With the WeChat ecosystem expanding and becoming increasingly powerful in China, it’s a necessity for your business to have a presence on the platform. Irrespective of the domain of your company, you’ll certainly find your target audience on WeChat. For this reason, it’s important to create a WeChat Marketing Strategy that helps you achieve your business goals.
1. Set Up Your WeChat Official Account
Setting up a basic presence on WeChat is the first step for any business thinking of marketing in China. This is done by creating your company’s WeChat Official Account. Not only does this account help your business get credibility in front of Chinese customers, it also acts like a website. You can use it to post content, receive messages, and build a brand. You also need this account if you plan to run any advertisements on the WeChat platform.
WeChat is one of the first places Chinese customers turn to when searching for information about any company. If they search for your brand name, and no WeChat Official accounts come up, they might hold back from trusting your business.
With a WeChat Official Account, your company comes across as legitimate and the platform also provides the customers an avenue for customer support. Even if you don’t plan to start advertising on WeChat, setting up a WeChat business account will help build trust with your target customers.
There are two types of accounts that can be setup – Service accounts and Subscription accounts. International companies can only register for a Service Account. For a Subscription Account or Enterprise Account, your company must be registered in Mainland China.
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2. Analyze Your Competitors
While a basic presence on WeChat is a must, your entire strategy for digital marketing in China should not rely on WeChat. While WeChat can help you generate quality leads, it’s not the best driver of traffic and relying on this platform alone can be expensive.
It’s important to analyze your competitors to understand how they are incorporating WeChat into their marketing strategy. You might notice that for your business audience, platforms like Weibo, Zhihu, Douyin or Xiaohongshu seem to be working for your competitors. If that’s the case, you can let your WeChat account act like a hub for all brand information. You can even distribute the content that you create for other channels.
For your analysis, pay attention to the social media engagement metrics (likes and comments) on each platform. Also, analyze what type of content performs well for your business niche. You should also notice where your competitors are advertising as it might help you determine which platform has the best ROI.
3. Create A Winning Content Strategy
WeChat is highly saturated with content as many accounts push quality content on a regular basis, either in the form of posts or WeChat ads. Since an average WeChat user only follows around 20 public accounts and spends only around half an hour per day reading articles, you need a winning content strategy to stand out and be remembered.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when creating content for WeChat users –
- Make sure that your content sparks positive emotions.
- Have a clear vision of your target audience and craft content that meets their needs.
- Try to arouse curiosity and stand out by using a unique and consistent brand tone.
- Create content to answer your target customers’ common questions
- If you’re using graphics, they should be branded and visually engaging.
The best WeChat articles have eye-catching creatives and interesting offers to engage users. Brands also place their QR codes in these articles that can be scanned to access their WeChat Mini Program where users can make purchases.
4. Leverage The Right WeChat Marketing Tools
After you’ve set up your WeChat Official Account, completed competitor analysis, created content strategy and started posting content, you still need to create processes to get conversions. WeChat has various tools to help you create a complete marketing funnel to nurture and convert followers.
WeChat Customer Relationship Management (CRMs)
While brands across the world communicate with customers over SMS or email, in China, WeChat acts as the main hub and the point of interaction for brands and customers.
WeChat has a CRM system that offers all features such as data storage, campaign management, lead management, and customer service. The data collection system of WeChat is so advanced that it allows brands to accurately segment their audience and create targeted campaigns for each segment.
WeChat Social Media Listening (SML)
Want to know what people are saying about your brand? There are tools that allow brands to set-up alerts for keywords when social media users mention them. These tools are important for your customer research as they help you understand their perceptions and attitude towards your brand without having to search through millions of social media posts manually.
Brands can also use these tools to monitor their competition and ensure they’re getting a higher share of voice (SoV).
WeChat Mini Programs are sub-applications within the WeChat ecosystem that let users access any Web App without leaving WeChat. There are many functions of WeChat Mini Programs but currently they can be categorized as – Games, News, Utility, and E-Commerce.
WeChat serves as a great platform O2O due to the large DAU base of WeChat and its integration with WeChat Pay. For this reason, even the shopping platforms like JD.com, Xiaohungshu, and Meituan have their own Wechat Mini Programs. These Mini Programs complement their standalone apps by bringing quick conversions from WeChat. With Mini Programs, customers can complete a closed-loop purchase process quickly without ever leaving WeChat App.
A WeChat shop or store is your brand’s e-commerce platform that exists within the WeChat App. It’s like a mobile website that is connected directly to your Official WeChat Account.
Having a WeChat store can help you drive a lot of direct purchases as customers can pay for your products and services from within WeChat. This cuts down the number of clicks it takes for them to pay for an item and provides a better user experience.
You can use various strategies to drive traffic to your WeChat store such as cross-promotion with other WeChat Accounts, KOL and KOC marketing and paid ads.
WeChat QR Code
WeChat QR codes provide immense marketing opportunities for businesses. WeChat users can scan the code to access exclusive content, easy payment, information related to a product, or special discounts. By being creative and thinking out of the box, you can incentivize target users to scan your QR code and you’ll maximize traffic and engagement. You can also get innovative with your QR design to stand out and enhance your brand image.
On WeChat, it’s common for the users to interact with each other through group messaging. WeChat Groups are used not only to connect with family and friends, but also to participate in interesting discussions, promote business, shop, sell, educate or network.
Being a part of a WeChat group relevant to your business can assist your brand’s marketing campaign and help you reach a larger market. They will also provide you with relevant insights about the Chinese market.
5. Plan Your WeChat Advertising Strategy
Due to its high costs, WeChat advertising is best used to drive conversions that happen within WeChat App. Any additional steps are likely to lower the chance of a conversion. WeChat Moments ads are best used for marketing activities such as event registrations or coupon distributions.
If you have a WeChat Mini Program, you can get good conversions from WeChat ads and even KOL campaigns.
Creating a successful WeChat strategy requires a lot of research, understanding of the platform and Chinese customers. But once you set-up an account and start running campaigns, you will learn and improve. Eitherways, your presence on WeChat will pave the way to success in the China market as it’s one of the most important Chinese social media platforms.
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