Mini Program Ads
The first move of Wechat in 2018 is to test the Mini Program Ads at the Moment. What does it mean? Wechat is exploring and embracing monetization after nurturing users for a long time.
The initial word-of-mouth promotion of Mini Program relies on the keyword search and traffic led from service or description accounts.
The nearby function benefits the geo-location based Mini Program. For example, when you walked into McDonald's, its Mini Program will detect your location and sign in the closest store. You can order the meal from the Mini Program while waiting in the queue. It gives you an option of dine-in or takeaway. If you make a remark if you require the invoice. In this way, it saves your waiting time also increase the ordering efficiency.
Mini Program had been a gooseberry for Wechat users for a good while, as service account seems to do the same job while keeps users updated on its new move. The biggest problem of Mini Program by then is that it doesn't push notification, so users forget the Mini Program they tried once or twice when their list is crowded with new ones.
Ad creates the exposure of new Mini Program and boosts the users for a period of time. The ads runner hope that users get hooked and become a frequent user to reduce cost per acquisition. Wechat has been testing various forms of Mini Program Ads since July 2017. Within the public account article, the promo image can be inserted and linked to Mini Program. Later on, the bottom banner of the article can be an entry of Mini Program as well.
Before the New Year, Mini Program has released a new function that the most recently used Mini Program can be found in the drop-down menu on top of the chat feed. Within the first week, the users from drop-down-menu-entrance jump to 43.8%.
The newly tested Mini Program Ads enriches the Moments Ads from Html 5 to a more functional channel. Engaging content is no longer the determining factor, but the journey to capture the users and make them returned users is more important. It presents a big potential not only for the service providers.
Wechat Boutique Store
The battle in e-commerce has never died down in China. Alibaba and JD.com fought over the Single Days campaign and even developed a new concept of 12.12. As the prominent social media ecosystem, Wechat stays quiet on e-commerce until now.
Wechat quietly released Boutique Store just before the new year. By searching brand name, users can find the store on top of the "search" result. The menu has three headlines as an entry, which can be the entry to the store, official account or promotional services to a specific landing page. It looks and functions like a simplified e-commerce mobile site, where you can browse the items, put items into Wishlist (which is linked to your Wechat Pay!) and complete the purchase. Wechat only invited the top 12 consumer brands, such as LV, Zara and MK, as pioneers.
Alibaba's Tmall Pavilion was launched in Aug 2017, aggressively establishing luxury brands' e-commerce presence and reshaping the China marketing strategy. How much impact Wechat Boutique Store will bring to the table is yet to be rolled out, but Alibaba's e-commerce model has been tested and optimized over the years. It would be interesting to see whether Wechat Boutique Store will grow into another phenomenal function as the public account that brings in direct conversion and advertisement, or it will remain a cherry on top of the cream as Mini Program.
It is a monthly series where we selected the most interesting and worthing learning digital campaigns to share with you, as well as introduce the social tools and campaign formats.
Airbnb @Wechat Moment
With its Chinese name getting mocked, Airbnb spends aggressively on marketing. Other than a gathering event to award the best hosts and three videos based on the real stories, Airbnb published two promotional videos two months away from 2018 Chinese New Year. The theme is to encourage youngsters to travel with parents instead of spending Chinese New Year at home, with one spending time at home with family and the other one experiencing the local life via Airbnb. The audience will see the title and thumbnail of both ads on Wechat Moment, and decide to open either.
（Watch the video HERE)
Highlight: A great practice with the feature of Wechat Moments Ads, two-options ads.
Chanel reprised its Cruise 2018 collection, originally shown in Paris, in Chengdu. Chanel choosing Chengdu, a city mostly known for its panda out of the country and its hot pot among Chinese, shows its determination for localization. Other than all the high-profile guests, Chanel ran a successful social campaign on Weibo, invited KOLs and celebrities to share their favourite places or occasions of Chengdu, under the hashtag #ChanelinChengdu. Many celebrities share their stories with Chengdu spontaneously, showcasing the similarity between Chanel and Chengdu. Classics and modern co-exist.
Highlight: #ChanelinChengdu campaign
How do other luxury brands penetrate China market? Every brand has its own focus.
Xiaomi @ IoT Summit?
On the IoT Summit hosted by Xiaomi, the world's 5th largest smartphone maker in the world. Xiaomi announced that it becomes the biggest IoT platform in the world with more than 10 million active devices connected.
