How to use Weibo for brands marketing ?

Weibo for brands marketing

Instant messages, a limit of 2000 characters by posts, pictures grids, short videos, Weibo’s functionalities look similar to Twitter, used in western countries. At the beginning, Weibo was made for personal use but more and more brands are active on Weibo because companies can build databases, promote their brand image and drive traffic to their website.

According to Statista, as of the first quarter of 2021, Weibo’s monthly active users amounted to around 530 million. Weibo is not only a tool for boosting brands’ visibility, but also a tool for brands to better understand Chinese audiences and get closer to customers.

Here are the good practices of doing marketing for brands on Weibo :

Building brands’ notoriety through search function

Using search function allows the user to find posts related to keywords on the research box. By jumping on trending topics, brands’ posts will be kept under the topics related to the post’s description.

Besides, the posts can be consulted at any time and by everyone, unlike the companys’ accounts on Wechat where users have to subscribe to be aware of the latest publications. 

As for famous events like Chinese New Year, 520 Festival (as known as Valentine’s Day) or the upcoming 618 Shopping Festival (as known as the largest mid-year shopping festival in China), brands are launching presales campaigns for ongoing products or limited edition products.

Chaumet, the French luxury jewelry and watchmaking brand, has chosen as brand ambassador the famous Chinese actor and singer Zhang Yixing (Lay Zhang) for a series of love-themed jewelry.

Weibo’s account of Chaumet about luxury jewelry for 520 Festival

Content share facilities

Cross-channel is the key. When scrolling down the timeline, users can easily share a post from Weibo to Wechat. 2 options will be suggested : create a post on the user’s Wechat account (it will appear on friends’ Wechat Moments) or send to a friend by message (private traffic). After going through Wechat, the user can go back to Weibo and keep on browsing or stay on Wechat.

Creating a post on Wechat including a Weibo’s link

Creating a post on Wechat including a Weibo’s link

Sending a message to a friend on Wechat including a Weibo’s link

Sending a message to a friend on Wechat including a Weibo’s link

Weibo’s user journey highlights these types of actions :

  • Passive (scrolling down content)
  • Active (commenting and liking)
  • Reactivity (sharing on other social medias)

E-commerce integration

Through its partnership with Taobao, Weibo users can put links to Taobao store and products’ page in their posts.

Products' page links on Weibo

Video of @kakakaoo about L’Oreal lipstick on Weibo

Running campaigns

Targeting is quite precise on Weibo and the Chinese audiences’ ages vary from 14 to 60 years old. Brands can tailor campaigns in the format of display ads or Weibo search engine promotion.

Selling via live streaming 

As on Douyin, Wechat and Xiaohongshu, buying during a live streaming is one of the best time selling opportunities since live broadcasting gives the viewers the feeling of proximity and authenticity with the broadcaster. 

Live streaming on Weibo

Live streaming of jade jewelry selling

520 Festival : Celebrating Love in China

520 Festival in China

The 20th of May in China, couples send to each other by message : “520”, pronounced “wu er ling” whose sound is similar to “Wo ai ni” 我爱你, a way to celebrate love, equivalent to Valentine’s Day in western countries. 520 has become a love-themed holiday and it is the best time for brands to promote their products and services as well.

How brands celebrate love differently ?

Here are 3 campaigns that give off a message built around a storytelling rather than a product :

Love Yourself & Girl Empowerment

“You not only have to know where to fight,

But also to know the moment when to have a break,

And to enjoy the wonderful things of life” – He Sui

This year, Victoria’s Secret, the famous American lingerie brand, launched a campaign focused on women aspirations and self-esteem called “Be oneself” (做自己) in the format of an intimate interview.

For this second episode of “Be oneself” series, the Chinese female model He Sui answered several questions about her woman’s journey, dreams and difficulties, to which she sincerely replied that embracing inner self and enjoying the wonderful things in daily life are very important to build her own woman identity.

Pictures from Victoria’s Secret’s Wechat official account

The interview is interspersed with photos of He Sui dressed in the prettiest Victoria’s Secret’s outfits that female customers can find by clicking on the mini program at the end of the campaign.

