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It's the logo of WeChat.

Ultimate WeChat Marketing Guide 2024: Tips & Strategies

1. WeChat Official Account Introduction

When it comes to expanding into the Chinese market, WeChat official accounts remain a top choice for international brands. Data security is a paramount concern for brands venturing into new platforms, and WeChat is no exception. Let's explore the safety measures WeChat offers:

Is WeChat Safe?
  • Is WeChat Safe?

Absolutely! WeChat has bolstered security with a dual verification login system since 2016, enhancing data protection for official accounts. Here's how it works:

1. Dual Verification Login System

 

WeChat's dual verification system goes beyond just passwords. It combines password and QR code scanning for login. Only authorized administrators and operators can log in by scanning the QR code, providing an additional layer of security. To ensure the integrity of your data, this feature cannot be disabled.

2. Account Verification

 

Brand verification is crucial for establishing both authenticity and account protection on WeChat. Verified accounts gain extra security benefits.

3. Encryption Algorithm

 

WeChat has introduced a new encryption mechanism to fortify official account security. It employs the AES symmetric encryption algorithm for encrypting messages sent to public accounts. The Encoding AES Key is the secret used for encryption, decrypting received messages, and encrypting replies.

What Is a WeChat Official Account?
  • What Is a WeChat Official Account?

A WeChat official account is a platform developed by Tencent for brands and companies to promote themselves, provide information, and offer services to their customers. There are two types of WeChat official accounts: Service Account and Subscription Account.

Key Features When Setting Up a WeChat Official Account
  • Key Features When Setting Up a WeChat Official Account

When it comes to setting up a WeChat Official account, you'll find a wealth of distinctive features that go beyond the basics of registration. We're here to shed light on the key features that can make a significant difference in your WeChat marketing journey:

1. Account Verification

 

Choosing to verify your WeChat Official Account can open doors to a range of benefits:

  • Certification 'V' Mark: A verified account displays a coveted 'V' mark, a symbol of trustworthiness. This not only boosts your brand's credibility but also grants priority visibility in search results.

It's the certifcation 'V' mark on WeChat official accont.
  • Sharing Links Outside WeChat: Verified accounts have the privilege of sharing links outside the WeChat ecosystem, expanding your reach and connectivity.

  • Advanced Interfaces: Access to advanced interfaces allows you to provide personalized services. For instance, the 48-hour customer service push interface enables you to re-engage with users who've recently visited your account without counting toward your article quota.

  • WeChat Advertising: Verified accounts can implement WeChat advertising, a vital tool for most brands.

  • Trademark Protection: During registration, applying for trademark protection not only safeguards your brand in the Chinese market but also enhances search result visibility.

It's the trademark protection on WeChat official account.

2. Account Profile

 

Don't underestimate the power of a well-optimized account profile. A compelling and professional profile not only helps you connect with your audience but also boosts your performance in WeChat's SEO system.

3. Auto Reply

Auto reply functionality is your key to retaining followers right from the start. Customize your auto-reply with text, articles, images, audio, or video:

  • Welcome Auto Reply: As followers join your account, this auto-reply introduces your company and delivers the latest updates.

It's the welcome auto reply on WeChat official account.
  • Keywords Auto Reply: Reduce customer service expenses by setting up automatic responses for predefined high-probability keywords. For instance, if you've introduced a product like 'Sweet Candy' and configured auto-replies for relevant inquiries, your followers will instantly receive responses when they ask questions containing your specified keywords.

It's the keywords auto-reply on WeChat official account.

4. Menu

 

The menu bar is a dynamic tool for boosting engagement and interaction:

  • Convenience: Users can quickly access key information via the menu without sifting through individual articles.

  • Interactions: Interaction rates soar with a menu bar, keeping followers engaged and informed.

  • Traffic Redirection: For WeChat Official Accounts with WeChat Pay activated, menu bars can redirect traffic to external links, expanding your reach beyond the WeChat platform.

Reasons to Establish a WeChat Official Account
  • Reasons to Establish a WeChat Official Account

1. Brand Presence

In the Chinese market, a WeChat Official Account serves as the virtual storefront, akin to a brand's website. It's often the first point of contact for consumers, making it a vital tool for brand recognition and engagement.

