Attracting over 750 million users a day and more than 10 billion hits every 24 hours, WeChat Moments offer a golden opportunity for international businesses looking to cash-in on China’s biggest social media app.
But what are they, exactly, how do they work, and what advertising opportunities do they present?
To answer those questions, in this guide we’ll be breaking down everything you need to know about WeChat Moments advertising, and how you can build a strategy that delivers.
What are WeChat Moments?
WeChat Moments are status updates, pictures and videos that users can share with their friends (or a select group of friends) in their Moments feed. The specific content categories available on WeChat Moments include:
- Photos: users can share up to nine photos per post. Images can be pre-saved or taken directly in-app.
- Sights: sights allow users to take an instant photo or video of an exciting view they might want to share. Pre-saved images can also be uploaded, too.
- Text posts: by holding down the camera icon for a few seconds, users can unlock the ability to share direct posts via their Moments feed.
- Links: users can share links directly to their Moments feed by holding it down, and opting to ‘Share on Moments’.
WeChat Moments are accessed via the ‘Discover’ tab on the WeChat homepage. In this tab, users will be able to click on ‘Moments’ to view recent updates from their friends.
Essentially, then, a Moment is like a Facebook post, and a Moments feed is like a Facebook timeline. The only difference is that WeChat Moments can only be shared with friends, aside from the first ten posts which are automatically made public, unless manually hidden.
As such, engagement levels are high within Moment feeds on WeChat, as users are only ever able to access Moments from people they’re directly connected to.
That’s why, for businesses, WeChat Moments offer an exciting opportunity to tap into guaranteed, trusted, and very targeted traffic in a space that usually wouldn’t be open to advertising.
WeChat Moments advertising — everything you need to know
Now you know what WeChat Moments are and why they could be great for your business, let’s dive in and break down how you can use them in your WeChat advertising strategy.
How do WeChat Moments ads work, exactly?
WeChat Moments ads appear natively in a user’s Moments feed. They’re displayed in a similar format to user-generated content, and, at first glance, could pass as an actual WeChat moment, which helps to increase engagement.
WeChat Moments ads automatically disappear from a user’s feed if they don’t comment, like, or interact with the ad within six hours. For advertisers, this means that they’re a great way to avoid paying for impressions that don’t convert.
What’s more, the WeChat ad algorithm operates on a network basis. So, if one user interacts with an ad, it’s likely their friends and contacts will receive the same ad. Combined with laser-focused targeting options, this can help to increase the reach of your advert.
Another perk to investing in WeChat Moments is that ads are only served once to a user every 48 hours, which prevents ad fatigue and optimizes your ad’s ROI.
What ad formats are available on WeChat Moments?
Firstly, all WeChat Moments ads include…
- A brand name and profile picture connected to an Official Account
- Up to 40 characters of ad copy
- An internal link within the WeChat ecosystem
This information can then be packaged up and displayed in three different formats:
- Post format ads
Post-formatted ads are designed to seamlessly integrate into a user’s feed. They’re the same size as native, user-generated Moments. These can be either 6-15 second video clips, a single photo, or up to six smaller photos to showcase a particular product.
Want to target WeChat Moments feeds in the least invasive way possible? Post-formatted ads are the way to go.
- Card format ads
A card ad takes up the full width of the WeChat Moments feed, which separates them from other posts and competitor ads. They’re more like banner ads than user-generated content, allowing advertisers to create their own ‘brand zone’ within a user’s feed.
Again, card-formatted ads can be one picture, multiple pictures or a short video clip.
- Special format ads
Special-formatted ads are only available for brands that invest more than 1 million RMB (or around $155,000 USD) into WeChat Moments advertising. Examples include:
- Full-sized videos
- Interactive videos
- Celebrity endorsements
- 360° videos
Special-formatted ads can also link directly to external web pages that take users away from the WeChat platform. These can be tricky to acquire, but extremely rewarding.
What can WeChat Moments ads be linked to?
Aside from special-format ads, WeChat Moments ads can only be linked to internal WeChat pages. Thankfully, though, this includes a wide range of landing pages, such as:
- Event pages
- Registration pages for lead generation
- WeChat Articles (mini-blogs)
- Official Accounts (to drive more traffic to your WeChat profile)
- Mini-programs (mini web pages within WeChat)
You shouldn’t feel restricted by not being able to advertise external links. WeChat users like to stay within the WeChat ecosystem — it’s trusted, fast, and easy-to-use. Take advantage of that, and invest in as many WeChat products as you can.
What does WeChat Moments ad targeting look like?
Advertisers can target their WeChat Moments ads according to a user’s:
- Interests and behavior, based on in-app activity
- Location, both in terms of hometown and visits
- Age, from 14-60 years-old
- Level of education
- Relationship status
- Mobile phone brand and price
- Phone operating system
- Internet provider
Whoever your target user is, you’ll be able to reach them via WeChat Moments ads.
WeChat Moments advertising cost — how much should you expect to spend?
The cost of a WeChat Moments ad is calculated according to CPM. In other words, you’ll pay for every one thousand impressions your ad receives.