Picture from Victoria’s Secret’s Wechat official account

Celebrate all forms of love : Couple Love, Sister Love, Best Friend Love

Love is not expressed just for boyfriend / girlfriend, is it ? In life, we face all forms of love : love of partners, love of family, love of friends…

This is precisely what The Kooples wanted to show with matching outfits, not similar but complementary outfits and fashionable.

Pictures from The Kooples’ Wechat official account

The limited collection is not only trendy, but so is the campaign’s format. On Wechat, the campaign gives to the user a feeling of being a photographer shooting friends in an urban setting while the pieces of clothes are flashing up on the screen.

Pictures from The Kooples’ Wechat official account

Love is Love

Blued, the Chinese gay social network, interviewed 6 young men by asking them what was the gift they gave to their first love.

The diary-like advertising adopts a soft and poetic tone and offers a discount to the clothes collection by clicking on the mini program. 

Pictures from Blued’s Wechat official account

Creative campaigns on Wechat will convince customers for being relatable and consequently generate sales throughout the Chinese super mobile app.

5 components to run a great campaign that will resonate to the Chinese audience :

  • Having a strong message
  • Personalisation of the campaigns’ ideas according to Chinese culture and Gen Z evolving vision
  • Using KOL, idol’s or model’s face
  • Showing off beautiful graphic design and creativity
  • Purchase facility with links embedded to Wechat store

Gamification : between creativity and customers loyalty

Gamification with Valentino & Animal Crossing

E-commerce gamification in China has always been a top strategy for festivals such as Double 11. But now brands are using gamification in all marketing campaigns to capture consumers’ attention and increase their engagement, and then convert in sales.

One of the reasons is that shopping in China is first of all experience and entertainment.

Raising interest through Consumer enjoyment

In order to catch the attention of Gen Z customers, Pull&Bear (Spanish ready-to-wear brand) launched “Pacific Game”, a game which displays a virtual trip from California to Tokyo, inspired by arcade classic games. The aim of the game ? The player’s objective is to avoid obstacles and grab clothes. People can get access to the game from Pull&Bear’s Wechat official account.

[Photos from Pull&Bear’s Wechat official account]

It is about a new environment which allows the user to interact with the game instantly, without downloading it. 

Curiosity, fun and enjoyment are all intrinsic motivations, consequently people will gain inherent satisfaction by playing a game.

[Photos from Pull&Bear’s Pacific Game]

Game collaboration 

Customization in Animal Crossing: New Horizons is extensive. Having the ability to carve out your own island is possible and there have been some stunning designs and methods used since the game’s release.That’s why Valentino showed off looks for the character’s video game.

On Valentino’s Wechat official account, users can click on the Animal Crossing’s characters, then view clothes worn by a model.

[Photos from Valentino’s Wechat official account]

E-learning and Entertainment

In the educational field, a growing research interest in using mobile augmented reality (AR) and the gamification concept have emerged to promote environmental education and to improve the learning experience process.

Fun China World is a game-based platform for learning the Chinese language and culture. From beginning to advanced level, learners are immersed in a virtual China where they accomplish quests by answering quizzes, interacting with different characters and exploring Chinese culture.

In addition to providing students with an immersive entertaining learning experience, the platform also provides tools for classroom teaching, such as homework assignments and other online learning system functions to meet the needs of schools and families.

[Photos from Fun China World]

It is well developed by experts with the background in technology, linguistics, education and game design. Every new update is notified on their Wechat account.

Wechat is a unique Chinese social platform where gamification can increase brand’s awareness and customers’ loyalty. Moreover, brands are able to keep accumulating and operating their own digital assets and finally, converting to sales.

We can propose customized digital marketing services according to your ambition to create your Chinese story and expand your brand

Guochao (国潮) : the integration of traditional Chinese culture and style in brands’ marketing

Guochao

Have you ever heard of the term “Guochao” (国潮) ?

In Chinese, “guo” (国) means “country” and “chao” (潮) means “tide”. With growing levels of national pride, Chinese youth is now looking for unique ways to identify themselves with their Chinese roots in a world greatly influenced by Western aesthetics.