2. Brand Exposure

WeChat Official Accounts provide a unique opportunity for brand exposure. They offer both organic traffic through WeChat posts and the option for paid traffic via WeChat advertising. When compared to other exposure methods, WeChat Official Accounts often come with a more budget-friendly price tag.

3. Brand Loyalty

 

WeChat Official Accounts offer a host of features designed to foster brand loyalty. This includes membership programs, WeChat communities, personalized customer service, and more, all of which provide followers with a sense of belonging and engagement.

4. Direct Interaction with Customers

 

Through WeChat Official Accounts, brands can directly interact with their customers. This direct line of communication allows for immediate responses to inquiries and feedback.

5. Message Delivery

 

The WeChat Official Account is a powerful channel for delivering messages to your target customer. Whether it's promotions, updates, or news, it's a platform that ensures your messages reach your followers.

6. Lead Generation

 

By integrating Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms, you can effectively generate leads. High-quality content and engagement strategies can help you capture potential customers and build lasting relationships.

2. WeChat Marketing for International Brands

WeChat Official Account Content
  • WeChat Official Account Content

Before diving into WeChat article creation, it's crucial to define your WeChat Official Account's positioning. The content you develop should align with your target market. Misalignment can lead to confusion in your messaging.

Identifying Your Target Market

To start, answer this fundamental question: Are you targeting a B2B or B2C market? Your answer will shape your content strategy. If you're new to launching your WeChat Official Account and unsure what to share, consider these topics:

[B2B&B2C]

These topics are suitable for both the B2B and B2C markets:

  • Company/ Brand Introduction: Share your brand's background story in Chinese, even if it's globally well-known. This builds brand recognition among existing and potential Chinese customers. It's an excellent way to kick off your WeChat marketing journey.

  • Product/ Service Introduction: Offer detailed insights into your products or services. Selling products or services is a primary goal for most companies venturing into WeChat marketing.

  • Distributor Information: If you have distributors or dealers, introduce them, including their contact details, Tmall shop, JD.com shop, or mini-program. Integrating their online stores can guide traffic toward final purchases.

  • Case Study: Showcase case studies to help followers better understand your products or services.

  • PR Release: Share PR releases on new products or management changes and synchronize these updates across your international social media channels for maximum impact.

  • Q&A: As your follower base grows, collect questions from inbox messages to create a Q&A WeChat article. It saves time and enhances follower engagement.

  • Recruitment: If you're hiring for your Chinese branch, share this information on your WeChat Official Account.

[B2B]

Additional topics suited for a B2B market:

  • Exhibition Information: If your B2B company participates in international exhibitions, share details in advance. Include booth numbers, booth designs, giveaways, forum topics, and more to increase exhibition exposure.

  • Industry Trends: Keep your B2B audience informed by sharing the latest industry news and trends.

  • Chinese Festival Posters: Create festival-themed posters with Chinese wishes and your company logo. It's an ideal way for localized marketing

[B2C]

For WeChat Official Accounts targeting a B2C market, consider these topics:

  • Events/ Campaign: Promote events to attract more participants. Engage before, during, and after events. Online exposure is highly effective in the Chinese market.

  • Chinese Festival Blended Articles: Align your content with Chinese festivals. For example, during Chinese New Year, create content related to red envelopes, family gatherings, and healthy eating. Adapt your content to the specific festival's themes.

  • Chinese Local Trending Topic Blended Articles: Stay up-to-date with local trends. Incorporate trending words or phrases into your content to capture attention and increase brand exposure.

WeChat Content Formats
  • WeChat Content Formats

WeChat Official Account has evolved over the past decade, and content styles have seen significant transformations. A complete content style format encompasses three key sections: the top banner, main body, and bottom banner with past reviews redirection. Let's delve into the main body, which is the core of WeChat Official Account content.

1. Main Body Content Formats

The evolution of content style format can be categorized into four stages. To illustrate these changes, we'll use BMW as an example, a pioneer among international brands on WeChat Official Accounts:

 

  • First Stage (2013-2016): Basic Content

 

In the early years, content from famous international brands was simple, consisting of basic images and copywriting. For example, BMW's posts in 2013 focused on delivering messages to customers and launching brand updates. At this stage, the content style format was straightforward without extensive brand image development.

