract them, because unlike Facebook, users are not passive and do not receive brand communications from brands they do not follow. Therefore, nothing is better than creating a buzz or using controversial content or KOLs, those seems to be the best solutions.
Once you catch your customer’s interest, keep interacting with them with buzz videos that you can share. Content is very important in educating the followers to make him/her no longer a prospect, but a customer. More by being in direct relationship with the client, you can tailor your content to their request.
Improving user experience
In order to engage fans, you can also innovate on how you communicate. WeChat offers many solutions to innovate and make your communication more interesting. For example, WeChat allows you to offer to your followers small games, very simple but very attractive, in connection with your brand.
For example the airline China Southern Airlines launched a game where you can fly a plane through the touch screen. Simple but effective. With this game and the buzz generated more and more Internet users started to follow the company on WeChat, who now only has to communicate with them. The user experience on WeChat is also allows the possibility for companies to create mini websites dedicated to your brand directly on the platform. This will facilitate decision information and e-commerce strategy. This will makes all the purchasing consumer experience easier than ever.
To differentiate you from the other competitors in China and on WeChat, you have to rely on these two aspects that appear essential in your digital marketing strategy.
How to promote your Wechat ?
- On Moment …
- User can share your content on their moments feed to attract readers and potential followers.
- On Groups
- On targeted group, your content can be appreciated when posted to relevant groups.
- On other plateforms
- Teiba, douban, weibo…. All platform can be utilized to attract readers.
- Advertising … (*)
- In your shops, at events … all ways are useful to let more people know your channel.
What advertising options on Wechat and how much does it cost?
WeChat introduced advertising to the platform in 2015. If you have enough money you can buy ads that will appear in user’s Moments feed, this way to promote your brand is quite similar to Facebook ads on mobile. According to techNode, a specialized website, the ads cost between RMB 40 and RMB 140 for one thousand impressions (CPM). This price depends on cities advertisers are targeting, of course Shanghai and Beijing are the most expensive.
In April, Wechat decrease the Advertising minimum budget to 50,000 rmb. More information here.
Different type of WeChat advertising method
In order to grow your number of followers on this app, you will need to create an advertising campaign. Different option are available to you. First you can do a KOL campaign, which means that you will use the influence of someone to attract new followers related to this famous person. You can also use a viral marketing campaign, by combining technology and incentives, you can make social campaigns, which leverage the social nature of WeChat.
You can be inspired by Nike, which played the card of the viral strategy, introducing a new way to customize their choose:
Promote your QR code, the key of the success?
In China more than any other country, people use a lot of QR codes. It’s a true opportunity for companies mostly in big cities because Chinese people are familiar with scan to add activity. You have to make sure that your QR code is featured in all the point of purchase materials.
Then, the secret is to give your customer the will to scan your QR code, so give them a small reason like discount, lucky draw or even wifi password. Finally, if your brand already has a big number of followers on Weibo or any other social medias, leverage them! Put your WeChat QR code on your Weibo or other platform to promote your activities.
By the way do not forget to follow us, we provide great tips for marketer on on Wechat. 😉
To conclude, WeChat is now the best online platform for you to make your brand in China, even better than your website. It is therefore very important for you to master different aspects to take full advantage of it in China. In the digital age, wechat has won the Digital battle and is the leader of social medias in China….
About the Author:
Olivier Verot is the founder of Gentlemen Marketing Agency, which is an agency based in Shanghai that focuses on Chinese travelers and tourism. Fluent in Mandarin and exploring the various Chinese digital Strategies, he helps tourism companies to develop their China strategy. Thanks to his analyzes of Chinese consumers’ behavior, he has been recognized as an expert on the subject of marketing in China and tourism.