Wechat advertising: how to optimize it according to your target?

Two main advertising ways on Wechat are used for your brand awareness:

Wechat moments (like Facebook ads) and Key Opinions Leaders (such as Influencial bloggers) are the best Wechat tools to increase your Wechat users according to your target.

Method 1: WeChat moments advertising

The first and most familiar method of WeChat advertising for Western marketers is to promote on WeChat moments. They are the equivalent of Facebook ads appearing on the timeline.

Let’s dig deeper into this method.

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Who can advertise on Moments?

WeChat advertising on moments is restricted to two major cases:

  • Companies registered in Mainland China (either local companies or Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprises – WFOE) willing to invest at least 50k RMB (~7,500 USD)
  • Foreign companies willing to invest at least $20,000 USD 

Chinese companies can follow the following link to apply: http://ad.weixin.qq.com/

For foreign companies the process goes through a dedicated Tencent team, you can reach out for questions (info@walkthechat.com)

What is Moments advertising?

WeChat moments ads were launched in early 2015, when 25 brands including Coco Cola and Mercedes-Benz took part into the first testing campaign.

Even before this official launch, the WeChat “timeline” had been a target for advertising companies who relentlessly tried to find ways to access user’s Moment. They usually used forwarded message via a network of personal accounts (a practice forbidden by Tencent terms of use).

For example, a WeChat advertising company created a scheme for advertising on personal WeChat Moments. In Shanghai and Beijing, they leveraged 600 individual accounts, each with at least 500 friends. The price of posting on individual’s moments ranged from 10 RMB to 400 RMB per post.  Advertising through such a network enabled to reach over 300,000 WeChat users. However this was a very manual process.

What Tencent Moment ads bring is a much more sophisticated way to reach the user timeline by directly buying access from WeChat.

How does it work?

Moment ads can have the following component:

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  1. Brand name and profile picture
  2. Up to 40 character ad description
  3. Link to a html5 webpage that’s hosted on Tencent’s server
  4. Up to 6 pictures
  5. You can target users according to their location, interest, age, gender, device and phone network.

City specific:

Three category including Beijing&Shanghai, 35 first and second tier cities, and non-specific cities.

Industry specific:

Companies can choose to advertise to 17 industries including: education, travel, finance, car, real estate, home product, clothing, food & beverage, life-style service, business service, beauty product, internet/IT, sport, medicine & health, pregnancy products, and games.

Individual users can see up to one Moment ad every 48 hours. The ad will disappear within 6 hours if the user did not like, comment or click on the link. If the user interacts with the ad, this will increase the likelihood of his/her friend receiving the same ad. This viral effect will increase the number of target users.

How much does it cost?

Location specific:

CPM (cost per 1,000 view):

  • Non-specific location ads: 40RMB
  • Users in Beijing & Shanghai: 140 RMB
  • Users in 35 first and second tier cities: 90 RMB

Minimal entry price: 50,000 RMB

How to apply?

The application process is very unsophisticated so far: you should write an e-mail with the Application form to wxad@tencent.com in order to get in touch with a sales representative from Tencent.

Is Moments advertising right for you?

WeChat Moments Advertising program is not for everyone.  Compared to Tencent’s other advertising channel, Q-zone and Tencent Weibo has CPM between 0.2-1RMB; WeChat banner ads has CPC (cost-per-click) of between 2-5 RMB; KOL campaign has a CPC of 0.5-1 RMB, WeChat Moment ads is comparatively much pricier.

Moment advertising tend to be a better choice for well known brands with visually attractive products.  For small and medium companies, or companies in service or B2B industry, other advertising channels such as KOL, WeChat banner ads, and Tencent ads on QQ and Q-zone maybe a better choice.

Method 2: Key Opinion Leaders

Influencers are another way to market your brand on WeChat. It means paying a popular WeChat blogger (either through a flat fee, a result-based fee or by giving away products) in exchange for a promotional post on their WeChat account.

The push message can be either a full article talking about your brand, or a banner ad at the end of a content piece (of course, the first option is usually much pricier).

Here’s an example of banner ad at the bottom of a WeChat influencer message:

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Why should you use Key Opinion Leaders?

Key Opinion Leaders are a truly efficient way to market on WeChat for several reasons:

  • WeChat is a social network first, and endorsement from trusted sources can be a huge source of conversion
  • Key Opinion Leaders enable to get started to get started with all types of budgets
  • KOL aren’t subject to as much red tape as the ads bought directly from Tencent: vendors selling cross-border will have a much easier time using KOL rather than WeChat native ad program
  • Because WeChat has been only recently opening up to advertisers, there is a rich network of Key Opinion Leaders you can tap from on WeChat, and users are already used to receiving ads from them

Where can you find KOL for WeChat advertising?

There are a few platforms enabling you to find influencers for your WeChat ads:

  • http://newrank.cn/ is the leader in the field
  • http://www.parklu.com/ is a great platform as it provides a bilingual interface and access to influencers across WeChat, Weibo, Instagram, Youku and Meipai
  • http://wemedia.cn/ is a platform with a mix of accounts their run by themselves and influencers they represent. Quality is uneven though, so have a careful look.

How much do influencer cost for WeChat advertising?

The cost of using WeChat influencers for advertising can vary widely:

  • On the low-end, you might find some advertisers willing to put up a banner for as low as $100 USD
  • On the high-end, there is no real upper limit, with large KOL regularly charging as much as $50,000 USD for one push message

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