This comprises the fundamental content for WeChat content formats.
  • Second Stage (2017-2018): Focus on Brand Image

During this stage, brands recognized the importance of their WeChat Official Account's content style format. They shifted their focus toward establishing a brand style and image while delivering messages.

It's the brand image content of WeChat content formats.

​GIFs, dynamic interactions, videos, and concise Chinese copywriting were integrated to enhance content. New formats like long landscape images were introduced for improved engagement and reading experiences. 

It's the long landscape image of WeChat content formats.

Brands began placing copywriting on images to create visually appealing and premium-looking posts.

It's the premium-looking post of WeChat content formats.
  • Third Stage (2018-2020): Stable Format

 

This stage saw the establishment of a stable content style format. Posts were predominantly created using long images containing GIFs and videos. This format prevailed for around two years. 

It's the GIF format of WeChat content formats.

​In 2020, SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) was introduced. Brands incorporated SVG with a long image content style to increase reader engagement. Copywriting was refined to be more concise and visually harmonious with the images.

  • Fourth Stage (2023): Multiple Formats

 

In 2023, brands adopted multiple content style formats:

  1. SVG & Long Image: SVG animations and long images are still in use, offering dynamic effects like sliding pictures and zoom-in/out upon user clicks.

  2. Long Image: Traditional long images remained a popular choice.

It's the SVG format of WeChat content formats.

3. Images with Brief Copywriting: A new format emerged, featuring images with succinct copywriting.

They're the images with brief copywriting format on WeChat.
They're the images with brief copywriting format on WeChat.

SVG animations included features like sliding images, zoom-in/out on click, audio inserts, and more. These enhancements made the content more eye-catching and engaging, leveraging the power of dynamic multimedia.

In summary, it's essential for brands to assess their current content style format. While many top international brands have transitioned to the fourth stage, some are still in earlier stages. Recognizing the significance of content style format is crucial, as it impacts your brand's competitiveness compared to others with upgraded content styles.

2. Bottom Banner with Past Reviews Redirection

The development of WeChat Official Accounts extends beyond the primary content. The features of the bottom banner and past reviews redirection have undergone noteworthy progress over the years.

 

  • Early Stage (Pre-2015)

 

Initially, only a few accounts integrated a bottom banner or review button.

  • Transformation in 2015

In 2015, brands recognized the importance of guiding followers to explore more content. They began adding reminders at the bottom of each article, encouraging readers to click the 'Read more' button and providing a QR code of the official account for easy sharing to attract more followers.

 

It's the WeChat bottom banner.

These included both images and links, providing readers with the opportunity to explore related or previous articles. This approach helped drive new traffic to previous content.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They're the WeChat past reviews redirection bottons.
  • Enhancement in 2021

 

Fast forward to 2021, the bottom banner took on a new role by displaying links to other social media platforms, such as Weibo, TikTok, Bilibili, WeChat WeChat Channels, and the company’s App. This multifunctional approach aimed to expand the brand's reach across various social media channels and app.

Introducing the WeChat bottom banner featuring a redirect function to the official WeChat account.
WeChat SEO
  • WeChat SEO

We're all familiar with Baidu SEO, but WeChat SEO often goes unnoticed. In this section, we'll introduce WeChat SEO and explore how it can significantly boost your marketing performance:

1. What is WeChat SEO?

 

Within WeChat, there's a feature called '搜一搜,' which translates to 'search.' It may seem inconspicuous to marketers, but it plays a crucial role in improving brand visibility. Think of it as a search engine within WeChat, allowing users to search for information across the entire WeChat ecosystem, including WeChat Moments, WeChat Official Accounts, WeChat Mini Programs, WeChat Channels, WeChat Index, and more. Access to this functionality is typically available through two entry points: one from the main WeChat page (Chats page)​ and another within the 'Discover' section.

It's the WeChat search feature.
It's the 'search' functionality on WeChat.

2. How to Improve WeChat SEO?

 

  • Set up WeChat Channels account and Sougou Baike: When users search for information, you'll notice that both Sougou Baike (Encyclopedia) and WeChat Channels Accounts often occupy the top positions in comparison to other content.

