Successfully acquiring WeChat followers is only one piece of the puzzle in your WeChat marketing campaign. It is important to continue to keep users engaged to develop brand affinity and help drive users to conversion. Here are some tips on best practice:
WeChat content marketing
If there’s one thing the experts always tout about WeChat, it is the importance of content marketing. According to Stephen Wang, Director of User Growth and Engagement at WeChat, the amount of Official Accounts articles that users read each month is equal to the length of a novel. A recent WeChat survey also found that useful and emotionally touching articles are shared the most, so if you’re looking to achieve cut-through in a crowded environment, providing utility and emotional connection is key.
How to improve the effectiveness of your WeChat content marketing:
- Plan your content at least a month in advance. Be sure to come up with creative takes on hot topics such as festivals and holidays to maximise engagement and leverage viral effects.
- Ensure content is useful, authentic and highly relevant to your target audience (personas can be a great asset in planning). This also means speaking to your audience in a tone that resonates with them. Don’t be too formal and be sure to use the local netizen slang.
- Ensure content is posted consistently – followers will drop off if not engaged on a regular basis.
- Ensure content is high quality and written specifically for WeChat, using an appropriate tone – no running articles through Google Translate!
- Use pictures and videos to support your content
- Good content marketing is, above all, about building a relationship with leads, so be sure you are giving more than you are taking. That is, be sure you are providing value more so than promoting your brand.
Another great way to engage users is by building HTML5 pages within WeChat to increase interaction via gamification. A simple, visually appealing game, with perhaps an incentive thrown in, such as a discount or coupon, can help to encourage participation and go a long way towards developing brand awareness – that is, if the game is well-aligned with your brand messaging and overall campaign objective. Below is an example of a HTML5 page created for premium baby formula brand Alula. It allows parents to compare their baby’s sleep quality to that of other babies in China. It’s a fun and engaging way to appeal to digitally savvy, competitive Chinese parents that ties in well with the brand’s ‘sleep better, grow better’ launch campaign.
Direct Conversations/ Group Chats
WeChat presents a unique opportunity to engage in direct conversations with leads and customers who are enquiring about your product or service. Develop strong customer relationships by answering all queries promptly and providing useful information (chatbots can help to automate and scale this process).
Creating groups can also be a good way of building an online community around a brand-related interest. These can be great for marketing purposes, as these groups tend to be highly engaged and messages have a high visibility.
Groups, however, can be difficult to scale, as they are limited to 500 people. After you reach that limit, you will need to create another group to invite more WeChat users.
Promotion and Conversion
Promotions, such as discounts, coupons, giveaways or even Red Packets, have been shown to be highly effective in the WeChat space. Encourage users to follow you with an incentive, and reward conversion by offering them exclusive promotions. Users are also very responsive to exclusivity, so ensure that anything you offer cannot be found anywhere else. You could also create group chats for particularly active customers, and use the group chat to reward them with promotions, creating a community and further accentuating the exclusivity of the offer, thereby delighting them and encouraging positive word-of-mouth.
Your top read or liked posts can also be sales drivers if you link the post to your online or WeChat store. Important note: due to the rivalry between Alibaba and WeChat, you can’t link to your Tmall store from your WeChat account.
A Service Account allows users to easily access your WeChat Store via the menu at the bottom of the screen. Alternatively, you could build your store as a Mini Program. Whichever option you decide is best, it is essential to integrate WeChat Pay to make payment quick and simple, thereby helping to facilitate sales in the most effective way.
The user experience should also be as good, if not better, than the experience users would have on your website. WeChat users are used to being able to complete many different functions all within a single platform, so consider how to make your WeChat Store or Mini Program as immersive as possible, for instance by taking advantage of WeChat’s shopping cart and payment function for a seamless transaction.