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WeChat Advertising 101: All You Need to Know

Dragon Social Limited
  • Date Published
  • Categories Blog
  • Reading Time 31-Minute Read

WeChat advertising is becoming a powerful tool for businesses hoping to grow their digital presence in China.

In this day and age, WeChat has become an app that is too powerful to live without for anyone in China. With Tencent gradually opening up the platform to advertisers WeChat advertising is becoming a powerful tool for businesses hoping to grow their digital presence in China.

Launched in 2011 by Tencent, WeChat started off as a basic messaging app. Until now, The app has already amassed over 1 billion MAU and over 45 billion messages are sent through the platform every day.

Though it originally started as just a messaging app, the success of WeChat stems from its continuous evolution into what many now call a “Super-App”. As the all-in-one platform that it is right now, the variety of WeChat’s functions branch out to every aspect of a user’s daily life.

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Imagine getting all these things done with just a single app: making payments to businesses from street vendors to international luxury brands, settling your credit card bills and utility charges, scheduling a doctor’s appointment, calling a cab… The list goes on.

WeChat even enables its users to access functions from other apps so you can do nearly anything without leaving the app. And with that, WeChat successfully yields an incredible user stickiness, with each WeChat user on average spending 85.8 minutes and 34% of their mobile data on the app per day. Each WeChat user browses their WeChat Moments 10 times a day on average and the articles they read each month from WeChat official accounts add up to the length of a full book.

And this makes WeChat the most effective and influential Chinese social media for businesses to advertise on. Over 20 million WeChat official accounts (a must-have credential for any businesses to place advertisements on WeChat) are registered on WeChat already. If you don’t want your business to fall behind the trend, continue to read this article to find out how to maximize your business’s impact by advertising on WeChat!

Why Is WeChat So Special for Marketers?

#1 The Mind-Blowing Purchasing Power of WeChat Users

Apart from the fact that WeChat has a gigantic user base, one will be astonished by the purchasing power all these users carry.

WeChat has achieved a 93% user penetration rate in the first-tier cities in China. And this figure could be very powerful as the majority of WeChat users are between 15 to 40 years old, which is those with the strongest purchasing power in the country.

But even with the richest population and biggest spenders all captured at the same time, how many of them are actually spending money through the app? In fact, 300 million users have bound their credit/bank cards to WeChat pay and 500 million transactions occur daily on the platform.

So how much is that translated into dollar terms? WeChat alone has driven a total amount of 209.7 billion RMB of information consumption, which accounts for 4.7% of China’s total information consumption. Meanwhile, it also stimulated traditional consumption by 333.9 billion RMB – Just imagine how much your business will miss out without utilizing the power of this platform!

Key Figures showing the purchasing power behind WeChat

Key Figures showing the purchasing power behind WeChat

The Capacity to Engage the Right People

Making sure that advertisements posted on social media reach exactly who you want to target are surely among a marketer’s top concerns. And that is one of the major advantages you can get from advertising on WeChat.

With the massive amount of data captured and stored by Tencent, WeChat divides its users into granular categories not just by demographic information but by interests and behaviors as well. This enables businesses to filter out the most valuable individuals they want to reach from the billions of users and create WeChat advertisements specifically targeted to this unique group.

Let’s start from one of its most powerful pieces of data, geographic information.

Utilizing LBS technology, Tencent records users’ usual places of residence and current locations to a specific commercial area. Currently, the platform has identified over 4400 commercial areas and over 58 million POI(Points of Interest) in their system for marketers to target. Equipped with this capacity, businesses can target users based on the shopping mall they frequently visited in the last month, or even find out those who are now physically near their store (area with 500 to 5000-meter radius) in order to push advertisements or store coupons just to them.

Map showing how store owners can send marketing messages only to those physically near them with WeChat

Store owners can send marketing messages only to those physically near them with WeChat

Recently, WeChat also has started to identify users traveling overseas based on their login location, allowing businesses to target that specific group through advertising. Given how accurate this information is LBS based WeChat advertisements have become some of the most popular forms of advertising on the platform.

