WeChat Marketing guide 2024

WeChat Marketing Guide: How To Utilize China’s Super App

Last Updated on April 15, 2024

The WeChat app remains undisputed among the top social media platforms in China. In 2024, it garnered over 1.3 billion monthly active users, covering more than 87% of the country’s internet population.

With its massive user base, trends emerging from this platform naturally affect the Chinese market as a whole. So, it’s not an app you can skip when promoting in China. However, it’s important to understand the platform’s ecosystem before you can create a great WeChat marketing strategy.

In this post, we’ll guide you through the nit-and-grit of using China’s super app for your brand campaigns and share effective tips on improving brand awareness among WeChat users.


What is WeChat used for?

WeChat started as a photo-sharing and messaging app in 2011. Since then, this social media platform has evolved into an all-in-one app, influencing many lifestyle aspects of regular Chinese users.

While many people refer to the platform as China’s answer to Facebook, the reality is WeChat goes beyond traditional social networking. Its closed virtual ecosystem allows brands to promote using official accounts, establish virtual storefronts, set up in-app local payment methods, launch live streams, and many more.


WeChat social media China


With a regular WeChat account, you can use the app to book a cab, purchase items from brands you love, and even process government services. All these features operate within the platform. It facilitates a seamless consumer journey businesses can leverage to connect with their target market.

Many foreign businesses consider WeChat a powerful marketing tool primarily because of its one-on-one engagement model. Unlike other social media apps, marketers can form more personal connections with their followers by sending customized messages and offering perks like discounts and free trials.


2 Types of WeChat Official Accounts for Your Business

If you intend to use the app as part of your digital marketing game plan, your brand must apply for an official account on WeChat. This process allows marketers to gain access to the platform’s extensive content creation tools and advertising options.


There are two WeChat official account types. Each one gives businesses the power to customize user experiences and make unique consumer journeys for their target audience.


differences between WeChat service account and subscription account


●     WeChat Service Accounts

A WeChat service account is integrated directly into the platform’s chat section, similar to how you’d see a contact’s messages. This positioning ensures your content is highly visible to users and stands out more than a WeChat subscription account.

While service accounts limit brands to publishing just four posts per month, this constraint encourages the creation of high-quality, impactful content. It’s also the only official account option available for foreign brands.


WeChat official service account


●     WeChat Subscription Accounts

Another type of WeChat official account is the subscription option. With this kind of profile, the content is organized under a dedicated “subscription” folder within the chat section. This separate space may not be as immediately visible as service accounts.

On the bright side, the major advantage of subscription accounts is the ability to send one push notifications daily. This feature is perfect for brands with frequent updates or those wishing to engage their audience with daily content.

These WeChat accounts also work better for keeping your followers informed and engaged with regular updates about your brand and other promotional content.


WeChat official subscription account


Understanding Its Ecosystem: How Does WeChat Work?

●     WeChat Messaging/Chats

Instant messaging is the core service of the WeChat ecosystem. With users sending over 45 billion messages daily within the platform, this feature has the potential to be an effective tool for increasing consumer engagement.

As a versatile communication platform, it enables users to engage in various forms of messaging, from text and voice notes to group chats and broadcasts.

It also supports sharing multimedia like photos and videos, conducting live video calls, and even sharing locations.


WeChat messaging


Many businesses now widely use WeChat groups to build consistent private traffic for their brands. Through these communities, marketers can start discussions related to their products or host giveaways to increase engagement.

Beyond conventional messaging, WeChat users can exchange coupons, send virtual money packets, and share files with nearby contacts through Bluetooth.

This platform’s diverse messaging capabilities offer brands a fertile ground for crafting engaging and personalized WeChat marketing strategies.


●     WeChat News Feed

At first glance, this section on the WeChat platform works like Facebook’s Home Newsfeed. It’s where WeChat users can see curated content from the subscription accounts they follow.

It includes companies that prioritize content marketing, like news media outlets, influential bloggers, and other official organizations.


