In the first blog of this three-part series, we explored the different types of WeChat Official Accounts and the steps to setting one up. In this second part, we will discuss best practices for implementing WeChat Official Accounts into your marketing strategy.
There is no shortcut to delivering success on WeChat Official Accounts. It requires a carefully designed strategy and execution plan. Here are our top tips on running a successful WeChat Official Account.
Be clear on your goal
Brands often resort to WeChat Official Accounts to increase brand awareness, build a community, maintain communication with that community, and eventually commercialise it for sales and lead generation. Clearly defining the goal you want your account to achieve can help direct how you plan the content and measure your success. Here are some goals WeChat Official Accounts may help you achieve:
- Increase brand awareness
- Build a loyal customer base
- Drive traffic to your site or mini programmes
- Sales lead generation
- Live customer services touchpoint
How do you acquire more followers?
For many brands, gaining more followers on WeChat may be one of their biggest challenges. Unlike Facebook and other popular social media platforms, your content is hardly visible to your target audience if they are not already following your account. WeChat’s private nature requires brands to take multiple initiatives to acquire as many followers as possible. Here are some tips on getting more followers on WeChat:
1. Display your quick response (QR) code, online and offline
Your QR code is your WeChat Official Account’s name card, and it provides a quick and easy way to gain followers. We encourage you to place your QR code in as many spaces as possible; include it anywhere you may interact with potential customers, so that they can easily scan it and follow your account. Below are some online and offline spaces you can incorporate your QR code for maximum visibility:
- Online - official website, other social media platforms (if allowed), corporate newsletters
- Offline - product packaging, offline stores/offices, events (industry conferences, trade shows, product launch events, etc.), print collateral
2. Create valuable and shareable content for your followers
Acquiring new followers is just the first step, as there's a possibility that those new followers may promptly unfollow if they find no interesting, useful or engaging content from your account. To retain them as active, real followers for long-term engagement and potential conversions, you must keep providing them with valuable content. This could include insightful opinions, product knowledge, customer service, or membership offers.
Besides, creating shareable content will get you more new followers with no extra efforts. The high-quality content shared from one existing follower to his or her personal connections can give you more visibility to a wider but still relevant audience pool.
3. Promote your account via WeChat advertising or key opinion leader (KOL) influencers
Apart from attracting new followers organically, WeChat also offers paid advertising opportunities for brands to promote their accounts and gain new followers. However, brands need to have a verified WeChat Official Account before they can apply for an affiliated advertiser account.
Partnering with KOLs within your niche can also be a shortcut to boosting your WeChat followers. By leveraging KOLs with a similar fan base, your account can garner high visibility within a short amount of time. KOLs’ endorsement is also efficient in boosting follower growth and engagement. However, KOL marketing campaigns are usually high in cost and can be difficult when trying to forecast performance. We typically suggest integrating it with other comprehensive marketing tactics rather than running it on its own.
Craft an effective content strategy for WeChat
Marketing through WeChat Official Accounts includes all types of content - long form content, infographics, images, and video content (which is now trending strongly on WeChat). Below are some ways to build a successful content strategy for WeChat.
1. Define your target audience
Successfully identifying and understanding your audience in China, who will be drawn to your account and content, will give you the highest chance to succeed. It is the most effective way to build a content strategy for WeChat Official Accounts. Understand who they are, what their pain points are, and then design your content to help them resolve those points.
2. Stay relevant
An effective content strategy is centred around your target audience. Users in WeChat will be bombarded with information from various official accounts, so it's important to set the content's main theme around a topic that will be most relevant to them or can help them resolve their challenges.
3. Key dates
Incorporate the key marketing events in China into your content calendar to stay up-to-date with any relevant dates. Download Croud's Chinese marketing calendar.
4. Localise, don't translate
Taking every English article from your website and translating them into Chinese for WeChat in the hopes to represent your brand is a definite 'no'. We've seen so many brands fail after attempting to implement this tactic into their marketing strategy. Instead, design the content around your audience, so that it's presented in a way that resonates with them. This will be much more effective than simply offering your followers a word-by-word translation of your English content.
5. Be consistent
Set the account's tone of voice and brand personality, and stick to it. Don’t confuse your followers by using a cute, silly tone of voice one day and then using a corporate, professional tone the next. It is most preferable to be consistent across all aspects of content, as it will help users remember you. Make sure the following areas are all well-aligned:
- Tone of voice
- Header/footer branding image
- Content formatting style
6. Be interactive
Good social content is all about engagement. Usually, mobile readers have a much shorter attention span, so lengthy, static content isn’t enough on its own. Brands can leverage Q&As, polls, short surveys, calculators, infographics, and videos to help drive engagement, increase full article reading rate, grow brand loyalty and build brand trustworthiness.
Having a set of specific and tailored key performance indicators (KPIs) is a must for WeChat organic marketing. Performance monitoring against your KPIs quantifies if your articles and organic campaigns meet your goals, and also provides insights on further optimisations.
With WeChat’s fast iterations over the past few years, there are more official account capabilities available for brands to test and gauge their success on the platform. Below is a basic sample of WeChat KPIs across different marketing funnel stages:
Croud is dedicated to help brands see through the metrics mist with data-based insights and a KPI-driven culture. Please feel free to get in touch with our team to learn more about WeChat marketing or to receive support in building a stronger KPI strategy customised for your business.
For more on WeChat marketing, check out the final part of this blog series.