An example of a WeChat Moments Ad from a car rental company

Car rental company with a Chinese driver – one type of WeChat Moments Ad pushed to Chinese WeChat users traveling abroad thanks to Tencent’s LBS technology

Besides splitting the large pool of WeChat users by location, marketers can easily filter out the right group of people by their gender, age group, education backgrounds, the type of phone they use, and even their relationship and marital status based on their social behaviors.

Thinking that’s it? The best moves that WeChat has for user segmentation is with users’ interests and behaviors. Categorizing users’ interests with 24 top-level tabs which further branch into 183 bottom-level ones, WeChat has made the search for a niche interest group no longer a mission impossible. Marketers can also target a bunch of people with specific shared behavior, such as the action “searched for the word ‘car’ in the past 30 days”.

Categories of user actions that WeChat marketers can select from

Categories of user actions that marketers can select from

Beyond these fine categories, interests and behaviors can also be dug out by keywords, which describe user characteristics even more accurately. For example, the name of your brand ambassador can be a keyword used to track down the fan group so that advertisements can be displayed to each and every one of them.

Lastly, WeChat advertisements also incorporate remarketing features for marketers to further impact users who have previously shown interest. Marketers can choose to target people who have liked or posted positive comments on their previous WeChat Moments Ads or redeemed your store coupon on WeChat before.

Forming a Closed Loop for Your Business Goals

As mentioned, WeChat is the ultimate platform in China with functions touching upon every aspect of Chinese people’s daily life. The benefit of that is that such a comprehensive platform provides a natural closed-loop environment for every business’s end goal.

When your target audience randomly browses through their WeChat Moments and clicks on your WeChat advertisement, where they are redirected depends on your goal!  The user could be immediately redirected to a dedicated landing page,  an official account, a mini-app you are trying to promote, or even your WeChat store page where direct purchases can take place.

But WeChat advertising is definitely not just a thing for online businesses and cyber celebrities. WeChat advertisements even work well for brick and mortar stores as well! The LBS technology allows traditional shop owners to send store coupons to their target customers nearby to drive real foot traffic, something invaluable to brick and mortar stores!

An Experience that Brings Sticky Engagement

Marketers eventually want their advertisements to reach as many people as possible, but let’s face it – when you are on your social media or instant messaging app, you don’t want to be bugged by a flood of advertisements reappearing all the time either. Businesses who advertise themselves too aggressively will likely face backlash when people’s patience begins to run out.

Unlike other social media apps that bombard users with a torrent of advertisements, WeChat knows how to control advertisers in a smart and controlled way. That makes WeChat users much more tolerant towards advertisements.

Like any other normal WeChat moments, WeChat advertisements are not placed back on top of a users feed or shown repeatedly once a user scrolls past it. On top of that, each user will only receive 2 WeChat advertisements at most per day. Besides, the ad will automatically disappear on the users’ side if they don’t comment, like, or interact with the ad within 6 hours. Unlike other platforms (I’m looking at you Youtube), Tencent realizes that users don’t like to see the same advertisement over and over again, which leads to significantly better user experience.

The user experience is so well maintained that WeChat even has a “not interested” button on each advertising post so users can opt to have the ad disappear once and for all. You may recognize this as a similar feature implemented on platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

Optional buttons for users to screen out WeChat ads they don’t want to see

Optional buttons for users to screen out WeChat ads they don’t want to see

The huge trade-off behind these restrictions is the unparalleled engagement for WeChat advertising. You rarely see friends in your own social circle commenting and interacting on an advertisement for fun anywhere else but on WeChat.

It’s quite rare to see a huge amount of engagement with advertisements on Instagram and Facebook, but with such a well-maintained environment, WeChat users often comment, like, and share WeChat advertisements. Such an amazing social effect would not be achievable without a platform that actually knows how to do social media advertisements in a smart and effective way.

Long list of likes and comments showing heavy user engagement on WeChat ads

Long List of Likes and Comments Showing Heavy User Engagement

The Main Formats for WeChat Advertising

Now that we’ve seen why WeChat advertising is unique for marketers, let’s take a look at what it actually looks like and what the different formats and types of WeChat Advertisements there are for marketers to choose from.

