If you have been following our articles over the past year, you are probably familiar with a few ways of how to advertise in China. By now, you may have run a few WeChat Moment or Official Account Ads, or you may have even looked into WeChat mini program advertising. But what you may not know is that WeChat is only one of the major platforms that Tencent offers for advertising.
Tencent’s advertising network, official known as The Tencent Alliance Ecosystem, expands across so many industries that almost half of Chinese consumers’ mobile internet usage comes from Tencent products alone. With such an unprecedented amount of user data, marketers can utilize ad targeting as accurate as possible. That’s why we are going to dive right into Tencent advertising and what it means for your brand.
Tencent Advertising Formats
Tencent’s advertising ecosystem brings together more than 100,000 apps and advertising campaigns are shown to more than 500,000 users per month. These ads usually have a high user engagement, stickiness and conversation rate considering that they focus mostly on mobile advertising. Given how much time users spend on Tencent products it’s likely that Tecent has more accurate data tracking than Alibaba and Baidu. This has made the Tencent advertising ecosystem very appealing to a lot of top brands.
Brands can take advantage of some of the most popular advertising channels with budgets starting as lows as US $150. Ads vary by price and Tencent gives brands a bit of flexibility when it comes to costs and formats. Types of Tencent advertising forms include:
- Interstitial advertising: These ads are larger in size and supports GIFs, pictures, graphics, videos, and H5 pages. Interstitial ads tend to offer more content to the user.
- Native advertising: Native ads blend in with the user experience and they account for over 60% of brand exposure on the Tencent advertising network. They make up highly integrated content with optimized conversion links.
- Open advertising: Open ads are the biggest types of Tencent ads used for mobile. These ad types support pictures, GIFs, and graphics. Open ads are loaded when an APP is launched and advertisements are displayed in full screen.
- Banner advertising: These ads can be great for achieving customer acquisition at a low cost. Tencent has been working to make these types of ads more precise with location targeting.
- Incentive video advertising: This ad format is fully immersive to the user and supports creative ad content and flexible ad positioning.
WeChat advertising enables brands to display promotional ads on users’ timelines and on WeChat Official Account articles. WeChat advertising is a great tool for growing official account followers and driving traffic to your website or app. There are 3 main types of WeChat advertising:
- WeChat Moments Advertising: Similar to Facebook ads on a timeline, WeChat ads are a more sophisticated approach to reaching consumers through their location, interest, age, device type, gender, and phone network. Ads appear after at least 4 WeChat moment updates.
- WeChat Official Account advertising: Official account ads are a good choice for more established brands. Your campaign centers on users that already follow your account. Types of WeChat official account ads include article banners, in-text banners, KOL banners, and video banners.
- WeChat Mini Program Advertising: WeChat offers paid media space for WeChat mini programs and should be a big consideration for your brand considering how popular they have become. This ad type comes in the form of mini game ads, banner ads, and pop-up ads.
Tencent Video has become the leading video streaming platform in China with over 500 million monthly active users. The platform has everything from short video clips to TV shows and movies. Many consider it as a combination of Netflix and YouTube. It is a good advertising platform for brands to showcase their products and services, or other brand information to a broad audience. Advertisements appear in the form of entertainment traffic in native form, reaching users accurately and precisely. Tencent Video offers different types of video lengths and spaces, so even if you have a small budget, you can find a video ad to fit your needs.
- Brand Promotion Advertising: A splash screen ad appears as a picture or video during the application launch or transition page.
- App Promotion Advertising: App promotion ads appear as short videos before the actual Tencent video content begins.
- Product Promotion Advertising: Product promotions mostly appear in the “recommended for you” section at the bottom of the playback page.
QQ was the first product released by Tencent and still remains a very popular social platform today. QQ is a highly recommended advertising platform for brands looking to target the younger generation. It fits well for companies in the clothes, toys, and gaming industries. The advertising program on QQ is called Guang Dong Tong, which is based on its social network system. Brands can run different advertising campaigns through QQ zone, QQ music, QQ news app, QQ Zone and even link ad campaigns to WeChat.
Brands are able to optimize their campaigns through the intelligent match algorithm that QQ has. The platform also has many ad types including popup ads, banner ads, full screen ads, and app wall ads. The make-up of QQ makes it suitable for a wide range of advertising goals, such as brand promotion, e-commerce purchases, and product promotion, which is based on a cost per click model.
- Brand Promotion Advertising: Brand promotion ads appear on every third page of the QQ homepage.
- App Promotion Advertising: Similar to brand promotion ads, but these types of ads appear ever 7th page of the main homepage. Ads can also be displayed in a graphic or video format.
- Product Promotion Advertising: After a user clicks on a video and then swipes to watch more content, an ad will appear.
