How to Create Record Breaking Viral Marketing Campaigns on WeChat

Since 2014, over 8 million WeChat Official Accounts have been created. In the Chinese market, these Official Accounts have become the standardized social media platform for enterprises, businesses and professionals.

WeChat’s social platform holds so much potential to relationship based virality that many businesses have attempted to test out what the platform can do for their business.

At the core level, the approach for creating an Official Account is to generate exposure to WeChat users and to build up a following through quality content.

Whether the initial method of engagement is as simple as content sharing to the Moments feed, accumulating points and awards, or interacting on HTML5 games, WeChat’s multi-dimensional viral marketing has become the most unique means of network marketing, where more and more businesses and professionals alike are becoming more involved with.

The nature of WeChat viral marketing lies in the user’s’ perception in the level of trust. There is a relatively high level of social trust with WeChat friends, and thus developing a sense of credibility with information shared on their Moments feed. In this warmly cultivated environment, the use of certain specific WeChat functions, can further assist the virality between acquaintances to spread more effectively and maximize the benefits of communication.

Even though WeChat is a relatively young platform compared to their biggest competitors, they’ve be able to reach a level of maturity with the marketing models made available to its users, not just in China but also other countries as Tencent continues to push through global growth and development.

And with our “ninja” strategies, we can magnify the virality to the maximum.

I want to show you a few case studies that will give you some insights on high impact WeChat marketing campaigns:

Case Study #1: Hudson’s Bay X Burberry (秋雨連綿,列治文Hudson’s Bay 送你一抹紅唇💋)

In October of 2015, Hudson’s Bay Richmond, BC, Canada officially created their WeChat Official Account, with the goals of pushing for more market dominance in its luxury branded beauty area.

In partnering with Burberry, the Burberry beauty counter promoted a campaign where WeChat users who take a screenshot and share it on their Moments feed gets nicely rewarded with a Burberry lipstick. This type of sharing leverages the natural human psychological desire of self interest and also makes the user feel a sense altruism, by benefiting their friends in their circle who would also be rewarded for their sharing.

To redeem the lipstick reward, guests must engage with one of the Burberry staff in person at their counter. This has helped generate more opportunities for additional sales and conversion.

The ROI of this campaign was phenomenal, and led to a line up around the block outside of the Hudson’s Bay department store and creating a lot of hype.

Here are the stats from the campaign:

  • Actual Campaign duration: 24 hours
  • Article initially delivered to only 159 people
  • Within just 1 hour the campaign was spread to over 1000+ local users
  • Total number of article reads: 2171; shared and forwarded: 285; new followers gained: 300

Case Study #2: Budweiser X Yuan’s Shanghai Serendipity Cuisine (上海 ‧ 源)

Using the Chinese zodiac as a marketing theme isn’t a new concept, however it seems to always have a certain amount of appeal to the Chinese due to their beliefs and value system on luck and fortune.

In 2016, which was the Year of the Monkey, Budweiser produced a limited edition of a special monkey themed 8-pack (as opposed to the normal 6 pack, with 8 being a lucky number for the Chinese because it denotes wealth and prosperity), colored in gold and red hues, was made exclusively available only in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Due to different regional consumption habits, general consumer beer consumption in the food and beverage/entertainment industry is far less than retail sales. Therefore in leveraging from Chinese New Year festivities, non-conventional marketing strategies were implemented.

By capitalizing on the Chinese’ love for exotic dishes, Budweiser partnered with all the major restaurants in Vancouver to launched the “Dishes Inspired by Beer” campaign. One of the most popular dishes was the “beer duck” created by Yuan’s Shanghai Serendipity Cuisine (上海 ‧ 源)

Here is the slogan used to promote the campaign, translated into English: “During the Spring Festival, families reunite, a bottle of golden monkey brings prosperity; bringing more happiness on top of happiness”「新春佳節,閤家團圓,一瓶金猴報喜,錦上更添花。」

Here are the stats from the campaign:

  • Campaign was pushed out during Chinese New Year
  • Official Account content page views increased to 15,000
  • This campaign was considered as the top in measureable results, with the highest traffic and impression compared to other campaigns runned during Chinese New Year across all Chinese based platforms

Case Study #3 – AVANTI – Polygon Homes

Whenever a new store opens, new products get launched or with upcoming festive holidays on way, the WeChat Moments feed (also known as “friends circle”) becomes endlessly active with all kinds of promotional games and activities.

Although the hype of WeChat games seems to have experienced a bit of a slowdown compared to when it was first initially launched, those games who have once left users dazzled and addicted, and businesses wracking their brains to constantly come up new game ideas, are certainly worth discussing.

Polygon Homes is a well-known, and one of the most well-established and highly respected real estate developer in Vancouver.

Avanti was a development project launched at the beginning of 2016. By leveraging the timing of Chinese New Year, Polygon Homes pushed the real estate hype in Vancouver to new heights through their WeChat campaign.

During Chinese New Year, Avanti launched the “Wheel of Fortune” WeChat H5 (HTML) game. The promotion article not only detailed how the game is played but had compelling copy to attract the user. In order to push the campaign, Avanti also placed banner ads on their landing page for further promotion.

In just 5 days of campaign, Avanti’s “Wheel of Fortune” game had over 800 participants, which translated to 42,800 of active participation.

The AVANTI was a completely sold out project.

Here are the stats from the campaign:

  • Campaign was pushed out during Chinese New Year
  • This campaign for the Polygon Homes’ brought 300% of growth in the number of followers to the Official Account
  • Total active participation in the H5 game: 42,800 times
  • The game was shared and forwarded 800+ times

Author – Victoria Mui

Chief Marketing Strategist / B2B Sales Expert