In Part 1 of our WeChat Advertising Guide 2022, we did a deep dive on what advertising looks like on WeChat, the features that are available for targeting an audience, and payment and bidding options. Here in Part 2, we are going to look at how to get set up an account and campaigns, as well as best practices, for all brands, no matter their size.
Getting set up
The setup procedure is a little time-consuming and can be complex to the uninitiated. The process can be a lot smoother by having someone experienced do it on a brand’s behalf. It’s nevertheless a good idea to be aware of the steps involved, so as to know what to expect of processing times and requirements.
Step One – Sign up / log in.
Log into the WeChat backend. If you don’t yet have an account, there are two main options for advertising: a subscription account, and a service account (an enterprise account, better for internal and B2Bcommunication). They each have their own pros and cons, so it’s worth doing a little reading first to decide which to go for. This should be a wider marketing decision, not one just based on advertising.
Some good news: since 2021, posts and ads from international accounts are now visible to domestic Chinese audiences. Signing up however, either as an international company or company registered in China, does take a fair amount of paperwork and approval time. It’s best to allow at least 3-4 weeks.
There is an English-language version of the backend, but it is currently not a complete translation of the Chinese version, so we recommend sticking with the Chinese version for now. Using Google Chrome to auto-translate each page as you navigate it makes life (relatively) easy.
Step Two – Open WeChat ads, select industry.
You will need to read and agree to terms and conditions, and then select your industry type. During this step, you may be asked to upload additional licenses associated with that industry, for example a commercial performance license or brand licensing agreement. You will also be asked to give the name and contact phone number of the person responsible for advertising on your company’s behalf.
Step Three – Select ad format.
In the picture below, you can see official accounts ads and moments ads. It’s now also possible to select Mini-Program ad.
(Source: WeChat Wiki)
Step Four – Select promotion and payment type.
The promotion type will depend on whether you’re going to be directing users to an official account, promoting a mobile app, or simply creating a general brand promotion.
In the first part of this guide, we spoke about bidding vs scheduled payments. Decide on which is best for you before going through this step.
Step Five – Select launch time and target audience.
Step Six – Set budget.
Minimum budgets vary, as mentioned in Part 1. For Moments ads, the minimum budget is 50,000RMB.
Step Seven – Choose ad template, or promote official account article.
From here, several templates and customization options will be available.
It’s also possible to choose at this stage to promote an official account article:
Step Eight – Sign the agreement and submit funds.
Tencent will need to review the ad for approval.
Step Nine – Preview before launch.
After approval, it’s possible to send the ad to a whitelist of people. If no adjustments need to be made, it can be launched on schedule.
Step Ten – After launch, wallow in data.
Your account is open, your ad has launched, now it’s time to bask in the light of beautiful, beautiful data. Check back for all manner of metrics.
WeChat Advertising Best Practices
The lengthy registration time leaves brands plenty of time to get familiar with some WeChat advertising best practices, so that every campaign can be a success.
- Choose your ad type wisely. This is of the utmost importance. Refer to Part One of this guide, here.
- Eye-catching, upbeat visuals. All WeChat ads are highly visual – usually using between one and nine images, or a video. This means that visual considerations need to be high on the priority list. Users have reported a preference for upbeat, positive imagery.
- Set clear goals. Your WeChat ad should look and feel different, depending on whether it is aiming to drive sales, gain followers for an official account, spread brand awareness or drive users to a mini-program or website. This is also an important consideration when it comes to calculating acceptable ROI and performance metrics.
- Devise or follow a WeChat-Specific marketing funnel. From awareness, to consideration, conversion to retention, map out KPIs and match them with the data tools available on the WeChat backend.
- High-quality content drives follows. If an increase in followers is the goal of the ad, then make sure it leads to high-quality, shareable content. Most WeChat official account content is formatted in traditional blog-style posts. By utilizing H5 pages, or customizing posts with an advanced editor, it’s possible to stand out from the crowd.
- Get interactive. WeChat has several options for interacting with users, including group chats, games, competitions and surveys. Utilize WeChat’s new ‘Channels’ video function to create dialogues with followers.
- Localize your content. Directly translating English-language ads, and expecting them to work on a Chinese audience, is a risky game. Cultural nuances are hidden in the least-expected places, so it’s important that even if the main campaign is devised in English, it’s consulted on and localized by an expert in marketing to Chinese audiences.
- Ensure consistency across channels. WeChat is a marketing ecosystem – it’s obvious for an ad and its destination to be visually and stylistically coherent. But what about the other aspects of the ecosystem? From the ad destination – be it an H5 page, an article or a mini-program – interested users will likely make extra steps to explore the brand’s official account, its recent posts, its interface and any associated products. By ensuring consistency between these elements, it gives a foundation to the brand image.
Congrats on completing this complete two-parts Guide to Advertising on WeChat. If you haven’t yet, you can check the first half of this guide here. As WeChat is both a close, complex and constantly evolving ecosystem, it can make Ads decision making even more challenging than understanding the platform itself, that’s why reaching out to the right partner with an extensive experience on WeChat Ads management is crucial to your success.
Drop us a line, we’ll be glad to share some guidance and help plan, adjust or execute properly your next or existing WeChat Ads campaigns.