WeChat channels guide

The Basics of WeChat Channels: How Does It Work?

Now that your brand has an official WeChat account, what’s next? Perhaps you’re wondering how to spruce up your promotions to attract more traffic to your in-app business profile and e-commerce store. One of the most effective ways to do this is through video content.

Fortunately, opening a WeChat Channels account allows businesses to create and customize videos that are discoverable within the platform’s highly visible user feeds.

In this article, we’ll discuss how WeChat channels work and the strategies you can implement to improve brand visibility in China’s super app.


What is WeChat (Weixin) Channels used for?

The WeChat Channel feature is a dedicated video feed inside China’s biggest social media platform. Through this function, regular users, influencers, and brands can create and publish short-form video content for their intended audiences and WeChat friends.

The new feature was released in early 2020 in response to the continued popularity of the short video market in China. Within six months after its initial launch, it garnered the interest of over 200 million WeChat users.


WeChat Channels livestreaming


At first glance, the WeChat Channels dashboard slightly resembles popular short-video streaming apps in China, like Douyin and Kuaishou. This media feed operates with a distinct algorithm, allowing users to view videos from beyond their contact list or the WeChat official accounts they follow.

Before this feature was launched, brands relied on WeChat Moments and articles to release promotional video content.

With WeChat Channels accounts, brands get the opportunity to appeal to the app’s massive user base using a more interactive content format. The accumulated video views from this new feature increased by 400% over the past year, which is a further testament to its high discoverability and audience reach.


How to access WeChat Channels within the app

WeChat video channels are accessible through the app’s Discover tab. From there, you’ll see the “Channels” option, which, once clicked, brings you to a separate landing page solely dedicated to the feature.


The Channels feed is organized into three categories, allowing WeChat users to choose how they’ll explore content. Here are some of its main access points within the app:


WeChat channels access points


  • Following Section: This WeChat Channels video feed shows content from the official accounts you follow. When scrolling, you’ll likely encounter posts from an official brand account or an influencer.
  • Friends Section: When you open the WeChat Channels page, the “Friends” tab is the first option that will appear on your screen. Typically, it includes videos posted by your WeChat contact. However, it often shows content with the most likes and engagements first.
  • Hot Section: Trending content will appear in this specific WeChat Channels feed. If your video becomes viral, this section will give your content a chance to generate traffic from the huge WeChat user base, regardless of whether they’re following your brand’s official account or not.
  • In-app Search Section: If you click the magnifying glass dashboard icon at the top left of the WeChat Channels page, you’ll see popular hashtags. You can also use this feature to search videos that specifically piqued your interest.


How do I register a WeChat Channel?

●     Through Personal Account’s WeChat Channel

Before anything else, it’s important to know that even a WeChat personal account holder can post videos on Channels. All they have to do is log in or register, go to the Discover tab, and choose the WeChat Channels section.

From there, click the setting options in the upper right corner of the screen and tap on the camera icon with the text “Post Video” at the bottom of the page. When creating a personal WeChat Channels account, you must provide details like name, description, gender, location, and avatar photo.


WeChat channels individual account creation


●     Connecting Your WeChat Official Account with Channels

Another way to create your brand’s official WeChat Channel is to connect it with your existing company profile within the app. To do this, tap the dashboard option from the feed’s main menu.

After that, you can access the settings menu by clicking on the three-dot icon “…” on the dashboard. It will show you the “Verify” option. Once clicked, you must select “Corporate Verification” to start the process of connecting your WeChat Official account.

When a QR code appears on your screen, your official account admin must scan it. It may take a few seconds or minutes to determine whether the verification was successful. Only then can you start posting videos on WeChat Channels.


Audience Profile of WeChat Channel Viewers

While WeChat Channels is a newcomer in China’s short-video market, it has an edge over other platforms due to the super app’s massive user base. In July 2023, this feature recorded around 800 million users.

Its rapid growth led WeChat Channels to surpass the user base of its biggest rivals, Douyin and Kuiashou. The feature also exceeded 80% of user engagement time previously observed from WeChat Moments. It’s primarily because it can accommodate longer video formats and live streaming.

Before you utilize Channels in your WeChat strategy, you must also get to know the audience dynamics of the platform you intend to use. For example, did you know that female account holders dominate 80% of its user base? It’s crucial to take note of this statistic, especially if you’re targeting a specific demographic.


Overview of WeChat channels users


How To Use WeChat Channels For Marketing in China?

1.   Build a Content Strategy that aligns with your Target Audience

The cornerstone of every marketing strategy is interesting content. With your Channels profile directly connected to your brand’s official WeChat account, you wouldn’t want to release videos that won’t appeal to your target audience.

Considering how WeChat Channels work with precise algorithms, you should try to resonate with your potential consumers. You should strive to make these videos visually appealing and informative.

Global brands like Fenty Beauty, MAC Cosmetics, and L’Oréal knew some local audiences unfamiliar with the business preferred beauty tutorials and tips over fancy promotions. Because of this, they included these content strategies on their WeChat Channels to provide added value to their audiences.