  • Keyword Integration in WeChat Content: Identify relevant keywords and integrate them into your WeChat articles. This strategy optimizes your content for WeChat SEO and ensures it appears in search results.

  • WeChat Format Style: Be mindful of the format style used in your WeChat articles. While long images are popular for creating an attractive brand image and engaging followers, it's important to note that long images lack text for WeChat's crawling system. This makes them less favorable for WeChat SEO.

For brands that have been present on WeChat Official Accounts for an extended period, they've likely created numerous articles optimized for SEO. However, for newer brands on WeChat Official Accounts, consider creating more text-based articles to enhance your WeChat SEO.

WeChat Paid Advertising
  • WeChat Paid Advertising

WeChat advertising is a dynamic social marketing promotion platform deeply rooted in the WeChat ecosystem. It integrates a diverse array of resources, including Moments of Friends, Mini Programs, WeChat Channels, Search and Discover, and expertly combines these with users' social interactions, reading habits, and daily life scenarios, all enhanced by advanced data algorithms. WeChat paid advertising offers 6 distinct ad types, each designed to cater to various marketing needs:

  1. WeChat Moment Advertising

  2. WeChat Channels Advertising

  3. WeChat Searching Advertising

  4. WeChat Official Account Advertising

  5. WeChat Mini Program Advertising

  6. WeChat Top  Advertising

WeChat Marketing Analytics Tools and Insights
  • WeChat Marketing Analytics Tools and Insights

Once you've mastered WeChat content management, it's essential to leverage WeChat marketing analytics tools to conduct comprehensive performance analysis. This enables you to fine-tune your WeChat content strategy effectively. By logging into your WeChat official account, you can delve into 6 key aspects for performance evaluation:

1. Content Analysis

 

Content analysis is divided into the performance of articles and multimedia. The top section of the general content analysis report provides key performance indicators from the previous day. These include metrics such as article reading frequency, sharing, and reading completion rates. Percentage changes for daily, weekly, and monthly performance are highlighted in red to indicate decreases and in green to indicate increases.

It's the WeChat marketing analytics tools and insights.

Additionally, you can explore traffic trends, channels, and sources over specific time periods. Traffic analysis is presented in both daily and hourly reports. The lower part of the report offers basic statistics for each article, including the article title, reading frequency, the distribution of reading frequencies, and trends over the past 14 days. For more in-depth data on specific articles, you can click 'details'.

It's the WeChat marketing analytics tools and insights.

These details provide information on conversion rates after sharing, traffic sources and channels, reading completion rates, and user demographics (gender, age, and geographical distribution).

Multimedia, including video and audio, undergo a similar analysis. Key performance indicators at the top of the report include total playbacks, shares, and completion rates. Traffic analysis reveals trends and communication channels for multimedia content.

It's the content analysis of WeChat official account.

You can adjust your multimedia content based on these insights. Specific video details include playback duration, user demographics encompassing gender, age distribution, geographical distribution, and device models.

It's the video analysis of WeChat official account.

2. Follower Analysis

 

Follower analysis encompasses follower growth and follower attributes. In terms of follower growth, you can view key performance indicators from the previous day, such as the number of new followers, unfollows, net follower growth, and total followers.

It's the follower analysis of WeChat official account.

The trends in the communication channels of your followers are also displayed.

 

Follower attributes include demographics, geographical distribution, and access devices. Demographics provide insights into gender, age, and language. Geographical distribution shows follower locations by province and even by city. Access device data illustrates the device models used by each follower.

3. Menu Analysis

 

Menu analysis offers key performance indicators from the previous day, featuring the total clicks on the menu, the number of individuals clicking the menu, and the clicks per capita. Trends from the past 30 days are visualized in the following graph. The report also allows you to compare different menu versions on specific dates at the bottom.

It's the menu analysis of WeChat official account.

4. Message Analysis

 

Message analysis includes the evaluation of inbox messages and high-frequency words. Inbox message analysis enables comparisons on an hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Key performance indicators for the previous day indicate the number of inbox message senders, the number of inbox messages sent, and the number of inbox messages sent per person. High-frequency words reveal words that have appeared in inbox messages more than twice.

It's the message analysis of WeChat official account.

5. API (Application Programming Interface) Analysis

API analysis compares data on an hourly and daily basis. Key performance indicators for the previous day include the number of API calls, failure rates, average response times in milliseconds, and maximum response times in milliseconds.

