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Since Wechat launched advertising in 2015, it has become a booming trend in China. The platform is the best option for foreign businesses to enter the market and reach Chinese Wechat users in the U.S., Canada, China, Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.
What is Wechat Advertising?
Wechat advertising is the Tencent program enabling companies to display promotional messages on users timeline or at the bottom of Wechat Official Account articles. Wechat ads enable brands to grow Wechat Official Account followers, drive traffic to the website and generate app downloads.
- Wechat Banner Advertisements
- Wechat Moments Advertisements
- Key Opinion Leader (KOL) Promotion
Wechat Banner Ads
Banner Advertising on Wechat is similar to other website banner ads. It usually appears at the bottom of a message written by a Wechat Official Account.
Wechat banner advertising has 2 categories: a standard banner ad and a KOL banner.
Standard Wechat Banner Ads
Launched in August 2014, this type of Wechat ads has lower performance (most people don’t click on them). A standard banner ad has 3 elements:
- Location: Wechat banner ads appear at the bottom of a Wechat article written by another Wechat Official Account
- Ad banner: This ad has a logo, account name, and headline. It will open a new page containing additional information about the product when clicked
- Action call: the action call takes users to another landing page
- Price: minimal entry price (both foreign companies and Chinese companies): RMB 50,000
KOL Banner Version
Launched in October 2016, this type of Wechat banner ads is relatively new. Both the advertisers and the official account have to come to an agreement on the cost paid per view and a total amount of times the advertisement will be shown. For example, if the first article of the account has an average of 100k views, the promised view rate will be limited to 80k to 150k views.
- Standard banner ads are very simple to integrate and require only basic design skills.
- Brands can either outsource the work or even download pre-made banners.
- Banner advertising, especially KOL banners, helps grow brand awareness.
- Consumers can easily recognize the products or services and associate them with KOLs that they follow on Wechat.
But not every company can publish ads on Tencent platform. Wechat banner ads are mostly restricted to Chinese companies who are officially registered and have all the licenses to advertise in the specific industry.
- Read also how to open a wechat official Account
Wechat Moments Advertising
Wechat moment ads were launched in early 2015 when 25 brands including Coca Cola and Mercedes-Benz took part in the first testing campaign. A Moments Ad allows advertisers to advertise within the Moments section, which is comparable to Facebook’s Newsfeed. Minimal entry price (both foreign companies and Chinese companies) is RMB 50 000.
Wechat Moments Ads is the easiest way for brands to advertise their products. However, this option is available for companies registered in Mainland China (either local companies or Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprises – WFOE) willing to invest at least RMB 50k (~ USD$ 8,000) and foreign companies willing to invest USD$ 1,500 – 8,000 (updated on April 2017).
Advertisers are able to target users based on personal information: location, interests, age, gender, education, marital status, device, or even behaviour within the Wechat app.
Before, brands could only post text with up to six photos or a video. Now ads are available under the formats of text, photos, slideshows, 360-degree panoramas, and short videos, from 6 to 15 seconds, as a teaser. If a user clicks on the teaser, an internal ad page will be opened enabling the user to view the full video.
Since April 2017, Tencent offers Wechat Overseas Advertising to target Chinese travellers in 42 countries and regions. There is a minimal entry price for Wechat Overseas Advertising targeting Chinese tourists. It’s RMB 50 000 for Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, United States, Australia. And it’s RMB 10 000 for Germany, France, England, Italy, Canada, New Zealand.
Key Opinion Leaders
Influencers are another way to market your brand on Wechat. Normally advertisers have to pay a KOL for postings on his account. Nevertheless, it’s not always easy to find the right KOL as they do care a lot about the content they are generating and will never post something that doesn’t match the interests of their target audience. KOLs make their decision based on the quality, price, and type of the products.
The average price to pay to collaborate with KOLs can range from USD$ 100 to 50,000. Sometimes instead of charging for advertising cost, KOLs charge on a commission bases, usually between 20-40 percent commission.
Brands have to be careful to select the right KOL as he or she becomes the face of their business on social media and can either grow the reputation of the business or ruin it.
There are a few platforms enabling brands to find influencers for Wechat ads collaboration:
Chinese Social media platforms
Social media platforms are ruling the market now. Understanding the importance of Wechat advertising is the key to success for every business wishing to expand to China. It’s much easier to build a solid digital marketing campaign and gain recognition from the target audience with so many different options available now.
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