Key Features of WeChat to Elevate Chinese Digital Marketing (Part 1)
Maria Krisette Capati, Author
04 June 2019
Editor’s note: This is the first installment of a two-part blog series about WeChat features.
Care to take a look at WeChat’s features to understand how Chinese consumers use it?
You can’t miss this universal app in China. WeChat functions like a Swiss-army knife where you can almost do anything within the app.
Integrating online and offline experience is one of the most key strategies of FMCG. Fast Moving Consumer Goods are cosmetics, leather goods, food, and more.
It depends on what industry you’re in on how you can use it for your advantage. Explore these key features of WeChat, and you might have “a-ha” moments on how you can strategise in the future.
#1 WeChat mini-programs for engaging e-commerce experience
WeChat mini-programs have add-on features of the app itself and function like sub-applications. They have advanced features to improve e-commerce or customer service. Marketing products and services are also possible using these mini-programs.
Mobike, the bike-sharing company uses a mini-program so users can locate bikes around the cities, top-up and unlock them. Tesla uses it to find charging stations cars, schedule a test drive or share their experiences. Uniqlo as a comprehensive e-commerce feature for the user.
#2 Search with voice recognition for trending topics
WeChat has added another feature allowing them to search for articles and topics. The search feature provides categories like Moments, Articles, Mini-Programs, Music, Official Accounts, and Stickers.
When they click any of these categories, they can find topics using keywords or phrases. If the user is lazy to type, the microphone icon is available. The user needs to hold the icon to talk and speak the phrase or words.
#3 Top Stories feature for trending and “wow” topics
WeChat offers the users access to the Top Stories, which their friends have read. There’s a good chance for global marketers to take advantage of the content via WeChat blog to gain more exposure.
The more unusual the content, the more chances of getting it shared and followed. Another one is the “Top” or trending stories on the internet. The topics are random and could be about a viral video of a commercial. It can be a business video of a Chinese entrepreneur, fashion trends, and more.
#4 Subscriptions to push content
Think about newsletters. Maybe you’re receiving them once a month or weekly. In WeChat, there’s this feature called Subscription. Followers more updated than ever when it comes to content. There’s fresh content under Subscription every now and then.
New articles or blogs posted on an Official Account are pushed to the user’s Subscription thread within the app. This is quite tricky for exposure. Of course, if users follower more Official Accounts, and you also have one that only publishes once in a while, it’ll be a challenge for users to see you on top of their Subscription list. Unless your content is interesting, and they will share it on Moments or mark it as “Wow” or under Favorites.
#5 QR codes for opt-ins and call-to-action button
QR codes are the most popular opt-ins in China. You can also use them to pay for merchants via WeChat Pay. In connection with Subscriptions and content push, most blogs often have this QR code to encourage the reader to follow.
QR codes are also used in offline marketing or traditional marketing. Brochures, posters, and other print-ads have QR codes to direct the consumer to visit a page or follow a WeChat account.
What do you think of these features? Do you think it can help you explore effective digital marketing strategies for your Chinese audience?
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Maria Krisette Capati
Krisette or "Sette" for short is a professional writer and copywriter who loves to cover disruptive technologies, digital trends in China, and a myriad of geeky and innovative topics. She's the Content Strategist at AZ-Loc and currently manages the English website and in-charge of the social media channels. She has been writing about China markets, business, and startups since 2012. She has gained her expertise as a China internet specialist and is fascinated by its business ethics, language, and culture. She's a major of Business Management and Entrepreneurship and an advocate of faith-based non-profit organizations. When she's not writing or dabbling with Sophie and the team, she satiates her wanderlust as a digital nomad.