WeChat Moments Advertising

Launched in January 2015, Moments Ads are the most classic and well-known WeChat advertising format. As you probably know, WeChat Moments is a page that works similarly to the Facebook Newsfeed, where users post updates, pictures, and links for their friends to like or comment on.

The Advertising format for WeChat Moments Ads is a complete replica of all other user-generated posts, with comments and “Like” functions enabled as well.

There’s a specific place for these ads “camouflaged” as a WeChat Moments – They normally appear as the fifth post with a tiny “Promotion/Advertisement” sign on its upper right corner.

A Display of what a typical WeChat Moment Ad looks like

A Display of what a typical WeChat Moment Ad looks like

Once the users click on the WeChat Moments Ad, they will be guided to the landing page the advertiser designated. These landing pages can serve a variety of purposes, as shown below.

Business Purposes that WeChat Ads can help fulfil

Business Purposes that WeChat Ads can help fulfill. Source: Tencent Social Ads & WeChat Advertising Team

In fact, The end goals detailed above are shared across all WeChat advertising formats we are about to mention. However, one thing that only WeChat Moments Ad specializes in is physical store promotion where WeChat pushes advertisements or store coupons specifically to those nearby. Meanwhile, with one-touch dial and map functions embedded on landing pages, users can contact the store or directly pay a visit where they can convert to customers!

Screens showing the location tag on the bottom of the WeChat Moment Ad

Different from other landing pages, the location tag on the very bottom of the WeChat Moment Ad is linked to a comprehensive physical store overview

There are actually plenty of variations branching out of the basic WeChat Moments Ad format.

The ones shown before are Regular WeChat Moments Ads which look exactly like organic moment posts. Note that Regular WeChat Moments Ads are also the only type of WeChat Advertisement that supports physical store promotion.

Component breakdown for a regular WeChat Moments Ad (with pictures)

Component Breakdown for Regular WeChat Moments Ad (with pics)

Component Breakdown for Regular WeChat Moments Ad (with video)

Component Breakdown for Regular WeChat Moments Ad (with video)

The basic card-type WeChat Moments Ad looks largely the same as the regular one but takes up comparatively larger space.

Component breakdown for basic card-type WeChat Moment Ad

Component Breakdown for Basic Card-Type WeChat Moment Ad

On top of the basic card type WeChat Moments Ad, there is also an extended version that incorporates a multiple choice question. This would trigger further user interactions and allow your target clients to select one of the two versions of the landing page they are more interested to see.

Component breakdown for card-type WeChat Moment Ad with a choice

Component Breakdown for Card-Type WeChat Moment Ad with a choice

And as the options become more complex, WeChat adds layers of variety in not just landing pages it leads to but the WeChat Moments Ad display itself as well.

Flip-over type WeChat Moments Ads are the newest WeChat advertising variant which delivers even better user interaction experience.

Let’s take this JD.com WeChat Moments Ad as an example, the original Moments Ad and its landing page promote JD’s new year movie. Once users show their interests in the ad by giving likes or adding comments to the post, the WeChat Moments Ad will flip over to another promotion for a JD mini-game with rewards like JD mall gift cards and gift boxes.

Examples of flip-over type WeChat advertising

Flip-over type of WeChat advertising speaks to target audiences with different engagement levels

WeChat Official Accounts Advertising

Aside from getting the latest updates of their friends’ life on WeChat Moments, another very important source of information for every WeChat user comes from articles pushed from the official accounts they follow.

What is a WeChat official account? In a nutshell, it is a media and services platform embedded in WeChat for businesses, government, media, or even individuals for content publication, business promotion or service offerings. If you want a comprehensive step-by-step guide to starting your own WeChat Official Account, Click here to receive a copy of our ultimate guide on WeChat official accounts now or click the link below to find out more!

The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to WeChat Official Accounts for Business

The top advantage of choosing WeChat official account advertising is that no effort is needed in screening out who to target – WeChat users have already made their preferences clear when choosing which official accounts to follow. Once the system determines which official accounts are most relevant for your business’ WeChat advertising post to be planted in, your advertising messages will be accurately displayed only to those truly relevant and interested.