Chinese gen-Z people have become one of the largest spending groups in China and many local brands play the nostalgia’s and culture’s card to attract them.

Visual and aesthetics matter a lot

Chinese millenials consumers are more nationalistic and brimming with cultural confidence in comparison with older generations. When it comes to shopping, they show interest in the product’s packaging and the experience delivered.

They are mostly the generation most able to obtain the latest trends, especially for new limited collections : it makes them want to collect something rare, precious and cool.

Catkin Summer Palace collection (BB cushion and lipsticks set)

[Photos from Catkin’s website]

Catkin (卡婷) is a Chinese cosmetics brand that offers products of good quality and luxury packaging with a competitive price.

The best sellers of Catkin are the Summer Palace collection products. The outcome ? The Summer Palace collection, especially the lipsticks, launched in 2019, went viral and was quickly sold out on Tmall within 24 hours ! 

On Catkin’s Wechat official account, customers can purchase online either through Wechat store or Tmall store. There is also a VIP space where people can test new products.

Purchasing on Catkin’s Wechat store 

[Photos from Catkin’s Wechat official account]

These products have been so successful that the brand’s awareness crossed overseas. Catkin discovered that foreigners in Asia or in other countries requested to purchase the collection as well. Indeed, Catkin has over 10 distributors in foreign countries such as Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia or Thailand and offers free shipping in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Russia.

Emotion and experience are tied together

The Guochao trend not only reflects the sudden rise of domestic brands, but also the resurgence of Chinese cultural elements and traditional style. Fashion brands like Li Ning (李宁) or Randomevent (随机事件) are putting forward cultural elements and traditional lifestyle to create more fashionable yet modern styles that young Chinese can be identified to.

Campaign for Randomevent Market 

[Photos from Randomevent]

For example, Randomevent launched in April “Randomevent Market”, a range of clothes and accessories putting forward the daily life of merchants at market in Hangzhou. The motto written over all pieces of clothes is 称心如意, a Chinese expression for “everything one could wish”. 

Randomevent opened a pop-up store in Hangzhou Kerry centre with a market look alike welcoming atmosphere. Customers can walk from the fruits department to the seafood corner where the new clothes are displayed.

Pop-up store in Hangzhou Kerry Centre

[Photos from Randomevent]

By celebrating authentic and local atmosphere with fashion, streetwear and comfortable clothes, the brand won Chinese millennials’ hearts and aimed accurately at its phygital strategy, online and on site.

Shopping online through Wechat 

[Photos from Randomevent’s Wechat official account]

Nowadays, Chinese gen-Z are looking for a new meaningful connection with brands, so it is important for new international brands entering China to embrace these values of Chinese pride. International brands need to establish strong communication with their target consumers and make a clear value proposition to them.

We can propose customized digital marketing services according to your ambition to create your Chinese story and expand your brand

Virtual influencers : the future brand ambassadors ?

Virtual Influencers in China : the future ambassadors ?

Recently, programmable virtual influencers are becoming much more attractive to brands.

Blending together artificial intelligence and anime characters make virtual idols / influencers who are digital creations that have been a buzzy trend in the viral marketing world since the first appearance of Lil Miquela, a social experiment and virtual influencer made by 2 Americans.

The emerging virtual idol sector, backed by China’s younger generation, has been on the fast development track in recent years, with more domestic internet firms increasing investment in this market.

How do virtual influencers reach consumers ?

Idols in the fashion industry

The doll-like Noonoouri is one of the more successful international virtual influencers in China. In 2018, Alibaba Tmall Luxury Pavilion launched a mobile game with Noonoouri where users could dress her up with different outfits of famous brands.

Created by the Munich-based graphic designer Joerg Zuber in late 2017, she fronted the cover of Vogue Me China and signed a contract with Condé Nast China, allowing the publishing company to represent her in the traveling market. 

Noonoouri collaborated with Vogue Me, Furla and Gucci

AIGLE, the French brand has chosen Noonoouri as virtual ambassador to present its Virtual Traveller Spring Collection dedicated to travel in the digital age

Apart from being a fashion inspiration, Noonoouri also raises her voice for children, animals, nature and feminism and supports organisations such as Fashion For Relief and WWF.