6. Web Analysis

The section on web analysis focused on the secondary development of the official account,. It primarily serves developers seeking to integrate additional functionality into their WeChat official accounts.

3. A Comprehensive WeChat Ecosystem

Establishing a comprehensive WeChat ecosystem is your ticket to cultivating a closed-loop environment that not only entices new customers but also retains existing ones. Let's take a closer look at how this ecosystem seamlessly guides potential customers along their journey:

1. WeChat Channels: Attracting New Customers

Begin by leveraging WeChat Channels to capture the attention of fresh prospects. This platform is perfect for sharing engaging short videos that can pique the interest of individuals who haven't yet followed your WeChat official account. It's your gateway to expanding your audience and igniting curiosity.

2. WeChat Official Account: Delving Deeper

Once you've sparked interest, proactive customers will delve deeper into your brand by navigating to your WeChat official account. Here, they can explore a treasure trove of articles and content that offer insights into your products, services, and values. It's the stage where curiosity evolves into meaningful engagement.

3. WeChat Mini Program: Sealing the Deal

As potential customers peruse your articles and familiarize themselves with your brand, they might be on the verge of making a purchase decision. To ensure a smooth purchasing process, consider integrating a mini-program into your WeChat official account. This feature acts as a bridge, facilitating a smooth transition from your official account to your e-shop within the mini-program. The result? A hassle-free purchasing experience that keeps your customers coming back for more.

This comprehensive WeChat ecosystem operates as a closed-loop, guiding individuals from the point of discovery to making a purchase with ease and efficiency. It's the blueprint for creating a customer-centric journey that fosters engagement and loyalty.

4. Advantages of WeChat Marketing

1. Enhanced Brand Recognition in the Chinese Market

WeChat Official Accounts stand out as a top-tier social media platform for international brands venturing into the Chinese market. With its extensive integration into daily life, spanning social interaction, communication, shopping, and payment, over 90% of Chinese mobile users have WeChat installed. It holds a dominant position among various social media platforms in China, making it the go-to choice for effective brand establishment.

2. Exceptional Cost Efficiency

WeChat allows you to maximize your marketing budget by reaching the largest pool of users. Unlike other platforms that may require substantial investments in creating short videos or new marketing materials, WeChat enables you to localize and tailor existing content to align with the behaviors of your targeted Chinese audience.

3. High User Dependence

Chinese users may not check other social media platforms daily, but WeChat serves as both a social media hub and a vital communication tool, with daily usage. This high user reliance also extends to WeChat Official Accounts, fostering a more engaged audience.

4. A Solid Foundation for Expanding Marketing Efforts

Establishing a WeChat Official Account as your first step in the Chinese market serves as a springboard for further development. As the number of Chinese customers and brand traffic grows, you can expand your presence on WeChat through WeChat Channels and Mini Program. Additionally, you can extend your marketing presence beyond WeChat for cross-promotion with other platforms.

5. Online 'Showroom' for promotion

Many companies opt for WeChat paid advertisements before or after establishing a WeChat Official Account. However, maintaining and nurturing leads becomes challenging without a WeChat Official Account, as potential customers must seek your brand on other platforms, incurring time costs. With a WeChat Official Account, potential customers can explore your brand in one place, simplifying the discovery process.

6. Complete Ecosystem Support

Unlike other marketing platforms that offer only partial marketing effects, such as brand exposure or purchase functions, WeChat Official Accounts benefit from a comprehensive ecosystem. The WeChat ecosystem functions like a funnel, attracting potential customers through WeChat Channels and converting them into brand loyalists on your WeChat Official Account. Engaging, localized content keeps the traffic flowing. As customers move through the funnel, they can seamlessly transition to your Mini Program to complete their purchasing journey, ensuring a holistic marketing process.

5. Our Service on WeChat

Our WeChat marketing solutions are designed to amplify your brand's presence in China, connect with your target Chinese customers, and drive results. 

We offer diverse marketing solutions for two key segments:

 

1. Brands new to WeChat: Brands looking to establish their initial presence on WeChat

2. Underperforming brands on WeChat: Brands with an established WeChat presence that has been struggling

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