The way that official account advertising works is through placing ad banners into articles published by official accounts with more than 5000 followers. While you might recognize these ads as similar to banners, they are called “stickers” on the WeChat platform. The format for WeChat Official Account advertising boils down to four major categories – 1) End of the Article Ad Sticker 2) In-text Ad Sticker 3) KOL Mutual Cooperation 4) Video Banner.

1) WeChat Official Account Ads: End of Article Ad Sticker

For the first type, at the end of an article, your advertising message will be placed in a small section between the WeChat official account article and its comments section below.

As simple as that, the format of the official account advertising slightly differs slightly depending on the landing pages it leads to.

If you are promoting your brand or activities, here’s what your ad would look like under an article published by an official account.

An example of how a WeChat official account ad works

This little ad banner can also lead customers to purchase directly from your e-business.

An example of how a WeChat official account ad works

The full-picture ad banner can also be replaced with a name-card type with buttons too.

An example of how a WeChat official account ad works - name card type with buttons

And here’s the ad prototype for app promotion which has not gone into full circulation as of yet.

The WeChat official accounts ad prototype for app promotion

Coupon distribution is also applicable for this type of WeChat advertising.

Coupon distribution is applicable for this type of WeChat advertising

Interestingly, official accounts can also post an ad under other relevant official accounts to boost their followers count.

WeChat official accounts can also post an ad under other relevant official accounts to boost their followers

2) WeChat Official Account Ads: In-text Ad Banner

There’s another way to plant WeChat advertising pieces inside an official account article – hiding it in the middle of a published article.

Shuffling the location where your ad piece is placed might seem to be a trivial matter, but it can actually elevate the click-through rate of your WeChat ad significantly. When the advertising message is closely knitted into the flow of the article it naturally yields a higher chance to be noticed or even clicked on accidentally while one is skimming through an article. However, it is up to the owner of the official account if they will offer this ad positioning.

A WeChat official account with in-text ad sticker component breakdown

Official Account with In-text Ad Sticker Component Breakdown

3) WeChat Official Account Ads: KOL Mutual Cooperation

When it comes to WeChat official account advertising, the collaboration between KOLs who run official accounts and advertisers is usually an “arranged marriage” by WeChat’s system algorithm where neither party gets to choose who to collaborate with. But KOL Mutual Cooperation gives both sides the right to select their business partner. This means advertisers get their advertising messages better customized and weaved into articles written by KOLs they know and trust. At the same time, WeChat acts as a middleman for transaction and content screening to minimize the risks for scamming or poor content quality.

Under this form of collaboration, advertisers are also free to choose how “customized” they want their WeChat advertising piece to be. And right now there are two main options – Recommendation Mode and Full Customization Mode

KOL Mutual Cooperation: Recommendation Mode

Recommendation Mode essentially means adding a business tagline or an ad copy provided by advertisers on top of the regular ad sticker we previously see. But this is as far as it goes, as KOLs are only obliged to add the tagline to their content and don’t even have to make the theme of their article related to the ad message itself. It’s also up to the KOL’s own discretion whether they want to create any extra content to make the article flow better with the ad.

Examples of fashion KOLs inserting skincare product recommendation Ads under an article on handbags

Fashion KOLs can insert Skincare Products Recommendation Ads under an article on handbags

In this case, advertisers hand over most of the content autonomy to KOLs under this form. But the only purpose of doing so is to maximize the read counts. For contracts under Recommendation Mode, KOLs have to guarantee advertisers a preset impressions target before they are paid and the extra impressions achieved beyond the target won’t cause any extra charge. If you want as your ad message to be seen by as many viewers as possible, Recommendation Mode is a good choice among the two.

KOL Mutual Cooperation: Full Customization Mode

On the other hand, Full Customization mode would fit better if you want to reinforce your brand image and make your messages memorable to anyone who sees it. For this type of contract, besides the basic ad sticker, the theme and content of the article will be entirely customized for your business. Contact details of the KOLs will also be given to advertisers so the two parties can thoroughly communicate the business needs and negotiate how exactly would the ad messages be conveyed in the article.

