In western countries, E-mail is an important channel for promotion. A 2018 study by Radicati Group shows that the number of e-mail users reached 3.8 billion in 2018, three times the number of Twitter and Facebook users combined. For each dollar a company puts in e-mail marketing, it gets $38 in return. The figure far exceeds that of other promotional channels.
However, the same trick won’t play out well in China. Most Chinese people only use e-mail for work and don’t have everyday communications with it. Less than 1% of promotional e-mails are actually opened in China.
Since e-mail promotion doesn’t work in China, how else can foreign companies enter the Chinese market?It is no secret that WeChat has a big say in how marketing is done in China. In August of 2018, WeChat became the first Chinese app to gain 1 billion Daily Active Users (DAU). In Singapore, the instant messaging app also enjoys huge popularity.According to statistics from MediaOne, the number of WeChat users in Singapore already reached 840,000 by Q3 of 2017. It ranks eighth in a monthly published chart on app userbase in Singapore. Judging from the rising figures, some Singapore companies have noted the business opportunities WeChat could potentially bring.
While some Singapore companies have started doing marketing with WeChat official accounts and Moments, many others are not familiar with the concepts. Here, W-axis Technology will give detailed explanations to help you boost your brand’s influence in China.
I. Marketing with WeChat Official Account
Setting up an official account is the first step for a Singapore company to get itself established in China. WeChat official account is in a powerful position to build brand image in that users can learn about brands and their latest activities on the platform. It is not only a way to gain more exposure, but also the best choice to conduct targeted marketing.
Currently, there are two types of official accounts: subscription accounts that are mainly used to update subscribers with relevant information, and service accounts that provide goods and services to users. Business owners need to make a choice between them based on the brand positioning. (See: WeChat Official Account: Subscription or Service)
It’s worth mentioning that after companies have attracted users with quality posts, they can analyze the demographic by users’ gender, location, language, device, etc. Other analytical functions include the number of views, thumbs-ups, new subscribers, comments, and so on. Such functions can help companies to carry out Social Customer Relationship Management (SCRM) and to improve the effect of promotions by making them more targeted.
II. Marketing in WeChat Moments
While official accounts introduce the brand to users, Moments, which resembles News Feed on Facebook, familiarizes users with the brand or products without them even realizing it. Companies can promote brands, display products, share real-case usage scenarios and build avatars to win the heart of target customers and enhance conversion rates.Marketing in Moments can be put in two categories: showing WeChat Moment Ads or sending posts from private accounts.
WeChat Moment Ads are native advertisements inserted in the Moments feed, part of the WeChat ecosystem, that highly resemble posts from users. Many Singapore companies have posted them. (See: WeChat Moments Ads, Explained) Selected by algorithms, these ads can precisely reach the target audience.Setting up private accounts and sending posts on Moments is the most prevalent method, for it is highly effective but costs little. This has also been practiced by Singapore business owners, especially those that provide beauty, housekeeping, renting and other services.
Take “One-click Property” as an example. The company is in the avatar of a real estate agent and puts posts about Singapore property and places for rent for foreign students. The interesting and useful contents meet users’ need to know about property sales. Whenever someone is considering buying real estate in Singapore, they will go directly to the account, since the company has projected a trustworthy image in the Moments.
III. Marketing in Group Chats
Group chats, compared with official accounts and Moments, are the best place to nurture a loyal consumer base. After people with similar demands are summoned in groups chats, promoters can send brand activities and discounts of products to them, so as to retain more users, keep them updated and lead them to make purchases.
Realization of the group chats is the ultimate goal for business owners to do such community marketing, but product-specific strategies need to be developed so as to achieve the highest conversion rate.
For example, coupons and time-limited discounts can greatly stimulate users to make purchases when it comes to inexpensive everyday supplies. For products that are not rigid demands like SPA at salons or online courses, companies can lure customers into the group chats by providing free services once and build professional images and win trust from the customers later in the chats, so that customers will feel impelled to buy the services in the future.
Group chats are also an important channel to raise repurchase rate. For instance, after customers made purchases for the first time, companies can distribute free samples of other products or establish a system where buyers can exchange the points they accumulated for gifts. In a word, companies need to pay special attention to this marketing channel, since it offers plentiful possibilities to enhance repurchase rates, the reliable benchmark of users’ loyalty.
lV. Marketing with WeChat Mini Programs
In a report by WeChat Open Class Pro published on January 9, 2020, Daily Active Users of Mini Programs mounted to 300 million in 2019, creating a turnover of 800 billion in total. It’s safe to say that Mini Programs has become an indispensable part of the WeChat ecosystem. Such credit is largely ascribed to its outstanding performance in expanding customers and drawing traffic, since they provide useful and convenient functions for users to learn about discounts information and directly purchase goods and services on the applets.
V. Other WeChat Marketing Methods
The above marketing methods have formed a closed loop: the corporate image is projected to the customers through the official account; users get to know more about the brand from the intimate interactions on Moments; loyalty and trust to the brand is fostered within the users due to group chat operations; finally, more products are sold since users can make purchases directly on the applets. The four methods are more familiar to people, while there are other WeChat functions that fewer Singapore companies utilize.
WeChat Membership Card
Membership cards can be directly put in the Cards & Offers folder, while traditional physical membership cards incur production costs and are hard to distribute. This function can be used by Singapore companies and stores to combine online and offline membership service. Customers get virtual membership cards by scanning QR Codes in physical stores with which they can enjoy discounts and earn points when buying in stores. What’s more, merchants can analyze their buyers with the data system on WeChat. Such method doesn’t cost much, but substantially benefit brand promotion and customer accumulation.
Users can check people around them on WeChat and see ten of their recent Moments updates without the need to add them as friends. Business owners can open this function and set the name and profile to succinct information about the stores, products and discounts, or put detailed information in Moments posts, so as to attract more customers.
Due to WeChat’s huge traffic, the above functions for marketing, if well used, can greatly facilitate Singapore companies’ efforts to set foot in the Chinese market. If your brands need help with WeChat marketing like running WeChat official accounts and developing Mini Programs, please contact us !