Private traffic for social e-commerce

Perfect Diary has created an efficient CRM system on Wechat that builds closer relationships with customers : Xiao Wanzi (小完子), the virtual beauty advisor.

On Perfect Diary’s Wechat official account, customers can select 擦小完子 (contact Xiao Wanzi), then add her to their contacts’ list with a friend’s request.

Xiao Wanzi will appear in the chat’s list and will send messages as if she were a real friend.

Xiao Wanzi, Perfect Diary’s virtual beauty advisor on Wechat

Xiao Wanzi is yet another successful customer experiment, one combining influencer marketing with creating private traffic.

Perfect Diary is personifying its band image through the fictional character Xiao Wanzi and is funneling customers and WeChat followers into groups. In these Wechat groups, people can share the kind of beauty tools they use, their feedback about it and the shops where they bought it. Perfect Diary wanted to create a friendly and intimate atmosphere, as close friends chatting moments.

Xiao Wanzi is mostly in charge of bringing up topics and answering questions. She also gives the group members exclusive promotions and first access to new products. 

Consequently, Xiao Wanzi represents the perfect tool of building trust and loyalty to the consumers.

Entertainment

Xmov company created AI performance animation technology character named Ling (翎). She promotes Chinese national tide called “Guochao” (国潮) as the national essence of Peking Opera and the combination of classic and modern fashion.

Ling on Douyin

With commercial programming, the 3D virtual figure will engage in business endorsements, live broadcasts, and participate in online and offline activities.

Studying on Bilibili is the new trend

Studying on Bilibili is the new trend

Bilibili 哔哩哔哩 (also known as B 站) is one of the most popular video sharing platforms in China with anime, manga, and video game fandom-themed.

Users on Bilibili can spend time watching all kinds of videos about lifestyle, cooking, livestreaming video games and studying content as well.

Since the coronavirus outbreak, studying has shifted to a full digital process. Bilibili has already been betting on the education market, with millions of education-related videos uploaded by its users. 

With more than 140 million views in 2019, study-from-home content has been the most popular category

Let’s see the trends related to education :

Bilibili, the official online platform for education

Last year, the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission has designated Bilibili as an official platform for online education in facilitating online classes. All the schools have done livestreamed classes or recorded classes and Bilibili has set up a special section, named Kongzhong Ketang (Classroom On-Air in English) for students to access the platform.

Universities like Tsinghua University and Peking University have also joined Bilibili with livestream classes and graduation ceremonies.

1.6 million followers on Tsinghua account

Studious environment with livestreaming study rooms sessions

With over 8 hours in a row, videos of study room sessions (自习室) have been seen by at least 1.8 million users. It creates a studying environment in real time. By using the #StudyWithMe on Bilibili, users stream their study routine and provide a help for people who are preparing for exams or for those who are looking for a virtual companion that makes them feel less lonely.

Virtual study room on Bilibili

Mentoring lessons

In order to help students learn foreign languages, viewers can watch some videos along with a mentor’s voice teaching grammar and giving exercises. Viewers can write their questions and answers in the comments below the video where the mentor responds individually.

Learning English video on Bilibili

Learning English video

English teaching tutor on Bilibili

Chris provides English learning videos for Chinese people

Students can also watch videos from well-known edtech apps such as Yuanfudao or Zuoyebang.

Yuanfudao is a tutoring app that offers a wide range of online learning products like live lessons and Zuoyebang is specialized in e-learning. Powered by machine learning, the platform provides online courses, live lessons and homework help to students ranging from kindergarten to high school. 

Variety of resources for self-learning

On Bilibili, teachers, experts or users share their acknowledgement about literature, computer science, law, psychology, finance and foreign languages.

Luo Xiang, professor of law at China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing, talking about criminal law

For more information, do not hesitate to contact us at project@emotionchina.cn

We can propose you customized digital marketing services according to your needs.

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Marketing experiential with the Panda

Panda Train in Sichuan

On March 24, China’s first panda-themed train (hereinafter referred to as “Panda Train“) was put on the line in Sichuan, running from Chengdu Station along the Chengdu-Kunming Railway to Emei Station.