Examples of KOL mutual cooperation using full customization mode

Customized Content is normally marked with “AD” but the message conveyed is more thorough and convincing

As compared to the Recommendation Mode, advertisers are way more heavily involved in the production of the content and they also need to do the final proofread before anything gets published. But the downside of having so much authority is that KOLs are not responsible for how many impressions the articles would finally achieve as the payment would be settled once the content goes public.

4) WeChat Official Account Ads: Video Sticker

As you might have probably noticed, the one essential element for all types of WeChat official account advertising is an ad sticker. By default, the ad sticker would be a static, card-type image user can click on. But if you want your ad sticker to be a short video instead, that also works. Such short ad clips will be placed right before video content (less than 5 minutes) that have been inserted into official account articles which works pretty much the same as ads you’re familiar with on YouTube.

An example of a WeChat clickable video clip leading users to a H5 landing page

The clickable video clip leads users to the H5 landing page with the full-page ad message

WeChat Mini Program Advertising

Mini Programs are another key feature which basically incorporates other web-Apps as “sub-applications” inside WeChat so users can access the services they want, without actually leaving the WeChat client. For instance, you can place orders on e-commerce platforms like JD.com or call a cab with Didi via WeChat mini-programs. Recently WeChat even has its own gaming platform, called WeChat minigames, integrated into its mini program portfolio too. The convenience of mini-program has led to over 600 million total users of mini-programs and a DAU (Daily Active User) of 230 million. Each user on average uses Mini-Programs 4 times a day, making it another ideal place for your WeChat advertising message to be frequently seen.

There are three main types of WeChat mini program advertising, namely Banner Ads, Mini-Game Ads, and Pop-up Ads.

1) WeChat Mini-Program Ad: Banner Ad

Inserted within Mini Programs, the layout for Banner Ads is basically the same as those ad stickers we have seen in WeChat Official Account Advertising. Similarly, multiple formats and business purposes are also available to choose under this category.

To better incorporate banner ads in Mini Programs, the location where these ad stickers appear is decided by the owner of the Mini Program. And again, advertisers cannot choose which mini program their ads will be planted in. The WeChat system will help with the matching based on user profiles and the target audience set by advertisers.

An example of a WeChat Mini-Program banner ad

The owner of the Mini Program will determine where exactly the ad sticker is placed

2) WeChat Mini-Program Ad: Mini-Game Ad

Different from other users who might just skim through their WeChat Moments or official account articles absentmindedly, users on Mini Games are far more engaged when they are on it.

The Mini Game Ad comes out in the form of a 6-15 second video linked to the landing page. Mini-Game developers plant the very act of viewing the WeChat advertising page as part of the game plot and tie it with incentives given inside the game. Only when users find the trigger of the ad, click on it, complete watching the ad, and close the window can they receive rewards like in-game items or unlocking a new level.

An example of a WeChat Mini-Game Ad

Incentives of complete watching an Ad Video includes bringing your character back to life

In this way, the Click-Through rate of your WeChat advertising page is significantly enhanced and whoever clicked on it hears the full story of your ad message as it cannot be paused or closed.

3) WeChat Mini-Program Ads: Pop-up Ad

As its name suggests, A pop-up ad is a card-type image ad that pops up when users trigger certain scenarios within the Mini Program. Common scenarios being chosen include after the switching of tabs, at the end of an app process, or the pausing of an embedded video.

An example of a WeChat Mini-Program pop-up ad

Pop-up Ad Components

Find the Right WeChat Advertising Strategy for Your Unique Business Goal

Feeling a bit overwhelmed by the complicated, layer-over-layer WeChat advertising rules and layouts now? Don’t worry, we have prepared here a list for you to check the advertising formats that best suits your promotion goals.

A table showing advertising formats to discover which type suits your promotion goals.

Budgeting for WeChat Advertising

You might now be wondering, these WeChat advertising plans all sound good but how much do they cost? There are four WeChat Advertising placement strategies with their own pricing plans that are open to advertisers. In the next section, we will go over each of them by pricing schemes and by advertising format.

