Advertising on WeChat Moments: cost, ad formats, targeting and rules

After defining the concept of paid advertising on WeChat and giving an overview of the available formats and ad display costs, let’s dive deeper into each channel of paid advertising in WeChat’s ecosystem with a series of comprehensive guides. After WeChat Mini Program Advertising, this chapter is dedicated to WeChat moment ads.

This page is contributed and maintained in collaboration with global innovation agency Fabernovel.
WeChat Mini Programs for eCommerce development | colloboration between 31Ten and WeChat Wiki | logo

1. What is WeChat Moments Advertising? How does it work?

Capacity offered by the WeChat ecosystem for a brand to pay for advertising space on WeChat users’ Moments feed (WeChat Users’ timeline).  

Like the others, this channel to advertise a product or service has its own set of attributes and tactics to understand in order to design an efficient media buying strategy within WeChat. 

Native Ads displayed on users’ Moments feed in a form similar to a friend’s post.

The advertisement will automatically disappear on the users’ timeline if they don’t comment, like, or interact with the ad within 6 hours. Currently, WeChat limits the moment ads shown to users to three per day.

2. Pre-requisites to display a promotional message on Users’ Feed

Restrictions on WeChat Ads

Chinese advertising law & Tencent’s specific stipulations

  1. Absolute terms such as “national level”, “highest level” and “best” shall not be used.
  2. No false or misleading advertisements may be placed.
  3. The data, statistics, survey results, abstracts, and quotations used in advertisements shall be true and accurate, and the source shall be indicated.
  4. False patented products or patented methods shall not be involved in advertisements.
  5. Do not use advertising ideas that are easily misunderstood and intentionally deceive or mislead consumers.
  6. The commodities or services of other producers or operators shall not be belittled.
  7. The words “well-known trademark” shall not appear in advertisements (article 15 of the trademark law of the People’s Republic of China).
  8. “National products exempted from inspection” and other contents related to quality exemption shall not appear.
  9. Unauthorized third party images or logos shall not be used.
  10. The image and security of the state, the nation, and society shall not be harmed.
  11. It must not go against the requirements of building a social and spiritual civilization and must not go against the good customs of society.
  12. Shall not violate the advertising endorsement rules.
This answer call button misleads the user to click

More than 9 visuals placement is not available

Can not use specific groups of people as activity conditions
“Click to buy” button is not supported

Campaign advertising launch rules

  1. Limits the following types of campaigns:
    • Promotional activities with strong inducement and high risk.
    • Activities that do not involve the purchase of physical goods.
    • The selection of spokespersons, models and actors, etc.
  2. Types of activities prohibited: including but not limited to crowdfunding, 1 RMB shopping, etc.
  3. Basic content requirements: advertising content description needs to be clear & detail the rules of the campaign.
  4. Lucky draw campaign prize price must be less than 5000 RMB.
  5. Gift activities state clearly the variety, specification, quantity, time limit and manner of the goods or services provided as gifts.
  6. Coupon activities,do not use activities to induce sharing, attract attention to quickly get fans or seek improper interests.
  7. No format clause like “XXX has the right to interpret this activity” shall appear in the content of the activity.
Advertising consistency requirements

The products and brands promoted in the advertisement shall be consistent with the account opening and authentication subject and account content, and shall not be placed on behalf of third parties

Industry restrictions

No restriction for the following industries

Automobile / Life services / Electronics / Media publishing / Game / Software / News / Daily products / IT communication / Home furniture / Environment / Retail products / Restaurant / Jewelry & Watch / Outdoor sports / Photography / Relationship / E-commerce

Clothing & Accessories

No restriction but brands with a certain reputation / currently sold are allowed to advertise

Food & Beverage

Some ads placements are not allowed for Alcohol

Beauty & Skin care

Some ads placements are not allowed
E-commerce is not allowed except JD etc.
Hygiene permit is required

Agriculture

Some ads placements are not allowed

Engineering

Some ads placements are not allowed

Media

Some ads placements are not allowed

Online audiovisual

Some ads placements are not allowed

Institutions

No restriction but approval is required from Chinese government to make Official Account

Safety & Security

Some ads placements are not allowed

Transportation

Some ads placements are not allowed

Real Estate

No restriction but investment immigration is not allowed to advertise

Legal services

Some ads placements are not allowed

Parenting

Some ads placements are not allowed

Business services

Some ads placements are not allowed

Travel

Hotels with casinos are not allowed to place ads

Finance

Some ads placements are not allowed

Education

No restriction but approval from Ministry of Education is required to make Official Account

How to apply and manage the advertising campaign

Chinese companies can follow the following link to apply: http://ad.weixin.qq.com/

Foreign companies can follow the following link to apply: http://ad.weixin.qq.com/

3. Ad Display Formats on WeChat Moments

3 formats available of Moments ad display:

  1. Post format = Image/Video + Text + Link
  2. Card format = Card image/video + Text
  3. Special Format

Post format

Maximizing the friendliness of the ad to encourage engagement

Here are the different features available with this format:

1 single picture | wechat post format | wechat moments advertising
Asset type:
1 single picture
multi-picture | wechat post format | wechat moments advertising
Asset type:
Multi-picture 3/6/9
Asset type:
Video Ad
tagging friends | wechat post format | wechat moments advertising
Special interaction:
@Friend
Call to Action to spur to a WeChat Mini Program | wechat post format | wechat moments advertising
CTA:
Mini Program
Call to Action to spur to a Coupon | wechat post format | wechat moments advertising
CTA:
Coupon
CTA:
Link to store (Location-Based Service)
CTA:
Follow Official Account

Card format (full-width)

Creating an attention-catching “branding zone” in moments feed

Here are the different features available with this format:

Card Ad | wechat card ad display format | wechat moments advertising
Asset type:
Card Ad
Video Card Ad | wechat card ad display format | wechat moments advertising
Asset type:
Video card format
Call to Action to a WeChat Mini Program | wechat card ad display format | wechat moments advertising
CTA:
Mini Program
Call to Action to spur to a WeChat Store | wechat card ad display format | wechat moments advertising
CTA:
Link to store (Location-Based Service)
Call to Action to spur to a WeChat Coupon | wechat card ad display format | wechat moments advertising
CTA:
Coupon

CTA:
Follow Official Account
CTA:
Event registration
CTA: Link to Article

Special formats

WeChat offers special formats and features such as A/B option, full-frame, etc. to selected advertisers.

Depending on the advertising investment, the features related to this specific type of ad display are unlocked:

> 1 Million RMB investment

Customized outbound link | wechat special ad display format | wechat moments advertising
Customized outbound link (outside of Wechat)
Keywords

A/B card
Full-size video

> 2 Million RMB investment

interactive video | wechat special ad display format | wechat moments advertising
Interactive video
(ie: draw the stitch at the end of the video to unlock the ad )
Celebrity endorsement
(icon of the celebrity)

> 5 Million RMB investment

Panorama visual interaction

4. Landing page for WeChat Moments Ads

Type of landing pages

When clicking on a display ad, advertisers can choose to redirect the users to:

  • Event details page To know more about the event
  • Registration Page for lead generation WeChat templated page
  • Article Page From Official Account
  • Official Account Home & Follow Page
  • Location-Based Service Store Page To Direct Online Traffic Not available for Bottom Ads
  • Mini Program Developed by brands
  • Other landing pages: Coupon, app store, external web page, etc.

The landing page is meant to meet a given objective (Brand event promotion, WeChat Official Account Promotion, collecting sales leads, etc…). That’s why it’s important to define a clear objective when designing a paid marketing campaign (Tips, tactics and best practices to promote brands efficiently on WeChat Moments later in the chapter 👇👇👇👇).

Landing pages requirements

Depending on the defined Ads Objective, the landing page must follow some requirements.

Store promotion

Store address
Map

WeChat Page Canvas
WeChat Simplified canvas
Full frame
Mini Program

Product promotion

Products presentation

Canvas
External web link
Mini Program

Brand Event promotion

Linkage to Mini Program / WeChat Article / Website / Coupon / Event booking

Canvas
WeChat Simplified canvas
Full frame
Mini Program

Official Account promotion

Official Account button / QR code

WeChat Canvas
Full frame
Official Account

Sales leads collection

Information collect form

WeChat Canvas
WeChat Simplified canvas
Full frame
Mini Program

Coupon distribution

Presence of coupons

WeChat Canvas
Full frame
Mini Program

5. How much do WeChat Moment ads cost? 

Pricing Model of WeChat Moments Ads

CPM: Cost Per Thousand impressions = cost÷impression×1000 

with impression: number of times an ad been shown

Minimum investment

Minimum investment

50,000 RMB

WeChat Moments Cost

Scheduled

Minimum investment

50,000 RMB per wave

CPM varies among the 3 tiers of cities

Beijing / Shanghai

1st Tier cities: Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Wuhan

2nd Tier cities: Suzhou, Chongqing, Nanjing, Tianjin, Xi'an, Shenyang, Changsha, Qingdao, Ningbo, Zhengzhou, Dalian, Xiamen, Jinan, Harbin, Fuzhou

3rd Tier cities in mainland China

CityImage adVideo ad
Core150 RMB / CPM180 RMB / CPM
Key100 RMB / CPM120 RMB / CPM
Other50 RMB / CPM60 RMB / CPM

Ad spots scheduled 1-28 days in advance with placement priority guaranteed

Real-time Bidding

Available starting from 100 RMB per thousand impressions with a minimum investment of 1,000 RMB per DAY

  1. Exposure window selected in advance while placement would not be guaranteed.
  2. Impressions are distributed according to bidding price and ad quality.
  3. Minimum investment: 1,000 RMB per day

6. WeChat Targeting Options

Depending on the ad’s objective, advertisers may change some parameters in order to target the right group of people.

