HOW TO DO MARKETING STRATEGICALLY WITH WECHAT - EAST MEDIA
For a marketing strategy on the Chinese market, WeChat is certainly a key point.
Major companies operating in China use WeChat to increase both the reach and the impact they can have on their consumers in a more incisive way than in other ways.
WeChat, owned by the Asian web company giant Tencent , is today a social network that now has over 800 million Chinese users, a little chat, a little social network, a little ecommerce, a little paypal, a little tinder ... Wechat is an app in which we find lots of functions that the Chinese use every day.
For example, the use of Wechat wallet is impressive, which allows a payment service that allows users to pay for products and services without leaving the WeChat app, now used to buy products, pay bills, taxis, share money with friends at the restaurant.
In short, Wechat is a complex and highly structured tool that has no real parallel in the Western world and must represent the starting point for any Italian company to get in touch with our friend, partner, Chinese customer.
How to do marketing with WeChat in a strategic and profitable way?
Let's see some key points to take full advantage of the 800 million users of wechat for a strategic and functional marketing to our business goal.
1. If you don't have a verified official account you are not credible
In China the hierarchy is fundamental and the phenomenon of fake accounts on the Chinese web is very much felt and still little controlled. This leads to differentiating between standard and verified accounts on the market.
In fact, we often follow Italian companies that after years discover that they have several accounts opened in China by "third parties" who, in the absence of a verified official account, communicate and do business under their own name ...
Having an official and verified account means you are really who you say you are so it is the first step for anyone who wants to do serious business in China.
Opening an official channel verified by Tencent takes time (from 2 to 3 months on average, July 2017 data) and a not insignificant investment. The company must release a series of documents that Tencent verifies and certifies. Only after the OK from China will the company be able to open an official verified account with which it is then possible to set the account even in an advanced way rather than activating adv campaign in WeChat moments.
2. Invest in quality content (which appeals to all users, not just Chinese)
Companies create their own official account, so as to be followed by all those who decide to sign up by becoming members of their network. With an official account, a company can attract the public by sharing high quality content through audio messages, videos, photos and texts addressed to their followers. For example 'Treelabs', a Bluetooth speaker brand, offers a daily playlist of songs from different countries around the world. In this way its community can listen to an international music repertoire.
The contents vary depending on the target but a key point is to offer valuable content to your follower.
WeChat messages can be considered as real newsletters that are received as messages from an app that are born as app messages. It is therefore particularly important not to send messages that are not useful or interesting because it could easily have the result of tiring the user who will unsubscribe. Content is really King.
3. Develop customer loyalty programs and strategies
A company can develop its marketing strategy based also on loyalty programs, using geolocation services that identify potential consumers and offer them promotions available nearby.
There are three ways to approach consumers on WeChat:
- Offer a VIP card through the app
- Send promotions
- Give away e-coupons that can be spent in points of sale
For example, Watsons, the personal care giant in China, obviously has an official and verified channel on WeChat.
In addition to standard communication, Chinese customers can purchase its products through a WeChat store. Followers also have exclusive access to his services and receive special discounts at the nearest Watson's store by submitting their position to this account. Create a loyalty process based on your target and use wechat as a tool.
4. Be innovative and creative
WeChat offers countless opportunities, and Tencent has always stood out for innovation.
Official accounts have many possibilities to be customized for the purposes of the company. It is not uncommon for a company to develop WeChat-based apps, such as Smarthotel, an example of WeChat for hotel industry operators.
WeChat allows brands to create small websites to improve the follower experience. Interactive marketing menus; this greatly improves interaction with fans, the ability to share information and services and increases loyalty.
You can then develop internal apps, gaming, couponing, external links ... the tools are there. Many and effective. Use them.
5. Encourage the subscriptions of followers thanks to QR Codes
Companies that want to increase their number of followers on WeChat associate a QR Code with their accounts in as many locations as possible. Online and offline. As soon as someone scans the QR Code they become a member of the community and receive all the shared content.
Brands place QR Codes on their physical products and invite consumers to scan them through promotions, discounts, sweepstakes, souvenirs or WiFi passes. Others also report the QR Code with some tricks since the two platforms are not "friends".
On the other hand, the growth of followers on wechat is particularly difficult because the Chinese user selects a lot of accounts to follow.
5. "Pamper" your followers
With WeChat, you can communicate and advertise your products directly through smartphone apps. Companies attract consumers with special rewards, promotions, or images.
Identifying specific communities is a mandatory strategy in a huge market like China: it is important to share with your new followers a gift that meets their tastes and desires in a specific way, that's why addressing specific categories of users can prove to be a winning move.
6. Use Key Opinion Leaders
Influencers influence. They know your target community better than you do. Research and engage those who speak every day with your target and agree on a message and an appropriate call to action.
In a country like China, Key Opinion Leaders are even more important than here and are often real media to be able to evaluate and manage.
7. Always stay informed about updates
Wechat is constantly and rapidly evolving, in line with the Chinese market where everything is fast. It is therefore necessary to monitor and stay updated in order to use and exploit the new possibilities of use that the Tencent platform recognizes.