- Store Advertising: This form of advertising is used to promote your store.
As China’s leading mobile news website, Tencent News is a valuable platform for international advertisers. Tencent News ads are accurately targeted based on user attributes, browsing data, and interest preferences. This advertising platform works well for companies that want to target more professional consumers, such as bankers and web designers. Ads are available in the form of videos, pictures, and text of all types, and Tencent charges based on a cost per click model.
- Brand Promotion Advertising: Brands are able to deepen their influence and connection with users through the use of high-quality content marketing.
- Ad Promotion Advertising: Ads are positioned in a way to get users to download or jump to a designated page to further promote conversions.
- Product Promotion Advertising: Product promotion on Tencent News can be beneficial for e-commerce exposure, brand interaction rates, and conversion costs.
Tencent Feed Advertising
Tencent’s information stream advertising ranges from platforms such as QQ Browser, QQ aspect advertising (QQ看点广告), and Tiantian news advertising (天天快报广告) . Brands can reach users accurately through multiple scenarios. The combination of using these products help to intensify your marketing exposure. It’s used in a native advertising format that supports graphics, videos, and interactive media.
- QQ Browser Advertising (QQ浏览器广告): QQ browser has over 280 million monthly active accounts and is experiencing a rapid growth in users. QQ browser also offers ad promotion for stores and sales leads. Sales leads are integrated naturally at the bottom of an article that a user reads.
- QQ Aspect Advertising (QQ看点广告) : Also known as QQ KanDian, this platform was developed based on the large amount of mobile users that QQ has. It is used cross country and can be used to deliver a high amount of exposure to new brands.
- Tiantian News Advertising (天天快报广告): It is the first product launched by Tencent that is based on users’ personal information. It recommends pages and articles based off of the users’ interest. These ads target users precisely based on user attributes, browsing behavior, and hobbies.
Tencent Music Ads
Tencent owns China’s largest online music platform, which includes QQ music, Cool music, and National K song. It offers in-depth customization for brands that want to achieve integrated marketing for users who are listening to music, searching songs, and watching videos. Tencent music ads also offer brand promotion, app promotion, and product promotion.
- Cool MUsic Advertising (酷我音乐广告): This platform is committed to creating a strong interaction and high conversion rate for brand marketing. Cool music also offers sales leads ads. They have a high visual appeal to them, which entices users to click on them.
- K-Song Karaoke Avertising (全民K歌广告): This platform is used more so for entertaining and has a young user base. It is very compatible for brands in various industries that want to expand their target audience.
Getting Started with a Tencent Advertising Account
By utilizing one or a combination of these ad platforms can do wonders for your business, but getting started can be a bit tough and requires significant investment time. A Chinese business license is required if you want to use Tencent advertising. However, foreign businesses can work with a local Chinese agency to take care of ad buying at flexible rates or you can officially open a business in China. Here are the requirements needed for opening an advertiser account on the Tencent network.
- A business license, ID card, and documents that display your business qualifications and production. This includes a scanned copy of the front and back of your business license.
- Legal contact information that can be verified with your company, such as mailbox, telephone number, and address.
- Relevant qualifications of your business industry, such as “Financial License” or “Gaming License”. These documents must be in accordance with the specified industry.
- If your company has patent or trademark rights, then an official Trademark Registration Certification is required.
- Other supporting documents, including but not limited to, advertising review forms, authorization documents, company certificates, and quality inspection.
If you would like a detailed list or more information on how to open an advertising account, get in touch with our team.
Guidelines to Follow for Advertising in China
- Know your audience: It’s recommended to do as much research on your target consumers as much as possible before starting any marketing campaign. Run your advertisement ideas by locals experienced in the industry to make sure you’re on the right track.
- Pick the right ad formats: The format of your ad can have a big impact on impressions and your overall ROI. Banner type ads are always good for brand awareness, but you may want to go with a video ad to spark engagement or connect with a younger audience.
- Mobile is important: Tencent ads are great for mobile advertising and mobile is what your main focus should be anyway. Desktop usage has never really been a big thing in China and it continues to decline.
- Cross platform promotion: Marketing on different Tencent platforms has its own perks. While Tencent News is used for a more professional audience, Tencent Video may perform better with Gen-Z consumers. Instead of just considering one platform to run campaigns, think about how you can utilize multiple platforms to play off one another to maximize your reach.
- Test your results: Some campaigns will always perform better than others, and it’s important for you to see which types of campaign styles work the best. Track which platforms have the best ROI and create a strategy that revolves around those types of campaigns.
The advertising industry in China is very competitive and if you don’t take the necessary time to understand how it works, then you risk a high chance of not being successful in the market. Advertising is one of the best marketing strategies for marketing to China. It’s consistent, scalable, and brings quality leads from the day you start a campaign. Our advice is just take your time with understanding the market and the different platforms that Tencent has to offer to get the best results for your business.
