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Anna Milburn

China and WeChat: Opportunities in B2B

Another BrightonSEO is done, and what a great day it was! There were some great talks lined up and as always it was really hard to pick which sessions to attend. My personal favourites were:

  • “Understanding Amazon’s A9 algorithm” by Katherine Khoo
  • “Why translating your keywords and ads is a bad idea in PPC/paid media” by Olivia Lofts
  • “How to increase global traffic and rankings with answer box optimisation” by Zanna Pupele

If you had a similar problem with choosing which ones to attend, I hope this recap of my talk “China and WeChat: Opportunities in B2B”will give you some interesting insights into the subject!

Talk summary

International businesses are becoming increasingly interested in the Chinese market, but many of the case studies out there focus on B2C products and sectors like fashion and beauty. However, there is just as big an opportunity for B2B brands to see success in that market. My talk highlighted the opportunities and explained how to make the most of them – with a specific focus on WeChat and how the Chinese super-app can be an effective channel for B2B brands.

Key takeaways

  1. It is now possible to open an official overseas account and to target Mainland China – of course, having a local account still offers more features than the overseas one, but those features are not always necessary for a successful WeChat campaign.
  2. Before opening your WeChat official account, it can take you about six months to plan, put a strategy together, and consider the four main steps (see below).
  3. After opening your WeChat official account, you ideally should have your strategy and plan ready. Focus on cross-promoting your social channels, posting great content, seeding your content and engaging with your audience.
  4. Remember to take into account the differences between the B2B and B2C sectors!

WeChat account opening

Back in 2017, WeChat announced that foreign entities, which were not allowed to promote their services or products through a WeChat official account to Mainland China, would become able to do so.

In 2018, this became officially doable. Of course, having a local account still offers more features than the overseas one, but those features are not always necessary for a successful WeChat campaign.

WeChat account types

Service vs. Subscription

Local vs. Overseas

Before you open your WeChat official account

  • establish your brand
  • provide rich industry and product insights
  • show your human side
  • garner support from different departments

After you open your WeChat official account

  • cross-promote your social media channels
  • remember that content is King; post great content to increase your exposure across digital channels and display your products
  • strongly position your brand to promote your services/products
  • seed your content across the web, including influencer WeChat/Weibo blogs, relevant web communities, top forums, search engines (SEM, SEO, SSO), web portals and other social media channels
  • engage with your audience

Opportunities and challenges for B2B marketers on WeChat

Opportunities

Challenges

  • services and products in the B2B sector tend to be more expensive
  • multiple people and teams are involved
  • different background and use preference
  • longer and more comprehensive buying decision cycle
  • higher quality of service requirement

Final note

And remember, this all works together to improve your brand and product presence across your audience base to increase leads, conversions, and ultimately revenue.

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Anna Milburn

Anna Milburn

Business Solutions Manager & Team Leader at Webcertain
Originally from Russia, Anna is a multilingual digital marketing and translation expert. Familiar with a variety of industries, including travel, education, manufacturing and software, and a wide range of digital channels, Anna ensures that all clients’ international digital strategies are appropriately adapted to each target market. Having a strong academic background, Anna holds a BA in English & German Language and Linguistics, a BA in Business Management, and an MA in Law. With extensive experience in dealing with complex projects, Anna enjoys applying her diverse skillset and identifying the best solution for the business. She focuses on building long-term strategic partnerships with clients through advising and consulting.

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