27 May 2019
This year is the official China-NZ Year of Tourism. It couldn’t be a better time to use the outstanding social media tool WeChat to market your brand to Chinese audiences in New Zealand.
Create a communications and content strategy plan with an organisation that really knows the NZ Chinese community and you’ll be well positioned to reach over 180,000 monthly active WeChat users in NZ. At last count more than 3,000 NZ-based businesses had opened services on WeChat. That number is doubling each year, the Asia Media Centre reports – so don’t be left behind. It’s closest equivalent in the western world is Facebook but WeChat is not just social media. It’s a tool for marketing, providing services and e-commerce.
Here are some ways to get the most out of WeChat.
Communication, customer engagement and sales don’t have to be done on separate software thanks to this super app.
WeChat mini-programs that is not often recognised is its ability to act as a service tool, not just as a communication platform. The crowded nature of WeChat means that standing out from competitors to engage with customers is becoming increasingly difficult. Mini-programs optimise user experience by building a sense of community around your brand, which serves to increase customer engagement.
KOLs, also known as influencers, are people with expert product knowledge and influence in their field. Chinese audiences pay a lot of attention to KOLs, even halfway across the world here in the South Pacific. Take Papi Jiang, for example. This popular blogger has scores of followers and has a ‘girl next door’ persona making her a perfect KOL.
Increasingly, New Zealand business owners are looking for opportunities to work with Chinese e-commerce platforms, however the initial investment is often too much for it to be feasible for small businesses.
WeChat is an e-commerce platform but is far more accessible for New Zealand businesses than some of its more expensive competitors. Sales can be developed with ease from WeChat marketing, and it also serves as a way for brand owners to recruit retailers who might be interested in their product.
Content marketing is crucial for building an engaged audience that wants to interact with the content produced. WeChat posts are a lot longer than a short Facebook post so it’s essential that marketers make the content compelling enough to keep the attention span of the user. Also, it is crucial that your key marketing messages are not lost in translation. Specialist ‘cultural intelligence’ agencies such as Bananaworks can ensure that the key messages are adapted correctly to relate to the mindset and behaviours of Chinese audiences.
Some extra tips to maximise marketing value with WeChat
Getting the right content delivered to the WeChat audience using the right tone of language is a recipe for success.
The style, layout and design of each piece of content conveys the tone associated with the product, so decide carefully what ‘flavour’ your WeChat presence has.
Invest time in studying your WeChat followers’ preferences, then deliver them the content they want, and you’ll gain followers who are loyal, understanding and spread your brand widely.
It is also important to note that followers won’t engage with WeChat posts unless they have been tailored to the Chinese market – New Zealanders interact with Facebook posts in a different way to how the Chinese interact with WeChat. Brand content needs to be tailored to the Chinese market in order to be effective in this space.
A WeChat Moment (within a ‘Friends Circle’) means users can share and get access to accepted WeChat friends’ information, creating an intimate and private communicating circle within the users' choice of close friends. WeChat Moments advertisements allow users to interact with each ad. WeChat moments ads can cost thousands but can result in a huge amount of reach.
Bananaworks communications plans include analysis on what the brand is, who should be targeted and what is the connection point between brand and Chinese audiences.
One of the longest-standing marketing agencies in New Zealand aimed at Asian audiences, Bananaworks takes care of research, planning, creative, media and events. www.Bananaworks.co.nz.
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