WeChat is the most popular instant messaging app in China. Almost everyone in China uses it daily either in personal life or business. You can do everything from sending one-to-one messages, sharing videos or photos with a group to setting up an event and selling tickets inside WeChat.
For any B2B company doing business in China, WeChat should be considered an essential channel for engaging with clients or prospects. But before you jump in and start promoting your business using WeChat, you should consider some important advice that will guide your way.
Align with your business strategy
First, keep in mind that your WeChat marketing strategy should be based on your overall business strategy or digital marketing strategy for China. Let’s say you have defined your company’s unique selling proposition, positioning, target audience, and segments in your marketing strategy. You should develop your WeChat marketing strategy based on these same insights. This will ensure that your WeChat marketing strategy supports your business goals and delivers the sort of results that make a difference to your bottom line.
Know your clients
An important step in creating a strategy is to define your WeChat audience. It should be based on the target audience defined in your overall marketing strategy, and align with your marketing personas. The best way to do that is to talk with your current clients who fit your desired target profile. Below are some things you might want to ask:
- When do they read the articles on WeChat?
- What type of articles do they want to read from your company?
- What do they want to learn from your WeChat public account?
- What are the current challenges they have for their business?
Define your goals
Never launch your marketing campaigns without defining your goals first. Ask yourself what results you want to achieve in your WeChat account. Generally speaking, there are five types of goals:
- Increase followers
- Increase page views
- Educate and nurture your followers
- Increase the conversion rate to sales leads
- Drive traffic to your website
Determine what is most essential to your business.
Play the long game
When it comes to content, you have to play a long game. It will take some time to see the results, but the right content will have a lasting impact in terms of delivering traffic, retaining followers, and building your brand. There are three factors you should consider in your execution:
- Good content. Good content is the core of the WeChat account. In B2B WeChat marketing, people follow your account because you provide useful information that helps with their business needs.
- Consistency. Your WeChat account should publish articles consistently. That is the way to keep your followers coming back.
- Promotion. You should define how you will promote your content as part of your WeChat strategy, and create a division of labor that allocates at least 50% to promotion.
Create a content marketing strategy
Like any social media outreach, creating a strategy for WeChat means creating a content marketing strategy. To do that, you should:
- Talk to your clients about what they want to hear from you.
- Review the results from your blog or previous WeChat articles to see what works.
- Define WeChat article topics and create an editorial calendar (publishing schedule).
- Track the analytics data after publishing and keep fine-tuning your topics.
How to promote your WeChat
There are a number of ways to promote your WeChat account, including both offline and online methods. Using a combination of strategies may be the best approach.
- Tradeshows. The tradeshow still fulfills a critical role in B2B marketing. It is also the best offline channel to promote your WeChat account.
- Print marketing. Put your WeChat information on your print marketing materials such as leaflets or business cards. You will be surprised how many people follow you through them.
- Online campaign. You should have an online campaign to promote your WeChat account. There are a lot of tools available within WeChat campaigns that can be useful to build an audience and get interactions. The most important thing is to have an offer that will motivate people to participate in your campaign. This should be something that can help them solve problems or improve their business, such as a special offer, free trial, or discount – definitely not just an iPad or cash giveaway.
- Website. Don’t overlook the value of using your website as a channel to drive traffic to your WeChat public account. Always put your WeChat QR code in the header, footer, or sidebar on each webpage. That makes it easy for website visitors to find your WeChat account info.
- Lead magnet. A lead magnet is a powerful way to motivate visitors to follow your WeChat account. Think about what valuable info you can provide to your prospects and use it to create a cheatsheet, ebook, or white paper. You need to give visitors a reason to convince themselves to follow your WeChat account.
How to structure your WeChat account
When you develop your marketing strategy, you need to think about whether you want to drive traffic from your WeChat account to your website or the other way around. It will affect how you set up your WeChat menu and how you promote your account.
If you don’t want to direct your followers to other websites, you should think about how to provide value inside your WeChat account. On the other hand, if you want to direct your followers to another website, you should set up one of your menus to link with your website. Also, you should make sure your website is WeChat-friendly.
Include the right information
For B2B businesses, providing interesting and comprehensive information about your products and services is essential. Consider setting up a knowledge base to help your WeChat followers learn more about your offerings. You can link the menu to your main website. This way, you can provide valuable information and retain your followers.
Position your WeChat account as a client portal
Since WeChat is a mobile IM app at its core, it is easy for people to use it every day to communicate with others. You can position your WeChat account as a client portal, helping clients find the information they want or directing them to the right resources from there. WeChat can be an important customer service touchpoint.
Optimize your WeChat account
When you launch your WeChat public account, it is just the beginning. You also need to keep optimizing it. There are two ways to optimize through qualitative and quantitative data:
- Get feedback from your followers. The best way to collect qualitative data is to talk to your followers. You will be surprised how much info you can get by asking them.
- Track the results. You can get analytic data from the WeChat backend or from a third-party analytics service. You can see what types of articles your followers like through click rate and share rate.
Convert your followers to sales leads
The goal of B2B digital marketing is to get sales leads. Through the right WeChat CRM, you can identify your followers as sales prospects. Once your WeChat account starts running, this should be your next step.
WeChat is an essential social media platform in China. People use it every day in all kinds of situations. B2B companies should take advantage of the interaction offered by WeChat and include it as part of their marketing mix.
More importantly, don’t think of WeChat solely as a channel to publish information. Think about it as a client portal that connects you with your customers. Once your followers see the value in your WeChat account, they will continue following your channel and consuming content. This way, you can nurture the relationship and convert your followers to sales leads.
Get help from UP FOR ASIA
Need help creating a strategy or populating your WeChat account with content? Our UP FOR ASIA team includes experts in WeChat and other social media platforms, as well as all types of digital marketing.
UP FOR ASIA has members in China, Taiwan, India, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam.
Read a case study: Media blitz in China that left a lasting impression
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