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The Rise Of Private Traffic

In the lates series on China Marketing Ideas, let us talk about the rise of "private traffic", which has become more popular during the pandemic & how to effectively use it to promote your marketing messages effectively.

What is Private Traffic?

In most basic form, Private traffic is a marketing method where communication with customers is funnelled into private pools where brands can have complete control without any costs to 3rd party platforms. Public traffic is open to everyone, such as offline traffic, BAT(Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent)traffic, like WeChat, QQ, Tmall, Taobao, Baidu, Douyin, Kuaishou, Weibo, JD, Toutiao, Pinduoduo, etc., and platforms that are relatively in silos but also have plenty of traffic, such as Zhihu, Jian Shu, Baby tree, Xiaohongshu, etc.

For Private Traffic, it is a controllable traffic pool based on the "public traffic" platform. Let’s take WeChat as an example, for each WeChat public account, WeChat group, and WeChat personal account, fans and friends are "Private traffic", as these can be independently operated and maintained by the account owners who have Wechat public group, and personal account.

Type of Private Traffic

Private traffic is mainly for the management of user relationships. According to the level of the relationship, it can be divided into 4 levels (from low to high):

4th tier: Fans

  • The lowest rated "private traffic" are fans on social accounts such as WeChat public accounts, Weibo, and Toutiao. This is the initial level of "private traffic", but also the lowest-rated level of trust-relationship.

  • Fans-type "private traffic" - Where information received is one-way, relying on operators to continue output of content to maintain retention, and the conversion effect will be better if the content matches the interest of fans. This is also the operating logic of the WeChat public account (Mainly WeChat Subscription Account)

3rd tier: Community

  • The next level of “Private traffic", are WeChat and QQ groups, who do not necessarily know each other but come together on common hobbies and interests.

  • Community-type "private traffic" - The information received is multi-directional, and the degree of trust is higher than the ordinary fans, and through the continuous engagement and interaction within the community such as group activities, group discussions, group live broadcast, etc. improves conversion.

2nd tier: Friends

  • A deeper level of “Private traffic" than a community is direct friend relationships, mainly WeChat friends. Because WeChat is the top instant messaging tool in China at present, and it includes the majority of social relationships.

  • Friends-type "private traffic" is the most discussed type of "private domain traffic" at present. The main reason is it has the highest degree of trust and the best conversion effect because friends communicate directly and frequently, and trust is the key element. As long as solid operations and regular product recommendations are maintained, there will be good monetisation benefits.

1st tier: CRM

  • Official website, independent App, WeChat service account, mini-programs, individual shops, individual accounts, and community operating tools, etc are captured by a CRM system to record browsing behaviour of users, registrations, login, setting of appointments, usage, payments, etc. Each of these actions is automatically labelled by a management system and comprehensive personalised marketing is generated. It is the best conversion tool in this era of “traffic anxiety”.

How to make use of“Private Traffic”?

Fission (裂变) is considered to be the most characteristic marketing method. There are 2 key steps for fission, step one is designing a complete mechanism to close the loop (sharing—convert); step two is giving enough incentive to cooperate.

Common fission methods:

  1. Group buying - Group leaders and members purchase products at a price lower than the original. Suitable for a product with higher repurchase rates and low unit price.

  2. Unlock - Buy at a low price, such as first lesson, and invite friends to make the same purchase, this unlocks the rest of the lessons.

  3. Distribution sale - Users generate invitation posters to purchase products, a commission is paid-out when friends purchase through the invitation posters.

  4. Bargain - Users may bargain on their own or invite friends to participate until the target price is achieved (eg: 1RMB) before a purchase is made.

During the epidemic, e-commerce mini-programs turned customers into their own “sales staff” by offering commission and achieving good results in the form of Distribution sales. Currently, the most popular method is “mini-program + live-streaming + private traffic (community + friends), which generates rapid purchases and orders.

The most common form of live-streaming is one of the private communities. In recent years, tens of thousands of communities were accumulated. The following are private community cases based on referral traffic for different live-streaming campaigns. Examples include parent group, affluent shoppers, entrepreneur community, college community.


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