Why is Wechat Advertising so important for Brands?


Wechat Advertising has become one of the most used channels for Brands targeting Chinese consumers. How exactly does this channel can help you to accomplish your marketing goals? Wechat presents different features oriented to multiple objectives: improving brand awareness, selling product or promoting official account.

In early 2015, WeChat kicked off an advertising program, of which had 25 brands including Coca Cola and Mercedes-Benz debuting on its content sharing platform. Unlike other social media such as Weibo, Wechat Ads became popular among users, who even capture the ads on their feed to share and compete with their friends. All of its success is thanks to Wechat’s discrete actions.

As you probably already know, there are 3 types of WeChat advertising:

  1. WeChat Banner Advertisements;
  2. WeChat Moments Advertisements;
  3. Key Opinion Leader (KOL) Promotion.

But first, for any company to advertise on Wechat, it is very important to know that an Wechat official is account required. (See more on how to Set Up An Wechat Official Account Without China Presence)

For those companies that already have or are about to operate an Wechat official account, what exactly can Wechat Ad do for them?

Well, it depends on their objectives actually.

  1. Grow brand awareness

Like any other ads platform, Wechat Ads helps enhance brand awareness by increasing impressions. Practically there are several formats of ads help to do that:

  • WeChat Moments Advertisements

Moments is equivalent to Facebook’s newsfeed. Wechat moment ads look just like normal Moments posts but with an additional “Sponsored” tag in the upper right corner.

Coca Cola’s Wechat Moment Ads

Moments ads consists the below elements:

  • Brand name and profile picture
  • Up to 40 characters ad description
  • Link to a promotional article on a H5 web page that is hosted on Tencent’s server
  • Up to 6 pictures or 6-15 seconds short videos

The price of Moments advertising is higher than other advertising channels. For that reason, companies with a broad marketing budget and in a well-known industry can best benefit from it.

  • WeChat Banner Advertisements

Banner Advertising on WeChat are very much like other website banner ads. The banners are featured in two places: bottom of a post published by KOL WeChat Official Account and in front of videos that are longer than 5 minutes.

A Wechat Banner Ad displays at the bottom of a post

A Wechat Banner Ad displays in front of a video clip

  • Key Opinion Leader(KOL) Advertisement

This solution calls for in-depth collaboration between the Brand and the KOL, with the campaign cost based on views, date/period of advertising and the cooperation mode. As for cooperation mode, the advertiser can choose to place the ad on the bottom of the KOL’s article (Banner Ad) or have the KOL compose the full article to promote the company’s culture, proposition etc.

The difference between KOL marketing (See more on how to Find Your Potential KOL) and KOL Advertisement is in the process, how you approach and deliver the creatives in We Chat.

Previously you have to contact the KOL, or the KOL’s agency, to negotiate the price and discuss the cooperation mode with them. Direct communication is required in order to negotiate the deal, which means business development and marketing skills are required.

By contrast, through KOL Ads everything is done by self-service. The advertiser choose from a white list of KOLs provided by Wechat, with filters such as verticals, age, gender etc. The advertiser offers a price and advertising period to the selected KOLs and input the minimum impressions. KOLs can choose to accept the offer with the requested guaranteed impressions during the ad period or not. If failed to complete the impression task, the KOL only gets a ratio of the total offer. In another way, the advertiser can contact the KOLs to copywrite the customized article for them, which is similar to the traditional way.

The advantage of KOL Ads is that the advertiser can get guaranteed impressions from quality KOLs (See more on the Dark Side of Wechat KOLs), and KOLs can also choose to promote the brand in accordance with their account perception.


Mercedes-Benz’s Ad displays in the KOL Account “微信路况”(“Wechat Traffic”)

Kols are a good way to help a company build and broadcast positive brand perceptions when cooperate with the right partner. Also it can be a budget saving option.

  1. Promote Wechat official account

Wechat Ad can be used to attract more fans/followers. With its official account being featured, companies can do lots of things like selling products, promoting events, managing members etc. Keeping a certain number of active followers within the account becomes a routine work for many online marketers.

Both Wechat Moment Ad and Banner Ad have similar features to attract followers.

H&M tries to attract fans for its official account

  1. Promote Mobile Application

Wechat Moment Ads and Banner Ads are good ways to promote mobile applications. They offer direct interface to download the app within Wechat.

VIP trying to get direct App downloads on Wechat

  1. Promote product or special offer

If you are planning a new campaign to launch new products or a special offer, Wechat’s coupon/gift card feature (See more on Wechat Gift Card and Coupon) can be a good choice. We recommend Wechat Banner Advertisement.

A fruit retailer giving away coupon on Wechat

Besides, if you also operate an Wechat shop or eCommerce Miniprogram, the Ad will directly link to your shopping page.

Wechat Ad directing its audience to a fashion retailer’s Wechat shop

However, if you are running a local focused campaign, Wechat local Moment Ad can be very effective, because it shows the store’s location directly in the Ad. The advertiser is bound to 50k entry budget to start a local Moment Ad campaign. So it’s a good solution for SMEs.

A Wechat local Moment Ad displays shop address

Wechat is keeping updating its Ad system, and rumos says it about to introduce machine learning into it to improve the precision of audience targeting. Sign up with our newsletter to stay up with newest info.

Joy is the Account Manager in Jademond,. She writes about all subjects from China online marketing practices to the latest Chinese technology unicorns.

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