How to promote on WeChat? An Ultimate Guide to WeChat advertising

When it comes to marketing in China, there is always a lot of talking about China’s biggest social media platforms, SEO strategies for Baidu, and the importance of building e-reputation. But, when all of these elements are in place and work well, companies can move a step forward, launching a good advertising strategy.

But how do Chinese people advertise? We are used to Facebook and Google ads, but both of those platforms are blocked in China. But there are other tools in the Chinese market for online advertising. One of them is WeChat advertising.

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In this blog post, we will explain how does WeChat advertising work, what are the different types of WeChat ads and how to advertise on WeChat as a foreign company.

What is Wechat Advertising?

WeChat advertising is a Tencent program that enables companies to display promotional messages on users’ timelines, in WeChat Official Account articles, or in the mini-program. Additionally, WeChat advertisement is a great tool for brands to enhance and maximize the number of WeChat Official Account followers, it helps companies to drive their traffic and generate app downloads.

What are the different types of WeChat ads?

There are 3 main types of WeChat ads;

Wechat advertising types
WeChat advertising types
  1. WeChat Moments advertising
  2. WeChat Banner advertising
  3. WeChat Mini-Program advertising

Let’s find out the difference between these 3 types so that you can select the best WeChat advertising strategy for your brand.

In addition to those main types, we will also discuss WeChat Key Opinion Leader advertising, as this type of ads are becoming more and more popular among brands and Chinese consumers, creating great user engagement rates thanks to the presence of Chinese influencers.

Types of WeChat advertising

WeChat Moments advertising

WeChat Moments ads were launched in early 2015, at that time the first testing campaign involved Coco-Cola and Mercedes-Benz.

What are WeChat Moment ads?

For Western marketers, WeChat advertising is the most familiar method to enable promotion on WeChat Moments, which are similar to Facebook ads that appear on the timeline, called WeChat Moments.

Who can advertise using WeChat Moments?
  • Companies registered in Mainland China either local companies or Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprises – WFOE that are willing to invest at least 50k RMB (~8,000 USD)
  • Foreign companies which are willing to invest $1,500 –$8,000 USD

Therefore, for foreign businesses the process goes through the Tencent team, in order to get more information, you can contact us.

NB: Advertisements for real estate and finance are not accepted by Tencent.

WeChat Moment ads can have the following components:
Wechat moments ads example
WeChat Moments ad example
  • Brand name and profile picture
  • Up to 40-character ad description
  • Link to an html5 web page that’s hosted on Tencent’s server (so it can be a WeChat official account or mini-program)
  • Up to 6 pictures or a 6-15 seconds short-video

WeChat Moments ads: targeting options

Users can be targeted according to their location, interest, age, gender, device, and phone network.

Location

In terms of location, Tencent started offering WeChat overseas advertising option to target Chinese travelers in 42 countries and regions:

  • Asia: Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Russia, Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Maldives, Myanmar, India, Indonesia
  • Europe: Germany, France, England, Italy, Finland, UAE, Egypt, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Morocco, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Saudi Arabian, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Spain
  • North America: United States, Canada, Mexico
  • Oceania: Australia, New Zealand 
  • South America: Brazil, Argentina 

The current location data helps to define Chinese tourists. However, due to legal reasons, WeChat advertising is not open yet to local residents.

Gender & Age

When it comes to gender & age, users are usually targeted from 14 to 60 years old.

Industry-related specifics

WeChat enables companies to choose to advertise to 18 industries and 122 sub-categories. The 18 core categories include; education, travel, finance, cars, real estate, furniture, fashion, F&B, personal services, professional services, cosmetics, home electronics, sports, health, child education, bags, watches, shoes, jewelry, politics and law, luxury goods, drinks, Internet, entertainment.

WeChat behavior

Moments ads can be seen by individual users every 48 hours. Within 6 hours the ad disappears in case if the moment the ad was not liked, commented on, or clicked on the link by the user.

The interaction of the user with the Moment ad is leading to the enhanced likelihood of his/her friend receiving the same ad. Therefore, the number of target users can be increased by this viral effect. All these price bases for advertisement targeting depend on granular targeting, and your activation link.

You can also retarget users that showed interest in your previous ad campaigns, follow your official account, or collected a Wechat coupon from your previous ads. There is also a possibility of removing users that show no interest in your ads.

