With over 1 BILLION users, WeChat is kind of a way of life in China.

Every day, users dedicate over an hour on WeChat for various activities such as messaging, keeping up with friends, conducting transactions, and much more. To know more about how to use WeChat, read our blog: A Tour of WeChat – China’s Super-App.

In fact, WeChat combines elements of Facebook, WhatsApp, PayPal, among others, into one platform. The traditional “email newsletters” have become obsolete in China, with WeChat Official Accounts taking their place for reading updates and news. If you want to advertise on Chinese social media, WeChat is the top choice.

There are so many different types of advertisements on the platform. You’ll find them on

  • Moments
  • Official banners
  • Channels
  • Mini programs
  • Search

This post will help explain the various WeChat advertising formats available. We’ll try to make it simple, even for people that haven’t used WeChat before.

Here are some key tips up-front:

  1. Ads can be targeted to audiences based on region, gender, age, device type, educational level, interest/behavior, and retargeting.
  2. The advertising estimate models used for many ad types feel like Facebook’s ad system.
  3. WeChat is very competitive and ads do not show up for users nearly as much as Facebook’s do.
  4. To get good results, your offer will need to be interesting to users.


WeChat Moments Ads

Ads on WeChat Moments seamlessly integrate into a user’s Moments feed, appearing alongside posts from their WeChat “friends.” 

These native advertisements are designed to closely resemble regular content, enhancing their visibility as users are more likely to engage with them due to their familiar format.


Promotion Goals for Moments Ads

WeChat Moments ads serve multiple purposes, ranging from brand promotion and gathering sales leads to boosting product sales for e-commerce, encouraging app downloads, and directing users to your WeChat Official Account, mini-program, or WeChat Channel Account.

For numerous advertisers, the complete user journey – starting with the ad, leading to content engagement, and culminating in payment – unfolds entirely within WeChat. Meanwhile, some advertisers opt to redirect users from WeChat to external websites or apps.


WeChat Moments Advertising Formats

Your ads can feature text, video, a single image, or a gallery of images. Aim to craft ads that are not only captivating but also blend seamlessly with the Moments feed’s aesthetic.

Additionally, users have the option to comment on and “like” your ads, and they can view comments from their friends too (but not from those outside their friend circle).

To explore various WeChat advertising formats available for Moments, click on the images. These ad types are called:

  • Regular ads
  • Showcase ads
  • Combination card ads

WeChat Moments Advertising Formats of Regular ads, Showcase ads and Combination card ads

Additionally, there are interactive ad formats where the content transforms as users swipe, long-press on the ad, or shake their phone, adding an engaging dynamic to the advertisements.


WeChat Moments Advertising Purchase Models

In short, WeChat Moments utilizes a cost-per-thousand impression (CPM) pricing model, offering various options tailored to diverse business needs.

For instance, if you’re a major consumer brand planning to allocate 10 million Chinese Yuan per month for extensive reach, the “Exposure Scheduling” model would be apt. This approach involves an upfront purchase of a substantial ad credit at a fixed CPM rate for a predetermined duration.

Conversely, if you’re a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) looking to initially invest 10 thousand Chinese Yuan per month, the “Exposure Competition” model would be more suitable. This model also operates on a CPM basis, where you’ll find yourself competing with other advertisers for available ad spots.

WeChat Official Account Ads

WeChat Official Accounts are managed by various businesses, organizations, and brands. Their posted content primarily appears in the messages section of WeChat, and users can share it privately or on their Moments.

Ads on Official Accounts are positioned either at the bottom or in the middle of an article and can be either images or videos.


Promotion Goals for Official Account Ads

Similar to WeChat Moments Ads, the ads in WeChat Official Accounts serve multiple purposes. They are ideal for brand promotion, generating sales leads, product promotion for e-commerce, encouraging app downloads, and directing users to your WeChat Official Account, mini-program, or WeChat Channel.


WeChat Advertising Formats for Official Accounts

Official Account ads show up in two places:

  • Article footer
  • Middle-of-article

For each spot, they can be in one of two formats:

  • Image
  • Video

WeChat Advertising Formats for Official Accounts

Unlike Moments ads, users don’t have the option to “like” or comment on these advertisements.

Additionally, ads in this format tend not to blend in with the surrounding content.


