The potential revenue from China’s enormous consumption power is probably the driving force that attracts international companies to enter the Chinese market. That said, local sales cannot be fully realized without a digital presence in China’s most dominant communication platform – and this is where WeChat comes into play.
WeChat is, undeniably, one of the most critical channels for marketing and business development in China. Indeed, data about the app’s engagement rate speak for themselves: 60% of WeChat’s 1.3 billion monthly users open the app more than ten times a day, and 21% open it over 50 times daily! Among them, a massive crowd of 360 million users spends their time reading articles posted on the platform’s 20 million registered official business accounts. Put it bluntly – if your company is doing business in China and is not on WeChat yet, you better reconsider your local marketing strategy. (You can start here: WeChat Corporate Accounts – Which One Suites You?)
In order for you to take some inspiration before kicking off, we are happy to provide you with ten easy recommendations that you can apply today to enhance your content on the Chinese “super app”.
1 – Embrace video content
Videos are one of the most favorite content types on WeChat, and have a high potential to go viral. For this reason, it’s advised to use as many videos as possible, alongside and even instead of long content articles. True that producing high-quality videos can be daunting, so you will surely be happy to know that even relatively simple videos can be extremely popular if they are authentic.
2 – Share your knowledge
Use your knowledge and expertise to make your audience’s life easy by creating educational content that delivers clear added value, such as tutorials, step-by-step guides, and how-to’s. This content type is highly appreciated by the audience and will help highlight your unique knowledge and stand out in the Chinese market’s fierce competition.
3 – Create digital H5 brochures
WeChat’s H5 brochure is the happy medium between a single-monotonous article and an expensive mini-program, primarily used to promote a specific product, sales, and special events. Some of the H5 brochure’s most distinctive advantages are its high degree of interactivity and attractiveness, easy and fast shareability, and being an excellent source for capturing leads and collecting data.
4 – Make it reader-friendly
WeChat is a mobile-first platform installed on over 80% of smartphones in China. Thus, you want to ensure the content you publish is conveniently readable from a cellphone’s screen, with clear and large font, and not too long.
5 – Keep is short
WeChat users are bombarded with content, yet, they are heavily invested in it – users spend 66 minutes on the app daily (compared with 41 minutes spent on Facebook daily). Therefore, to make your content easily digested for the readers and ensure that your most important messages stick out, keep your articles short and to the point. Keep in mind that article titles are limited to 64 characters long, with only the first 31 of them being visible before clicking. 31 words usually make up about 12-18 words on average.
6 – Limit promotional content
WeChat users enjoy (and are more likely to share) engaging and valuable content that appeals to them. That being the case, try to limit the promotional content you share on the platform, and by all means, don’t use click baits. These might be considered a violation of your “unwritten contract” with your followers, and you are bound to lose their trust.
7 – Avoid superlativeIntegration
Although using phrases like “the first / the best / the most …. in the industry” is a common practice in marketing in the West, however in China, such terminology is perceived as misleading or even false advertising, hence, forbidden. China’s Advertising Law draws very strict lines on what you can and cannot write in your publications. Your content editors must be aware of these restrictions and follow them carefully.
8 – Leverage SEO for WeChat
WeChat allows much more than merely a content-sharing function; it also acts as an independent search engine. As such, SEO is very much relevant and important for content distribution and exposure on WeChat, and it is strongly recommended to conduct good keyword research relevant to your company and industry. SEO is ongoing work, but if done right, it will pay off by increasing awareness and the number of followers.
9 – Schedule publishing
Much like in your email inbox, so is in WeChat, chats are sorted in descending order according to the recency of the last message. Practically speaking, as followers see all the notifications in one chat screen, you want to schedule the publishing in a relatively “relaxed” time, so your message doesn’t get lost among the other red notifications on the screen.
10 – Give your audience a reason to share
To end the list with another staggering number – 120 million people post updates on WeChat Moments daily. So, you better give them a good reason to share your content. “Worth-sharing” content includes exciting and entertaining content, visuals, videos, memes, emojis – anything that would make people laugh. If you can’t count on your followers to share your content, get your local team to share it in groups and on their moments as well.
In conclusion, WeChat is a must-have in any company’s marketing strategy in China. With a variety of business account types, internal marketing channels, advertising options, and even payment features, WeChat allows companies to engage personally, immediately, and effectively with their audience.
If you have a blog and other marketing materials from your company’s global operation, you are already on the right track. You can absolutely use this content for your China marketing, not before you triple-checked that the content is adjusted to the local requirements, the customers’ expectations, and China’s Advertising Law’s restrictions.
At PTL Group, we provide ongoing China business support for dozens of international companies doing business in China. Our wide support extends to marketing services for B2B companies in China, including setting up and managing our clients’ WeChat activity and social media localization. You can learn more about marketing localization in China, and contact us for any inquiries.