With more than 1,112 million active users per month worldwide and a 79% penetration in the country, WeChat is the application application that dominates the Chinese what is a chinese phone number Due to the wide range of services that it integrates, WeChat brings together half the lives of Chinese users in the same ecosystem of apps. How do users use WeChat? What opportunities are there for digital marketing on this platform?
How do Chinese users use WeChat?
In the WeChat Economic and Social Impact report of the CAICT (the Chinese Academy for Information and Communication Technologies, for its acronym in English), the following graph is shown, which visually summarizes what WeChat means for Chinese users:
WeChat is a highly sophisticated app, whose algorithm works with artificial intelligence for voice, image and feed personalization recognition. It can be used as an app for:Stay in touch with your contacts and interact with them : in WeChat, users and brands share moments or stories , photos and statuses to which their contacts can react with likes and comments. It also allows the creation of private groups.
Consume content online : read news, watch videos, follow brand or media pages to keep up to date with publications and it is also possible to become a fan of influencers.
Private messaging: Through WeChat you can make calls and video calls, send text messages with photos and videos.App of apps that offer other services (Mini-Programs):
The Mini-Programs work as third-party apps within WeChat . Instead of downloading a different application for each brand, they are integrated within WeChat and offer services for more than 200 sectors. Some examples are mini-games, but there are also Mini-Programs for travel reservations, e-commerces, food delivery …
A European uses at least a dozen of the most varied apps a day, each one specialized in a task (different social networks, messaging, video viewing, payments…). The Chinese user should not jump from one application to another: he accesses all these services through WeChat.TONY CHEUNG , MANAGING DIRECTOR AT LABELIUM CHINA
Business communication with ‘WeChat at Work’:
According to China gulf email list Internet Watch , 80% of the 500 largest companies in China use WeChat every day to manage their communications with both their employees and their customers. WeChat at Work lets you organize tasks, manage workers’ time, and even make calls in the context of work. Payment method or wallet: The WeChat Pay service allows its users to link their bank account with the app, so that they pay with it using their credit cards and perform other financial functions such as direct purchases, deposits and transfers to other accounts, as well as loan requests.At this point we must highlight the important role played by QR codes . Companies that offer payment by WeChat Pay should get used to working with these types of codes, since the usual practice is for users to scan the codes and receive the product page on their smartphone to execute the payment with the phone.
Figures in Spain
WeChat has a high penetration among Chinese citizens in the country. However, despite the fact that Tencent, the business group that owns WeChat, is not very keen on disclosing the geographically segmented data, the number of WeChat users outside of China is estimated to be 70 million according to Business Insider . If we look at the Statista data, more than 190,000 Chinese live in Spain and, in 2018, our country received 646,000 Chinese tourists , hence the relevance of using WeChat for brands to reach this audience that lives or visits our country. In addition, some banks in Spain have already enabled payment through WeChat due to the demand of Chinese citizens and tourists: they are becoming more technological, more informed and seek convenience wherever they go. For this reason, brands have to adapt to their consumption habits and thoroughly analyze the particularities of their customer journey Advertising through WeChat is a great opportunity for brands, especially in the luxury sector. For example, Chinese tourists occupy fourth place in terms of spending by non-EU visitors in our country and are particularly related to this type of producLUCÍA GONZÁLEZ , AUDIO, VIDEO & CONNECTED TV MANAGING DIRECTOR AT LABELIUM GROULuxury brands cannot ignore a channel in which there is a high presence of counterfeits and imitations of their products. Displaying and offering the originals on WeChat is nothing more than a strategy to uphold their exceptional quality standards .
However, they do have to adjust the way they do marketing . Despite its reluctance to apply discount policies in the West considering that the brand is devalued, couponing is a very important asset in the Chinese market to achieve its sales objectives.Opportunities for digital marketing on WeChat
How can brands leverage WeChat’s potential beyond its organic presence? Types of accounts on WeChat:
It is convenient to review the different types of accounts that WeChat allows to open on its platform:Subscription account : they are focused on the creation and dissemination of content with which users can interact and share it. The owner can be a private user or a company. It has one push post available per day and menus can be customized, but it does not have payment methods built into it. The revenue stream is through display ad placements.
Service account : they are designed for companies , as they maximize the reach of their publications. They allow four push posts per month, which reach the user through a chat message. They do have the possibility of developing forms of payment for e-commerce, coupons and loyalty programs.
Company account : it is necessary to operate with WeChat at Work . It is a tool for internal company use, so there are no limits for push messages .
Advertising formats on WeChat:
There are different formats to reach the user through advertising on WeChat:Banner ads : this type of ad appears in articles that are published on the platform. They can include creatives in which the brand stands out, but also the widely used QR codes as a way to promote coupons or special discounts.
Key Opinion Leaders (KOL) Posts : They are the influencers in the WeChat world. As in western social networks, it is necessary for the brand to reach an agreement with the KOL to publish one of its images.
Advertising with moments: these types of ads are similar to those shown in the Facebook feed, although in WeChat they are located in the “moments” section of the platform. They show the logo, a description and images or videos with a CTA that directs users to the landing page (they are usually HTML5 pages hosted on Tencent’s own servers). They disappear after 6 hours if they have no impact, so the more interaction they have, the longer they will last online.
Ads in Mini-Programs : Videos can be advertised in these applications in the middle of the Mini-Program or before use. The application developer himself can decide where the ad will be placed.
Paying with WeChat is common practice in China
Segmentations available in WeChat for advertising campaigns:
The objective of WeChat is to concentrate all user traffic on the same platform. In fact, the possibility of including external links has recently been eliminated, according to China Internet Watch . Therefore, the options to segment and refine the audiences to which to direct the advertising are very wide. We see the main ones:
By data in your profile : Includes the traditional demographic segmentation by sex, age, marital status, education, work and location. Regarding the latter, WeChat classifies the areas with Beijing, Shanghai and then groups the rest of cities and areas into two ranges according to their population. Advertising can also be targeted to users in 42 countries and overseas regions.
Interests : in WeChat you can select interests belonging to different sectors (education, travel, fashion, food, finance …, among others), but it is also possible to include specific keywords to segment audiences.
Behavior : covers the use of Mini-Programs. Applications can be selected by category or specifically those that the user has installed.
Consumption capacity : it is measured based on where the user resides, but also taking into account the payment accounts they have.
Device type : it can be segmented by phone brand or connection type (for example, Wi-Fi, 4G or even 5G networks , which in some areas of China are already operational).
WeChat usage characteristics : this type of segmentation refers to the type of traffic of each user on WeChat, that is, which accounts they follow, which pages they visit, what type of content they consume … Thanks to it, it is possible to detect at what point in the Customer Journey is found.
Weather : with the location information it is possible to adjust the campaigns to the meteorological weather of each region. With a geography as varied as it is extensive, it is a crucial segmentation for some sectors such as fashion. The possibilities that WeChat offers to reach Chinese consumers are of great interest to brands, whether they are thinking of internationalizing their business or reaching the many Chinese expats living in the West.