As one of the largest social media networks in the world and having over 1.17 billion users, WeChat is known as an essential platform for any B2B business seeking to reach its Chinese audiences.
WeChat Official Account, or WeChat OA, is a brand’s central hub on WeChat and a powerful content marketing tool that allows brands to educate and engage with their Chinese audiences through a wide range of content.
While every marketer knows the importance of building a presence with WeChat OA, only a few of them know how to create a successful WeChat OA strategy. In this blog post, we will walk you through the five essential steps to design an effective OA strategy for your B2B brand.
5 Steps To Build a WeChat OA Strategy
Define Your Objective & Audience
The first step to designing your WeChat OA strategy is clearly defining your objective and the target audiences you want to reach. This helps ensure that all communication aligns with overall business goals and is tailored to the specific target market.
Some examples of OA objectives:
Raising brand awareness
Engaging with employees
When defining your OA objective, set a realistic goal by milestones. For example, if you are new to this market and just had WeChat OA set up, it may not be realistic to set lead generation as your objective. Instead, you may want to focus on raising brand awareness and growing followers for the first year.
Once you are clear on your comms objective with WeChat OA, define your target audiences: customers, media, partners, and prospective employees. When considering your target audience, the idea is to be inclusive of all the important stakeholders based on the business priorities. This can help you generate diverse content ideas to engage with different stakeholders and fully capitalize on this channel.
Position Your WeChat Official Account
After defining the overall objective of your WeChat OA, the next important step is to position your OA. Your OA positioning strategy defines your overall approach to this channel, from the voice and tone you use to communicate with the audience to the menu bar design and the article typesetting — making sure your WeChat OA presents unified brand experiences that underline your positioning.
When thinking about the OA positioning, consider using these guiding questions to lead the process:
How do you want it to interact with your audience?
What voice and tone do you like to speak with your audience?
What colors and elements best represent your brand personality?
What functions should it carry to serve your main comms objective?
For example, the US Green Building certification body LEED positions its WeChat OA as the “one single truth of green building” for LEED professionals and customers. Its WeChat OA offers diverse educational content, tools & resources around its rating system and green building. Its content and tone of voice are educational, professional, and practical, which together reinforce its positioning and highlight its educator role in the industry.
Develop High-quality Content
Content is key to B2B WeChat OA, as it helps the business build credibility, authority, and trust — which are absolutely fundamental for a B2B brand.
To create content that resonates with your audience, it is best to develop a content calendar that outlines the cadence and topics in a systematic manner. One mistake we see many marketers make is that they take a reactive approach to creating local content. More often than not, they rely on the existing global content tailored to English-speaking audiences instead of proactively thinking about topics that would resonate with their Chinese audiences. This reactive approach will often lead to unengaging content, affecting your account’s performance and conversion.
Some popular content that does well on WeChat:
Content tied to the local trends
Thought-leadership content, such as an industry trend piece
Educational content (“How to” pieces, for example)
Downloadable resources (such as a whitepaper or report)
One effective way to come up with content topics is to sit down with your local sales team and identify customer problems. Then, write down as many content topics as possible that address these problems and store these ideas in your content repository for organization and content production later. You can then combine these educational and thought leadership topics with the corporate agenda to create diverse content for WeChat OA.
Promote Your WeChat Official Account
Unlike LinkedIn or Facebook, where company profiles are visible to the public, WeChat is a walled garden, and only those who follow your business account can see the content you publish on OA unless they use the search function. This makes it crucial to promote your WeChat OA so that your potential audiences know about it and follow it.
There are several ways you can promote your WeChat OA, such as promoting it on other public traffic platforms like Zhihu, putting a QR code on other owned media channels like your website and newsletter, partner cross-promotion, KOL promotion, and paid ads. In most cases, it is easier to grow OA followers when your business has a strong local sales network so your local sales reps can share the WeChat posts with their customers to quickly gain a following.
In addition, promote your WeChat OA whenever you have a chance to showcase your business, whether through online webinars or in-person tradeshows and use incentives to encourage people to scan your WeChat OA QR code.
In general, it is normal to have slow follower growth for a new WeChat OA if you rely on organic growth alone unless you have a strong local sales and customer network. So be patient and test different growth tactics like the ones we suggested above.
Monitor & Measure Your WeChat Official Account
As Peter Drucker famously said, “You can't improve what you don't measure.” Monitoring and measuring the success of your WeChat Official Account is an integral part of maximizing the effectiveness of your OA strategy.
To measure the results of your OA strategy, you should structure your KPIs to focus on specific goals and regularly monitor how far it has grown over a certain period of time. Tracking key data on a weekly or monthly basis can give you an accurate assessment of how your OA is performing within a specific timeframe and allow you to micro-adjust your content strategy along the way.
Some of the metrics we typically track include：
Net follower number
Post views & shares
Menu bar click-through user behaviors
Resource downloads/form submissions
Reading completion rate
You can also utilize the analysis function built inside of WeChat OA to get a visualized report, which can help you draw follower insights and identify gaps to further fine-tune your OA performance.
Position WeChat OA as Part of Your B2B Marketing Funnel
When designing your WeChat OA, keep in mind to use WeChat as part of your owned media channel mix instead of relying on this single platform to achieve your comms and marketing goal. And think of building synergy with other channels (i.e. website and media outlets) to drive maximum ROIs.
By following the steps and tips above, you will be on your way to developing a successful WeChat OA account strategy for your B2B brand. And if you need help developing or executing your Wechat OA strategy, we’re here for you. Our team of social media experts is experienced in crafting a customized WeChat OA strategy for businesses like yours. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.