How much does it cost to advertise using WeChat Moments?

The minimum entry price for both Chinese and foreign companies is 50,000RMB.

City sizeText & Pictures Ads CPMVideo ads CPM
Core city150180
Large city100120
Others5060

CPM (cost per 1,000 impression)

Core cities: Beijing, Shanghai

Large cities: Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Wuhan, Suzhou, Chongqing, Nanjing, Tianjin, Xi’an, Guiyang, Changsha, Qingdao, Ningbo, Zhengzhou, Dalian, Xiamen, Jinan, Harbin, Fuzhou

WeChat Overseas advertising:

The minimal entry price of 50,000 RMB is for the following countries/regions:

Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the United States, and Australia. Notably, 10,000 RMB for the following countries: Germany, France, England, Italy, Canada, and New Zealand.

 Text & Pictures AdsVideo ads
CPM (1,000 impression)150180
WeChat Moments ad example - Bottega Venetta

WeChat banner advertising

Banner advertising is another form of advertising available on WeChat advertising platform. Wechat banner ads are similar to those banners that you see on websites. However, in WeChat, they are featured by a WeChat Official Account written message at the bottom of the article, in-article banner ads, and KOL promotion. This is why they are also often called WeChat Official account ads.

WeChat official account advertising become a great tool in order to drive WeChat users to follow your business account, download an app, claim a coupon code, buy a product, sign up link, or to a customized landing page, or use WeChat coupons.

Wechat ads - banner paid ad
Example of WeChat official accounts advertising through banner ads

WeChat banner ads consist of three following components:

  • The WeChat article; banner ads will appear at the bottom of an article written by another WeChat Official Account
  • Banner ad; the banner has a logo, account name, and headline. It takes the users to a page containing additional information about the brand/product in case the banner was clicked.
  • Action call; takes users to another landing page.
3 types of ads on WeChat Official account
3 types of ad banners in WeChat articles

How much do WeChat banner ads cost?

The minimum entry price for both Chinese and foreign companies is 50,000RMB.

City sizeCPM1CPC2
Core city25Bidding system
Large city20
Others15Starts at 0.5 RMB / click

CPM (cost per 1,000 impression).                Core cities: Beijing, Shanghai

Large cities: Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Wuhan, Suzhou, Chongqing, Nanjing, Tianjin, Xi’an, Guiyang, Changsha, Qingdao, Ningbo, Zhengzhou, Dalian, Xiamen, Jinan, Harbin, Fuzhou

All these price bases for advertisement targeting depend on granular targeting, and your activation link.

Who can use WeChat banner ads?

According to Tencent, you will need to meet the following requirements:

  • Have a company registered in China
  • Provide all licenses that prove the fact that you can advertise in the specific industry, and that your ads are associated with. For instance, you will need to provide the licenses that allow you to sell food in China, in case you want to advertise food.
  • For foreign companies, it is also possible to apply for banner advertising, it will require you to go through the manual application process. If you’d like to learn more, contact us

WeChat mini-program ads

WeChat mini-programs, which were released in 2017, quickly caught up in China, becoming a hub for brands and social e-commerce. It comes as no surprise that soon after that, Tencent added a new option of advertising on WeChat apart from using official WeChat account articles and WeChat Moments.

WeChat mini-program ads are banner ads similar to those in WeChat articles. There are different types of WeChat advertising using mini-programs, which include:

  • WeChat banner ads – WeChat mini-programs can include ad banners that come in a similar layout as the ads in WeChat official accounts.
  • WeChat mini-games advertisement – those ads appear in a form of short videos redirecting to another landing page. Those ads are incorporated into the game plot and tie to incentives provided within the game, which makes it more fun than normal advertisements.
  • Pop-up ads – those are typical banner ads that appear as a pop-up message when WeChat users open mini-programs, switch tabs, pause a video, etc.

How much do WeChat mini-program ads cost?

The minimum entry price for both Chinese and foreign companies is 50,000RMB.

City sizeCPM1CPC2
Core city25 (70)Bidding system
Large city20 (65)
Others15 (60)Starts at 0.1 RMB / click
the prices in brackets are for mini-game ads

CPM (cost per 1,000 impression).