Budgeting for WeChat Advertising: By Pricing Schemes

1) WeChat Advertising Pricing Schemes: Scheduled Ads

With Scheduled Ads, your WeChat advertising piece will be launched on a particular date with a guaranteed amount of impressions and charged by a fixed CPM (Cost per 1000 Views) rate. However, do note that with Scheduled Ads you cannot select when exactly over the course of the day that the ad will be launched.

2) Bid by Impression & Bid by Clicks

Compared with Scheduled Ads, Bidding Ads are more flexible and result-driven. Both the targeted audience and launched date are determined with the goal of maximizing your WeChat Advertising’s competitiveness against your peers. The downside, however, is that there is no guarantee on the impressions or clicks once the final price is settled. This is likely the most similar to advertising methods you are most familiar with.

3) Charged by Articles

This one is only applicable to KOL Mutual Cooperation under WeChat Official Account Advertising. And similar to the content creation process itself, the fee is also set by the KOLs your business chooses to collaborate with. It is charged by each article written and the approximate price range is around a CPM of ¥50-100.

The table below is prepared for comparison across all pricing schemes quoted by The WeChat Advertising official website.

a table showing a comparison across all pricing schemes quoted by the WeChat advertising official website

Budgeting for WeChat Advertising: By Advertising Format

Here’s a brief summary table on the detailed pricing schemes sorted by WeChat advertising formats:

A summary table showing detailed pricing schemes sorted by WeChat advertising formats

Who Can & Who Can’t Make Use of WeChat Ads

The answer is straightforward – Verified Official Accounts. It doesn’t matter whether or not the entity is an individual user, a household private business, an enterprise, media or even a government, you are able to register for your own WeChat Official Account and get started with WeChat Advertising. If you need help on how to set up your own verified official accounts on WeChat, check out the link below for a step-by-step guide that is FREE for browsing and download!

The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to WeChat Official Accounts for Business (2019)

After being verified as an official account, the last thing you need to do is to register yourself as a WeChat Advertiser on the Official Account backend. Verification at this stage will normally take 2 working days. And do expect around 7 working days before your WeChat Official Account receives its verified advertiser status.

But before all these, Please notice that the following business industries are NOT allowed on the WeChat Advertising platform!

Cosmetics or Skincare Product for special purposes:

  • OK: Hair Dye/Perm Product, Skin Whitening Product, Sunscreen
  • NOT OK: Products with claims such as acne treatment, hair restoring, depilatory, breast enhancement, body shaping, deodorization, dark spot removal, scar removal, etc.


  • Power Banks
  • Smartphone or Smart Wristbands
  • Water toothpicks
  • Heating Vests
  • Fine Jewelry

Financial Industry

  • Debit Card, MPOS sales, Crowd-funding platform, Cryptocurrency, Bonds, Stock Options, Credit Assignment, Commodities, Student Loan, P2P Online Lending Platform, Venture Capital, Private Equity, Security Investment Training, Stock Allotment, Foreign Exchange, Down Payment and Loan Products, Leveraged Transactions, Overseas Insurance/Investment Management

Gaming Industry

  • Chess/Card Games
  • Fishing Games
  • Aggregate Game Platforms
  • Plug-in/Private Servers
  • Games related to offline money transactions

Car Industry

  • Parallel-imported Cars
  • Car Loans
  • Anti-radar speedometer, roller blind license plate frame, radar jammer, etc.

Real Estate Industry

  • Overseas property sales, investment, leasing
  • Real estate projects that do not have or do not have a pre-sale/sale permit
  • Financing or disguised financing

Industry & Agriculture

  • Flammable, explosive and raw materials
  • Toxic, corrosive chemicals and raw materials
  • Fireworks and fireworks and firecrackers
  • Books, video materials, etc. for the manufacture of explosives
  • Veterinary drugs, pesticides

Food & Wine

  • Bird’s Nest, Sea Cucumber, Shark’s Fin, Fish Maw
  • Live Poultry
  • Tobacco
  • Healthy Food


  • Wild animal fur
  • Lingerie: including pregnant women/kid’s underwear
  • Masks (in the field of medical equipment)