With more than 280 smart devices including smart TV, rice cooker and phone, Xiaomi's ambition of becoming a smart hardware brand and sharing data across devices is to build a smart hardware ecosystem. It also inspires new possibilities for marketing and advertising -- marketing within certain scenarios. For example, KFC developed a prototype with Xiaomi smart fridge. When people use the fridge and "tell" the keywords, KFC APP will be triggered to run automatically for you to complete the order. Xiaomi users can also share their menu and activities on social media from Xiaomi Phone.
Highlight: The boundary between advertising and service becomes further blurry.
Wechat, with 0.9 billion daily active users, is the gold mine of Tencent Advertising field. In 2017, Tencent quietly rolled out two new features to Moments ads, one as card format and the other two-option-creative.
Click here to read: Why Wechat is the most important social media channel in China?
What is Wechat Moments?
Wechat Moments is like Facebook feed, which allows users to share their photos, status, location, article etc. The difference lies that Moments is only visible to Wechat contacts, more like Snapchat, and chronologically displays all the updates from contacts, unlike Facebook’s algorism encouraging sponsored content and only showing you the most engaged and relevant content.
How does Wechat Moments Ads work?
Like Facebook Ads, advertisers can define Moments Ads target audience by demographics, such as gender, age, location, education level etc. The post format is limited to up to 6 images or a short video lasting 15s, with a short paragraph no longer than 40 characters and a hyperlink. As Wechat Ads is completely based on mobile end, the hyperlink can lead traffic to a webpage, an official account and most likely an engaging HTML5.
How to use Moments Ads?
Unlike Facebook segments its objectives and price models into brand awareness and leads generation, CPM (cost per 1000 impressions) is the single price model for Moments Ads. Tencent is very cautious in not stuffing users' feed with too many advertisements. The minimum budget was 50,000RMB (ca. 7,500 USD) for one campaign when Moments Ads was first launched.
The high threshold entry kept the small players out of the game, and required strong visuals and copy to trigger call-to-action for the first year. Wechat ads is by far only used by big B2C brands for big awareness campaign, location-based promotions, coupon download or APP download.
Now, the CPM price varies from 180RMB in Beijing and Shanghai, 120RMB in the second-and-third tier cities, to 60RMB in the rest cities. But 1 million RMB differs between normal client and key client. It is still a game for the big players.
New Feature: Two-options-Ads
Recently, Wechat rolled out a new feature to the Moments Ads. The advertiser can display 2 creative options for users to choose. Users can click on either option to expand and view the full ads. The ads format remains the same which aims at leads generation or even direct conversion. (See Dior's campaign above)
This little tweak shifts the AB test option from advertisers towards users, hitting two birds with one stone. On one hand, user action gives brand marketers more data to analyze their preference and customise content in the future. On the other hand, the users are empowered by the brand to express their opinion and get more involved in the buyer's journey.
Wechat Moments Ads is one of the advertising channels with top ROI (but also high investment) among the various platforms in China. With China's unique online ecosystem, how to choose an efficient advertising channel follows the content creation and localisation. Drop us a line if you want to know where to start with your brand.
Alibaba achieved $36 billion revenue on the Singles Day (11th Nov). In comparison, Black Friday 2016 hit the record-breaking $3 billions, less than a tenth of Alibaba’s figure. E-commerce has changed the shopping behaviour in China, and inspired people out of the country as well. Then, how can a foreigner be part of this exciting e-commerce wave?
Well, Taobao has launched its website for the premier overseas markets, but UAE is not on the list. AliExpress is an English online shopping platform powered by Alibaba. But the price is higher compared to Taobao. Moreover, the AliExpress delivery cost is not friendly to UAE users (AGAIN!).
What about ordering directly from Taobao and Tmall? Is it really that hard for foreigners to find products and complete orders? What about the shipping cost?
Let Seeniun Media help you out.
Barrier 1: Everything is in Chinese
Taobao and Tmall target Chinese audience, therefore, the whole website and product description are in Chinese. Most of Taobao sellers provide prompt and helpful customer services, pointing you to the right products, taking notes of all your requirements and answering any of your questions. Even if they are not 24/7 online, you expect a quick response on the chat (Aliwangwang). However, most of the sellers barely speak English (you might be lucky to find a few). The whole communication process is most likely in Chinese.