Panda Train in Sichuan
Panda Train in Sichuan

According to the relevant personnel, the body of the “Panda Train” is painted as a whole, and the whole internal and external decoration is designed in accordance with the theme elements of “Panda”.

In terms of hardware, compared to ordinary trains, the “Panda Train” has added humanized service facilities such as long viewing tables, audio-visual entertainment, constant temperature shower systems, and the entertainment compartments are equipped with machine mahjong tables, thus realizing the scene of playing mahjong on the train.

In order to meet the personalized travel needs, “Panda Train” can also provide customized services such as afternoon tea party, theme party, cocktail party and so on.

All the preparations are made to deepen the tourists’ experience of the trip.

According to the characteristics of tourists’ emotional needs, combined with the characteristic product of Sichuan panda, planning marketing activities with a specific atmosphere, tourists can participate and get a beautiful and profound experience.

Panda Train in Sichuan

Experiential marketing was put forward in 1998. They think that consumers are both rational and perceptual when they consume. By means of seeing, listening, using and participating, experiential marketing fully stimulates and mobilizes consumers’ perceptual and rational factors such as senses, emotions, thoughts, actions, relevance, etc., to arouse consumers’ thinking, association, and make their actions and experience, and constantly transmit product brands through consumer experience.

Tourism experiential marketing adapts to accurate positioning and communication, provides personalized products and services for different consumers and consumer needs, and efficiently realizes the needs of tourists.

Panda Train in Sichuan

By providing tourists with personalized products and services-distinctive carriage decoration, entertainment facilities such as mahjong tables and audio-visual equipment, and special cocktail parties to deepen tourists’ impression of the characteristic logo of pandas, so as to deepen tourists’ impression of Sichuan tourism culture and brand.

The prevalance of the digital communication has changed the way people think.Information transparency is seeing a dramatic increase,which leads to fragmented information feeds that overwhelm consumers, making event marketing more challenged than ever. In this context, focused and powerful content is needed to expand brand awareness and lead effective communication — which echoes with what panda IP marketing can achieve.

As a personalized brand, IP can build strong emotional relationships, create loyalty with consumers, and provide solid basics for higher profit margin.

This is also the unique value of experiential marketing.

For more information, do not hesitate to contact us at project@emotionchina.cn

We can propose you customized digital marketing services according to your needs.

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WHAT IS HOME ECONOMY IN CHINA THROUGH THE LIFE OF A STUDENT?

Home economy in China

Over the last few months, COVID-19 has spread across the world, negatively affecting the economy.

As the first country to struggle with the crisis, China has shown resilience and is now on the track of post-COVID-19 economic recovery, whereas most European countries are still suffering from harsh economic knock-down.

Despite the current serious health situation, COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated some trends, forcing people to adapt to a more digitized economy.

Let’s observe the daily life of a Chinese millennial student :

8 am – 9 am : waking up, messaging friends on Wechat, reading news on Wechat, Weibo, Toutiao

Wechat is the main mobile application in China with + 1.15 billion monthly active users. Known as a super mobile application, brands can directly reach the consumers through Wechat by using Wechat moments, limited sales, mini-programs…

9 am – 11 am : online classes / professional meeting on DingTalk

→ Pandemic has reinvented a new way of teaching and professional relationships. 

DingTalk, Alibaba’s enterprise communication and collaboration platform, was the top rising mobile app in March 2020. The monthly active users of DingTalk skyrocketed to 288 million in March 2020 and the average monthly usage hours also grew sharply by 570%.

DingTalk is mainly used for collaborative work including several features such as group messaging, video conferencing up to 300 participants with recording, screen and file sharing…Teachers also used this app to send homework to students. 

11 am – 11.30 am : ordering lunch on food delivery mobile app such as Eleme

→ As restaurants were closed during quarantine in China, people have turned towards food delivery services such as Ele.me and Meituan mobile apps and people are still using it for rapidity and accessibility.

12 am – 1 pm : having lunch while watching videos on Bilibili, Douyin, Xigua, Youku

→ Entertainment sector was important during confinement and there were 1.04 billion social media users in China in January 2020, consequently the number of social media users in China increased by 15 million between April 2019 and January 2020.

