Given its huge number of active users, WeChat has become a battlefield for advertisers to showcase and promote their products. Currently, WeChat offers two major advertising options, namely Moments ads and account ads. Only brands with verified official accounts in specific industries can apply to become WeChat advertisers. WeChat advertising
WeChat Moments Ads
Moments is like a cross between Facebook’s page and its newsfeed. It allows users to share their status, photos, articles, etc. with their WeChat contacts. The ads here look like normal Moments posts but with an additional “Sponsored” tag in the upper right corner.
Moments ads can be used to promote an official account or a campaign, encourage users to download an app, distribute coupons and launch location-based promotions. For Moments ads, advertisers can define their target users according to their gender, age, location, industry, marital status, education level, etc.
What do they look like?
A normal Moments ad consists of the following elements:
- Advertiser’s name and profile picture
- Text: A short description of less than 40 characters
- Visuals: Up to 6 pictures or a short video that lasts up to 15 seconds
- Hyperlink: Link to a promotional article, a native advertising page, a list of previous articles from an official account, an app download page or external H5 pages.
From this year on, Moments Ads have a new format – they’ll be presented as a card. (For more information, please refer to our previous blog post: WeChat Introduces WeChat Labs and New Moments Ad Format)
↑ Comparison of the standard ad format (left) and the new card ad format (right).
Recently, a new card ad format with two buttons has been activated, which enables advertisers to showcase two sets of advertising materials in one Moments ad. Users can click on either button to view different advertisements.
↑ Dior using the new card ad format to promote its Fall/Winter 2017 collections in two different styles.
Moments ads allow interactions. Users can like and comment under the ad. WeChat is also testing a new function that allows brands to reply to comments left by users. In late May, TripAdvisor launched a Moments ad, which allowed users to ask questions by leaving comments. According to an interview with SocialBeta, TripAdvisor mentioned that they had replied to several thousand comments from their target audience.
↑ TripAdvisor replied to users’ comments under a Moments ad (Photo credit: SocialBeta)
Moments ads adopt the CPM (Cost per 1,000 impressions) pricing model. There are also two purchasing schemes: scheduling and auction.
- For the scheduling scheme (排期购买), advertisers can schedule a fixed advertising time during the following 2 to 28 days. The price also depends on where the ad will be displayed. The minimum budget is 50,000 RMB for one advertising campaign.
- For the auction scheme (竞价购买), it’s more suitable for advertisers who need flexible advertising times and constant optimization of the ad. It’s based on real-time bidding and the minimum budget is 1,000 RMB for one day.
Case study: Monument Valley 2
In mid-June, a Moments ad was launched in order to boost the download of the newly-released gaming app Monument Valley 2. After clicking the link, users would be directed to a detail page with a full promotional video and a button directing to App Store. The overall interaction click-through rate of this advertising campaign reached 5.40%.
WeChat Account Ads
Alternatively, WeChat offers another advertising channel – account ads. Currently, there are three major types of account ads: footer ads, video ads and exchange ads.
Like Moments ads, account ads can also be used to promote an official account or a campaign, encourage users to download an app and distribute coupons. Note that account ads allow brands to advertise products in their WeChat Store (微信小店), so that users can find out more details or even directly purchase the item by clicking the ad.
What does it look like?
1. Footer ad (底部广告) – a banner placed below a WeChat article with a call-to-action button
2. Video ad (视频贴片广告) – Pre-roll ads in a video
WeChat also allows advertisers to place a pre-roll ad that lasts no longer than 15 seconds before a video* inserted in a WeChat article. The ad will show up when the video is played in a Wi-Fi environment. There’s also a “Learn more” button in the bottom right corner that takes users to another landing page for further information.
*The video must be longer than 5 minutes.
3. Exchange ad (互选广告)
Exchange ads are similar to footer ads. The major difference is that exchange ads may be presented in a larger card format with a call-to-action button. (For more information, please refer to our previous blog post: WeChat Unlocks its Ads Exchange Feature)
For the standard footer banner ads, the primary pricing model is CPC (Charge per click).
- For the auction scheme (竞价购买), it’s more suitable for advertisers who need flexible advertising time and constant optimization of the ad. The advertising cost is determined by the number of ad clicks. It’s based on real-time bidding and the minimum bidding price for each click is 0.5 RMB.
- For the scheduling scheme (排期购买), it is ONLY open to account ads for the purpose of promoting the brand or a campaign. Advertisers can schedule a fixed advertising time during the following 2 to 28 days. The price also depends on the location where the ad will be displayed. The pricing model is CPM in this case and the minimum budget is 1,000 RMB for one advertising campaign.
Case study: Mercedes
In early September, Mercedes promoted its Repairman Competition 2017 by launching an account ad. It was a UGC (User-generated content) collection campaign asking users to post about the most important decision they’d made in the past 10 years.
Mini Program Ads
WeChat has recently released a new feature for its mini programs — allowing advertisers to bid for an ad space in the “Mini Programs Nearby” section. However, it is still under internal testing.
What does it look like?
When users open the “Mini Programs Nearby” list, they can see a list of mini programs primarily based on their current location. With this new feature, advertisers can bid on ad space on this list. Below is an example of an ad for eLong’s (艺龙) mini program. eLong is one of China’s leading mobile and online travel agencies.
These mini program ads also appear when people use WeChat’s search function. For example, when users search for related keywords in WeChat (like “hotel”), eLong’s mini-program appears. Yet this function is still under private beta and not available to the public yet.
Advertisers can bid for the ad space, but WeChat has not yet officially announced detailed prices and procedures.
WeChat offers several advertising options for marketers to showcase their products to filtered target consumers so marketers can choose the option that suits their promotion goals and budget best. WeChat advertising is an effective way to increase brand exposure and accumulate new subscribers with strong exposure and a prominent call-to-action. In the end, it’s noteworthy that, since Chinese audiences prefer meaningful content, creating ads with high-quality content remains the most important step in your overall WeChat advertising strategy.
What do you think of WeChat advertising? Would you like to do advertising on WeChat? Which option do you think it’s a best fit for you? Leave a comment below. We’re happy to answer your questions.
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