How to do WeChat marketing: the ultimate beginner’s guide
If you are doing business with China, you might already know that Western social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and so on are banned in China. In fact, Weibo, WeChat, Youku and more are the main social media channels in China.
So how can you use WeChat for business from marketing perspective?
Let’s start with what account you should have for your company.
Which account should I use? How do I register an account as a foreign company?
There are two different types of WeChat official accounts that allow you to stay in touch with your followers:
1. Subscription paid account
2. Service account
A quick comparison
· The Subscription account enables you to post more frequently (daily), while Service account only allows you to post 4 times/ month.
· However, notifications for any updates on Service accounts will appear directly in user’s conversation log, whilst the posts from a Subscription account are limited in a subscription folder without any visible notifications on WeChat main operation panel.
· Furthermore, many of WeChat unique features such as CRM, custom menus are only available to Service accounts.
In general, if your product offering is content centred (e.g. Media, KOL, newspaper and magazine etc.), you should go for the Subscription account. In other cases, Crayfish will suggest that you open a Service account.
How to set up an official WeChat account?
A foreign company could now open an international account using your own business license. It does have some great advantages to control the account completely, although it also has some limitations:
· Service account only
· Higher annual verification fee charged by Tencent (operator for WeChat) -$99
· Certain functions are restricted such as WeChat payment.
We can help you set up your own WeChat account. Click here to find out more.
How to increase my WeChat official account followers?
Once you have your official account set up, you are ready to spread the word and get followers to your account.
1. Content, content, content
As you can imagine, Chinese consumers are being bombarded constantly by brands on WeChat, so it is crucial that your content is informative and consistently good.
People get bored really easily and they will only share your WeChat post if they believe it’s relevant and useful. There are also different types of content that you could publish through your WeChat account, ranging from articles, images, creative posts H5 and videos. I would recommend that you should move away from just publishing articles through WeChat to optimise your account and increase the quality of user experience.
2. Use your QR code
QR code might not be commonly used in the West, but it’s literally everywhere in China.
WeChat automatically creates a QR code for each official account. You can post your QR code on all marketing channels, such as social media, packaging or even your business card. But this doesn’t mean people will just scan your QR code, you’ll need to give people a reason to follow your account. Prizes, discounts, or free gifts can act as great incentive to boost your followers.
3. Use WeChat paid media to run WeChat marketing campaigns wisely
There are two main ways of doing paid advertisement on WeChat. The most familiar way for advertising is to promote on WeChat Moments. A Moments feed appear in the user’s Moments feed flow where a user can see friends’ shared photos, articles, or status updates. Another option for brands are WeChat banner ads which appear at the end of an article published by an Official Account.
Both of these options can be expensive for small brands. But if you are a well-known brand, these can be quite effective to engage with your target audience.
KOLs (key opinion leaders) are popular accounts that already have a large number of followers. They are not necessarily celebrities, but bloggers, or industry experts that have built up a loyal fan base.
Chinese consumer love and trust KOLs. They are much more comfortable with brand sponsored content. In fact, they see it as proof of authenticity of the KOL if they see more sponsored content.
Brands could sponsor the content for KOL to publish on their WeChat account to promote your brand. Depending on the number of followers and the quality of the accounts, the price of sponsorship of a post can vary widely. So please search as many KOLs as possible or look for professional help.
5. Mini programme
Tencent launched mini programmes in 2017 and soon become the trendy channel that many brands in China want to tap into. They are sub-apps within WeChat, built using WeChat’s programming language. They enable to provide advanced features to users such as e-commerce, task management, coupons etc. Mini-programme is not for every brand but can be worth looking into as a way to engage and stay connected with customers.
As you can tell now, WeChat is a very complicated platform when it comes to marketing and it requires expertise and huge energy to manage, especially for SMEs. Our freelancers and partners are able to help you to navigate around WeChat marketing. We also offer a managed package service which includes account set up via Crayfish and WeChat platform management.
If you are interested, why don’t you post a project on Crayfish.io now? You can see some budget suggestions on our Digital Marketing page. We are also very happy to answer your questions.