Tencent QQ has a collective reach of one billion users a month.
But despite being one of the biggest digital channels in the world, very few international brands know how to unlock its full potential.
That’s why, today, we’re going to share with you our top tips for advertising on Mobile QQ, and how you can use the platform to boost your Chinese strategy.
What is Mobile QQ exactly, and who owns it?
Owned and created by Tencent in 1999 — QQ (or Tencent QQ, as it’s also known) is the first and most popular instant messaging platform in China.
Today, it has around 860 monthly active users, is one of the biggest social platforms in the world, and has branched out into other digital channels, such as QQ Music and QZone, which have built up a popular portfolio of QQ-based apps.
In this guide, however, we’ll be focusing on Mobile QQ — the mobile version of the originally desktop-based messenger, where users can message friends, shop, create groups, play games, play music, and so much more.
Think of Mobile QQ as the one-stop app for all things entertainment, communication, and social networking in China. But for who, exactly?
Who uses Tencent Mobile QQ?
Despite being the first messaging platform in China, 60% of all Mobile QQ users are under the age of 30. The app is hugely popular with young people, and is one of the best platforms in China for reaching students and Gen Z.
Much of this popularity comes down to Mobile QQ’s constant evolution and fun, easy-to-use interface — both of which have made it the No.1 destination for Chinese teenagers, despite fierce competition.
What’s the difference between Mobile QQ and WeChat?
If you’re weighing up your options, you might be wondering where WeChat fits into all of this. After all, both platforms are owned by Tencent and are used for online messaging.
Despite their similarities, though, WeChat and QQ appeal to very different users.
In comparison to Mobile QQ’s very young user base, WeChat attracts a far wider range of age groups, which makes QQ a better option for targeting young people.
So, why should international brands invest in QQ advertising?
Although Tencent has a whole host of channels to advertise on, Mobile QQ has many selling points worth considering:
1. It’s the second-largest social media platform in China
With over 860 million monthly active users, QQ is second only to WeChat in China’s social media landscape and is the seventh biggest social media app in the world.
2. QQ is the most popular application for young people
As we’ve already covered, students and teens in China have made Mobile QQ their own — enjoying its young user base and interactive features. For international advertisers, this creates a rare opportunity to build customer loyalty in China right from the start.
3. Mobile QQ lets you target who you need
Want to target new college students in Tier 1 cities? No problem! Mobile QQ lets brands reach very specific segments of its users according to their location, age, gender, interests, and so much more.
4. You’ll be able to reach users on QZone, too
Thanks to Tencent’s integrated advertising features, brands on Mobile QQ will be able to target users on the app’s connected social networking site, QZone, which has over 600 million active monthly users.
5. QQ has built-in shopping capabilities
Made possible by a partnership between Tencent and JD.com — one of the biggest e-commerce sites in China — Mobile QQ lets users buy products directly in the app. This offers a great opportunity for advertisers to target and sell to QQ users in one, direct loop.
6. Mobile QQ could be an untapped opportunity
Although many international businesses are waking up to WeChat, not nearly as many are aware of QQ and how it works as a marketing channel. Use this to your advantage, and you could quickly get ahead of your competition.
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Mobile QQ advertising — what ad types are available on the platform?
There are five key advertising options on Mobile QQ:
1. Brand promotion ads
Appearing on every third page of the QQ homepage, a brand promotion ad is a form of banner or pop-up advert that promotes a particular brand. Most adverts will link directly to a brand’s website, depending on the campaign in question.
Brand promotion ads can be videos or pictures.
2. App promotion ads
Similar to brand promotion ads, app ads appear on every seventh page of the QQ homepage, and link users directly to a download page to install the relevant application.
These are hugely popular on QQ, as many brands look to target games to its young user base.
3. Product promotion ads
When watching video content on QQ, users will be presented with a pop-up ad promoting a new product or service.
Once clicked, they’ll be directed to a landing page to purchase whatever is being advertised — either in QQ itself via JD.com, or on an external platform.
4. Store promotion ads
Store adverts appear both on a user’s QQ homepage and in videos, promoting online stores. In either instance, users will be directed to a store’s website, where they’ll be able to buy products — once again, either via a JD.com integration, or an external platform.
5. KOL fan groups
Fan groups are when QQ influencers (or KOLs) invite their fans to a large group chat, and promote products to them to make money. If a brand wanted to connect to a very specific niche, partnering up with a KOL fan group would be a great way of achieving that.
Brands could even create their own fan groups, depending on their popularity and visibility in China. Promotions like exclusive fan discounts could certainly drum up some interest.
How much does QQ advertising cost?
As with every other bidding-based system, there’s no fixed cost for advertising on Mobile QQ.
Instead, your CPM (cost per thousand impression) will depend on who you’re targeting, which of the above advertising formats you use, and how competitive your industry is.
How to run a successful QQ ads campaign — 3 top tips (and some great examples to learn from)
There’s a lot that goes into building QQ campaigns that click:
1. Incorporate interactive elements into your campaign
Remember, QQ is used by young users who want to have fun and interact with advertising campaigns. The best way to do this is to build some kind of gameplay into your QQ ads, depending on what industry you’re in.
This strategy worked wonders for MAC, who promoted their game-themed lipstick line with the help of popular influencers and pop-up ads across Tencent QQ. It was so successful the collection sold out in just 24 hours and gave MAC a month’s worth of sales in just one day.
The lesson? Interactivity is key. If users can engage with your QQ campaigns, they’re far more likely to succeed.
2. Partner with KOLs
If you’re investing in paid advertising, teaming up with KOLs is a great way to back it up. Either via fan groups, promotional status updates, or video content, key opinion leaders on QQ will deliver your marketing message straight to their loyal followers.
To premiere the mobile game in China, Supercell teamed up with Lisa from the pop group ‘BlackPink’. Lisa has a strong following in China and she appeared in several ads for the game across QQ channels. This added to the popularity of the game and gave it wide media coverage.
The lesson? Combining traditional advertising methods with KOL marketing will give you the coverage you need on QQ.
3. Don’t forget QZone
Every Mobile QQ user will also have an account for QZone, the app’s integrated social networking site. Together, the two platforms have an unprecedented reach of over one billion users, which is why investing in both channels will achieve maximum impact.
Oreo’s interactive ‘Zone of Child Innocence’ campaign, for example, was able to attract over 130 million impressions on QZone, alongside advertising spots on Mobile QQ.
The lesson? Building a multi-platform campaign for QQ will guarantee maximum success.
Ready to get started with your QQ advertising campaigns?
Not so fast!
Mobile QQ is a hugely rewarding platform to invest in — but it’s not one without its risks.
There are tough regulations to navigate, difficult interfaces to get your head around, and reporting that seriously misses the mark.
That’s why we’ve created AdChina.io: the ultimate, all-in-one tool to remove those risks, once and for all.
Book your free demo today to unlock the biggest marketing channels in China, from Mobile QQ and beyond.