China is home to at least one billion online users. If this sounds like a business opportunity to you, you’re correct. By setting up a shop in China, you’re opening your business to millions of potential purchases. However, to do this, you will need to advertise on the country’s top messaging app — WeChat.
WeChat is an app ubiquitous across the Chinese tech-savvy population. With 1.26 billion users in China and other parts of the world, WeChat is the top platform for advertising and marketing.
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The commercial potential of the app has also grown owing to its added features and use cases. The WeChat advertising platform has allowed many businesses to gain visibility in China. This article will teach you about the best WeChat advertising strategy. Are you ready to create your WeChat ads? Let’s kick off this detailed guide with the pros and cons of WeChat advertising.
What is WeChat advertising?
WeChat advertising is a Tencent program that leverages the power of WeChat to help companies reach more potential customers. It facilitates effective promotions through timelines, Official Account articles, and mini-programs – all designed to bolster follower numbers, drive traffic and increase app downloads. By collaborating with this innovative platform businesses can widen their reach without compromising on quality or impact.
The Pros and Cons of WeChat Advertising
Like any marketing and advertising tactic, there are advantages and disadvantages. Let’s begin with the most obvious benefit WeChat advertising brings your business — more potential consumers.
WeChat has at least 1.26 billion users, with more than 80% of these users being in China. This means that any business owner can stand to gain better exposure to a broader consumer market. Because of the app’s mainstream adoption in the country, there are a few better ways to enter the Chinese consumer market.
Be that as it may, WeChat advertising comes with a set of drawbacks. One is the limits on the types of products that you can advertise. As of 2022, the Chinese government has prohibited the advertising of the following products on any platform:
- Legal Services
- Medical equipment
- Pharmaceuticals and healthcare
- Medical treatments
- Sex products
Financial services are also under heavy regulation. Although these products or services are permitted at the state level, WeChat advertising is still subject to approval and screening.
The other disadvantage of WeChat advertising is limited targeting features. WeChat lacks the consumer targeting features of Facebook, Instagram, or Google. This means that your product can be advertised to a user that may not be interested in what you’re selling.
Ads can appear at random, resulting in low-quality leads or none at all. This can make easing consumers down your sales funnel challenging despite the exposure the app gives.
Lastly, WeChat advertising isn’t cheap. For example, WeChat Moments advertising can cost nearly $8,000. Also, the price for any WeChat advertising option can vary based on impression (cost per impression) and city (large city vs. core city vs. other classifications of cities).
While there are drawbacks to WeChat advertising, the potential exposure may still be worth the expense and learning curve with its 1.26 billion users. You just need to be aware that the downsides do exist — just as with any other advertising platform.
What are the different types of WeChat ads?
There are three main types of WeChat advertising. These are:
WeChat Moment Ads
The WeChat Moments ads option is WeChat’s iteration of Facebook’s News Feed Ads. WeChat Moments allows advertising using a variety of formats, combining media, text, and clickable CTAs or shopping cart buttons. The range of formats with which to advertise, as well as the familiarity, makes WeChat Moments popular among many business owners.
Moments Ads appear as WeChat banner ads containing media and text. These are found in the same places as WeChat status updates and news. Users can scroll through WeChat Moments ads and use its clickable elements to either visit a site or check out a product.
The WeChat Moments advertising option is the most expensive one, especially if you choose the scheduled plan. The scheduled plan costs around $7,880 if you pay for the option in a lump sum. It allows your WeChat moment ads to be present for an extended period of time. As mentioned earlier, this is the minimum investment for WeChat Moments ads.
With that said, larger businesses with high marketing budgets may be able to afford this WeChat advertising option. However, the same isn’t always true for middle to small-sized businesses.
A more affordable way to advertise via WeChat Moments is by opting for the bidding scheme. The bidding scheme costs roughly $7 to $8 per day. Just be aware that you’ll have to set this up daily.
WeChat Banner Advertising (or WeChat Official Account Ads)
WeChat banner ads contain nearly the same media formats as Wechat Moments ads like text and clickable CTAs. However, these appear more like banner ads in articles. For this reason, they’re smaller and don’t stand out as much compared to Moments ads.
For what they lack in size and visibility, they make up for in affordability. Smaller businesses can take advantage of the lower costs of WeChat Official Accounts advertising. The daily bidding scheme for WeChat Official Account ads costs around $7 to $8 per day, just like the costs for Moments ads.
If you want your banner ads to appear for days and in real-time, you’ll have to pay just a bit more. For the scheduled plan, you’ll need to pay around $158.
WeChat Official Account banner ads have a pay-per-click option that costs less than a cent per click. If you’re starting and want to test the waters, this may be a viable option.
WeChat Mini Program ads
When it comes to engagement, nothing beats interactive elements in WeChat ads. WeChat has these in abundance with its Mini Programs and Minigames ads.
These ads appear as pop-up banner ads. These pop-ups redirect the user to a third-party app like an extension or minigame. Within the third-party app, you can host your own minigames, promotions, or programs.
Mini Program/Games ads cost the same as Official Account banner ads. If your niche allows, this might be a suitable alternative, especially if customer engagement is your priority.
What Are the Requirements to Advertise on WeChat?
Before you start advertising on WeChat, you need to fulfill some requirements. The most important one is a WeChat official account.
A WeChat Official Account
The application process for an official WeChat account differs for companies in Mainland China and abroad. Companies in China can use the main WeChat corporate site to register their business.
For these companies, the account registration process involves verification. Once verification is complete, Chinese companies need to apply for the right to advertise.
The application is subject to approval, so there’s a waiting period. Once WeChat approves a business, the company can proceed to make the minimum investments for the WeChat advertising options it has chosen.
In the case of foreign companies, the business account creation process must be done manually. More specifically, a business must submit a request to the advertising team of WeChat.
The advertising request needs to be made available for approval mainly due to China’s advertising laws. There have been many instances where foreign companies were fined due to breaking advertising laws. WeChat screens potential business partners for the sectors in which they are involved.
In short, if you are a business outside China, you’ll have to get in touch with WeChat. You will also need to submit a request to advertise on their platform. As well, this request needs to receive approval before you get your business account.
A Minimum Investment
After getting an account, the next step is to choose your method of WeChat advertising. As mentioned earlier, WeChat offers businesses three advertising options, which are WeChat Moments ads, WeChat banner ads, and WeChat mini-program ads.
Once you’ve selected an advertising method, you’ll need to make an initial investment upfront. In the case of the WeChat Moments option, the minimum investment may amount to ¥50,000 or roughly $7,800 for scheduled and real-time ads.
For the two other options, namely the Mini Programs and Accounts Banner Ad options, the minimum is about ¥1,000 or $158. Once you’ve made your minimum investment, your ads will be ready to go.
Do you want to advertise to WeChat users?
WeChat’s selling proposition rides on the tailwinds of its popularity as a messaging app. As an app used by more than 1.2 billion WeChat users, the marketing potential of the platform is undeniable.
WeChat gives your business unparalleled exposure to a broad consumer market. All you need to do is select the advertising option that fits your needs.
We are a China digital marketing company with more than 10 years of experience. Our team of Chinese and foreign experts helped over 600 small and big businesses succeed in the Chinese market.
We’ve been working on WeChat for many years, crafting WeChat advertising solutions suitable for foreign brands. We offer your account set-up, maintenance, and strategy.
Don’t hesitate to leave us a comment or contact us so that we can learn more about your advertising needs on WeChat.