Key Opinion Leaders on WeChat

Another way to make your brand promoted on WeChat is through Key Opinion Leaders. In this case, your company should pay a popular WeChat blogger, it can be through a flat fee or a result-based fee.

Additionally, promotional posts on their WeChat account can be exchanged for products provided by your company. An article that will include information about your brand can be reflected in the push information. 

KOL WeChat advertising

Usually, KOLs have more than 500,000 followers, which means that they have enough power to drive and promote a great number of sales by posting a product-related article.

KOLs usually charge according to the commission base, which is between 20-40%. However, it is usually hard to find the right KOL, including the fact that in terms of product quality, price, and type a large number of accounts can be quite picky.

Where can you find KOL for WeChat advertising? To learn more about how to find and get the right Key Opinion Leader to promote your brand, contact us.

Gentlemen Marketing Agency Case Study - Damac

Is WeChat advertising good for your brand?

Advertising on WeChat is a great way of gaining new followers and rising brand awareness, but it’s not for everyone.

When it comes to WeChat Moment ads, they have the best reach, because they are not as intrusive as other ad types and often appear as a normal message on the WeChat feed. But those ads are also expensive and the initial cost is very high, definitely not a good investment for small or niche brands.

Moment ads are good for well-known brands that want to advertise their new product release. But for companies that don’t want to pay as much for an advertising campaign, there are many other ways to reach their target audience with a such or even smaller investment.

WeChat banner ads are better for getting started on WeChat. They are more predictable and bring WeChat followers steadily, but the quality of leads is usually not that good.

Wechat advertising is better for well-known brands that have an overall strategy for Wechat and other social media platforms and can use different ways of communication to engage with their followers. But it’s not as food as Facebook ads, because the targeting is not as precise, so the amount and quality of leads are very low in comparison to the investment.

Gentlemen Marketing Agency Case Study - Gisada

How to promote on WeChat with WeChat advertising?

We collected vital tips which will help you to succeed in the WeChat promotion of your brand:

  1. Targeting, in this case, is very important, in order to build the right advertising line on WeChat you should define the auditory, to whom your product can be advertised.
  2. Create a strong strategy for WeChat advertisements and newsfeeds.
  3. Your company’s ads should be adjusted on time by competitive team members in case WeChat doesn’t meet expectations.
  4. The content of your ads should offer value to users.
  5. In order to meet a better measure of engagement, ensure that you benefit from CPM pricing across the board (impressions, clicks on external links, links, and comments) and that your ads encourage clicks and interactions.

New solutions like video conferencing, Mini-Game Ads, or WeChat mini-programs can be good for luxury brands, or in child education. in the B2C core categories, the recommendation mode is the best way to sell in China, you have to play on Chinese cultural values with a minimum spend.

Chinese residents, Chinese tourists, and B2B businesses use WeChat promotion for Business Purposes. It is a good way to reach a niche audience, especially when you can set up the location of users, and target tiers of cities, (you can manage City size). Good configuration is good visibility for brands and is very different from Baidu Advertising. 

We can help you with WeChat Paid Advertising

WeChat advertising has different advertising options and has a significant influence in nowadays world of e-commerce. It connects a huge number of users with third-party services, including gaming and shopping. A simple picture can have an effect on WeChat, with flexible rates as the type of network. WeChat is China’s second-largest network for marketing after Baidu. 

Gentlemen Marketing Agency - WeChat Services

If you have any questions, contact us. We are Gentlemen Marketing Agency, specializing in digital marketing and e-commerce solutions for the Chinese market.

We have a deep understanding of both western and Chinese cultures. Our team members are professional culturally-conscious marketers from both the West and China. We can provide you with outstanding efficiency and ROI in our service. 

gma marketing agency china

We helped many brands with their cost-effective WeChat advertising strategy. You can be next! Leave us a comment or contact us to learn more!

Gentlemen Marketing Agency Case Studies

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13 Comments

  1. Pingback: Online Marketing in China: 10 secrets Revealed | repo2o
  2. Iti s a great article for wechat marketing
    Do brands need to do wechat marketing plan

    Do you offer wechat marketing course ? wechat marketing with case study?

    1. We can offer Wechat Marketing Training, but it is not our core business…
      Send us an email Maria, and we will send you our case studies. 🙂

  3. We want a small ad in WeChat and other social media if it meets our advertising budget for China. This would be a long term advertisement.

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