WeChat newsfeed


●     WeChat Moments

WeChat Moments operates like a social feed, giving users an interactive platform to share snapshots of their daily lives with friends. This feature is widely prevalent in the app, with 120 million users engaging with it daily.

Social media users can post various content types on WeChat Moments, including images, text updates, short videos, articles, and audio. The availability of diverse content formats makes this feature highly suitable for storytelling and content-sharing.

Your friends and followers can also interact with WeChat Moments by liking them, leaving comments, and sharing the content with their circle.


WeChat moments


●     WeChat Channels & Live-streaming

In 2020, the WeChat platform launched Channels in response to the rapid rise of short-form video content and live streaming in China.

While WeChat Moments are often restricted to your followers and the audiences searching for your brand, this feature is designed to serve public and private audiences. It means that users can discover your content whether they’re following your WeChat official account or not.


WeChat Channels livestreaming

WeChat Channels In-app Feed


As part of your WeChat marketing strategy, Channels can help brands showcase their products, share brand stories, or highlight customer experiences using video content.

It also has a live-streaming feature that offers a unique opportunity to interact with your audience in real-time. This feature often works well when launching new products or hosting product demonstrations.

Conducting live streams on Channels not only humanizes your brand but also makes room for direct feedback and a more personal connection with Chinese customers.


●     WeChat Mini-Programs

By opening WeChat official accounts, marketers gain the ability to create mini-programs for their brands. This feature essentially follows the “app within an app” concept. It simplifies the user experience by integrating third-party services directly into the platform.

WeChat pioneered the Mini-Programs trend in the Chinese social media landscape. After its success, many social networking sites like Douyin followed suit. Today, this feature has approximately 924 million monthly active users, meaning over 90% of WeChat users use it.


 Mini programs accesses in WeChat


WeChat Mini-Programs accommodate varying services and functionalities, from e-commerce stores to food delivery and online reservations.  This feature gives users a smooth consumer journey from discovery to payment without installing another app.

When designing your brand’s WeChat Mini-Program, you must do it with your target audience in mind. Whether you want your mini-program to feature products, services, or information, these sub-applications can be tailored to meet various business needs.

Another notable component of WeChat Mini-Programs is the built-in integration of WeChat Pay within its system. Thanks to this simplified payment processing, both businesses and consumers can ensure security and trust in every transaction.


Starbucks WeChat mini program

Starbucks’ WeChat mini program


●     WeChat Search

As social search became more prevalent in China, WeChat users also began conducting their product discoveries and queries exclusively on the platform’s search engine function.

WeChat Search allows users to discover varying content types based on the keywords or phrases they enter in the app’s search box. It connects them with everything posted on the platform, from Mini Programs and Official Accounts to Moments, Channels, and even stickers.


SEO strategy with WeChat search


With e-commerce features embedded within WeChat, optimizing your presence for search can directly build brand awareness and influence potential sales and growth.

Adding hashtags and relevant keywords to your content makes it easier for users to discover your brand, whether they’re looking for specific products, services, or engaging content posted by your WeChat official account.


●     WeChat Pay

In China, this feature is more than a convenient payment method. It’s a lifestyle choice for millions of users who integrate their bank accounts with WeChat Pay. This e-wallet feature allows them to manage their monetary transactions digitally.

Offering WeChat Pay as a payment option in your store or mini-program can create a seamless shopping experience for your target customers. This integration also aligns with local preferences and expectations, considering that over 943 million people in China use mobile payments.


WeChat Pay functionalities


Beyond great WeChat marketing campaigns, a familiar and trusted payment method boosts your brand’s credibility and trustworthiness among Chinese consumers. By integrating this e-wallet function into marketing campaigns, brands can offer special discounts or promotions to users who pay through the platform.


●     WeChat QR Codes

WeChat QR codes are often customized and strategically placed across various marketing assets, from product packaging and in-store displays to digital advertisements and other platforms.

