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.
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.
Find right platform to promote the right content at the right moment to the right targets – That’s the fundamental social influencers strategy now. The social influencers in China are called Key Opinion Leaders (KOL). It had gone through huge changes and evolution from political and interactive to entertaining and commercial. Seeniun Media sneak peaks the KOL landscape and evolution.
The first wave of social influencers appeared with the viral growth of Weibo between 2009 and 2012. They discuss humanity, livelihood and social affairs. When Wechat was launched in 2012, the social influencers started to diversify. On one side, the knowledge sharing oriented KOLs became active thanks to the long-content form on Wechat, on the other side; the celebrities’ social accounts heated the entertaining trends. After 2014, the diversified KOLs, as well as the niche platforms, bloomed. You can find KOLs in all different niche categories, such as constellation, film review or overseas education.
KOL strategy becomes an important part of the digital marketing. Which KOLs to choose, what’s the collaboration format, how to co-create content that contains the key messages while aligns with KOL tone and voice are among a long list of points to consider.
Dubai cites itself as an example of how to work with KOLs on various campaigns, and balance the commercial hard sell and editorial influence. During the New Year campaign, Dubai Tourism works with @石榴婆, the top fashion KOL on wechat to create an editorial feature with clear call-to-action "Dubai is the perfect destination for winter trip" at the end. While, @丽贝卡的异想世界, smaller than @石榴婆 but with strong proven conversion capability as a fashion KOL, was invited with her mum to visit Dubai and then talked about her experience in the city. The followers of these fashion KOLs usually have strong purchase intention and active conversion.
Papi Jiang (Papi酱), famous for the funny short self-made video, has 20,640k followers on Weibo and 2,504k on Bilibili. She has a strong personal style and also has a strong engagement for the brand. However, if the brand image isn't aligned with her entertaining style, or brand target audience doesn’t match hers, it’s not going to work.
Over the years, the KOL battlefield for brands becomes more complicated and competitive. A few trends to keep in mind:Other than WeChat, Weibo and E-commerce social platform, news platforms with social function is an emerging platform. Brands need to better utilize it too for brand impact. Not all the categories need to rush chasing after social media frequent users.
If you are looking for a specific KOL or want to launch a social campaign, don't hesitate to drop us a line. Based on your objective and budget, Seeniun Media helps you develop a practical social influencer engagement strategy, as well as identify and manage the right KOLs for you.
Mini Program by Wechat indicates Tencent’s ambition to build an APP within the APP, and enhance Wechat as the solo entry for the whole social circle. However, one of the most common confusion is how to differentiate mini program from service/subscription account, how to allocate resources across different channels to maximise the value and close the loop.
McDonald pioneers in the digital wave in China, and becomes one of the top players. Their recent movement of installing digital screens for ordering in the store builds another dimension in its digital journey. It also further integrates Paypal and Wechat Pay, reduces the queue and frees the staff. Compared to the in-store digital experience, McDonald’s digital marketing plays an important role to build the brand awareness and enhance the loyalty. APP, service account and Mini Program complement each other to some extent.
In McDonald’s case, Mini Program called i麦当劳 is dedicated to the loyalty program where users can apply membership, accumulate reward points, and exchange points with gifts. The target audience is children and their parents. The exclusive events and birthday gifts are available.
The traditionally loyalty program shifts from website to the mobile which is easier for members to re-engage with the brand and be motivated to collect more points. The e-gift card function and online customer service serve the same purpose. What McDonlad’s mini program doesn’t include but most of other restaurants do is to book a table, order meal and pay the bill.
Mini program provides services, while the service account curates the brand image. That’s key difference.
The service account is the platform where content campaign, digital campaigns (H5), special discounts and coupon are pushed out. The coupons can be saved into the wallet and used on one-click. McDonald’s can sell collaterals and toys via the e-commerce function, and the geo-location function enables users to see the McDonald’s stores nearby. Though the service account is limited to 4 posts a month, service account has an important feature that guarantees a much higher open rate. Service account notification has its own tab compared to the subscription accounts that all live under one tab.
The service account helps build the brand awareness and provides an entry to the APP and mini program. The purpose and function of APP is to order food. McDonald also links the credits from online ordering with mini program iMcDonald.
Big players might have developed APP before mini program time, or require more complicated functions; nevertheless, the small F&B service providers happily turn to mini program.
What about other B2C industries, such as fashion and O2O platforms? Seeniun Media will bring you more insights.
You might be familiar with Google My Business, the most efficient tool for local business owner, but it only works out of China. With almost 0.9 billion daily active users, Wechat has become the most important channel for the business to connect with existing customers and provide services due to Google’s being ousted from China. Google My Business is built upon SEO and SEM principle; however, Wechat is more like a combination of a closed LinkedIn group and an APP. Due to it unique model, there are lots of confusion and questions about Wechat service account.
What is service account? How to apply innovative approach and enhance CRM via Wechat service account? We study FarFetch and WeWork, and help you sneak peak the functions and potential benefits of the service account for a local / regional business.
Service account is designed for better customer services not that much brand awareness. WeWork, the biggest global co-working space operator, uses Wechat to manage the local community and encourage more bookings. FarFetch, the fast-growing luxurious fashion e-commerce platform, fills the gap of the APP and the desktop website via Wechat.
WeWork represents a typical local business that requires intense customer support. Its Wechat account provides free Wifi to gain followers from existing and potential members. It enables multiple customer service admin to login, so that customer service team from different cities or locations can handle questions without constant login-and-out. The user can book a tour of a specific location at a specific time, and receive SMS confirmation. They are able to signup the event via Wechat as well. WeWork will also receive a powerful database and analytics from the engagement.
On the other hand, FarFetch displays the power of Wechat in e-commerce. The account is integrated with Wechat Pay and Online shop API, i.e. its followers can browse the new collections, order items, complete the order and track the delivery without switching the app. It helps smoothen the user journey and increase conversion, and also guarantees a higher open rate compared to subscription account and the individual APP.
The verified service account also allows inserting the external links. It can generate the traffic for websites or a campaign destination, and enables a shortcut to the archive content.
FAQ – What’s the difference between wechat service account and subscription account?
Location: All the subscription accounts live under the single folder in the news feed, which means user need to two clicks to read the content. Each service account is an individual account, which means higher open rate and strong loyalty.
Frequency: Subscription account has the capacity to post or schedule one post a day, which can be one hero post or multiple posts. Therefore, it is used to build the brand awareness. The service account is limited to four posts a month.
One thing to note that both service and subscription account require Chinese business license and relevant files for account verification so as to customize the Wechat menu and functions, Selenium Media can customize your service account and apply for account verification on your behalf.
Wechat launched another key function, Mini Program, in early 2017. Mini Program, like a mini APP within the Wechat APP, enables more imagination and flexibility from the developer. Therefore, what’s the limitation of service account, and what’s difference between service account and mini program?