Toutiao Advertising 2023

How Toutiao Advertising works for Businesses in China

Last Updated on January 19, 2024

International businesses have a myriad of options to attract local consumers, from traditional advertising methods and social media campaigns to boosting their presence in Chinese search engine platforms. Because of this, it’s not surprising if you haven’t heard of the Toutiao platform until now.

However, it’s worth noting that there are over 332 million Toutiao users on the platform as of 2021. On top of its massive online audience reach, the app’s unique ad formats make it an excellent digital marketing tool for brands intending to tap into the Chinese market.

In this article, we’ll uncover why Western businesses need to run Toutiao ads and the step-by-step process of setting up quality campaigns on this platform.



What is Toutiao used for?

Developed by Beijing-based company ByteDance, Toutiao, which translates to “Headlines” in English, is a popular Chinese news and information platform that serves as a content source and news app.

Chinese consumers on this platform enjoy personalized content based on their interests, preferences, and reading habits. It employs machine-learning technologies and AI to analyze user search intent and behavior and deliver relevant news articles, videos, and other content mediums from various sources.


Key Features and Functions of Toutiao

  • Personalized Content Curation

Toutiao’s AI and machine-learning algorithms allow brands to build unique user profiles and customized news feed that aligns with your market and interests.


  • Rich Multimedia Content

Another reason why you should start advertising on Toutiao is its wide range of multimedia content, from short videos and infographics to slideshows. This multimedia approach enhances user engagement and caters to different content consumption preferences.


  • Monetization Opportunities

Toutiao provides monetization opportunities through advertising and partnerships, so finding a KOL for your conversion campaigns should be relatively easy on this platform.


  • Trending Topics and Viral Content

Toutiao app highlights trending topics and viral content through its “Hot Words” section. So as long as your ad campaign is optimized correctly, the chances of your content getting traction and leading users to your brand’s landing pages are higher than you think.


How to Use Toutiao Advertising for Your International Business?

Whether you want to expand your brand’s presence in China or tap into the global market, Toutiao provides a range of advertising options to suit your marketing needs. Here’s how you can utilize Toutiao Advertising to promote your international business effectively:


Targeted Advertising

Keyword focus and audience-based content play a crucial role in Toutiao advertising. By optimizing your content with relevant keywords and tailoring it to your target audience’s preferences, you increase the likelihood of your content reaching interested users. This targeted approach results in better lead generation and higher conversion rates.


Using SEO Strategies

For businesses already utilizing search engines like Baidu, Sogou, Shenma, and Qihoo 360 for their China SEO marketing strategies, incorporating Toutiao Search into your campaign is an obvious choice. Toutiao Search can complement your marketing efforts and expand your brand’s visibility within the app’s news feed and across multiple platforms without needing paid ad placement.


Access to TikTok (Douyin) Audience

Bytedance, the company behind Toutiao, also launched TikTok (Douyin in China) as a short-form video-sharing app. With its international popularity, TikTok provides an additional avenue to reach a global audience. By leveraging TikTok’s vast user base, you can expand your brand’s reach beyond the Chinese market and tap into a global consumer base.


Integrated Toutiao Advertising

Unlike traditional placements, news feed ads in the platform are seamlessly integrated into the content. Toutiao ads appear non-intrusive, so Chinese users look at these advertisements as a natural part of the app.


Diversified Content Formats

This integration ensures that your ads blend well with the user experience, increasing the chances of capturing the audience’s attention and generating better results.
Toutiao’s advertising platform also supports various content formats, allowing you to present your brand message differently. These formats include articles with text and images, video content, live stream options, Q&A, and blogs. Leveraging these diverse formats enables you to create engaging and immersive campaigns that can convert Chinese users into patronizing your brand.


How To Open A Toutiao Business Account?

Setting up your Toutiao account may seem daunting, especially if you are unfamiliar with the Chinese language. However, with a step-by-step guide, the process becomes much more manageable.


Create account on Toutiao


Here’s how you can create your account and start managing Toutiao ads:


  1. Visit the Toutiao official website and click on 头条产品 (Toutiao product) in the top left corner. From the drop-down menu, select 头条号 (Toutiao ID).
  2. Click on 注册 (Register) to begin the registration process.
  3. You’ll be prompted to provide and verify your Chinese phone number. If you prefer to register with an email address, simply click on 邮件注册 (Email registration).
  4. After completing the Toutiao registration, you must fill out essential business information. This includes selecting your account type (such as Educational group, NGO, personal media, etc.) and choosing an account name 2-10 words long and relevant to your business.
  5. Next, write a brief introduction of your business, consisting of 10-30 characters, along with your contact information or website link. Then, upload your profile picture.
  6. To verify your business, upload an image of your business license with a maximum size of 2 MB.
  7. Additionally, you’ll be required to download and complete a document with your company name, website, account name, ID of the account holder, signature, and company seal. Once completed, upload the scanned document.
  8. Once you finish the desktop registration, you must complete the ID verification process using the Toutiao mobile app. Simply search for the Toutiao app (今日头条) and install it on your mobile device.
  9. Enter the mobile number or email address you used during desktop registration and verify your account on the mobile app.
  10. Upon logging in, navigate to 我的 (My Account). You must go through facial recognition and upload a picture of your ID card. The next step involves reading four numbers in Mandarin from a short video.
  11. You’ll receive a notification within approximately 5 minutes confirming the success of your application.


