Digital Silk Road Gyumri Introduces WeChat for doing business in China
Digital Silk Road Gyumri, a tech startup focused on WeChat Mini program development is becoming the bridge between the West and Chinese market. To be able to provide a full value chain for companies that have intentions to enter the China market or want to expand or transform their business in China, the center opened a branch in Xi’an, the sister city of Gyumri in China, and started partnerships with several local companies.
Nareh Arghushyan, the project manager at the Digital Silk Road Gyumri will share some insights about WeChat and doing business in China in the following article.
Are WeChat mini-programs enough for businesses to be successful in China market?
If you are an e-commerce business, it’s more than important, but not enough. 95% of all e-commerce businesses have their mini-programs developed, but on top of that, in most cases, they have also official service or subscription accounts and WeChat channels, especially in the case of tourism businesses.
Also, we shouldn’t forget about Wechat marketing, which enables companies to raise their brand awareness and have more sales and bookings.
After developing and launching a mini program on WeChat several weeks may pass until the software is approved by Tencent. That’s an ideal time to finalize your WeChat marketing strategy. Digital trends and regulations change quickly in China so investing all your time and effort in detailed planning of the marketing strategy may not have the best outcome. What you think will work for your mini app promotion the best may require some radical changes after a short while.
The types of WeChat Ads and how to choose between the existing options
There are 3 types of WeChat ads: moments ads, mini program ads, and article banner ads.
To choose between these 3 types of WeChat ads the advertisers need to consider the campaign goals first and the target audience. For small to medium-sized brands, banner ads and mini-program ads may prove to be more feasible, while moments ads are more pricy.
To see the exact pricing it’s required to log in to the WeChat Ads backend and enter the campaign details. As an example, the same ad in Beijing and Shanghai costs more e than in first, second, or third tier cities of China, or adding more than 1 image will increase the price of the ad. But basically Scheduled Moments ads require a minimum investment of 50,000RMB per day, while banner ads and mini-program ads can be initiated for as little as 1,000RMB per time.
But let us first look at these types closely to understand the difference.
1. Moments ads
Advertisers are particularly fond of the WeChat Moments feed because it is a clean and tidy space, which contains only what WeChat friends choose to share in chronological order. Moments feed on WeChat is nothing like the Facebook feed, where users encounter all kinds of content and news links from third parties. In this sense, the ad has more chances to catch the attention of users on the WeChat moments feed without competing with other forms of visual and textual content. The ads are displayed almost like a user post or a card with text, 1-9 images, a video, a link to a mini program official account, a WeChat article, or an H5-enabled interactive page.
2. Mini program ads
Mini program ads are perfect in terms of targeting people with the same behavior as they are already interacting with a similar mini program. As of 2021, the biggest advertisers on Mini Programs are e-commerce and Mini Games. Mini program ads’ minimum budget is cheaper than that of WeChat moments, but advertisers cannot choose which Mini Program their ads will be displayed. Developers of mini-programs normally leave ad space for other companies to use and the WeChat system matches the ads based on user profiles and the target audience set by advertisers. Mini program ads are displayed as banner ads either on the top or on the bottom of the screen or as an interstitial full-screen display or pop-up. These ads can lead to an H5 page, an official account, or can trigger the opening of another app.
3. Article banner ads
Banner ads are advertising spaces displayed in the WeChat Official Account Articles. Advertisers can’t control which specific WeChat Official Accounts the ads will appear on unless it’s a Mutual Selection Ad, a result of collaborations between brands and WeChat Official Account providers. These types of ads are basically displayed as a large-format single image or a video with the company logo and name and a link to a store H5 page or another account.
Banner ads have the advantage of being associated with content, which gives more of a target-by-interest system.
Does WeChat marketing work outside of China ?
The good thing about WeChat marketing is that since 2017 WeChat enables to the target Chinese travelers in other countries, choosing the ones who have logged in to the app from a specific location. And the reason for that is the Chinese urge of using WeChat outside of China rather than switching to other apps and payment systems.
Other targeting options are gender, age, and interest where you can choose among 18 categories which fall into 122 sub-categories.
It’s also worth mentioning that China remains no 1 study abroad and outbound tourism market in the World and the Chinese students studying or traveling abroad have the habit of shopping for luxury goods for relatives back home.
For this reason brands, like Nike and Pandora choose to set up location-based services, which allow the users to select their location before browsing and to be redirected to a relevant landing page.
Thanks to WeChat the QR codes have long become an inseparable part of everyone’s daily life in China and the Chinese people have the tendency to seek the WeChat QRs wherever they go. A simple, yet powerful marketing strategy is prominently displaying QRs at physical shops outside of China. By doing so brands can get Chinese followers for their official accounts and new customers for their offline shops.
All in all, WeChat has become the most powerful platform for marketing campaigns having 2.5 million registered businesses, which makes the competition among brands really harsh. Brands and companies need to constantly engage with customers by producing quality content and attracting their community with VIP cards and e-coupons through the WeChat app.