Knowledge | How can we use WeChat for Marketing in China?

It is not an exaggeration to say that in China, most people cannot live and work effectively without WeChat. With more than 1 billion active users monthly, WeChat is the platform used by Chinese customers to follow and interact with their favourite brands.

 

What is WeChat?

WeChat is a multi-purpose messaging, social media and payment app. Developed and owned by Tencent since 2011, WeChat is commonly considered to be an ‘app for everything’ or ‘super app’ in China because of its wide range of functions. 

Chinese people typically spend a third of their time on WeChat. As a ‘super app,’ people can use WeChat to do almost everything – from text messaging to video conferencing, to location sharing and more.

Beyond social functions, WeChat has its own payment method called WeChat Pay. Data shows that in 2021, 870 million mobile phone users in China used their phone to pay for goods and services. WeChat Pay has greatly strengthened the online payment and E-commerce environment. It also provides third-party authentication and publishing services, such as checking driving records and news subscriptions.


How can we use a WeChat Business Account?

WeChat business accounts are called “WeChat official accounts”. There are two types: Service account and Subscription account. The Subscription account enables you to post more frequently (daily), while the Service account only allows you to post four times a month. However, notifications for any updates on Service accounts will appear directly in a user’s conversation log, while the posts from a Subscription account are limited in a subscription folder without any visible notifications on WeChat’s main operation panel. Furthermore, many of WeChat’s unique features, such as CRM and custom menus, are only available to Service accounts.

In general, if your product offering is content-centred (e.g. media, key opinion leaders (KOLs), newspapers and magazines etc.), you should go for the Subscription account.

In other cases, especially when you run an e-commerce business, we would suggest that you go for a Service account.

If you don’t have a business licence in China, you are advised to open a WeChat overseas official account. Currently, the only type of official WeChat account for a foreign business which does not have a Chinese business licence is the Service Account.

Once your WeChat overseas official account has been set up, you can use WeChat’s marketing features to engage with your potential customers/partners in many ways, including:

  • Create searchable content for the WeChat ecosystem
  • Create mini programs
  • Set up a WeChat store
  • Advertise on WeChat (WeChat moments, banner ads etc)
  • Display your QR code online & offline

 

How do we operate  WeChat marketing?

Having your WeChat official account set up is only the first step in promoting your business to billions of WeChat users. Just as in English social media accounts, your WeChat official account should present your brand value in the same style as your other marketing channels, while adapting to the culture and Chinese audiences’ habits. 

WeChat posts are mostly in article format, and design and layout may be quite time-consuming if you don’t have WeChat article templates available for different categories of content. 

Some of the following WeChat content calendar services can help you to achieve good results:

  • Content review: review, analyze and categorize content available in English and social media accounts.
  • Content calendar: create a full-year content calendar for your WeChat official account, detailing what, when & how to post articles.

To succeed with WeChat marketing, it is essential that your communication objectives are well defined. Your WeChat account needs to run properly and you must post regularly. Apart from offering creative content of high quality frequently to attract and grow a relevant audience, you also need to manage your followers and analyze campaign results to improve your account performance continuously. Our WeChat Account Management Service includes content creation, followers’ management, backend control and analysis reports by WeChat specialists.

 

What is the WeChat mini program?

WeChat mini programs are apps within WeChat. The majority (95%) of Chinese e-commerce brands use Mini Programs, and there are more than two million mini programs in China now. Many EdTech businesses use WeChat's mini-programs, as any WeChat user can search directly within the mini-program interface, purchase lessons and attend live streaming of online lessons.

 

Can we use WeChat for video marketing?

In 2020, WeChat launched Channels, a short video platform within WeChat. Through Channels, WeChat users can create and share short video clips in a similar way to TikTok. Users can find and follow content posted to Channels through their friends or influencer accounts. Channels posts can include links to your WeChat official account, hashtags and descriptions. 

 

Kick-start your marketing in China

Social media is crucial to drive business growth in China. In 2021, WeChat monthly active users exceeded 1.25 billion, and the number of users is still growing. It is essential to take full advantage of the functions of this super app and use WeChat for marketing in China. Book a free consultation with our team and kick-start your marketing now!

 

Let us help you

At Crayfish.io we want to be your helping hand as you achieve success in China and Southeast Asia. Visit our online marketplace to hire bilingual providers to get your bespoke projects done, or browse our comprehensive range of fixed price services that deliver the best value for money for your cross-border working. For specific enquiries, you can also contact us.