WeChat Official Account Ad Purchase Models

WeChat Official Account ads offer purchasing options based on exposure scheduling and exposure competition, both of which are CPM-based, as well as a pay-per-click (CPC) model.

Additionally, these ads can be optimized through WeChat’s system, known as OCPM and OCPC (where “O” stands for “optimized”). However, this automated optimization doesn’t perform as effectively as a professionally managed account would.


WeChat Video Account Ads (Channels Ads)

WeChat’s video area also goes by the name of “Channels”.

WeChat Video Accounts closely resemble TikTok accounts, where users can upload short videos that are viewable by both strangers and their WeChat friends. Popular videos on this platform have the potential to gain extensive viral exposure.


Promotion Goals for Video Account Ads

Video Account ads are useful for promoting your Video Account or building your brand.


WeChat Advertising Formats for Video Accounts

Ads can be shown on videos in two places:

  • As an overlay on the bottom of the video.
  • In the video comments area.

WeChat Advertising Formats for Video Accounts (Channels Ads)

Note that the videos can act as traffic destinations. This means you could place an advertisement in Moments or other locations that directs users to view your video content.


WeChat Video Account Ad Purchase Models

Advertisements can be customized for achieving high exposure levels to rapidly boost the popularity of a Video Account (using a CPM model), or performance-focused advertisers may opt for a bidding placement mode to efficiently garner more specific traffic (using a CPC model).

Additionally, there’s a third approach akin to influencer marketing. WeChat offers an advertiser/creator matchmaking system, enabling advertisers to financially engage creators to produce videos on their behalf.


WeChat Mini-program Ads

Mini-programs within WeChat are essentially lightweight apps. They are used for various purposes, including designing games, developing loyalty programs for restaurants, managing e-commerce stores, and much more.


Promotion Goals for Mini-program Ads

Mini-program ads serve similar purposes as Moments ads and Official Account ads, being versatile in promoting various content and services. They are especially effective for promoting other mini-programs, including games, within the WeChat ecosystem.


WeChat Advertising Formats for Mini-programs

Mini-program ads commonly appear as:

  • Timed-ads on launch pages that users need to view.
  • Banners in various areas of the mini-programs.
  • Interstitial ads, which appear as users move from one part of the mini-program to the other.

WeChat Advertising Formats for Mini-programs

The launch and interstitial ads are the only ads on WeChat that users need to wait and watch.


WeChat Mini-program Ad Purchase Models

  • Banner Ads:
    • Available for purchase on a pay-per-click (CPC) basis.
    • Can also be bought using an exposure scheduling model, which operates on a cost-per-mille (CPM) system.
  • Launch and Interstitial Ads:
    • Can be purchased through a competitive cost-per-view model (CPM).
    • Alternatively available via exposure scheduling models, which also use a CPM-based system.


What About WeChat Search Ads?

WeChat incorporates a built-in search feature that can be a significant source of organic traffic for various WeChat accounts.

However, for non-Chinese companies without a Chinese business entity, initiating WeChat Search Ads isn’t easy at present.


How to start your WeChat Ads? 

I will only introduce the requirements of setting up the accounts of WeChat Moment Ads and  WeChat Official Account Ads, since these two are most-often used. If you want to know more about the other two formats, please feel free to contact us.

To start your WeChat Moment Ads and WeChat Official Account Ads, you need to

  • have a WeChat Official Account verified with your company’s business license;
  • already have at least two articles on your Official Account, and
  • ensure your industry is allowed to apply, and that you have enough licenses. Check the industry requirements here: Industries allowed to set up WeChat ads.

Currently, 1,000 RMB is enough to start your testing with these two ads formats.

Please note that the review and qualification of WeChat Moments ads are among the strictest in the industry. 



What Format of WeChat Ads Should You Use?

If you want to advertise in a way that brings you the highest ROI possible, you should get the help of a professional team.

We’ve helped hundreds of businesses with their marketing on WeChat and other Chinese platforms.

Feel free to contact us with your questions.


Contact Us

Do you have any questions about WeChat advertising or anything I’ve mentioned today? Please feel free to leave any questions in the comments section below or check this WeChat advertising FAQ.

For everything else China or China marketing-related, there’s our China Digital Marketing 101 page.

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