Solution: Google + Seeniun Assistance
Highly recommend Google Chrome web browser with built-in automatic translation from any possible language (that’s how I check Arabic content in UAE!) You can use image and English keywords (find the product keywords here ) to search for the products.
Communicating with the Taobao selling might be harder for the auto-translation, but that’s not the end of the day! Google Translate is becoming more and more intelligent with the help of machine learning over the years. Its translation quality, once complaint by many users, has witnessed massive improvement.
Barrier 2: How to crack Chinese payment methods?
Most of the global payment services, such as PayPal, Western Union or WebMoney, simply DON’T work in China. Without China residence visa, it is impossible for foreigners to open a bank account that means an online banking access. What about the credit cards? Unfortunately, the international credit card, Visa and Mastercard, are rejected on most of the occasions in China.
Solution: Set-up an Alipay account by yourself!
Alipay is the most ubiquitous form of electronic payment in China, Alibaba‘s mobile payment wallet. The compulsory verification with a Chinese phone number used to stop overseas users from completing the registration process, but it has changed. The overseas users can register with their local number and receive verification code accordingly. Simply download Alipay APP (or visit their website), switch it to English language and sign up with your UAE phone number. Or you could register on the English website (here)
Barrier 3: What about the logistics from sellers to me?
Although Taobao has launched its overseas market website and official forwarding Services (Taobao cargo) specially for international buyers. This service doesn’t include UAE as a destination. If you save your home address in UAE as the default address, Taobao will automatically quote a pricy deliver fee based on the AliExpress rate. How expensive? It is more than 90AED for the first 500g!
Solution: Dubai’s local logistics company Faster
Faster, a Chinese operated logistics company based in the International City, provides by far the best logistics solution to UAE – affordable price and quick customs clearance. (simple price structure: 15AED for the first 500g, and 10AED every 500g on top of it. )
You can chat with their customer service on wechat (faster0567680111) and track the delivery status on the website with the order number. Faster provides a recipient address in Shenzhen, to which Taobao sellers can arrange the domestic delivery. The whole delivery process takes around 2-3 weeks including the customs clearance. Once the parcel is in Dubai, you can pick it up from the International City.
Seeniun Media is the Chinese marketing expert. If you need any help or assistance to kick start your e-commerce business, don't hesitate to drop us a line.
Last week, the top Weibo KOLs gathered in Beijing to attend the three-day V Influence Summit hosted by Sina. V is the abbreviation of VIP that refers to key opinion leaders (KOL), i.e. social influencers, in China.
Unlike Twitter being left behind the competition with Facebook and Google, its Chinese equivalent, Weibo, has successfully transferred into a more dynamic and entertaining platform (Here is how) with text, image short videos and live to broadcast as content pillars. It was the third edition of V Influence, on which Sina reviewed the platform performance and KOL landscape, overlooked the international digital trends and released positive information for the future development while KOLs and agencies shared the case studies and the best practices.
We have summarised three key takeaways from the event:
Dive deep into the segmented micro-influencers and entertainment.
In the first 11 months in 2017, there are 2.3 million professional copywriters across 12 vertical topics. Those who have more than 100,000 views are called “Top writers”. Accumulatively, they have earned more than 200 million RMB (ca. $30 million) from Weibo platform only. Now, Weibo increased the vertical topics from 12 to 18, the monthly impressions of each topic are over 10 billion. Celebrity, media and fashion are the top three topics, while education, foodie, TV shows, e-commerce and sports are among the new topics.
Develop e-commerce on social platform.
The booming of micro-influencers pushed the KOL monetization pattern from being brand ambassadors, to selling branded products, till now building their own brands or collaborating with brands for a new collection. It’s proven by the success on Singles Day: four Weibo KOLs sold more than 100 million RMB worth of products, and almost all the Taobao top sellers closely worked with Weibo KOLs.
In 2018, Weibo’s new movement is to initiate an investment fund, focusing on content e-commerce, high-quality short videos and entertainment. The content e-commerce is to help content creators to build their own brand, produce collaterals and monetize the exposure.
Test the paid knowledge go
Weibo, inspired by KOL voice broadcasting and paid QA, aims to find a new approach to monetization. It will open “reward” function for the influencers, meaning that follower can pay for the influencer to answer their questions. Meanwhile, those who didn’t ask the question can pay 1RMB to read the answers. Red Bean Live, as Weibo’s by-product, enables KOLs to sell “tickets” for their live broadcast.