A Comprehensive Guide to WeChat Advertising

WeChat advertising offers enormous reach on the biggest social media platform in China with over 1 billion monthly users. Although a vast majority of WeChat users are based in China, WeChat is available worldwide.

The app, which is a product of Tencent, is one of China’s biggest tech companies. Even though WeChat was originally a messaging app, today it includes shopping, search, ticketing, payment, and much more.

If you want to boost your brand in China, developing a strong online presence is an effective digital marketing strategy. And through WeChat, your brand can reach millions of Chinese consumers.

This article by Tenba Group, your favorite Cyprus digital marketing agency,  we explore 3 types of WeChat advertising:

  1. Banner Ads
  2. Moments
  3. Influencer Marketing

In addition, we reveal how you can take advantage of China’s top social network for maximum results.

What is WeChat?

Over the last years, Tencent’s WeChat became the top mobile messaging app. Not just in China but globally. Yet, WeChat has become much more than a messaging app. In fact, WeChat is the third most used messaging app in the world. Only Facebook and WhatsApp are more popular.

WeChat is packed with a large variety of unique and innovative features that make it more than just a social media platform. These features make it easy for businesses to connect with more potential consumers.

For instance, in addition to traditional social media functions, WeChat via WeChat Pay can be used to facilitate mobile transactions for both online and physical vendors. In the world of online shopping, WeChat stores are also very popular. Even for international brands, who can sell their items via the cross-border ecommerce (CBEC) method there. Continue reading here for more detailed information on how to sell your products in China via WeChat and CBEC.

Besides, the app can be used to book a flight, order a taxi, fix an appointment with your doctor, and more. With this wide array of features, it is not surprising how popular it is.

What is WeChat Advertising?

Although there are similarities in advertising on WeChat and other social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, there are more intricacies to advertising on WeChat. As a result, marketers need to familiarize themselves with these elements to fully harness the opportunity of advertising on WeChat.

WeChat advertising also features tags that are designed to help you better target your audience. These tags are based on age, gender, income level, education, profession, and several other factors that a brand should research before selecting.

Consequently, promoting your brand on WeChat is an excellent way to connect with a Chinese audience. So, without further ado, here are the three types of WeChat advertising.

1. WeChat Banner Ads

This type of ad is placed at the bottom of articles and messages, which were published by an official WeChat account. Banner ads usually contain the account name, a logo, and a headline. Clicking on banner ads will direct you to another page which will provide more information about the brand or product. The banners are great to drive consumer action, for example, to purchase a product, download a mobile app, sign up for a service, or claim a coupon.

wechat banner ad
Source: WeChat

WeChat banner ads are performance-based. In essence, they usually have a Call to Action (CTA) which takes the user to a landing page. Advertisers use this type of ad to measure the effectiveness of advertising. How many people downloaded the app? How many purchased the product or claimed a coupon? Banner ads are somewhat pricey. But beyond that, marketers love them because they can convert prospects who follow the banner ads into paying customers.

Banner ads are popular amongst marketers on WeChat because they use basic designs which the marketer can either outsource or create on their own using ready-made templates online.

WeChat banner ads are ideal for smaller businesses with a specific target audience. Larger businesses offering a variety of products may not benefit so much from this approach unless they narrow down a selective product and consumer niche.

Before businesses can advertise using WeChat banner ads, they must provide proof of the legitimacy of their products and services. The Chinese government must approve this. This process can be tedious but the results are well worth the effort.

2. WeChat Moments

These ads compare to the newsfeed on Facebook. Of course, they appear in the so-called Moments section. Unlike banner ads which can disrupt the content of a page, moment ads blend in with the page to appear just like regular user-generated posts.

If a user shares a moment ad with another user, WeChat automatically places the ad on the Moments of users with similar interests. Both formats are very effective. A typical moment ad features the name of the brand, a profile image, up to 6 photos, a link to the HTML5 page, and text with 40 Chinese characters.

Moments ads come in a range of formats such as photos, texts, short videos (both embedded and full screen), and 360 panoramas. If there is no user engagement with a moments ad, WeChat changes it after 6 hours. Otherwise, moments ads are usually active for 7 days, and users only see one moment ads every 48 hours.

These ads are more expensive than banner ads because they are more engaging and interactive. Therefore, moments ads are ideal for more established businesses and luxury brands.

wechat moments ad
Source: WeChat

Companies that want to advertise via WeChat moments should have a good budget for this kind of marketing as the rate is based on impressions and depending on the target region. A higher budget will also get your more functionalities and features in your ad. There is also a CPM pricing model where you pay a fixed amount for a fixed number of impressions (1,000 impressions).

3. Influencer Marketing

Wanghong, KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders), and KOCs (Key Opinion Consumers) all are influencers, and extremely popular in China. To demonstrate this, 38% of purchases of beauty products follow the recommendation of an influencer, for example.

Advertisers collaborate with influencers to have their ads posted on his/her official account. Influencers typically have a large network of followers. So, any ad on their timeline can reach millions of followers. This can make your business go viral as consumers view KOLs as a credible source of advice and knowledge.

When choosing an influencer, it is important to go with someone authentic. Their values and interests must be in line with your brand and the product/service you want to advertise. The pricing for promotions varies by agency and influencer. Remember that authenticity is key. The influencer and the business directly discuss the content, timeline, and other details of the advertising campaign.

In fact, influencer marketing is the best way for promoting your products and services in China. This is due to the fact that WeChat ads (banner, moments) are rather expensive in comparison and bureaucratic to launch.

The Takeaway

WeChat advertising offers a gateway for international companies to connect to Chinese customers. Banner ads, moments, and influencer marketing are easy and popular ways to increase the outreach of your brand in China. Foreign brands can promote their businesses, grow their customer base, and drive traffic to their websites. Skyrocket your business in China today. Contact Tenba Group to get started!

Discover more ways of marketing your brand and products in China. Plus, learn more about the different official business account types on WeChat, and how to set them up. You need an official account because advertising laws in China require that you must be a business to run ads in the country.

If you are interested in more topics around digital marketing in China, Chinese social media, and digital trends in the Middle Kingdom, take a look at our blog.

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