The real power of Tencent can only be understood when it is viewed and utilized not just as another advertising channel but as a rich ecosystem that provides unparalleled opportunities for brand exposure. Advertisers that are able to understand the core functions of this system can launch a wide range of campaigns that all complement one another.
Tencent’s DMP Tool
A data management platform (DMP) is a centralized platform that brings together data from all of Tencent’s advertising channels, platforms and touchpoints. Types of data include demographic and geographic attributes, mobile app identifiers, online history behavior, and user interests. This platform can help you aggregate diverse kinds of consumer data to gain a complete understanding of your target customer.
Tencent’s DMP works by helping you manage customer segments through Tencent technology. You can use remarketing, conversion statistics, keywords, and data tags to create your own target audience and find new users via Tencent’s system. Some of the main features that Tencent’s DMP offers include:
- Data Links: The data link feature helps you add value to all of the first-party data.
- Crowd Management: This supports the creation of various forms of private crowds to help you perform more accurate crowd management by pushing in-feed ads or video ads to a segmented audience that will most likely turn into conversion.
- Smart Insights: Helps you gain more insights into your target audience and improves marketing effectiveness.
- Open Security: The API interface and secure data structure keeps first-party data transmission secure for your marketing campaigns.
Optimized CPA (oCPA) is a smart automated bidding strategy for performance marketing. It provides advertisers with automatic optimization based on their performance goals and bids, and constantly improves your overall advertising efficiency. The strategy starts by selecting a specific optimization goal such as mobile advertising and providing the average price you are willing to pay for the delivery goal. oCPA then is used to estimate the conversion of each bid and will continue to automatically optimize based on your conversion data.
Main features of oCPA include:
- Simplified Process: You only need to provide the average conversion price that you expect to achieve. This saves on the additional cost of advertising optimization investment.
- Smart Bid Calculation: This accurately estimates conversion values that are based on machine learning and works to continuously improve delivery efficiency.
- Direct delivery: The system is designed to directly help you get more conversions at a controlled cost.
Tencent’s Dynamic Merchant Ads
Dynamic merchant advertising is a tool that helps you improve the efficiency of your advertising and marketing conversions. Once you set the system to your liking, you can recommend products or services that match your needs for different types of audiences. This also lets you reduce the cost of advertising production while increasing your conversion rate. Dynamic merchant advertising is great if you want to provide your target audience with many different products or services.
Main features of dynamic merchant ads include:
- Accurate user reach: By leveraging Tencent’s resources, these types of ads can reach most domestic users with precision while collecting data from Tencent’s social relationship chain.
- Large-scale data processing: Based on the DMP’s access to real-time user behavior, merchant ads can gather tens of millions of real-time product click-through rates and conversion rates estimates.
- Automatic smart bidding: Combines with the communication of oCPA technology, automatic intelligent bidding is based on the conversion target and product goals.
- Multi-dimensional product recommendation engine: Has an intelligent selection of recommended products for different optimization goals that is based on deep learning.
Tencent’s Tagging System
Tencent’s tagging system allows for comprehensive audience characterization and insights. The labeling system makes it possible to precisely target ads. You can use the system to combine characters and behaviors of users to make different segments. Through tailor-made user segments, you can expand your customer base and match specified characteristics to similar users while still being able to cater for individualized needs.
Types of tags include:
- Demographic labels: This can be used to target based on age, location, education, marriage status, work status, and personal assets.
- Interest tags: Includes business interests, entertainment interests and other personalized interests.
- Device tags: Brands can segment information based on device type including brand, operator, model, and operating system.
- Behavioral tags: This tag covers the basic behaviors of social interactions such as e-commerce shopping, O2O, game usage, and other app usage.
- Industry tags: This tag type separates users based on different market industries, which improves the overall advertising effectiveness.
- Custom tags: Brands also have the ability to make customized tags based on their specified needs and according to their own brand data.
Today, a lot of businesses are unfamiliar with everything that the Tencent ecosystem can offer when it comes to creating authentic brand exposure. One of the many benefits of Tencent Advertising is that it gives brands a heightened and streamlined opportunity to engage audiences. This can lead to more growth, a higher retention rate, and eventually more sales – all by simply utilizing the entire Tencent ecosystem to your advantage.
If you dedicate time to learning how to use the Tencent network as a whole, how it operates, and test your ads, you can definitely find some advertising success. We also understand that Tencent advertising can be a lot to digest, so don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like a more in-depth understanding on any of our Fundamentals to Tencent Advertising articles.
* Images source: https://e.qq.com/resources/