  • Success Theory Training Institution
  • Training institutions that are unable to issue academic credentials do not support the placement of MBA (Master of Business Administration), IMBA (International Master of Business Administration), MSF (Master of Finance) and other master’s degree education advertisements.
  • Memory, intelligence, emotional intelligence, and other psychological training classes

Daily Necessities

  • Adult Product
  • Female Care Products (Including Pads & Tampon)
  • Tobacco
  • Funeral Supplies


  • IM social communication software
  • VoIP phone type, including but not limited to VoIP in any way such as pure voice or video + voice
  • Promote products with free call features

Personal Care & Services

  • Horoscope or Religion
  • Overseas Maternity Hotel
  • E-cigarette
  • Medical Cosmetology
  • Lottery
  • Phone Repair
  • Sauna/Massage Center, Health Club, Video Game Center
  • Tattoo Services
  • Nursing Home
  • Funeral Services
  • Pet Hospital

Culture & Entertainment

  • Art management, collection, auction
  • Video dating live broadcast platform

Medical & Health

    • Institutional categories: including but not limited to medical institutions, medical departments, mental health, medical beauty, weight loss, etc.
    • Psychology: including but not limited to mental illness (anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, and schizophrenia), treatment of bad hobbies (such as drug addiction, craving, gambling addiction, internet addiction), counseling on marital emotional problems
    • Pharmaceuticals: including but not limited to pharmaceutical sales, pharmaceutical production research and development, pharmaceutical information and other related industries
    • Health care: health products, health foods, health care equipment, and other related products
    • Medical equipment: such as prosthetic production assembly and other related industries
    • Medical health platform: including but not limited to medical information consultation, registration and reservation platform, drug sales platform

Safe & Security

  • Location Tracking Products such as GPS

On top of industry restriction, there’s another thing for foreign businesses to keep in mind before launching their WeChat Advertising plan – the majority of your ad copy content has to be in Mandarin Chinese. Since WeChat is still a highly localized social app, it is highly recommended for your business to have someone sufficiently familiar with the local language and culture for ad execution. Because surely you don’t want your brand image to be sabotaged by accidentally conveying a culturally insensitive message or improper wording in your ad copy like the companies featured in our blog below!

Top 5 Big Mistakes Foreigners Make When Marketing in China

What Kind of Businesses Should Use WeChat Ads

But among all the companies eligible to adopt WeChat Advertising, who are the ones that can benefit the most from this advertising channel.

First, WeChat Advertising is definitely not affordable for every company, particularly WeChat Moments Ads. Though being the most impactful advertising format equipped with advanced LBS technology, WeChat Moments Ads costs a company at least 50,000 RMB for each campaign launched. A budget like this will only last for between 12 hours to 5 days depending on your targeting before that budget runs out.

Ad stickers attached in WeChat Official Accounts or Mini Program are significantly more affordable choices and the ad can be kept for a longer period of time as well. However, the reach your WeChat Ad gets heavily depends on the popularity of the official account or mini-program itself. And the rapidly-changing user behavior would be a factor out of prediction or control.

Given that Mini-Game ads are not skippable and thus have a greater chance of being fully viewed, the ad cost is also relatively higher than WeChat advertising on Official Account. For one particular Mini Game Jump, businesses need to pay an astonishing CPD (Cost per Day) of 5 million RMB just for putting their brand logos on the game!

The WeChat Game Jump where businesses can buy their own boxes for brand exposure. Looks like McDonald’s didn’t mind paying 5 million RMB to get featured in the game!

WeChat Advertising Case Studies

Case 1. NAYUKI – Targeting the Right Audience


NAYUKI, One of the viral beverage and bakery stores in China right now, first established its popularity in Shenzhen. The brand opened 34 chain stores across all the top malls in Shenzhen within the first two years of its business. On September 2017, NAYUKI was about to launch its first branch in Dongguan, a city neighboring Shenzhen.

Marketing Pain Point

The brand was eager to spread its buzz in Shenzhen to its new Dongguan store, which is 80 km away.

