WeChat users have now reached 1 billion worldwide and as of 2017, the number of brands and businesses who have started official WeChat accounts has also grown to more than 12 million. It’s definitely time for your business to step into this social media platform if your products or services are targeted at the Chinese audience, and one of the ways to start and brand your business on WeChat is to tap into WeChat minisites.
WeChat Minisites – Responsive HTM5 Websites in Disguise
A WeChat minisite is a mobile responsive HTML5 (H5) website that you can create with its own domain, and you can use many different templates designed specially for that purpose. The designs of WeChat minisites are also only limited by your web developer’s creativity, as possibilities are infinite.
Often sitting on separate servers from WeChat, you can link your site to a series of auto-responses, messages, live chat function, menus, content etc., all using the content management system of your WeChat account.
Often, brands make use of minisites to engage users in marketing campaigns and encourage them to share them through their individual Moments platform. Through greeting cards, interactive brochures, location-based games, social fitness trackers, stickers, giveaways and contests, businesses are increasingly engaging with their users through these H5 sites.
For all these to work seamlessly, WeChat has an inbuilt browser to make your customers feel like they are visiting pages within the app when in fact they are actually browsing separate web pages that are hosted externally.
Each WeChat minisite has altogether 3 main menus and each menu has 5 sub-menus. You could include important pages such as a home page with an introduction of your brand, a page about your products and/or services or product catalogue and a Contact Us page. Your minisite can also be accessed from outside WeChat or any web browser and you can also link out from other social media sites to tap into China’s web traffic.
Having a WeChat minisite easily enables you to push out content that are relevant to your audience and engage them with useful information about your industry or topics of interest in the form of articles, images or videos, and also allow you to update your customers with discounts, events, offers and contests or promotions. You can also include both English and Mandarin Chinese in these WeChat minisites in case some of your customers prefer the English version or just want to check the English name for certain products or services that you offer.
The Chinese in China are so used and comfortable with WeChat minisites that it is almost impossible for brands not to have one – they always expect your content to be freely available and organised in WeChat minisites. Most of them will be more likely to buy from you if you have a QR code at your physical business outlets.
Increasingly, brands are also exploring the potential of WeChat minsites for O2O (online to offline) integration, with the objective of driving WeChat followers to physical retail outlets through samples and special promotion coupons. At offline events, users are also being directed to scan QR codes to visit interactive maps that will drive them to physical stores offline, thereby helping to boost foot traffic to the stores.
Hence, it is imperative to have a WeChat minisite as it will provide your brand with a louder share of voice and a stronger brand presence in China, helping you ensure and deliver a smoother customer experience.
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