Any enterprise looking to use social media as a means of engaging with existing, new and potential customers in China needs to ensure that it develops and implements an effective WeChat marketing strategy.
What makes marketing on WeChat such an exciting way of engaging with a wide range of clients in both the B2C and B2B sectors is the variety of options and approaches available. There is no single, sure fire WeChat promotion strategy — rather, it is a platform that rewards innovation and interaction, and there are multiple approaches that marketers can take.
In this article, we will explore the many different approaches to WeChat marketing that have proven to be successful in leveraging access to the Chinese market, and why WeChat B2B and B2C marketing needs to embrace a wide range of strategies in order to reach the largest possible potential customer base.
WeChat Content Marketing is all About Creating Quality Content
A WeChat marketing strategy is no different to other forms of promotion in that creating quality content for users should always be at its core. How you do that will naturally depend on your sector, products, audience and much more, but making sure that the content is engaging and targeted is essential, regardless of your audience.
WeChat content marketing is one of the most important ways in which enterprises can introduce and increase brand awareness in China. In order to do this successfully, however, it is important to understand which features on the platform users engage with most consistently, and tailor content to meet these expectations.
For instance, a successful WeChat marketing strategy will utilise the popularity of the Moments feature. This is the way in which users share content with select groups of contacts, including photos and videos, text posts and links. As these are shared with groups rather than publicly (except for a user’s first 10 posts), most content posted via Moments achieve high levels of engagement.
Like most digital marketing platforms, the success of marketing on WeChat also depends on posting and updating content regularly, and so understanding what types of content create the most engagement is essential. If you are new to WeChat and creating content for this platform, it can therefore be helpful to work with WeChat marketing services specialists in order to get a better handle on the sort of content that is most widely shared.
This is important because WeChat content marketing depends on users sharing amongst their contacts, so creating emotional, engaging and entertaining content that users want their groups and friends to see is essential. It can be useful to think of sharing as the online equivalent of word of mouth promotion, so your content needs to be based around what Chinese users and consumers enjoy and find valuable, and want to share with their friends as a consequence.
As well as developing native content, businesses with an official WeChat account can also employ different types of paid ads (depending upon the size of the enterprise), and these can in turn be linked to the full range of WeChat landing pages, including articles, events and Mini Programs, as well as your brand profile page.
WeChat marketing also needs to take into account the fact that users are encouraged to stay within the platform rather than follow external links, so it pays to take the time to develop a comprehensive profile page and brand identity as a starting point from which to launch your content.
WeChat Loyalty Programs create high levels of engagement
It has been shown by successful WeChat marketing services providers that creating Loyalty Programs is a highly effective way of engaging — and then retaining — users.
One of the reasons why WeChat is so widely used by Chinese consumers and enterprises is that it offers a huge range of features (much larger than many other comparable platforms), including functions designed specifically to encourage users to remain on the platform, rather than following links to third party sites and apps.
Therefore, given the scope of the platform and the extent to which users engage with it, wherever possible it makes sense to incorporate rewards for loyalty as part of a WeChat promotion strategy.
Loyalty schemes are an excellent way of establishing brand identity, and provide exciting opportunities for targeting content for specific audiences. For instance, location services can help you to create WeChat marketing campaigns that have a specific focus depending on where users live (as well as their other preferences), which is especially helpful for enterprises looking to associate a brand with a particular region and rewarding users in that city, town or district.
The sorts of rewards you provide can vary depending on your audience, products or industry. Some popular examples of how you can use a loyalty program in a WeChat marketing strategy include discount/special offer coupons that are customised for individual users, VIP cards, and personalised in-app promotions.
The smartest operators also seek to partner with other companies, so that customers can enjoy offers that meet a range of needs, and then get rewarded for shopping with those partners as well as with you.
Loyalty schemes are also a helpful way of getting to know the likes and dislikes of your target audience, which means you can be much better informed when developing a WeChat promotion strategy.
QR Code Marketing is Essential to WeChat Promotions
Regardless of whether you are selling to clients individually, or you are creating a WeChat B2B marketing campaign, QR codes are a popular, effective and easy-to-use tool that makes it quick and easy for users to find and access your content.
