WeChat Marketing in 2020 : new features you need to know

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05-08-2020

Are you doing business in China or with the Chinese market? If so, you must know the latest features of WeChat, the leading Social Media platform in China. To explain it, I invited Olivier Verot, Marketing Expert of the Chinese market.

Olivier Verot - Marketing for China with WeChat

Tencent (WeChat) takes Facebook’s social media leadership with rally that adds US$207 billion to market value this year. 

Evolution of WeChat

WeChat, with its 1.2 billion MAU (monthly active users), is China's leading social network. Born as a messaging platform, the app has introduced over the years several innovative and advanced features that have made it more than just an online chat.

 

WeChat users can:

  • Create a “circle” of contacts and chat with them
  • Post content on their “moment” (equivalent to Facebook Wall)
  • Stay informed with news in all areas
  • Make reservations (taxis, restaurants, flights and more)
  • Use WeChat Wallet to shop online, view their balance, transfer money to other contacts, pay via mobile
  • Use QR codes that make it easy to connect the offline world to the online world

In addition, WeChat is essential for brands that want to do content marketing, advertising, lead generation, brand awareness and influencer marketing activities in China. WeChat offers numerous marketing tools to brands including:

  • WeChat Official Accounts,
  • the WeChat mini-programs,
  • the electronic payment service WeChat Pay
  • advertising features.

WeChat launched 2020 new features  

Since entering the second half of the year, the WeChat team has continuously launched a number of new features and revised and updated previous features. The reason is rather simple: WeChat is no longer alone in the world of chinese social media. Serious dynamic contenders have been growing fast, and it was only about to time for tencent to fight for its leader position (bloomberg article)

What are the WeChat new features?

I will explain one by one the major WeChat new features. 10 interesting features that include:

  1. Channel changes the way it displays videos
  2. WeChat mini-programs can be shared on WeChat Moment
  3. Possibility of using more video/audios into WeChat articles
  4. The list of subscription accounts can recommend watching video content
  5. Brands no longer need to register a WeChat Official Account to run WeChat Moments Ads
  6. More accurate searching for related content
  7. Share and like buttons features Improved
  8. WeChat Mini-shop free?

1. Channel changes the way it displays videos

At the start of 2020, WeChat launches the Channels feature which allows private and official users to post short videos that can be viewed by anyone. A way for WeChat to create a more open environment for users to discover more content.

Users can access the "channels" section of WeChat on the "discover" page just under the "Moments" tab.

Olivier Verot - Marketing for China with WeChat

Until now, when a user shared a video in WeChat "Channels", the presentation was usually a rectangle consisting of an icon and descriptive text.

Now the video appears in its final form directly and its name is displayed just below.

Videos play automatically when passed over.

WeChat by decreasing the number of steps for watching videos on time thus increases its number of views. The key word is practicality.

2. WeChat mini-programs can be shared on WeChat Moment

Mini-program developers now have an option to enable sharing of their mini-programs by users on their WeChat time.

Olivier Verot - Marketing for China with WeChat

3. Possibility of using more video/audios into WeChat articles

Until recently, the limit for audio and video content on a WeChat post was three. The only way to share more of this type of content was then to embed a QR code to a landing page or button to a mini-program.

The limit goes from 3 to 10. Good news for the videast and podcasters but also for the users who will have access to a more varied content.

Olivier Verot - Marketing for China with WeChat

4. WeChat is Sending Official Account Suggestion through subscription list

In an effort to always be open but also to facilitate access to new content for its users, WeChat to start testing the official account recommendation via the “subscription” list.

These suggestions present basic information that the account, such as:

  1. Profile picture
  2. Account name
  3. Introduction
  4. Etc

Recently, we have started to see some video suggestions in the subscription list of some users. These videos look exactly like videos on WeChat channels, except that they have the “suggestion” tag on the top left.

An official account video even published two months ago will have the chance to appear in the video suggestions of some users based on their profile.

Olivier Verot - Marketing for China with WeChat

5. Brands no longer need to register a WeChat Official Account to run WeChat Moments Ads

Probably one of the biggest changes for professionals who want to use WeChat to promote their content / products / services / brands.

Tencent has launched a new advertising platform that combines WeChat ads and Tencent Display Network resources. With the new platform, the brand can:

  • Use the same account to serve ads on all Tencent ad placement sites
  • Use the same targeting group to serve ads on WeChat and other Tencent platforms
  • Brands no longer need to create an official WeChat account to serve WeChat Moments ads.

6. More accurate searching for related content

The WeChat search tab is getting a makeover. It is now easier to search for content by type: article, official account, mini-program etc.
Adding tags to articles and videos also helps sort content quickly.

In conclusion, searching for content on WeChat has never been so convenient.

7. Share and like buttons features Improved

The “like” button had disappeared in favor of “Wow” but just made its comeback. Note also the introduction of the share button which until then was only available after several clicks via the option menu. Action aimed at increasing the number of shares.

Once again, WeChat, play on practicality. A more than appreciable UX effort.

Olivier Verot - Marketing for China with WeChat

8. WeChat Mini-shop  free?

With the possibility of managing advertising without an official WeChat account, this announcement is probably the one that made the most noise. This is a free, in-app WeChat mini-store program. The main advantage of this feature will be the possibility of operating live streaming WeChat with a direct link to a WeChat store.

This beta, although attractive, is not yet at the level of competitors such as Youzan for example. No CRM, lack of integration with other platforms, no international payment etc.

Olivier Verot - Marketing for China with WeChat

This is not the first attempt at a built-in WeChat mini-store. Already in 2017, the lack of flexibility of the WeChat mini store had caused it a lack of interest from brands and businesses. This time, we hope WeChat will learn from its past mistakes and offer services such as API and CRM or offer the possibility of working in partnership with platforms offering such services.

 

Olivier VEROT.

 

 

JulienRio.com: E-marketing in Asia Olivier VEROT
Arrived in China in January 2007, he discovered the Chinese culture. As his real passion was Marketing, he realized analyzes of Chinese consumers’ behavior, and many case studies on the establishment of businesses in the Chinese market. Thus, he created the website www.marketing-chine.com. Due to its original content it has now been several years that Marketing Chine is a leading Key opinion Leader concerning marketing and China. Olivier Verot opened his web marketing agency "Gentlemen Marketing Agency" and sell his expertise when it comes to digital communication. He will be the best partner for any company eager to communicate in the Chinese Internet and improve the traffic of their websites as well as building a Chinese community around their products.


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