1 pm – 4 pm : online classes / professional meeting on DingTalk

4 pm – 5 pm : online sports session

→ Since the outbreak, there was an explosive growth in fitness home equipment and online fitness classes. Current consumption of fitness and health suggests healthy growth moving forward to more sporting event participation online.

5 pm – 6 pm : private tuition with a personal teacher on VIPKID

→ For now, the huge number of foreign teachers has become a core advantage that VIPKID has over other platforms. VIPKID is Forbes number 1 rated company for Remote Jobs and ranked in the Top 10 Best Places to Work 2020 by Glassdoor.

6 pm – 7 pm : online shopping through e-commerce platforms and social media : Taobao, JD.com, Pinduoduo, Wechat, Xiaohongshu

Social selling with WeChat in China is exploding with growth of more than 100%, far more than in any other country in the world, this with an e-commerce market 3 times larger than the U.S. market which is the second largest market. Group-buying and WeChat-based social commerce exceed 90% of the total market share for social commerce. The coronavirus pandemic increased the number of customers who have accepted social commerce as a new way for shopping.

→ Main luxury brands as Burberry, Bulgari or Chanel are now turning towards Chinese consumers by implementing marketing campaigns on WeChat and Douyin featuring top Asian influencers.

7 pm – 8 pm : cooking dinner with recipes on mobile apps like Douguo

→ Professional food-related mobile apps and social platforms are witnessing huge surges in page views as people look for tips and materials to prepare meals.

9 pm – 11 pm : live streaming gaming on Bilibili 

→ The market’s largest segment is Mobile Games with a projected market volume of US$41,483m in 2021.

Most of these trends were already existing before the pandemic. The pandemic has just been an accelerator of the “low-touch” or stay “home“ economy, and it is here to stay.

There are many opportunities for brands in this stay home economy in education, e-sports, cooking accessories or services, health and fitness….

For more information, do not hesitate to contact us at project@emotionchina.cn

We can propose you customized digital marketing services according to your needs.

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Pet economy is rising in China

Pet economy is rising in China

The pet economy is expected to reach RMB 472.3 billion ($66.8 billion) in China by 2023, according to market research firm Frost & Sullivan.

Chinese Millennials under 30 years old accounted for 45% of total pet owners in China in 2019 and they devote part of their budget to the well-being of their pets including food, welfare, accessories and clothes, toys, insurance…

Dog and cat owners are the leaders on the market but niche pets is also growing such as birds, hamsters, reptiles or rabbits owners.

Pet economy has led to a new lifestyle. For example, some pet owners in big cities ask local friends or even paid pet sitters for temporary care, while others turn to “pet hotels”, a place where you can leave your pets for a determined time. There is also a rise of animal coffee shops in order to make customers relieve themselves from stress accumulated by the pressure of work.

Trends in Pets sector :

Consumers are seeking personalised offers

When they buy pet products, consumers are paying attention to pet food according to the animal’s race and allergies, the online rating and other customers’ feed-backs for toys and accessories and the notoriety of the brand’s products they purchased whether it is a Chinese brand or a foreign brand.

E-commerce platforms

53.2% consumers prefer to shop online rather than buying in physical specialized pet shops. Here is a selection of dog food on epet.com including Chinese brands such as Nature Bridge (比瑞吉) and foreign brands like Royal Canin :

Dog food on epet.com

Cooperation with KOC

“What is the best food brand for dogs ?”, “The best cat litter ?”, “My rabbit looks thinner, why ?” 

Much more than KOL (Key Opinion Leaders with a large audience), KOC (Key Opinion Consumers) have a smaller audience and can drive some recommendations and answer followers’ questions based on their own experience.   

KOC with pets are booming on Chinese social media

Technology solutions

Nowadays, pet owners are more concerned about the well-being of their pets. For instance, Alipay launched a pet insurance service featuring nose print recognition technology, a substitution of using a microchip implant. 

Alipay allows pet owners to buy insurance by using facial recognition

For more information, do not hesitate to contact us at project@emotionchina.cn

We can propose you customized digital marketing services according to your needs.

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