As more and more Chinese students choose to study abroad, purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) providers are presented with a unique opportunity to boost their lettings business. However, effectively targeting this demographic requires a solid WeChat strategy that takes into account the platform's unique features and user preferences.
In this article, we'll explore several ways that PBSA providers can use WeChat to enhance their marketing efforts and drive occupancy rates.
Why Is WeChat Marketing For Lettings Such A Great Fit For Your Chinese Audience?
WeChat is a great tool for targeting Chinese students who want to study overseas because it is the most popular social media platform in China, with over 1.2 billion monthly active users. As a result, WeChat is an integral part of Chinese students' daily lives and is often used to research and communicate with universities and accommodation providers abroad.
Additionally, WeChat offers a variety of features that make it easy for PBSA providers to engage with Chinese students. For example, WeChat groups and Moments allow providers to share updates and connect with potential tenants, while WeChat Pay enables tenants to pay rent and fees quickly and easily. We’ll explore this in more detail in the following tips section.
Moreover, WeChat's integration with other services such as e-commerce and travel bookings means that providers can offer a seamless user experience and make it easy for Chinese students to plan their study abroad experience. This integration also allows providers to leverage WeChat's targeted advertising capabilities to reach the right audience with their message.
Overall, WeChat is an essential tool for any PBSA provider looking to target Chinese students studying abroad. Its popularity and features make it an ideal platform for engaging with this demographic and driving occupancy rates.
10 Tips For Building A Solid WeChat Marketing For Lettings In The PBSA Sector
WeChat has emerged as a powerful tool for marketing purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) to Chinese students studying overseas. However, building a solid WeChat marketing strategy can be challenging, particularly for those unfamiliar with the platform. To help PBSA providers capitalise on this opportunity, we have compiled a list of 10 tips for building a solid WeChat marketing strategy.
These tips cover a range of areas, from setting up an official account and creating compelling content to leveraging WeChat's targeting capabilities and analysing performance data. By following these tips, PBSA providers can effectively engage with Chinese students and drive occupancy rates.
1. Create a WeChat Official Account
One of the first steps that PBSA providers should take is to create a WeChat official account. This will allow them to establish a presence on the platform and share information about their properties with potential tenants. To create an account, providers will need to apply through WeChat's official account registration process. Once approved, they can begin publishing content, such as photos and descriptions of their properties, to their followers.
2. Use QR Codes to Drive Traffic to Your Official Account
WeChat users are accustomed to using QR codes to access content, so it's a good idea for PBSA providers to create codes that link to their official account. These codes can be placed on marketing materials, such as flyers and brochures, or even on the properties themselves. By scanning the code, potential tenants will be directed to the provider's official account, where they can learn more about the properties and contact the provider directly.
3. Leverage WeChat Groups and Moments
WeChat groups and Moments are two powerful features that can help PBSA providers reach their target audience. Groups allow users to connect with others who share similar interests, while Moments enable users to share photos and updates with their connections. PBSA providers can use these features to create groups for Chinese students studying abroad, and to post updates about their properties in Moments. By sharing photos and updates that are relevant to Chinese students, providers can generate interest and attract potential tenants.
4. Offer Customer Support through WeChat
Chinese consumers value customer service, and WeChat provides a convenient way for providers to offer support to their tenants. PBSA providers can use WeChat to answer questions about their properties, provide information about local amenities, and address any concerns that tenants may have. By being responsive and helpful, providers can build trust with their tenants and establish a positive reputation on the platform.
5. Create WeChat Mini Programs
WeChat Mini Programs are lightweight apps that can be accessed within the WeChat ecosystem and from the web. PBSA providers can use Mini Programs as an alternative to a Chinese website, providing information about their properties, enquiry and booking function, customer support and enable tenants to pay rent and fees.By offering these services within WeChat, providers can leverage social functions and provide a seamless user experience, making it easy for tenants to choose their accommodation. .
6. Run WeChat Advertising Campaigns
WeChat offers a variety of advertising options that can help PBSA providers reach their target audience. For example, providers can create targeted ads that appear in users' Moments feeds or within WeChat articles. By targeting their ads to Chinese students studying abroad, providers can ensure that they are reaching the right audience with their message.
7. Partner with Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs)
Key Opinion Leaders, or KOLs, are social media influencers who have large followings on platforms like WeChat. By partnering with KOLs who have an audience of Chinese students studying abroad, PBSA providers can tap into their influence and reach a wider audience. KOLs can create content about the providers' properties, share updates on their behalf, and even host live streams or Q&A sessions to answer questions from potential tenants.
8. Offer Incentives for Referrals
Word-of-mouth is a powerful marketing tool, and PBSA providers can encourage their tenants to refer friends and family by offering incentives. For example, providers can offer a discount on rent or other perks for tenants who refer new referrals. By offering incentives, providers can motivate their tenants to spread the word about their properties and generate new leads.
9. Provide Chinese-Language Support
For Chinese students studying abroad, language barriers can be a significant obstacle when searching for housing. PBSA providers can differentiate themselves by offering Chinese-language support through WeChat. By providing support in their native language, providers can make it easier for Chinese students to find and rent their properties.
10. Use WeChat Pay to Simplify Transactions
WeChat Pay is a popular mobile payment platform that is widely used in China. By integrating WeChat Pay into their rental process, PBSA providers can simplify transactions and make it easier for tenants to pay rent and fees. This can help to streamline the rental process and improve the overall tenant experience.
A Huge Opportunity For PBSA: Keep Your Focus And Marketing Strategy Strong
The growing number of Chinese students studying overseas presents a significant opportunity for purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) providers. Although the pandemic caused a temporary drop in numbers, growth has shown a strong upward trend since 2010, with the number of Chinese students going abroad to study exceeding 700, 000 in 2019. This growth is driven by a number of factors, including China's expanding middle class, rising incomes, and increasing demand for international education.
As a result, PBSA providers are seeing a growing demand for their properties from Chinese students. These students often have specific requirements, such as access to Chinese-speaking staff, cultural events, and easy access to amenities and transportation. PBSA providers that can cater to these needs have a significant competitive advantage in the market. WeChat has a huge role to play here – and can be a real differentiating factor when it comes to competition.
Furthermore, Chinese students are often willing to pay a premium for quality accommodation and services, making them an attractive target for PBSA providers looking to maximise their returns. In addition, Chinese students tend to stay in their accommodation for longer periods, providing a stable source of income for providers.
Overall, the growing opportunity for PBSA rentals to Chinese students studying overseas is significant, and providers that can effectively target this demographic are poised for success in the years ahead.
WeChat Marketing For Lettings: The Key To Success With Chinese Students Studying Overseas
In conclusion, a solid WeChat strategy can be a powerful tool for PBSA providers looking to boost their lettings business and target Chinese students studying abroad. By creating a WeChat official account and leveraging WeChat groups and Moments to engage, then offering customer service and flexible functionality via Mini Programs, PBSA can connect with this audience like never before.
Running advertising campaigns, partnering with KOLs, offering incentives for referrals, providing Chinese-language support, and using WeChat Pay to simplify transactions will all help to build trust and familiarity, helping providers to build brand awareness, generate leads and drive occupancy rates.
With the right strategy in place, PBSA providers can effectively tap into the growing market of Chinese students studying abroad and grow their business.