A Step-by-step Guide to Advertising On ByteDance

bytedance apps advertising - step by step

The world of ByteDance consists of several apps like Douyin, Xigua and Toutiao. And now the power of ByteDance advertising channel (with killer knowledge of user interests) is right at your fingertips with AdChina.io.

But first – let’s dig into each of the apps and who uses them.

Better known as TikTok outside China, Douyin is a short video app for mobile that has taken the world by storm.

And now you have the opportunity to reach over 400 million of the platform’s daily active users!

One of the few Chinese apps that focused internationally, Douyin serves user-generated content, allowing users to share and create videos. Douyin is China’s #1 short video app.

Toutiao is another major news app in China with over 220 million daily active users who spend — on average — 75 mins+ on the app each day. TouTiao aggregates news content based on the interest and actions of each user. Due to the effectiveness of its algorithms, TouTiao is a very popular app with high engagement and time spent in-app, as users are served content they want to see.

What is Xigua?

Xigua is China’s #3 short video app with 50 million daily active users. Xigua receives more than 5 billion daily video views each day. You can learn more about the channel here.

If you’re not wildly excited about channels with that kind of potential, skim back over the last few paragraphs. You have access to:

  • Highly engaged users that are habitually clicking around and exploring
  • People who use these apps extensively
  • An audience who wants to be entertained

So now all you need is a great ad that grabs them! There are three ways to grab such users effectively:

  1. You can borrow the idea of someone else’s successful ad. That’s unoriginal and will never get the same results. You can use elements, but copying doesn’t work.
  2. You can invest heavily in marketing resources and team members who specialise in China. There’s nothing wrong with that approach if it fits your budget. We have organisations with marketing teams who use AdChina.io to launch their ads and view reports.
  3. Finally, you can use the resources currently at your disposal to create a series of test advertisements to run and find out what works. Then scale the most effective performer(s).

Choose what best suits your brand’s current resources.

These apps (and several other very popular Chinese channels) are owned by ByteDance, and we’ll use ‘ByteDance’ to refer to advertising across any/all of these channels.

A Step-by-step Guide to Advertising On Douyin / Xigua / Toutiao Natively

The first thing you want to do, as usual, is make sure your Translate plugin is ready to go, then login to your ByteDance ad account at: https://ad.oceanengine.com

Next, click + New ad as shown here to start.

That will take you to the overview of your account. Click on Plan and then + New Plan to start creating your ad.

On the next screen, you’ll find your campaign choices. I’ll go out on a limb and assume you probably want to promote your app. Click Next step.

This next page is very large, and requires a lot of input 

PRO TIP: Plan out most of your settings first (and save your audiences), that way you don’t lose your data if you get logged out by being “idle” on this page too long. (Yes, this is an issue) 

Let’s begin!

First, you want to set your Delivery range. The default channels will be selected, pangolin option will let you display your ad across ByteDance’s ad network. This network includes the top channels from ByteDance as well as other top apps from their partners.

Delivery Goals can then be set, with a link to your app store page, and determine the goal of your ad campaign.

Next comes targeting and your options are similar to all the other channels. Despite the large section, there’s fewer options than many of the other channels. All the basics are covered though, and there’s enough to get results as long as you aren’t targeting a super-well-niched segment.

Finally, set your budget and bidding settings, and name your Ad Plan. Then click Save and create new ideas (this means ads with creative, and is a good example of the translation being less than perfect).

Back on the dashboard screen (see image from step 3), click Creative, and then + New plan.

Now you can select your placements, so select your preference and your app name. Again the translations are particularly unhelpful. For reference:

Headlines today = Toutiao

Watermelon video = Xigua

Volcano small video = Huoshan

Tremolo = Douyin

Combo of those + other top apps in the network = pangolin

  1. What’s really cool is that you can advertise on multiple Bytedance apps at the same time by simply ticking a box. The downside is different apps have different purposes, and you want to tailor your ad to suit the channel as well as possible.
  2. From there you can scroll down to the next section, where you can add your creative(s), add your branding, and include your Call To Action.
  3. From there, add your classification (Translate is your friend), creative label (which is used for both targeting and making sure your ad is in-line with ByteDance rules).
  4. Finally, you can add monitoring links to find out the number of displays, clicks, video watches, and videos that are watched until the end if that data is useful to you. Click Modify and close.
bytedance ads
  1. From there, you can go back to your dashboard (see image from step 3), and switch on your ad campaign.

And you’re done! Did that seem a bit chunky? That’s because it is.

Native ad platforms in China can unfortunately be a bit overwhelming. Skip over to the end of the post to learn how AdChina’s easy-to-use platform allows you to swiftly run multiple campaigns and drive high value users to your app.

Mobile App Ad Targeting on Douyin / Xigua / Toutiao

As a maturing channel, you can expect better interest-based targeting to come in time. For non-game apps, you may find suitable sub-categories under Leisure & Recreation, Medical & Healthcare, Sports, Internet/Electronic products, Life services, Business services, Education, Tourism, or other categories catered to by ByteDance advertising.

Three Excellent ByteDance Ad Examples

Xigua ad for iOS mobile app:

bytedance ad example iOS

ByteDance promotes its Douyin app on Xigua. If a user enjoys Xigua, chances are they’d be interested in Douyin as well.

Toutiao ad for iOS mobile app:

toutiao ad example iOS

This Toutiao ad gives a link to the download page. The ad’s ability to convert is raised further with the download page featuring a high user review rating. Just like the west, social proof is important.

Douyin ad for iOS app:

douyin ad example iOS

This Douyin video ad is for an iOS app. Notice the high quality visual of the bridge to get attention at the start of the video. Clicking through to the app download takes time, but again the high reviews further signal trust and quality.

3 Tips for ByteDance Advertising That Work

1. Set your targeting options for your ideal audience

According to WalkTheChat analysis, more than 50% of Douyin users are under 24, and more than 80% are under 30. If you’re targeting young people, Douyin is an especially valuable channel to use. With 2/3s of Douyin users being female, you can select that channel if your target market is mostly female too. That said, tens of millions of males use the app every day too, so set your targeting options for your ideal audience.

2. Use high-quality images and appealing design

Douyin is heavily algorithm-driven. Getting engagement will see a large increase in traffic even if your account is small, whereas a large, known brand could experience very little visibility if an ad receives low engagement. Part of this comes back to high-quality images and appealing design.

3. Stick with official campaigns over KOLs, at least to start. 

Key Opinion Leader content can make your product viral and attract thousands of sales, or it could be a bust and receive 40 views without a single sale. Pick an engaging creative and ad campaign and run them yourself to start building familiarity and test the waters. If you do choose to go the KOL route, try to find someone who consistently gets results. Many can be inconsistent and you want the best chance to succeed.

AdChina.io has helped hundreds of brands reach the China market. To see how AdChina.io can help you get started with advertising on top channels hassle-free create a free account today.

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