WeChat for consumer and brand marketing is not new, but now increasingly B2B companies are contacting us to find out how to use make WeChat work for them. The consumerization of B2B marketing and communications is happening everywhere, but pace is faster in China because of the huge scale of the numbers. Even the most obscure product or service can have 10’s or even 100’s of thousands of potential customers on WeChat. Finding them is the opportunity.
Here’s Current Asia’s quick guide to WeChat B2B marketing and tips for success.
WeChat gives you loads of data!
Most companies start with a Subscription Account to “blast” out daily push notifications. These accounts broadcast out content, but with little functionality or analytics. All that untargeted reach isn’t necessarily useful for B2B so the broadcast approach starts having diminishing returns. Then it’s time to switch to a Service Account with more
Opportunities to interact with users, such as:
- Template “push” information or service messages
- QR Codes for different channels to track and segment traffic by source (for example QR codes on collateral materials at events, or embedded on campaign microsites
- WeChat Survey, Voting and Quiz functions
- WeChat eCommerce - WeChat Payment which directly links to WeChat e-Wallet provides ease of payment on WeChat store
- WeChat Mini-sites/ brand mobile sites to create interactive experiences
- WeChat Location (for LBM campaigns)
- WeChat Makes Offline Work Harder
WeChat is a great enabler for offline activities such as product launches, trade shows and seminars. Offline is still important in the B2B customer journey – even with all the tech and analytics, a sale usually comes down to people in a room. QR codes have pretty much completely replaced business cards in China. A well thought through strategy that allows users to scan QR codes on and offline helps segment your users and allow future targeting.
Your content needs to be engaging and have a strong POV, to cut through all the digital noise. Mix and match types of content such as thought leadership, how to’s, buyer’s guides, and product news. Make the most of the WeChat formats, from surveys, to images and infographics, to animation, and video. See what works best, and double down on the winning formats, but don’t forget to keep trying new routes because WeChat and its users’ behavior is always changing
Consumer content can go viral; sharing is less common in B2B for Moments. As a result, advertising is important for lead generation, and of course WeChat’s owner Tencent offers many data-driven ad formats. Content that is precisely targeted to your customers raises that value of the money you spend to promote posts.
WeChat has great look-alike advertising features to help you get your content in front of very specific profiles of users. Some WeChat advertising opportunities include Moments Advertising (the equivalent of Facebook ads appearing on the timeline), banner ads displayed at the bottom of a message, and paying popular WeChat bloggers in exchange for promotional posts on their WeChat account.
WeChat’s B2B Limitations
For all its potential, marketers need to consider from the user’s perspective how crowded WeChat is with brand messages, and how challenging it can be to get a B2B company to stand out. Also, WeChat owner Tencent is serious about protecting user privacy and the quality of the user experience, so marketers need to understand the rationale behind current policies, and be alert to the possibility of further limitations.
The day is still far away when people will click to buy 200k tons of chemicals or complete other large scale B2B purchases via WeChat. But the B2B customer journey is increasingly consumer-ized, digitalized and personalized, and WeChat can help with all of these things!
For further discussion on using WeChat to engagement and lead generation, please contact: Jennifer Bongar, Platforms Specialist: Jennifer.Bongar@currentasia.com
MDB Guest Columnist:
CEO and Founder at Current Asia
Hong Kong and Singapore
Current Asia helps businesses maximize the value of their data, contacts and content. We provide marketers with a clear roadmap to understand which platforms and tools to deploy and how, in order to drive new sources of revenue and maximize sales from their current customers. www.currentasia.com