Your CPM will vary depending on your industry and how competitive it is. It’ll also depend on the ad type you’re displaying, as well as the location you’re targeting.
As a rough indication, here’s how these factors could influence your CPM:
|City size||Text & pictures ad CPM||Video ads CPM|
|Core city (including Beijing and Shanghai)||150 RMB||180 RMB|
|Large city (including 1st and 2nd tier cities, like Guangzhou and Suzhou)||100 RMB||120 RMB|
|Small city (including 3rd tier cities, like Kunming and Zibo)||50 RMB||60 RMB|
In terms of minimum spend, you’ll need to commit to 50,000 RMB or around $7,740 USD to start running your WeChat Moments ads.
This is the same if you’re targeting Chinese tourists in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, United States, or Australia.
Targeting Chinese tourists in Germany, France, England, Italy, Canada, or New Zealand, however, only requires a minimum spend of 10,000 RMB or $1,500 USD.
How to get started with WeChat Moments advertising
For foreign companies to advertise on WeChat, they’ll need to get in touch with Tencent (WeChat’s parent company) to start a formal relationship. This can be tricky, time-consuming and more often than not, unsuccessful.
That’s why it’s best to sign up to a WeChat ads manager that’ll let you run WeChat Moments ads, without needing to seek first-hand approval from Tencent.
Here’s how you can use AdChina.io to do just that:
Step 1) Create a free AdChina.io account
First, you’ll need to register for your free AdChina.io account. This takes no more than a minute or so, and all you need is an email address.
This’ll give you instant access to our all-in-one, English platform where you’ll be able to run ads on each of the main advertising channels in China — including WeChat.
Step 2) Head over to the AdChina.io Marketplace
Click on the ‘Marketplace’ tab, and scroll down until you see the ‘WeChat Display Ads Activation’ option under ‘Display Advertising’. Click ‘Get Started’.
Step 3) Purchase the ‘WeChat Display Ads Activation’ service
Click ‘Activate Now’ at the bottom of the page.
You’ll then be prompted to pay the $149 fee. This will allow us to set up your ad account on WeChat.
Step 4) Send us the required documentation
After you’ve paid, we’ll get in touch and ask for everything we need to set-up your ad account. This will include legal, business and personal documentation, which we’ll walk you through, step-by-step.
Step 5) Pay the ad top-up fee
Once we’ve received your documents, you’ll then need to pay the $799 top-up fee required to start running ads on WeChat on our platform. This can be paid for via stripe or bank transfer — whichever you prefer!
Step 6) Start running your WeChat Moments ads
After a 3-6 week approval process, your WeChat ad account will be up-and-running. Then it’s time to start getting those ads out and growing your business in China.
Top tips for building a successful WeChat Moments advertising strategy
To make sure your WeChat Moments ads are a success, you’ll need to…
- Target the right users
This is an obvious one, but as with any ad type, targeting is key! You’ll achieve a better ROI on your WeChat Moments ads if they’re reaching the right people, in terms of age, location, interests and in-app behavior.
Thankfully, WeChat has some in-depth targeting options, and AdChina.io makes it easy to use these to your advantage.
- Have crystal clear objectives
What do you want from your WeChat Moments ads? What’s the goal? Do you want to increase your Official Account followers? Collect sales leads? Promote an event?
Whatever your objective is, defining it from the start is essential to optimize and calculate ROI. Without an objective, you’ll never know if your WeChat Moments strategy is delivering.
- Invest in your WeChat Official Account
Remember, Moments ads are connected and ‘posted’ by your Official Account. As such, users will likely check out your account if they’re interested in your advert. That’s why your Official Account mustn’t disappoint.
Make sure it’s up-to-date and shares genuinely valuable content with users. Read our guide on WeChat Official Accounts to learn how to get this right.
How to review the success of your WeChat Moments advertising strategy
Reviewing your ads is also an important part of building a successful strategy.
To do that, you should look out for the following Key Performance Indicators:
- Impression data: how many impressions are your ads receiving?
- Cost Per Engagement: cost ÷ total rate of engagement
- Engagement: what is your click-through rate? How many users like, comment or share your ads?
- Cost Per Follower: cost ÷ increase in followers
- Conversion rate: conversions ÷ the total number of conversions
- Cost Per Impression: cost ÷ impression x 1000 impressions
Each of these will help you assess whether your WeChat Moments ads are doing the trick, or if something needs to change.
Examples of ad campaigns by top brands on WeChat Moments
To end on, here are a few of our favorite WeChat Moments ads to take some inspiration from.
- Lancôme’s Valentine’s Day campaign
In celebration of Valentine’s Day, Lancôme launched a special format, interactive WeChat Moments ad that encouraged users to draw a virtual heart shape to unlock the brand’s holiday gift sets.
- Coca-Cola, Vivo & BMW
These three international brands give us a great example of how to use multi-image, post-formatted Moments ads to create a great impression on a user’s feed.
Ready to start running WeChat Moments ads?
Sign up for your free AdChina.io account today — the fastest, easiest and best way for international businesses to start advertising on WeChat.
We can’t wait to hear from you!