Digital engagement in China with WeChat

Digital engagement
17 Jun 2020

All the secrets to create digital engagement in China, thanks to WeChat

Innovation and technique are the necessary elements to effectively approach the Chinese digital market and optimally involve local users, offering them not only quality products, but also a dedicated communication and marketing strategy. All this can be done on WeChat, the most popular local messaging platform with over 1.1 billion users (about 80% of the Chinese population).

The WeChat ecosystem, which includes many applications for personal and professional use, allows to successfully tell, promote and sell a brand in an original and creative way. But how can you fully exploit its potential?

1. Analysis of the market and competitors

Knowing the context is the main factor for defining an action plan capable of making the best use of WeChat. An in-depth analysis allows to know the sector trends, avoid inappropriate expectations and plan a coherent positioning, with adequate pricing and communication, aware that WeChat is just one of the touch points through which to engage users and turn them into potential customers.

A careful study of competitors’ strategies leads to discover the digital channels on which they are most active, how much, when and what they publish and what their audience’s reactions are, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of their approach, avoiding repeating mistakes.

What does an optimal analysis offer?

  • Industry assessment
  • Competitors benchmarking
  • Debates with focus groups
  • Online data collection

2. Determine your target audience in China

A proper market analysis also leads to finding the audience of choice: a crucial second step in defining an optimal strategy, without which one can hardly expect to be successful in China.

Choosing your target, within a vast and densely populated geographical area, means defining the buyer persona extremely accurately. In fact, it is not enough to prefer large urban contexts or the most interesting age groups, but it is necessary to carefully study the digital behaviours of the ideal consumer.

What type of websites does he visits? What does he read online? What does he usually buy and on which e-commerce or marketplace? How much time does he spend on social networks? What are his interests?

Answering all these questions in an exhaustive way helps to better organize the marketing and communication plan that will serve to reach the outlined target, offering personalised content capable of interesting and triggering the engagement process.

3. Choose the WeChat account that fits you best

Depending on the sector, the communicative-commercial intentions and the target audience, WeChat offers companies different types of accounts. Choosing the most suitable one is not always simple: each account has different functions, designed for different needs.

 WeChat Service Account

Used by many medium and large enterprises.

It allows great visibility to the brand, thanks to its position within the application – just above the user’s contacts list, to the push messages automatically generated at each publication and to various advanced features. However, it guarantees a limited use, with only 4 posts per month, each up to six articles at a time. Perfect for raising brand awareness, especially for businesses with a large and consolidated audience.

WeChat Subscription Account

Often used by media companies and publishers. It allows to publish once a day, offering more freedom and autonomy to corporate communication. Its visibility is however limited due to its positioning in a dedicated folder and within the user’s contacts list. It is the ideal solution for those who need to publish a lot of content or manage online sales, without advanced functions. Perfect for raising brand awareness and conveying a lot of information or content.

Enterprise Account (WeChat Work)

Primarily used for internal communication. Ideal for those looking for an agile but effective tool for managing their business and organisation, thanks to the dedicated functions that allow opening internal chat rooms, making video conferences and sharing content. However, this type of account does not allow access to the public or marketers. Perfect for visibility among partners and managing information with the highest level of security.

4. Define the marketing strategy

WeChat does not only have a high communication potential, but it also allows to develop a marketing funnel process, thanks to the integration between the application and a dedicated Customer Relationship Management system.

A good CRM system, able to collect a lot of data and manage it in a flexible way, allows to segment the audience generated by the activity on WeChat and organise targeted campaigns for each category of users.

Social Media Listening activities should also be undertaken to help understand the most popular trends and the orientation of the social audience in China, as well as allowing brands to know when users have mentioned them.

A solution that serves these needs at best is ICONIC,the Retex platform that, besides enabling the use of WeChat for the sale, collects and organises the data regarding your followers, integrating it with the main company CRM systems.

It is important to remember that also the content contributes to making a marketing strategy successful. Creating quality content, capable of conveying brand values ​​and reaching your target audience by generating brand awareness, traffic and conversions, means involving the target audience and ensuring strong results in the medium and long term.

 5. Exploiting influencers and social advertising

Among the most effective contents circulating on WeChat there are often those generated by influencers and celebrities, capable of telling a brand story in a personal way and capturing the attention of their fans by giving products immediate visibility.

WeChat also offers the possibility of promoting brands, products and services, with different types of targeted campaigns.

WeChat Moments advertises company posts in the newsfeed of the target users, with the possibility to comment or react to the ad. Users who click on the post in promotion are redirected to a detailed information page chosen by the company.

WeChat Official Accounts allow to sponsor pages and their contents to motivate an audience selected by the system and potentially interested in the type of business which the company refers to, sharing articles, banners and also offering discount coupons and promotional pricing.

WeChat Mini-Programs allow to create advertising banners, entertainment ads (games or other), promotional pop-ups and even pop-up stores, to promote the direct sale of products through an actual small social store dedicated to the brand.

These 5 steps are surely not exhaustive, but they allow to approach WeChat with full knowledge of the facts, understanding its high potential and start developing a digital engagement strategy capable of conquering the Chinese public.