Happy Year of the Monkey. If you’re based in China, we hope you had a good break.
Something we’ll undoubtedly hear about in the Monkey year is WeChat. And with good reason. WeChat accounts for more than half of the time Chinese spend online on their smartphones, with 55% of users accessing it more than ten times a day. With new features touching almost every part of daily life, it is transforming Chinese society as we know it.
Unfortunately, just having a WeChat account and posting updates is no silver bullet. Whilst publishing relevant content that resonates with consumers is very important, it is just one component to raise awareness of your brand and engage consumers on WeChat.
51% of WeChat users follow between 1-10 official accounts. But with well over 10 million official accounts, there is a lot of competition to be one of those followed.
There are new techniques to attract fans developing all the time. Last month, the minimum cost to advertise on WeChat’s Moments dropped to ¥50,000 ($7,700), with some new targeting capabilities.
In addition to spending on advertising, utilising existing channels can be very effective and inexpensive, but they are often overlooked. The Chinese customer journey is extensive, with the average Chinese consumer influenced by 7-10 touch points before making a purchase in most categories. Many of these touch points are an opportunity to let consumers know about your WeChat account, by making it relevant to that point in the journey.
Websites are an important stage in the purchase process, but sites often don’t even display a WeChat QR code, and a lot that do aren’t relevant to the phase of research of the website. Likewise, WeChat can be cleverly integrated to appeal to shoppers on ecommerce stores and other social channels.
The offline world also presents countless opportunities to tempt WeChat users to follow. The beauty of WeChat being a purely mobile service, is that it can be promoted anywhere – integrated into events, outdoor advertising, education and even packaging.
Physical retail stores are some of the least-utilised, but most effective channels to promote WeChat. Some of China’s smartest shopping malls are integrating WeChat and other online-to-offline platforms to attract, engage and understand shoppers. One mall in Hangzhou engaged stores and shoppers with WeChat to grow from a few thousand to 200,000 fans in five months. That was the equivalent of 20% of all visitors to the mall.
WeChat presents many opportunities for marketers in China, particularly for those who don’t view it isolation from other marketing channels. China Skinny can assist with that. Go to Page 2 to see this week’s China news and highlights.