As part of the WeChat ecosystem, there is a diverse range of marketing-oriented gateways that are opportunities for brands to reach their audience.
Besides WeChat Public Account and WeChat Mini Program, brands can leverage the WeChat Brand Zone as another port of entry to connect them with their audience.
Another advantage of this digital access point: consolidate your WeChat searchability by extending your exposure in the WeChat landscape to non-followers within WeChat.
1. Introduction to the WeChat Brand Zone
What is WeChat Brand Zone? How does it work?
WeChat Search allows brands to create a branded zone that can gather all of a brand’s WeChat activity in a one-stop-space, giving users easy access to brands’ official message.
It offers a specific area that can show up on the very top in the search result page when users type a brand name (or related terms) provided the brand has set up their tailored zone beforehand in order to:
- dominate the search results page with information about them
- capture traffic through WeChat search engine result
The brand zone can be considered as a complete mini-site to showcase brands’ key content and draw users into their conversion funnels.
Brands and businesses have full control over their dedicated space that can be populated with 1st party content and divided into 5 sections:
- Brand information
- WeChat Official Accounts & Mini Programs
- Sales channels
- List of brand services
- Custom templated components/modules
The image below shows Cartier’s brand zone.
These 5 sections can be populated with 1st party content types:
- Brand logo / introduction
- Contact information such as phone number
- Store locator listing (eg. display all the nearby Cartier stores)
- Boutique stores
- eCommerce H5
- Official product sales listing
- WeChat Official Account(s)
- Web-based application rendered within WeChat in-app browser (H5)
- Mini Program(s)
- List of after-sale services
- Native live-streaming service (using Mini Program technology)
- FAQ list
- Customized content and activity: a comprehensive introduction, WeChat themed campaigns, promotions
WeChat gradually add new content types to populate the WeChat Brand Zone, in order to offer a rich viewing experience to the consumers.
3 level of visibility for a brand
There are 3 different levels of classification:
- Class A
- Class B
- Class C
The classification of each brand is established according to some defined criteria:
- Daily traffic
- Impression CTR
- Participation in WeChat Search Promotion Program
- WeChat Official Account registration date
- WeChat Official Account verification level
Depending on the group the brand falls into, the brand zone layout/style, the available features and content type, and the requirements are different.
Start setting up the WeChat Brand Zone from the Official Account backend.
Another way to optimize the brand SEO presence
Easy to access, it is aiming to improve searchability when users are landing on the WeChat search result, especially for the ones who are not following the given brand yet.
The brand zone is a key opportunity for brands to take control of the search function and offer users a touch point within the WeChat ecosystem.
Moreover, since it is free to open (unlike Baidu Chinese search engines’ brand zones), it should be considered among the WeChat setup basics for brands.
Benefits of using this official access point from a business perspective
- Exposure to non-followers within WeChat – brand awareness
- Searchability capability
- Increase a brand’s index results in WeChat Index
- WeChat Brand Zone 2.0 Update! | January 2020 [31Ten]
- WeChat Opens its Closed Ecosystem for Brands | January 2018 [Jing Daily]
2. This official WeChat channel is a way to capture your branded search traffic in an optimal way:
WeChat search is the number one source of follower recruitment to Official Accounts for premium and high awareness brands:
3. WeChat Brand Zone FAQ
– Show reassurance for users that they are interacting
– Exposure to non-followers through search: users can directly search for brands they want to visit on WeChat
– Shortcut to your most important WeChat properties: Shop, Mini Program, store locator etc…
– Flexible traffic control: redirecting users to the best sales channel – H5, Mini Program, brand mobile website etc…
– Direct integration with Tencent geo-located database for stores.
It’s free to set-up, as long as you can show Tencent you control the brand trademark.
– A verified WeChat Official Account
– Proof of trademark control: exclusive
– Not being in the medical or in the financial industry due to the WeChat industry restrictions
– Industry restrictions by WeChat platform: Brands can not be in the medical or financial industry
– Text / image
– WeChat Mini Programs
– WeChat Brand Account
By typing in the brand’s name and related terms in the search bar and selecting the search option
Learn more about the trademark registration prerequisite: + Protecting your brand with trademark registration on WeChat
4. Tips, tactics and best practices to optimise WeChat brand zone
- Link to WeChat Mini Program (platform, campaign, added-value services)
- Link to best selling products
- Link to a store locator function
- Make sure that the fresh and most important content is above the fold of the WeChat Search Results
5. First case study on how brands such as Gucci, Longchamp and Cartier take advantage of this official WeChat in-app space:
From their own Brand Zone:
- Cartier redirect visitors to their H5 online store
- Gucci redirect visitors to their brand website
- Longchamp redirect visitors to their WeChat mini-program online store
6. Updates and timelines on WeChat Brand Zone
|Date||Updates||Source / more details|
|December 2019||The available fonctions and the Brand Zone layout of the Class A-categorized brands have been updated.||31Ten|
|July 2019||Branded content section to promote a service, product or content.|
|January 2018||A selected group of brands (mostly luxury business) has received exclusive access to this feature as beta adopter|
|December 2017||The new feature called “brand zone” is released in WeChat version 6.6.1|