Scanning these codes with the WeChat app leads users to different landing pages, like a brand’s official account, mini-programs, promotional campaigns, or directly into a payment interface.


WeChat qr code for

WeChat QR Code use in a O2O campaign


From marketing and promotions to customer service and payments, you can adapt WeChat QR codes to a wide range of uses. This usage flexibility makes them an indispensable tool in your marketing arsenal.

You can also utilize QR codes to bridge offline marketing efforts and online WeChat activities, ensuring a consistent brand experience across all channels.

With this advanced feature, marketers can track the performance of their campaigns, understand user engagement and preferences, and adapt their WeChat marketing strategies accordingly to maximize effectiveness.


●     Enterprise WeChat (WeCom)

Brands that are considering using WeChat as an integral part of their Chinese marketing strategy can benefit from its Enterprise feature. This platform facilitates efficient work communications for your business, from schedule management to expense records.

By centralizing work-related discussions, Enterprise WeChat ensures that information is easily accessible, reducing the risk of miscommunication and enhancing team collaboration.

While it’s a separate tool from the actual social media app, it can connect with WeChat’s ecosystem.


Enterprise WeChat (Wecom)


Overview of WeChat’s Target Demographic

WeChat stands as the titan of the Chinese social media industry, with a massive traffic of 1.3 billion monthly active users in 2023. Its Mini Programs alone have seen daily active users soar to 689 million, marking a significant uptick of 12.21% or 75 million users from 2022.

This platform transcends age barriers, attracting young and old users. In 2024, the largest demographic in WeChat is people under 24, accounting for 33.5% of the overall user base. Meanwhile, users over 41 years old account for around 19.1%.

The super app’s popularity isn’t confined to first-tier cities. According to the platform’s user statistics, it extends to other urban regions, such as Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.


WeChat statistics and user demographics 2024


Another interesting demographic aspect of WeChat’s user base is its gender composition, which includes 53.5% male and 46.5% female users. The balanced demand from both consumer groups signifies the platform’s ability to engage with varying audiences effectively.


How to use WeChat for Marketing in China

1.   Choose & Publish the Right Content for Your Brand

Your WeChat official account is the equivalent of your website. As the fort that holds your brand together within the platform, how you release content in the app should mirror your brand’s identity while still appealing to your local audiences.

The content layout plays a pivotal role in capturing the attention of Chinese users, who typically prefer visually rich posts over text-heavy WeChat articles.

We recommend crafting an engaging WeChat post using a combination of images, videos, and interactive layouts. Great visual and interactive content not only grabs attention but also encourages your followers to engage with you.


WeChat Content Creation for 1883

SDG’s work with 1883: WeChat Content Creation


Besides posting a well-curated WeChat article, videos have also proven to stand out more in the local digital space. In fact, the users on the platform upload over 68 million videos daily.

Although released only in 2020, Channels has already recorded 38 billion video views, translating to three videos per average WeChat user. This data further testifies to the prevalence and effectiveness of video content on the app.


2.   Launch WeChat Advertising Campaign

When you advertise on WeChat, it opens an opportunity for your brand to be discovered by new potential consumers. This strategy gives marketers the power to expand their reach while ensuring that their campaigns connect with the right audience.

The formats you can choose for your WeChat advertising campaign can range from moments ads to channels and search ads. Besides the layout, these choices differ in targeting options, platform positions, and price range.


WeChat advertising formats


The platform prioritizes a balanced user experience by limiting ad exposure. For example, each user encounters a maximum of three WeChat Moments ads daily. This system ensures that advertising does not overshadow organic content.

Ads displayed on user feeds are discreetly removed after six hours if not interacted with through comments, likes, or shares. To avoid this from happening, try to assess your campaign goals to determine which type of ad formats best suit your business needs and which one appeals to your target audience better.


3.   Work with WeChat Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs)

With user-generated content gaining more attention in China’s digital landscape, working with trusted KOLs also becomes integral to shaping consumer preferences in WeChat.

