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BLOG: What is WeChat Marketing?

Posted by in China, Digital, Latest News, Marketing, Trends

There are so many articles about WeChat marketing, but what is it exactly?

Instead of sharing the basic knowledge about WeChat, we would like to dig deeper, using our own experience to give you a bigger and more complete picture about WeChat marketing.

This is the first series of “WeChat marketing”.

Wechat marketing

Your very first questions might be: What is WeChat marketing? Why do we need it? 

Here are some basic facts to start with. According to www.didown.com, in 2016, there are more than 549 million WeChat users, with majority of the users working in business enterprise, self-employed and freelancers, followed by students. 57.3% of the users use WeChat to get to know new friends or connect with their old friends.

What’s a typical day of WeChat user like?

WeChat marketing

There are two different types of WeChat accounts: WeChat subscription and WeChat service account

What are the differences between WeChat subscription and WeChat service account?

In our opinion, the biggest difference is that WeChat subscription account is more effective in building readers and followers and later converting them into customers, while WeChat service account is more aimed at servicing customers, which is particularly useful for B2C companies that want to establish an official and established company image to sell product, and offer pre-sales and post-sales services to customers (think of it like a mobile commerce platform where you can sell products and do customer service at the same time). Servicing is the starting point to develop word-of-mouth and spread to potential customers. However, since WeChat service account only allows 4 pieces of posts per month, opening a WeChat service account won’t serve as a lead generation tool.

You might also ask: Which one, a WeChat subscription account or a WeChat service account, do I need? 

Opening a WeChat subscription account is good at attracting, acquiring fans, and converting them into new customers, if the content is done well.

WeChart marketing

Of course, the content created should be relevant to your customers, whether it is solving their problem, building an emotional connection with them, or information sharing.  Chinese content marketing

Depending on your target audience, below you can find what they usually read on WeChat:

If you are targeting a mature, older, and more sophisticated generation in their 60s or 70s, your content should be around life or business motivation; while if you are targeting the new generation (Gen X and Gen Y), celebrity gossips, hot trends, buzz words etc. would grab their attention. However, Chinese content marketing strategics are much more than that. There is no one size fit all solution. We will talk more about that in our Chinese content marketing series in the upcoming series.

On the other hand, a WeChat service account allows you to sell products directly on WeChat, as well as offering pre-sales and post-sales services to customers, which is ideal for B2C businesses. For example, some small and medium size companies which are running a food business from China (they don’t have a physical retail store yet and rely on e-commerce and m-commerce channel instead) heavily use WeChat as a service point to share upcoming food product to customers, as well as offering food product trails as a way to reach potential customers. Since their food quality and taste is good and their price is competitive, these Chinese small and medium sized companies leverage their Tmall and Jd.com with WeChat subscriptions and service accounts to grow a large number of customers and earn their trust.

Quite a lot of the Chinese entrepreneurs running small and medium sized companies from China told me that they use WeChat a lot to add their prospects as friends and send their prospect personal messages. Since they found that it was not as easy to reach the wider or mass customers, they used a WeChat subscription account – developing relevant, useful and creative content would actually help you to stand out, and reach to right audiences.

However, the prerequisite of attracting relevant fans and customers is also based on the fact that you have a good product and right pricing that meets the need of the market – the basic step of setting up a business in China (or anywhere). Sometimes, it is not a marketing problem, but is the business problem if things are not done right before marketing.

How could Western companies apply for a WeChat subscription & a service account? 

There are two ways to open a WeChat subscription account:

 For a WeChat subscription account — 

Personal registration: Using agent’s Chinese citizen ID with a Chinese mobile phone to register and verify WeChat subscription account.

Company registration: Using company registered in China to register and verify a WeChat subscription account.

WeChart marketing

For WeChat service account — 

Using Chinese citizen identity is not available for company to register a WeChat service account. Company should have a registered and legitimate company, a person in charge, and a bank account in China to verify in order to register a legal WeChat service account. In Taoabo, you might find that people sell Chinese shell (empty) company for brands to register a WeChat service account. However, we won’t recommend that because there are hidden risks and consequences.

Hope you found this article useful. Still not sure or got questions?

Here we can help. Get in touch with Sally or Sarah today: info@11kconsulting.com. 

 

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Sally Maier-Yip is a seasoned cross-cultural Public Relations Strategist with a mission to help companies build successful business with PR. She loves running her UK-Asia PR agency, 11K Consulting, which specialises in helping British clients unlock the Chinese consumer market and helping Chinese brands increase their presence in the UK. To get in touch with Sally, email her at sally@11kconsulting.com

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