Here are 5 reasons why your WeChat marketing strategy failed

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I bet most marketers who are doing business in China are aware of the hottest MIM platform-WeChat. As a matter of fact, many have already started using this platform as a major marketing tool. After conducting several WeChat workshops and doing some research, I noticed most marketers still haven’t figured out the best way to engage customers.

I am writing this to explain what I’ve learned over the past few months after observing WeChat official platforms’ performance in different industries. And here are 5 reasons that your WeChat marketing strategy failed.

1. Sub-menus are the key of the O2O

According to China Internet Watch, “The Total number of monthly active WeChat users reached 396 million, an increase of 12% QoQ or an increase of 87% YoY.” WeChat has been building an entire ecosystem of interrelated services and functions that can be integrated directly within WeChat. WeChat users started to shop, book hotels, play games, buy and sell stocks, purchase flight tickets and order taxis without ever leaving the app. And after the “official” accounts were launched, companies started to advertise via WeChat in a most engaging and interactive way.

I’ve observed many markets that are still in the very first stage of using the WeChat platform. They only broadcast a daily newsletter to fans, missing the most efficient way of keeping clients engaged. Customized menus.

Customized menus are like buttons that can include links or newsletters to showcase your products and it’s the key to the entire ecosystem.

Note: Subscription accounts can only be granted a customized menu once the account is verified. Service account can have the function once it’s approved but not verified.

2. WeChat is about more than just selling products.

There are many different ways that users can start following your official accounts such as name search, ID search, name card share, QR code and etc.

One of the most effective ways is through friend circle sharing, as it’s more authentic and trustworthy if it’s shared among your friends. That means pictures and subject lines have become one of the major factors whether or not you will get users’ attention. A good subject line is what gets people to read your newsletter and quality content is what keeps people engaged with your brand.

WeChat official platforms allow you to insert pictures, videos and vote to engage with users in a completely new way.

In addition, the “Read more” function allows you to insert links which can be a WeChat website, e-commerce website and a previous newsletter. So if haven’t started paid special attention to content marketing, this is the time to get serious about it.

3. Marketing, it’s about a little bit of both

Okay, so now I’ve created a sub-menu, designed beautiful flyers and created this perfect subject line, it’s time for me to get rewarding results? Not even close yet.

Marketing, it’s always about a little bit of both. Since now you have this WeChat official QR Code, why don’t you display it on all possible online and offline channels? While many brands have been leveraging WeChat to create offline interactions, consumers in China are trained to scan the QR code when they see it with a hope of getting something in return.

This creates a great chance for marketers to create some incentives to keep users engaged. The idea is simple, create engaging content that will produce offline results. Marketing campaigns could be discounts, coupons, time sensitive sales, location based sales, etc. in order to attract customers into stores or to attend events.

4. A WeChat presence is just not enough

Okay, perfect, now I’ve established and created interactive WeChat marketing campaigns, and I’ve got 50 followers a day. So am I good?

The WeChat official platform needs SEO as well. Surprised? As a matter of fact, there is a lot of technology companies have registered a lot of accounts just to get the Name and ID so that they could sell it at 20RMB per account. Smart?!

With so many fake WeChat official accounts in the market, how can you make sure the clients out there are able to find you? Get your account verified with a sealed sign as soon as possible. Once the account is verified with a sealed sign, your official account will appear on the top of the search engine.

Below is the required information in order to have your account verified.

Note: The benefits of a verified account are not just about the search results, if your account type is subscription, you can have a sub-menu function. You also have one opportunity to upgrade to a service account, which grants you access to more functions since the WeChat platform does place a strong emphasis on the differences between subscription and service accounts.

5. Be cautious with redirecting

Most companies that are in business for more than 5 years tend to have websites with an old display mode, which are not mobile-friendly. And moreover, with the average Internet speeds of 100Mbps in China, you surely do not want to redirect followers to the website.

Try to keep the clients on the WeChat platform, even if you have the well-established e-commerce website.

For example, China Merchants Bank, a bank headquartered in Shenzhen, China, was founded in 1987. It is the first share-holding commercial bank wholly owned by corporate legal entities. Their WeChat official platforms allows users to check their bank balance, play games, search for ATM locations and get special deals by having customers without leaving WeChat or redirecting to an APP even though their APP is well established.

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