Here are the targeting criteria to leverage in order to push the ad to a certain profile of WeChat users which is matching with buyer persona: 

Interest

Users‘ long-term interests (what I like)

Possibilities: News / LOHAS / Automobile / Entertainment / Travel / Games / Food & Beverage / Health / Sports / Cosmetics / Home / Tech

Behavior

Users‘ specific behavior (what I have done)

Possibilities: News / Fashion / Education / Services / Finance / Business services / Automobile / Entertainment / Parenthood / Travel / Real Estates / Gaming / Food & Beverage / Health / Sports & Fitness / Beauty / Home / Digital product

Geographic

Utilizing Location-Based Service technology, WeChat captures:

  • users’ usual places of residence
  • Current locations precise to a specific commercial area

Currently, the platform has captured over 4400 commercial areas and over 58 million POI (Points of Interest) in their system for marketers to target.

Also, the platform collects users’ login location which is used for Outbound China.

Advertisers can target WeChat users based on this location data (Inbound and Outbound China)

Inbound China

Possibilities (inner China Mainland) :

Beijing / Shanghai

1st Tier cities: Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Wuhan

2nd Tier cities: Suzhou, Chongqing, Nanjing, Tianjin, Xi'an, Shenyang, Changsha, Qingdao, Ningbo, Zhengzhou, Dalian, Xiamen, Jinan, Harbin, Fuzhou

3rd Tier cities in mainland China

Outbound China

Users travelling overseas will be targeted by country

Age & Gender

Age: from 14 to 60 years old
Gender: Male / Female

Education background

Possibilities: Primary school / Junior high school / High school / College / Bachelor / Master / PhD

Marriage status

Possibilities: Single / Newly-married / Married / Parenting

Mobile phone brand & price

Possibilities:

By brand: Apple / Samsung / Huawei / Xiaomi / Vivo / etc.
Price range: ¥1500 to¥4500+

Phone operating system & Internet provider

Operating system: Android / iOS
Internet provider: China Mobile / China Unicom / China Telecom

7. Process to design and execute a paid media campaign on WeChat Moments

8-step process:

  1. Define ad objective
  2. Choose ad format
  3. Select target audiences
  4. Top-up & schedule the ad position from WeChat back-end
  5. Upload ad assets from WeChat back-end
  6. Pass the Tencent ad verification – Ad preview
  7. Ad launch
  8. Ad Monitoring & A/B Testing – Ad optimization

When the 3 first steps are completed, ad assets can be produced.

8. Tips, tactics and best practices to promote brands efficiently on WeChat Moments

Define clear advertising objectives

Advertisers must define beforehand what is the objective of the ad because some objectives are only available for some types of display.

Eg: store promotion only available for Moments Ads

Brand event promotion

The objective is to increase brand awareness and bring participation.

Official account promotion

Promoting WeChat Official Account in order to attract subscribers.

Store promotion

The objective is to bring offline traffic and sales.

Collecting sales leads

Some ads have objective to collect sales leads and find potential customers.

Coupon distribution

Distributing coupons via ads can incite users to purchase online or offline.

Products promotion

Promote online products to bring more customers and orders.

Application promotion

Some ads drive users to App or Android store to download the application.

Games promotion

Attract more users to play games.

9. Case Studies

Brand event promotion

La Mer promoting International Ocean Day on WeChat Users’ feed

La Mer Canvas ad promoting International Ocean Day and encouraging users to take environment-friendly actions

Canvas consists of full-screen video experience with creative animation.


Johnnie Walker

Johnnie Walker brand event promoting customizable bottles

Canvas consists of full-screen visual experience with creative animation.

Official account promotion

Remy Cointreau

Rémy Cointreau ad redirecting to creative Canvas to promote its products and Official Account.

Canvas consists of full-screen visual experience with creative animation.

Store promotion

SK-II

SK-II Hong Kong Canvas ad celebrating annual anniversary & promoting exclusive products targeting Chinese tourists in Hong Kong.

LBS (Location-based services) is targeting users in a specific area or city to drive online traffic to an offline store.

Collecting sales leads

Buick

Collecting sales leads can help brands targeting quickly potential customers.

Buick Canvas ad promoting its cars and test drive booking.

10. WeChat Moments Advertising: how to measure success

Key Performance Indicators (KPI) of your WeChat Moments Advertising campaign

  • Impression data = Total impressions, Non-charged impressions help to assess the range of audience the ad reached
  • Engagement
  • Click data & Ad visual = Ad visual click rate, Landing page click rate help assessing the quality of the ad
  • Interaction data = Like rate, Comment rate and No interest percentage help assessing the interaction between users and the brand
  • Share data = Share to friends and Moments help to assess users’ acceptance towards the ad and initiative to spread it
  • Follow data = Icon & Name click rate, Follow rate help assessing brand influence
  • CPE = Cost Per Engagement – cost ÷ engagement
  • CPF = Cost Per Follower – cost ÷ follower
  • Other Customized Data = Sales leads, Purchases and other data

This page is contributed and maintained in collaboration with global innovation agency Fabernovel.
WeChat Mini Programs for eCommerce development | colloboration between 31Ten and WeChat Wiki | logo

Updated on 2019-11-12

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