The Guide to WeChat Marketing for Businesses (5 Easy Steps)
If your business is based in China, or are thinking of targeting the massive market, you can’t overlook the most influential social network platform in the country – which, despite its name, is much, much more than just an instant messaging app.
With 1.2 billion monthly users last year, this super app contains endless “mini-programs” that allow you to chat, shop online, make cashless payments, book tickets, follow brands, watch livestreams, and more.
If that sounds like a lot to you, well, that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to its advanced functionalities.
What’s more, WeChat boasts the official accounts of 1.5 million active brands, with 86% of people in the 18 to 40-year-old demographic, and 50% of users between the ages of 25-35.
So, how does one crack the insanely lucrative platform that boasts a whopping 300 million active daily users? Read ahead to get the low-down on how to market your business effectively on WeChat.
What is WeChat?
By now, you might start to understand the gist of the comprehensive digital platform that is WeChat.
The super app is essentially Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Tiktok, Carousel, and Deliveroo wrapped up into one – all without ever needing to leave the app.
This makes for an unbeatable user experience rooted in convenience and efficiency, one of the most important benchmarks for capturing customers in today’s saturated market where people are constantly overloaded with choices.
Almost every business in China takes advantage of WeChat’s many functions, with a combination of WeChat campaigns, mini-programs (WeChat version of your website) and loyalty programs to crack the massive pool of potential customers.
Step #1: Register an official WeChat account
This step is easy. While you can technically create a ‘personal’ account for your business, registering your business as an official account has much more functions – including increasing your visibility, linking back to your website, and creating engaging advertising campaigns.
Currently, the two official WeChat accounts that target external users are subscription accounts and service accounts.
Subscription accounts allow individuals or organisations to publish once a day and are media channels that send customers information about the brand – best suited for brands that are content or information-based.
Service accounts are sales oriented and provide CRM support, allowing brands to implement WeChat pay functions as well as a WeChat store. Although they can only publish four times a month, service accounts are suitable for larger customer databases or those who wish to access additional functions such as Customer Service or Store Locator apps.
To create an account, simply fill out the required information and submit the official documents for approval by the WeChat team. The entire process should take no more than two weeks, including the verification application.
Step #2: Create an official QR code & Mini-Program to promote your brand
QR codes are embedded into the daily lives of customers in China and are a quick and sure-fire way to gain more followers or link to any new promotions and sales support materials.
You can invite customers to scan the code to access promotions, discounts, lucky draws, and become followers of your community. It’s simple, easy, and the first step in getting people to access your business’s landing page or promotion.
A mini-program is a WeChat “version” of your website and allows you to complete the user experience on the app. Approximately 20,000 mini programs are uploaded every single day. How’s that for competition?
While you need a developer to design and customise the aesthetics and functions, a mini-program should be engaging, interactive, and visually pleasing in order for customers to remain on your site.
Step #3: Create & share high-quality content
You’ve heard the saying: Content is king. People get bored easily, and such is the case with WeChat, where customers are drawn to high quality and engaging content that evoke positive emotions.
With engaging videos, funny images, interesting texts posts that entertain or provide solutions to your customer’s problems, you can accumulate followers who tune into your account to share your posts. In turn, this can help spread awareness of your business to their social circles.
Step #4: Engage customers through loyalty programs
A loyalty program is part of a comprehensive approach to attracting customers and retaining them. With a loyalty program, customers can realise the value and consistency of your business, which is something highly prominent in China.
In fact, 72% of mainland Chinese customers think of themselves as engaged members of loyalty programs compared to a general negative trend of global customers and traditional loyalty programs.
So, creating loyalty programs on WeChat can include:
- Issuing VIP cards
- Sending promotional/seasonal offers and news notifications
- Rewarding clients with exclusive offers and e-coupons
If that seems a bit intimidating – don’t worry – the main focus is not to convert ALL of your customers into loyalty program members. A small portion of a company’s clients can generate over 50% of sales.
Step #5: Create WeChat Campaigns
Our last tip, and perhaps one of the most obvious, is creating engaging WeChat campaign to promote your business or advertise different promotions.
This can be using the classic WeChat banners, which uses flexible, performance-based pricing and allows users to easily access your website. These are shown at the bottom of articles with high subscription and view rates and is a traditional way to grow your presence.
Another way is through a Moments Ad, which is akin to Facebook’s Newsfeed. This cost-effective method allows you to place 15-second video or up to 6 images that advertise to your desired target audience group.
In China, KOL (key opinion leaders) exert a huge influence on their followers – even more so than in the West. With a close relationship with their fans and followers, their purchasing power can be tremendous.
If carefully chosen, a suitable KOL is an insanely effective way to promote your business and products through two main campaigns:
- Product placements through featuring your product in articles and videos created by the influencer.
- Product reviews so that their followers can receive first-hand information and help potential customers decide to purchase. Giveaways often follow product reviews to increase engagement and shares.
WeChat is an incredibly powerful platform essential for any business that seeks to expand to the Chinese market. With its huge user base and an endless range of marketing tools, WeChat is a lucrative and cost-effective method that can grow your customer base and lead to those much-needed conversions. What’s more, its sheer flexibility and user-friendliness allows you to get super creative with your campaigns, and if done right, lets you stand out from the competition.
Working with a digital marketing agency in Hong Kong with tried-and-tested experience in WeChat marketing allows you to leverage the localised market knowledge and technical expertise to lead to results that deliver. Find out how you can access new demographics, increase visibility, and grow revenue with the help of a professional digital marketing agency today.