5 important factors for successful WeChat campaigns

With 1 billion monthly active users globally, WeChat has become China’s primary social network with a host of other integrated features including e-payment, e-stores, dating, mapping, geo-location and so on.

Compared with other social media marketing tools in China, WeChat campaigns are the most effective way to drive online readers’ conversion and engagement. In our last article, Chat Chat shared How to lead purchase behaviors of over 6 million Chinese going overseas during China’s October National Day holiday using WeChat.

However, WeChat does not have any in-house established frameworks for campaign management, brands usually need to engage a specialist agency. In order to understand brands demands and to help brands bring about a successful campaign, we should make a thoughtful plan which includes some essential factors. Combined with our experience, Chat Chat concluded the following key points:

1. Clear objective

Before launching a campaign, the first consideration is objective. You might think that objectives are easy to answer, that being the achievement of sales goal for most B2C brands. In fact, for products and services promotion, especially brand-new merchants or products, WeChat campaigns need to go through a gradual progress. At the beginning, most overseas brands have to gain the recognition and good reputation in the eyes of the Chinese, only then will their desire be aroused to engage. A clear objective is the primary reason for a successful WeChat campaign.

Case study:

In 2016, Flight Housekeeper, an app for Chinese flight booking management, associated with Xinshixiang (新世相) a WeChat official account having over 10 thousand followers, launched a campaign called “Escape from the Metropolis in 4 hours”. Flight Housekeeper provided 30 complimentary flight tickets from Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou to unknown destinations. The participations who firstly arrived any of those cities’ airports could get a ticket and depart in 4 hours. This campaign attracted over 1 million readers and increased 100 thousand followers for Xinshixiang. But the explosive growth didn’t happened to the campaign sponsor, in addition few people knew about the Flight Housekeeper app. This result meant the campaign objective was either unclear or deviated for the brand.

Therefore, Chat Chat advise brands to set one clear objective for each WeChat campaign to be in line with their marketing stage. Different campaigns call for different objectives. They can include: maintaining and conversing with loyal followers, improving brand awareness and reputation, products sale promotion and more. Based on different forms of WeChat campaigns, brands should set phased objectives to obtain both brand influence and sales. No matter what kind of campaign it is, one that produces results is one that has complied to its campaign objectives.

2. Grab users’ pain points, itching points & excitement triggers

Once a brand confirms the campaign objective, the next step is to design or copywrite the campaign. Be it H5 games, red envelope giveaway campaigns or influencers’ content seeding, a lot of different advertising methods have already been employed. How do you make your brand stand out?

Brands should focus on knowing your target audience in order to understand their pain points, itching points and excitement triggers instead of struggling in the innovation of the campaign. By using behavior, emotions, demands and human nature to customise your campaign, it will do more with less.

Pain points: Confusion and fear that users experience. This can be identified through observation of users’ behavior.

Case study:

Brand: Hitalk, English spoken training organization

Campaign: WeChat Moments Ads

Hitalk took advantage of travel, work and social scenes to depict instances where Chinese people have to speak English. This prompted users to improve their English language. With precise audience orientation from WeChat big data base, Hitalk hit the target audience’s pain points and provided solutions. The campaign increased followers by 40%, and sales lead by 20%.

Itching points: If pain points are identified to solve target audience’s problem, itching points are identified to satisfy their desire. It may not necessarily be a need at the moment, but it is the planting of ideas that might bear fruition to entice them in the future.

Case study:

Brand: Montblanc, a German luxury goods maker

Campaign: WeChat H5

As a luxury goods maker, the average age of the target audience is higher. In order to reach Chinese customers, Montblanc launched a campaign on WeChat promoting its collection of pens. The campaign was to increase the knowledge among its product history. Montblanc narrated its heritage by appointing Hugh Jackman as spokesman. By entering the app, users could see a letter written in Chinese character. The goal was for Montblanc to immerse the audience into its strong heritage and showcase its know-how. Although some users couldn’t afford it, the advertising campaign upgraded the brand value. One user left a message writing that she considered to send it to her father as a Father’s Day gift.

Excitement: An instant pleasure, consumers feel a sense of sudden enthusiasm for your campaign. Brand may use hot topics, celebrities and perks to attract customers’ attention.

Case study:

Brand: Mafengwo, a travel app

Campaign: WeChat H5 game

During the World Cup period, Mafengwo launched a World Cup prize-reward guessing campaign to ride on the wave of hot topic marketing. Every user could scan the campaign’s QR code to join in the game. Users who guess correctly gets to share the pot of RMB 1 million prize which renews every match day. Moreover, when you share your invitation code with your WeChat friends, even if you guess wrongly, you still could share the prize. At present, there have been over 40 thousand participants.

3. Easy to engage in

In general, for interactive campaigns, based on your target groups, it best to have a low barrier of entry. The rules should be as simple as possible, as the more complex the rules, the fewer people will participate. It is worth mentioning that the fun campaigns would be paid more attention to, although brands still should still consider your objective and what kind of customers you want to attract when you design it.

Case study:

Brand: Folli Follie, Greek-based international jeweler

Campaign: WeChat H5

Folli Follie introduced an interactive campaign on WeChat for Valentine’s Day this year.This mini game sees multiple Folli Follie boxes of different sizes falling from the top of the screen. Users have to tap on as many boxes as possible within 15 seconds – with the larger boxes offering more points. At the end of the game, users are offered different rewards based on their scores, ranging from passport covers to store vouchers.

4. Trigger sharing

A successful campaign will trigger users to share the content organically with more followers. This is a great way to generate new leads, as well as to give you access to a range of different customers’ information. Referring to the abovementioned Mangfengwo World Cup prize-reward guessing campaign, it set invitation codes and Error-free card to trigger users to share them on their timeline.

5. Campaign review

When your brand is ready to launch your campaign, it is important to review that all campaign processes are in place. These include checking all links, whether or not your campaign achieves your objective, calculating the campaign cost and profitability, estimating the effectiveness and verifying the after-service when the campaign is launched. Only if all parts are ready, then will we have confidence to get good campaign feedback.

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