Marketing Goals

Enhance the awareness of the new store and elevate in-store sales.

Implemented WeChat Advertising Strategy – WeChat Moments Ad

Leveraging Wechat Moments Ad’s unique capacity – its location-based services (LBS), and user interest and behavior segmentation technology, NAYUKI circled out all WeChat users at or around Dongguan with target interests spanning across education, studying abroad, traveling, and cars. This strategy was adopted to receive extensive impressions and achieve conversions within a very limited time.

With the eye-catching ad copy “Us Dongguan-ers drive 80km all the way to Shenzhen for our cup of tea.” This successfully highlighted the pain those in Dongguan felt about having to drive so far to get one of Nayuki’s famous teas. The Moments advertisement lead users to a landing page where users could claim store coupons for use at the new Dongguan store.

NAYUKI WeChat Moments ad

NAYUKI H5 Landing Page Layout

Starting off by targeting the right audience, NAYUKI successfully made their announcement loud and clear. Furthermore, with coupons distributed right under the landing page, the brand closed the loop nicely by transferring those interested viewers directly into new store sales.


Within the first two days of its launch, NAYUKI hit 260 thousand impressions and a 7.94% interaction rate. During the time, the cost for each coupon distributed was as low as 1.32 RMB while a sales increase of 20,000 RMB was achieved.

Case 2. Jo Malone – Quintupled ROI and Two Goals Achieved All at Once


Valentine’s Day is always the best time of the year for luxury and high-end fragrances as these are normally the most popular gifts of the season. And Jo Malone was in need to stand out from the crowd in the fierce festival-season competition.

Marketing Pain Point

The challenge lied in Jo Malone’s business goals, as this time the brand was looking for growth in two separate areas – both Sales and Acquisition.

Marketing Goals

1) Brand Heavy Buyers:

  • Drive extensive traffic to the official website
  • Boost sales on Valentine’s Day

2) Brand Light Buyers:

  • Build Brand Image more broadly
  • Increase Brand Awareness and Penetration
  • Drive trials among more new customers.

Implemented WeChat Advertising Strategy – WeChat Moments Ad

Backed by Tencent Big Data technology, Jo Malone discovered distinct interests and needs between its two target group. Heavy buyers of the brand are highly sensitive to fashion elements, especially Denim. Whereas light buyers are interested in the perfume category in general.

Based on the insights attained, Jo Malone designed two different sets of landing pages. Those identified as heavy buyers would receive a denim-themed gift box promotion sticker which links directly to the sales page of the gift box. Instead, light buyers were exposed to a classic brand promotion sticker. And the sticker will guide these group of people to purchase the combination fragrance pack with a lower unit price.

A denim-themed Official Account Ad sticker posted by Jo Malone

The denim-themed Official Account Ad sticker posted by Jo Malone


With landing pages accurately matched with the target audiences’ interests, the brand outperformed its peers with over 5x ROI and a CTR 35% higher than the industry average.

Conclusion – Navigating Your Way to WeChat Advertising Success

As the ultimate all-in-one app that has become essential to almost every Chinese both at home and abroad, WeChat has the indisputable power for businesses to establish awareness in the China market. With WeChat Moments Ads, your brand message could potentially be seen by over 1 Billion MAU up to 10 times a day. If you place it on any of the 1 million Mini Programs out there, your ad could leave a memorable mark on any of its highly engaged users. It may also appear on some of the most popular and relevant articles out of those created by the over 20 million WeChat Official Accounts. No matter which channel or format you choose, the marketing effects are limitless.

However, this lengthy WeChat Advertising guide might have already made you aware that marketing on a comprehensive social media platform like WeChat is in no way easy. And your WeChat advertising strategy could fumble if your intended message is not delivered in the right way. But don’t worry, our team of experienced Chinese marketing professionals is happy to help you out of this puzzle, simply contact us here to get the tailored WeChat Advertising strategy for your business!

Dragon Social is a China Digital Marketing Agency dedicated to providing expert solutions to businesses around the world! Our team of professionals will take a deep dive into your business and determine the optimal channels and strategies for promoting your business in China, so be sure to contact us for a free consultation!

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