In the Chinese digital landscape, where WeChat reigns as the gateway to over 1 billion monthly active users, establishing a foothold for foreign B2B brands is both promising and daunting. The allure of this platform for engaging potential customers and nurturing existing connections is undeniable. However, amidst the sea of competing enterprises, the challenge of standing out becomes a paramount concern. Especially for foreign B2B brands, that might not yet know the playing rules in the Chinese digital landscape, and struggle to find its foothold on the Chinese social media platforms.
For foreign B2B brands, the 2023 B2B Industry WeChat Public Account Operations report, a comprehensive study by JING Digital, contains invaluable insights. This Chinese-language report serves as a guiding compass for foreign B2B brands seeking to navigate the complexities of WeChat presence and harness its potential effectively. In this article, we aim to dissect the key insights from this report, shedding light on nuanced strategies essential for B2B success in WeChat and the broader Chinese market.
The chart above captures the diverse strategies adopted by various B2B industries in China to acquire and retain new followers through different channels. It measures channel efficiency by considering both the number of new followers gained and how many are staying around over time. Here's what stands out:
Surprisingly, paid advertisements wield less influence than expected. Instead, more organic approaches prove most effective: marketing events, search strategies, and QR codes emerge as the star players. Among these, marketing events, whether conducted digitally or in physical spaces, prove to be the most effective strategy for acquiring and maintaining new followers.
For those aiming to attract new followers during events, the recommended approach involves leveraging lead generation forms. These forms facilitate the dissemination of valuable information through verified sign-ups. Compelling sign-up materials such as white papers or industry reports proves very effective and enticing for potential followers to engage and share their details for access to valuable insights.
This holistic strategy not only defines the efficient channels but also underscores the importance of offering valuable content. It's not just about acquiring followers but fostering meaningful engagement through content that resonates with the audience, encouraging them to actively participate and benefit from the offered insights.
Strategically utilizing the top 3 channels
For B2B industries utilizing the three pivotal channels—marketing events, searches, and QR codes—to attract new followers, a dual focus on acquisition and retention transforms the public account into a sustained hub of engagement. Event marketing serves as a recognized means to attain new followers; however, offering material or monetary rewards during live streams or offline events might entice transient enthusiasts, leading to subsequent follower loss.
To foster sustained engagement, companies aiming to attract and retain targeted audiences should provide valuable resources. Tailored guides, industry insights, specialized tools, and problem-solving content addressing specific needs become instrumental. Furthermore, a consistent provision of high-quality, less frequent content on the public account, accompanied by guidance for downloads and its continuous repurposing, serves to cultivate a devoted following.
By combining event marketing with content strategies within the public account, companies not only uphold the loyalty of specific users but also allure new followers, ensuring a dynamic and dedicated audience base.
Main B2B traffic channels by industries
The report also offers an insight into the primary B2B traffic channels segmented across four distinct industries — high-tech, pharma, industrial manufacturing, and third-party services. These charts show a detailed exploration of the leading traffic channels within each industry, revealing the strategic pathways crucial for effective B2B engagement in these different sectors.
Foreign B2B brands can leverage the data from these charts to discern where to focus their advertising efforts and engage effectively with potential customers.
In the high-tech, pharma, and third-party services sectors, marketing events emerge as the primary driver of traffic, serving as a pivotal strategy to capture attention and engage the audience. Conversely, the industrial manufacturing industry distinguishes itself by garnering the highest traffic from other channels. Although marketing events remain significant in this sector, they rank second in driving traffic. This trend indicates a diverse and multifaceted approach employed by the industrial manufacturing sector to engage its audience beyond the reliance on marketing events.
Understanding these industry-specific trends helps foreign B2B brands tailor their marketing strategies. For instance, in industries heavily influenced by marketing events, investing time and resources in event-based engagement might yield significant returns. Meanwhile, industries relying more on diverse channels might require a multifaceted approach to effectively engage potential customers.
Content - room for improvement
The chart provides insights into different types of content and how successful they are. The size of each bubble in the chart illustrates how much of that particular content gets posted. Meanwhile, the percentages indicate how well each type performs based on how many people read it or start following because of it.
One key finding is the prevalence of 'Ganhuo' (practical content), focusing on offering valuable information rather than direct selling. Despite being frequently posted, this type of content isn’t attracting many readers. This suggests a need for companies to enhance content readability on mobile devices and ease accessibility to engage a larger audience.
Another intriguing discovery from the report revolves around the surprising success of deleted content. However, the report doesn't delve further into this aspect. 'Deleted content' can, for instance, refer to material removed after undergoing Chinese censorship procedures. It's somewhat ironic that the most potentially valuable content for B2B companies is content banned within China's regulations, depriving them of its potential benefits.
Overall, the chart underscores the need for improvement in engaging the audience effectively, especially in the 'Ganhuo' content category. However, it also presents an opportunity for companies willing to invest in creating easily accessible, high-quality content. By doing so, they can stand out in their industry and potentially outperform their competitors.
Takeaways from WeChat's B2B report
The insights unveiled in the 2023 B2B Industry WeChat Official Account Operations Report provide a clear understanding of WeChat's dynamics and the Chinese market intricacies. Recognizing the significance of diverse channels, industry-specific trends, and impactful content strategies is pivotal for foreign B2B brands seeking success. Leaf Digital specializes in offering tailored guidance, aiding businesses in navigating this multifaceted landscape, and optimizing content strategies to resonate effectively within WeChat and the broader Chinese market.