In particular, QR codes are especially helpful at promoting any special events your brand may holding, as younger users are very used to finding out about events and booking tickets in this way.
It is important for foreign enterprises to understand that Chinese users have a long association with QR codes and have generally used them for a wide variety of purposes for many years. This is why any form of marketing on WeChat should incorporate QR codes, and they should in turn be linked to all of your marketing collateral, across all platforms and media.
WeChat users will expect this, and so including QR codes as part of your marketing materials will give Chinese users greater confidence in your brand, and will also encourage sharing through Moments and across other social media platforms.
15 Top Tips for Creative and Innovative WeChat Marketing
- Ultimately, the success of a WeChat marketing strategy will depend on how willing you are to be creative and innovative. The platform offers a plethora of opportunities if you are willing to take the time to explore them all, so it pays to utilise as many features as possible as part of your WeChat promotion strategy.
- You also need to make sure that your content is imaginative, targeted and high quality. In addition, it should be shareable in order to make the most of your users’ networks and contacts, in the same way that word of mouth operates in real life.
- A very effective way of doing this in China is through the use of Key Opinion Leaders or influencers. These sorts of celebrities and public figures have proven to be highly valuable to a successful WeChat marketing strategy, as they can bring a lot of people to your brand who might not otherwise discover you.
- In all of this, the key message is to know your audience. One of the best ways of doing this is to make your content as interactive as possible. Users appreciate being able to engage with brands (both positively and negatively!), so you should aim to build a WeChat promotion strategy where interactivity plays a central role. This includes regular loyalty rewards and incentives for your followers, as this creates a sense of community and belonging, essential to growing a brand.
- This is also a highly effective way of collecting feedback that you can utilise in your CRM. and ensure that your WeChat marketing services are as well informed and data driven as they can be.
- Likewise, in devising a WeChat content marketing strategy, you should take advantage of the fact that the platform enables you to produce a wide variety and range of content. Don’t limit yourself to just one type of post; instead, explore WeChat in full and discover the different ways you can get your content out to users.
- In particular, make the most of micro sites that act as a focal point both for specific campaigns and for your brand in general, as well as WeChat games and competitions that encourage higher levels of engagement and interaction than many other forms of media.
- At the same time, however, don’t let this seduce you into a scattergun approach. You do need to have a specific strategy in place when you are marketing on WeChat, as this will help to ensure that you create a consistent brand identity combined with key messages that your audience can engage with.
- In terms of more concrete, practical tips, it is important to ensure that you take the time to produce imaginative, eye catching titles when creating content for your WeChat promotion strategy. It is a competitive space, and especially if you are a new or emerging brand, you need a way to entice users to click on your content, and titles are a highly effective way of doing this.
- As a further part of your engagement, it is a good idea to set up automatic replies (if you have an official account), as this features uses automatic keyword recognition to ensure that you respond promptly to queries and questions from your users.
- You should also consider creating a service account rather than a subscription account, as this gives you the most options for business. It enables you to respond to enquiries, promote specific products or services, and send your followers direct messages, which can be a highly effective way of WeChat marketing.
- It might be the case that becoming a WeChat Partner is the best way to get the most out of your WeChat marketing strategy, as this means you are essentially collaborating with WeChat which can significantly and rapidly increase the exposure of your brand and profile.
- A key feature that businesses should utilise more fully (but often don’t) is customisable sub menus. These are an effective way of giving users access to links, and which streamlines the whole process for your followers if set up properly.
- In addition, you should also integrate your e-commerce sites, so that if you sell products or services, users are able to pay quickly and easily without leaving the platform. This is important as more and more consumers on WeChat have become used to making payments in this way. Likewise, ensure that any websites linked to your brand load quickly, are mobile friendly and have an intuitive UI that looks good on any sort of portable device.
- Once you become more familiar with how WeChat operates, in particular the Moments feature, you should also consider devising ads to promote your content. These work in a similar way to Facebook ads, and enable you to use text, images and links to your brand profile, so are a great way of introducing yourself to new and potential users.