WeChat Advertising 2019 – A Crash Course for Marketing your Brand

David Henriques

Whatever your industry, segment and audience, a considerable chunk of your customers are on social media. In order to boost your sales and increase your online awareness in China, marketing on WeChat is a great place to start. With so many active daily users, there is an almost endless supply of consumers to target and turn into paying customers. Even though it’s often recommended to naturally build trust with your audience via content and other engagement, WeChat advertising is a solid way to cast a net for new consumers. To help you save both money and time, we crafted a WeChat advertising crash course, so you can determine the best advertising methods for your business.

 

WeChat Advertising 101

In 2015, WeChat opened the doors for any business to advertise on the platform, creating a huge opportunity for brands to get closer to consumers. Since then, WeChat advertising has become a marketing trend with a 47% increase in advertising revenues in Q3 2018 . WeChat has made an aggressive push into monetizing its huge social network and has now expanded its advertisement capabilities for marketing to Chinese tourist in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Europe and parts of Asia.

Brands can now market to WeChat users in different places around the world with the added ability of using customer segmentation to target consumers more specifically. WeChat Ads are positioned to be a big opportunity to engage and develop exposure in China especially for new and established brands, B2C operations and finalizing the customer journey.

 

3 Main Types of WeChat Advertising

WeChat Moments Advertising

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WeChat Moments Ads look very similar to getting an update from a friend, but with a small sponsored button in the top corner. They are probably the most familiar form of WeChat advertising and can be considered the Facebook ad equivalent. Tencent has put a lot of thought of how ads impact the user experience and designed ads to appear with that in mind. An ad only appears after a user has received at least 4 moment updates and will automatically disappear after 6 hours if it doesn’t receive any likes or comments.

Regular WeChat Moments Ads are the only form of WeChat Advertisement that supports physical store promotion. There are a few variations of how brands can use moment ads including image & text ads, video ads, basic card ads, card ads with options and advertiser interactive ads. You can target users based on their location, age, gender, interest, device type and phone network. To learn more about Moment Ads please visit The Ultimate Guide to WeChat Moments Ads.

 

WeChat Official Account Advertising

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WeChat official accounts are media and services platforms within WeChat that are made for gathering followers, sending push notifications and redirecting users to a brand website or product. Official accounts consist of subscription, service, and enterprise. Ads for official accounts are banners that tend to be more suited for established brands, B2C and B2B industries and e-commerce.  The biggest advantage for using official account ads is that your target users already follow your account. Your ad will be displayed to users who already have an interest in your product or service. Ads for official accounts consist of WeChat article banners, in-text article banners, KOL banners and video banners.

WeChat Article Banner Ads

Your advertisement will be located in the section between an official account article and the comments section below it. You can also place coupons here and lead customers directly to your e-commerce shop.

In-text Article Banner Ads

This type of advertisement is located in the middle of a published article. In-text ads can even increase your click-through rate.

KOL Banner Ads

You can partner up with a KOL to promote your ad with a customized message. WeChat ensures KOL and brand trust by screening through any poorly written KOL content.

Video Banner Ads

Video advertising can come in the form of stickers or short videos. The sticker ad comes in the form of an image users can click on and the video ad appears right before video content of official account articles.

 

WeChat Mini Program Advertising

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Mini programs run within WeChat and function as sub-applications where users can access pretty much any type of service they’d like. Mini programs are super convenient and have a captive audience, making them an idea place for ad promotion. Mini program advertising comes in the form of mini game ads, banner ads and pop-up ads.

Mini Game Ads

In 2018, the biggest advertisers on mini programs were e-commerce (21%) and Mini Games (23%).  Mini game ads are about 6-15 second videos that are linked to a landing page and the developer configures the exact location of where the ad will appear in the gaming plot. Users can receive in-game rewards for watching an ad, so it’s worth working with a developer who knows the ins-and-outs of WeChat mini program design if you decide to create your own.

Banner Ads

Banner ads are pretty much the same as WeChat Official account sticker ads. Your ad placement is ultimately determined by the mini program game owner and WeChat matches your ad with programs based on your target audience.

Pop-up Ads

Pop-up ads appear when users initiate specific scenarios within a mini program. This could include pausing a mini program video or switching through different features.

 

What Types of Brands Should use WeChat Advertising?

If you are a small company that has a limited marketing budget, then starting out with WeChat advertising might not be the best route for your business. WeChat moments ads tend to be the most expensive out of the bunch with costs of at least 50,000 RMB for each ad campaign. Moment ads are usually better for well-known brands that have a lot of visual appeal with their products. They are good for encouraging user engagement. Smaller or B2B companies would benefit more from using KOLs, WeChat banner ads or other Tencent advertising channels like Q-zone.

WeChat Official Account ad stickers and mini program ads are the cheaper option in comparison with moment ads. However, the amount of exposure that your ad receives all depends on the popularity of the official account or mini program. Mini programs advertising does have a higher chance of getting viewed considering that you can’t skip in-game ads. If WeChat advertising is within your budget range, it can provide significant exposure to your brand and be a gateway for really connecting to Chinese consumers.

 

WeChat is continuing to update its advertising functionality for improving the precision of audience targeting. Overall, WeChat is a powerful tool for brands that want to have a presence in China and you can utilize WeChat advertising to build a connection with a more targeted audience.

 

External Sources:
Techcrunch : Tencent Returns to Profit Growth
Walkthecat : WeChat Rolls out Ads Targeting Chinese Tourists
WeChatwiki : Paid Advertising on WeChat Mini Program

 

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David Henriques
David Henriques

Digital entrepreneur and co-founder of Sekkei Studio, a digital marketing agency in Shanghai, Paris and Hong Kong. More than 10 years of experience in helping the communication of foreign companies in China.

Mobile Game China

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