Different Formats of Toutiao Ads

When advertising on Toutiao, brands can choose between three ad formats catering to picture and video displays. With its sophisticated targeting capabilities, advertisers can reach their desired audience based on various criteria such as age, gender, interests, keywords, region, weather, time, occupation, phone carrier, phone operating system, phone brand, and type of internet connection.


Let’s explore each ad format in detail:


Full Cover Open Ads


Full Cover Open Ads Toutiao Advertising

Source: Ocean Engine


Toutiao brands launch screen ads for maximum exposure for their paid campaigns. True to its name, full-cover ads on the platform cover the entire screen. Advertisers can choose from a wide large screen banner or videos.


Full Cover Open Ads on Toutiao

Source: Ocean Engine


They can redirect to different places, landing pages, APPs, ads in the feed, giving users an immersive experience and meeting the advertisers’ demands for strong exposure and efficient reach.


Feed Ads


Feed Ads on Toutiao

Source: Ocean Engine.


While it’s convenient to launch screen ad formats to attract attention, feed ads offer a more diverse advertising style. This approach allows advertisers can opt for Toutiao ads featuring engaging text and an image, a series of three small images, a full-width image, an image with a call extension, or even app downloads.


Feed Ads Toutiao advertising

Source: Ocean Engine


So if you want diverse advertising options, we recommend this format instead of going out of your way to launch screen ads. You can also release mini-video ads through this selection.


Search Ads

Although we don’t discourage brands to launch screen ad formats, remember that obvious Toutiao ads can drive users away from clicking your content. Meanwhile, this search feed format blends seamlessly with the platform’s content, capturing users’ attention without interrupting their browsing or viewing experience.


Search Ads Toutiao Advertising

Source: Ocean Engine


When a user searches for content on Toutiao and hits keywords, the search results will display the advertiser’s promotional information. Search advertising greatly improves the conversion rate as they match user search intent closely.


How Does Toutiao Charge For Advertising?

Toutiao offers a range of advertising charging methods, allowing advertisers to choose the one that best aligns with their campaign objectives and budget. Here are four unique bidding options available on the platform:


  • CPM & CPC (Optimized Cost per Millennium/Cost per Click)

These options operate under the same ad method and are akin to the traditional CPC (Cost per Click) model. This optimized approach ensures that advertisers get the most value from their campaigns by targeting audiences likely to convert, optimizing overall campaign performance.


  • CPA (Cost per Acquisition)

This new performance bidding mode requires advertisers to only pay when a specific action or conversion occurs, such as a purchase or sign-up. It’s ideal for businesses seeking concrete results and a clear return on investment (ROI).


  • CPV (Cost per View)

The CPV model charges advertisers based on the number of views their video ad receives. The billing starts when viewers watch the video for at least 10 seconds.


Benefits of Utilizing Toutiao Ad Formats




●      App targeting

Advertising on Toutiao allows brands to target groups specifically installing certain apps on their phones. This is great for brands that want to find niche customers, but this is currently only available for Android phones.


●      Geo-targeting

This targeting option can increase sales because people living in the same areas usually have similar consumer habits. This can be good for a lot of offline retailers.


●      Seed audience automation

Toutiao’s DMP allows brands to upload audience traits of their existing customers, which brands could then use to find a lookalike target audience.


Your Trusted Toutiao Advertising Partner In The Chinese Market!

Even your hottest campaign ideas can hit a roadblock if you’re not familiar with the platform you’re using. While Toutiao’s user base makes it an attractive option for advertising, its unique interface and algorithm also make it a challenging platform to conquer.

Don’t let the complexities of the Chinese market hold you back! Our experienced team is here to guide you through every twist and turn, unlocking your brand’s full potential and ensuring resounding success in this dynamic landscape.


Sekkei Digital Group Services


We offer comprehensive services to empower your Toutiao Advertising campaigns in China. From crafting ideas to harnessing the power of SEO and social media, we provide the digital solutions you need to thrive.

Contact us now to embark on an exciting journey toward remarkable growth for your brand. The possibilities are endless – let’s make them a reality!


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