Advanced approaches to WeChat marketing

TingTing Huang

TingTing Huang

Senior Account Manager

10th June 2021

~ 5 min read

In the first and second blogs of this three-part WeChat marketing series, we discussed WeChat Official Accounts and best practices for implementing them into your global marketing strategy. In this final part of the series, we will be exploring advanced approaches to WeChat marketing.

WeChat Mini programs

WeChat Mini programs are lightweight, on-demand features within WeChat itself. They enable brands and businesses to create a service-based mini-app without the hassle of downloading and installing an app. With a growing user size and sales prospects, WeChat Mini programs are a blue ocean that offers many brands a wealth of opportunities.

Firstly, it is a cost effective solution for brands without a standalone app. Moreover, Mini programs are built within WeChat’s ecosystem, so brands can leverage its other capabilities including WeChat Pay, geo-location data, notifications, eCommerce features, live streaming and, most importantly, its massive user pool. Plus, Mini program functions are instant, user-friendly and retrievable, so it is relatively easier to encourage customers to stay connected.

However, brands need to consider if the Mini program is even suitable for their business before taking this next step. Brands in business-to-consumer (B2C) sectors like e-commerce, daily-life services, location-based services, and mobile gaming typically leverage the Mini program for developing and advancing quickly. On the other hand, the journey towards reaching their goals might be longer for business-to-business (B2B) brands, but these types of companies have increasingly seen more success, especially on the leads generation and business nurturing side of things.

Brands that are looking to tap into Mini programs also need to prepare for a few other factors including additional budgets, larger workloads and new concerns that may arise. For example, brand activities like payment and promotions will be restricted within WeChat’s own channel. Additionally, brands will have less control over customer data, and any customised functions are subject to WeChat developer guidelines and tools.

WeChat Channels

Ever since short-form videos have grown in popularity, WeChat has made strategic moves towards amplifying this particular format of content by launching WeChat Channel - a new feature that allows users, brands and influencers to create and post short-form content, and distribute them through a media feed. In just six months, the feature has drawn 200 million users, and many brands have began contemplating the pros and cons of launching a Channel account.

Search within WeChat

Nowadays, users are not just performing searches across search engines. WeChat Search's monthly active users (MAU) has reached 500 million in 2020, implying that WeChat users are developing a search habit on the app. It is an emerging, useful tool for improving awareness and boosting conversions. Here are some tips on how to optimise your organic activities to fully take advantage of available search touchpoints within WeChat:

1. Keep producing high-quality, relevant content

Similar to search engine optimisation (SEO), the relevance and quality of your content is crucial in determining your WeChat account's ranking on search results pages. You can start by listing all the important, relevant topics within your business and industry, and enriching these topics with more specific keywords. Then, it’s good to try to add these keywords into your articles and titles! Another key metric of the WeChat Search algorithm is engagement rate. To gain greater article engagement, you can implement the tip we mentioned above, and additionally insert designed call-to-action (CTA) banners to encourage likes, shares, comments, etc. across all your articles.

2. Search properties

WeChat categorises search results into different groups, such as Official Account articles, Channel activities, Mini programs, videos, products, etc. Thus, it is wise for brands to diversify asset types and build a strong presence under multiple categories.

3. Establish your Brand Zone

WeChat Brand Zone always appears at the very top of the search results page for brand names. Its premium position and multiple touchpoints (Official Account, Mini program, content, services, products, etc.) allow you to impress your potential customers with this virtual storefront. 


There are currently three levels of Brand Zone, and each level has different barriers of entry, including daily clicks of your Official Accounts, brand name and trademark verification status, as well as how long your account has existed.

Key opinion leaders/influencer marketing

In China, 'key opinion leaders (KOLs)' are synonymous with 'influencers'. WeChat KOLs usually have rich expertise and experience in specific industries or topics, and their opinions are highly valued by their audience.

Many KOLs are willing to provide brands with paid advertorials on their accounts. If the KOL’s followers and fans largely overlap with your brand’s target audience, the co-marketing and endorsement from the trusted third-parties can really help your brand achieve marketing goals easier and grow long-term brand equity, especially on such an overloaded social platform like WeChat.


However, a successful KOL campaign is not about just sitting back and enjoying conversions. Brands need to consider their marketing strategy, business objectives and the industry they are playing in, as they try to filter out the right candidates. Check out the tips below on creating a winning KOL marketing strategy and seamlessly executing a campaign:

  • Align your goals with your collaborative KOL portfolios. There's a possibility that one top-level KOL can greatly elevate your brand awareness, while a mixed bag of nano-KOLs might drive more sales.
  • Ensure that the KOL has the right tone of voice and an audience group that matches well with your brand.
  • Conduct a thorough review of any prospective KOLs to rule out fake influencers with seemingly good data. It is best to focus mostly on content quality, engagement level and campaign record history.
  • Use the KOLs' previous brand collaborations as reference - their past partnerships will be a good benchmark for you to manage the expectations and KPIs you have for your brand.
  • Always take a long-term approach towards KOL partnerships. The content you created with KOLs can be repurposed for future paid activities across different channels to generate bigger values over time. We recommend that you speak with the KOL about content repurposing copyrights at the beginning of the collaboration.

Croud always hopes to help brands expand globally, particularly into new markets like China. Please get in touch with our team to learn more about WeChat marketing and how to apply some of these advanced approaches to your strategy.


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