Collaborations with these influencers open a direct channel to engage with potential customers. However, keep in mind that these partnerships must be thoughtfully curated to ensure alignment between the influencer’s audience reach and your business identity.

It’s also the brand’s responsibility to check the KOL’s authenticity and resonance with the target community to avoid risking their reputation.

WeChat KOL Campaigns for Lil-lets

SDG’s work with Lil-lets: WeChat KOL Campaigns


Official accounts and mini-programs can now host live sessions. This feature allows for real-time interaction between consumers and hosts.

This feature closes the gap between KOLs and their followers, making live streams an important aspect of today’s influencer marketing strategy. With real-time content, influencers can showcase products in action, answer questions on the spot, and drive immediate interest and sales for your brand.


4.   Establish a WeChat Store or Mini-Program

In the WeChat ecosystem, having a virtual storefront or an e-commerce mini-program allows your customers to browse and purchase products without switching to another app.

By streamlining their online shopping experience, your brand gets a chance to capture the attention of mobile-first consumers.

When setting up a WeChat Store, remember to plan carefully, especially when it comes to product selection, pricing options, and promotional strategies. You must also ensure your brand offerings are localized to resonate with the changing needs and preferences of Chinese audiences.


Chanel’s mini program on WeChat

Chanel’s WeChat store


Your WeChat online store and mini-program should prioritize user experience with intuitive navigation, high-quality visuals, and straightforward transaction processes. Remember that a positive user experience is crucial in converting interest into sales.

If you want more traffic through these channels, the best strategy is to utilize other WeChat features. For example, you can promote products by posting on your brand’s official account and building KOL partnerships.


5.   Develop Loyalty Programs

Customer loyalty programs are proven methods for maintaining visibility in the Chinese market. Consumers already interested in the brand are more likely to purchase and are a primary market for your new product releases.


It opens up a direct channel to engage with and reward your most dedicated customers. Here are some strategies you can consider to foster consumer loyalty through WeChat:


  • Exclusive Promotional Offers

Leverage WeChat’s personal and direct communication channels to send customized promotional offers to your followers. These offerings can range from discounts to early access to new products.


  • VIP Membership Cards

Digitalize the VIP experience by offering virtual membership cards through your WeChat account. With these special privileges, you can enhance the brand’s relationship with loyal consumers and encourage continued patronage.


WeChat mini programs dedicated to virtual membership cards

WeChat mini programs dedicated to virtual membership cards


  • E-coupons for In-Store and Online Purchases

Another method is distributing e-coupons to your loyal customers for discounts on their next purchase, whether online through your WeChat store or in a physical location. This strategy is a direct way to encourage repeat business and increase customer lifetime value.


Quick Q&A

Why is WeChat Marketing important for your business in China?

WeChat marketing is important for your business because of its massive user base and integral role in the daily lives of Chinese consumers. It’s a cornerstone of China’s digital ecosystem, merging social media, commerce, and a wide range of services within a single platform.

WeChat’s blend of features also fosters a community-focused environment, leveraging both public and private traffic to nurture consumer loyalty and brand credibility.

How do I promote my product on WeChat?

You can start by creating an official WeChat account, which gives you a platform to share content and updates. Engage your followers with creative content, from informative articles to eye-catching videos. Don’t forget to leverage WeChat Moments for more casual, behind-the-scenes peeks at your brand.


Your Trusted WeChat Marketing Partner in the Chinese Market!

As a super app, there’s no denying that WeChat provides ample opportunities for foreign brands to gain exposure and convert sales in the Chinese market. However, as helpful as it is, it’s a platform that requires a deep understanding before one can reap its benefits.

At Sekkei Digital Group, we understand the importance of staying ahead of the changing trends in the WeChat ecosystem. With our team’s extensive industry experience, we offer you services that can unlock your brand’s potential in the Chinese market.


Sekkei Digital Group Services


Whether it’s setting up an official account on WeChat, launching a mini-program, or releasing advertisements, SDG has all the digital solutions you need to thrive. Contact us today to learn more!


contact us SDG



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