Global brands on WeChat channels

Global beauty brands posting on WeChat Channels


If you want to maximize your reach, we suggest participating in online shopping festivals. Events like 11/11 Single’s Day and Chinese New Year sales are often the peak consumer engagement in the Chinese social media landscape. Incorporating these dates with your content marketing strategy increases the chances of garnering higher traffic and potential sales conversions.

Adding hashtags is also among the most effective strategies for amplifying the visibility of your video content within this dedicated space. The WeChat Channel’s features also allow you to add article links and location on the post to increase its discoverability.


2.   Utilize Membership Functions & Loyalty Programs

The beauty of the WeChat ecosystem is that you can always personalize your consumer’s purchasing journey. If your brand is targeting high-net-worth individuals, you can utilize the platform’s membership features to make some of your video content exclusive to them.

Loyalty programs can also be handy for building a community around your brand. You can release videos on WeChat Channels for upcoming exclusive deals and promotions to entice your target audience to join your WeChat group. By doing so, you’re converting these public viewers into a private traffic source.


3.   Collaborate with WeChat KOLs & KOCs for Sponsored Content

WeChat Channels provides short video influencers with an effective platform to build a fanbase according to their chosen niche. As consumers and experts in their respective fields, other users often trust their recommendations more than known celebrities or traditional advertising content from official accounts.


WeChat channels KOLs collaboration


Most of them also have their own WeChat Channel, which they use to communicate with their followers and discuss topics they’re interested in exploring. Because of this, they have a more personal relationship with their audiences.

The question is, which one should you work with: KOLs or KOCs? When working with Key Opinion Leaders, you have the advantage of tapping into an already solid and massive follower base. These influencers have dedicated fans who follow the trends they set. The only problem is they also consistently work with other brands.

Key Opinion Consumers (KOCs) have a significantly smaller follower base than KOLs. However, they have an authentic consumer appeal. Their content does not revolve around endorsements. Instead, they share pieces of their lives that make their recommendations more credible to other users.


4.   Explore Advertising Options on WeChat Channels Feed

A WeChat official account can customize an advertisement campaign to appear on the Channels feature. To take advantage of the video feed’s massive reach and interactive nature, you can choose from a variety of ad formats.

There’s the Mutual Selection Ad, a collaborative advertisement strategy in which advertisers and content creators choose each other based on mutual preferences. These ads integrate smoothly with video content, ensuring an engaging user experience.


WeChat channels ads types


You can also consider the Small Task Ad, which encourages WeChat users to participate in tasks such as creating and sharing content tailored to the advertiser’s goals. Creators are rewarded for their contributions based on their success in driving ad conversions.

Moreover, WeChat Channels support native advertising through live broadcasts and short video ads. It allows promotional content to merge flawlessly within the ongoing broadcast.


5.   Explore Live-Streaming Options

Live streaming is a huge part of WeChat Channels. In fact, more than 68 million monthly active users are fond of viewing and engaging with this content format. It’s a compelling medium for brands and influencers to connect with their audience through real-time, interactive content.

This feature allows for an immersive experience, significantly contributing to brand storytelling, product demonstrations, and direct sales. You can even work with live-stream influencers to implement these content strategies more effectively.


Live streaming on WeChat channels

Host doing product demos in WeChat Channels


To initiate live streaming on WeChat Channels, brands must apply formally through the platform’s backend. In there, they must detail their desired live streaming type, plans, and contact information.

Once approved, WeChat provides a streaming address and key, enabling the stream to launch through third-party platforms like OBS.


6.   Monitor Campaign Performances in WeChat Channels Analytics

Analytics is a window into where and how your brand’s content and traffic move within the WeChat ecosystem. These tools offer deep insights into user demographics and engagement metrics, allowing marketers to gauge the performance of their content effectively.

By monitoring these analytics, you can refine your strategies, tailor your content to meet the preferences of your target audience better and enhance the overall effectiveness of your marketing efforts on one of China’s most influential digital platforms.


Quick Q&A

What is the difference between WeChat moments and channels?

WeChat Moments and Channels serve distinct purposes within the WeChat ecosystem. Moments is a feature that allows users to share life updates, photos, and articles with their friends. It’s similar to a personal social media feed, where privacy settings can limit who sees these posts.

On the other hand, WeChat Channels is a relatively newer platform focused on video content. It allows users and brands to publish video clips and live broadcasts to a broader audience, not just their friends.


Your Trusted WeChat Video Marketing Partner in the Chinese Market!

WeChat Channels is more than just a video feed. If you read our article thoroughly, it’s easy to see that this feature opens different opportunities for brands to attract public traffic. From its interactive video format to its unique advertising options and live-streaming functions, it’s a platform you wouldn’t want to skip when marketing in China.

At Sekkei Digital Group, we understand how vital video channels are to your overall WeChat marketing strategy. With our team’s extensive industry experience, we offer you services that can unlock your brand’s potential in this competitive and complex landscape.


Sekkei Digital Group Services


Whether it’s launching a live stream for your brand, working with influencers, or opening an official account, we provide the digital solutions you need to thrive. Contact us today, and let’s start working together to establish your business in China!


contact us SDG


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