Last Updated on November 23, 2023
Chinese social media platforms are excellent avenues to increase brand awareness for new businesses entering China. However, the Douyin app stands out among many options, specifically for its creative tools, massive user base, and various ad formats.
With over 743 million monthly active users, advertising on Douyin has become an essential strategy to gain a significant foothold within the Chinese market.
In this post, we’ll discuss how to run effective advertising campaigns on Douyin and the different ad formats you can utilize to accomplish your business goals.
What are the benefits of Douyin Advertising Campaigns?
● User Generated Content & High Engagement
One of the reasons why domestic and international brands like to use Douyin to run advertising campaigns is its highly engaged audience. You may not know, but this Chinese social media platform boasts an impressive average daily usage time of 52 minutes per user.
More than 80% of its engaged user base visits the app multiple times within a day. This consistent and solid engagement rate eventually translates to users producing user-generated content based on trends, products, and services they resonate with.
By leveraging the Douyin advertising platform, foreign businesses can effectively reach out to their potential audiences in an environment where they are already actively and regularly participating.
This user behavior on Douyin creates an advantageous scenario for incoming foreign companies to tap into an audience that is not only sizable but also deeply immersed in the app’s content and community.
● Wide Range of Ad Formats For Businesses
A considerable part of a successful Douyin advertising campaign is selecting the suitable format for your content. Fortunately, advertisers on this platform have a wide range of options, each designed to cater to different marketing needs and advertising goals.
Most Douyin ads have specific targeting options, where brands can tailor their promotions based on various user data, such as demographics, interests, and behavioral patterns.
This targeted approach ensures that businesses are not just reaching a broad target audience but specifically connecting with Douyin users who are most likely to be interested in their brand offerings.
● Direct E-Commerce Integration
Another impressive feature of Douyin’s ad delivery is its built-in e-commerce integration. This social commerce platform allows businesses to create landing pages within its ecosystem, like virtual stores and product listings.
Thanks to this feature, your target audience can purchase your offerings without redirecting them to a third-party app or website. You can integrate this feature into your ads to encourage users to visit the product page. In turn, it’ll also help you track and streamline their purchasing process.
● Influencer Marketing Collaborations
There are over 10 million key opinion leaders in China, and a considerable chunk of them are Douyin influencers. These online personalities are highly popular on the platform and play a crucial role in shaping user behavior and opinions.
Many brands sponsor top KOLs because they have a loyal and engaged following that trusts their purchasing opinions and recommendations. Brands can leverage this credibility to earn the patronage of savvy Chinese consumers.
Who is the target audience of Douyin Ads?
Before you begin advertising on Douyin, you must know what kind of target audience you’re trying to reach. Unlike its Western version, TikTok, Douyin consumers are distributed quite evenly across different age groups.
One in every three Douyin users is under 26 years old. However, you’d be surprised to know that around 40% of them are over 36 years old. As the years pass, the Douyin platform is gaining older users, which means its target audiences are not restricted to one age group.
You’ll have no problem utilizing the app in your digital marketing strategy because its user base is spread widely across the country. However, it’s worth noting that the highest penetration rate of this platform is in the third-tier cities of China, covering approximately 22.7%.
However, the platform’s popularity is also growing in tier-1 and tier-2 cities, with an increasing number of users from these regions joining the app.
In terms of behavior, the platform users are highly responsive to Douyin ads. Many online consumers using the app discover new products and services through this feature.
What are the formats of Ads on Douyin?
Douyin ads are short video ads that seamlessly integrate into the platform’s user experience. With various formats, including in-feed ads, brand takeover ads, hashtag challenges, and branded lenses, brands can engage with users and uniquely promote their products or services.
Here is an exhaustive list of the different types of Ads provided by Douyin:
1. In-Feed Ads
These interactive ads are an effective way to promote products and services to Douyin’s massive user base. These short videos appear in a user’s Douyin feed, and brands can target these ads based on various criteria, such as user demographics, interests, and behavior.
Compared to other ad formats, the main advantage of this promotional content is it blends naturally with organic content on the users’ feeds. It’s also the reason why this format is also referred to as native ads.
In-feed ads offer a substantial content duration of up to 60 seconds, giving brands a generous timeframe to creatively and effectively showcase their products or services.
With this much ad format length, brands can utilize it for better storytelling and more comprehensive demonstrations. It’ll engage viewers and enhance the appeal of the advertised product or service.
Furthermore, including a call-to-action (CTA) button is a critical feature of these in-feed ads. CTAs like “Learn More” or “Shop Now” not only provide a clear next step for interested viewers but also facilitate a seamless transition from the ad to the brand’s website or Douyin e-store.
2. Brand Takeover Ads
These formats are often referred to as Open Screen Ads because the advertising content pops up as soon as users open the app.
These Douyin ads can come in the form of images, GIFs, or videos. Given their eye-catching formats, these ad campaigns are often effective in increasing brand awareness and promoting new products or limited-time offers.
These full-screen ads are the first interaction users have with the app on any given day, so they often leave a solid and lasting impression. If you want to maximize its potential, your promotional content must be creatively aligned with the brand’s message and aesthetic.
These full-screen ads only allow one brand takeover per day. It ensures the ad does not compete with other brands for user attention on the same day. Since users are not bombarded with multiple promotions in a single day, they may be more inclined to engage, reducing ad fatigue and potentially increasing the campaign’s effectiveness.
3. Top View Ad Format
Just as the name suggests, top-view advertising on Douyin are promotions prominently displayed at the top of the user’s screen as soon as they open the app.
One of the key features of this Douyin ad is the autoplay function, where the video starts playing automatically but without sound, ensuring an engaging yet non-intrusive user experience.
Like brand takeover, these ad campaigns can go up to 60 seconds to showcase your content. You can insert a call-to-action (CTA) button into the ad to lead your target audiences to the brand’s website or product page within Douyin.
4. Hashtag Challenges
Hashtag challenges are particularly engaging advertising campaigns that brands can use to garner user-generated content. Through this format, advertisers can sponsor a specific hashtag and encourage audiences to create and share content that aligns with a particular theme or activity.
These advertising options are fun and shareable. It can enhance the brand’s visibility and appeal in the eyes of local social media users.
You should also know that when these video ads go viral, they go beyond the Douyin. Users frequently share their challenge videos on other Chinese social media platforms, significantly amplifying the reach and impact of the campaign.
This cross-platform sharing greatly enhances brand awareness, reaching a broader audience beyond the immediate Douyin user base.
5. Branded Effects
Another innovative Douyin advertising feature you won’t find in other local social media platforms is the branded effects integrated with augmented reality (AR) technology. By creating custom AR effects, brands can provide users unique filters, stickers, and other interactive visual elements that reflect the brand’s image and values.
The appeal of branded effects lies in their ability to increase user engagement. Users who apply these custom AR effects to their videos interact directly with the brand’s identity. It helps build a deeper connection between the user and the brand, enhancing brand recognition and affinity.
6. Sticker Ads
Users often add digital stickers to their videos. These images are either static, animated, or even interactive. Most brands are capitalizing on this by harnessing the power of their graphic design teams or agencies to create engaging, funny, brand-specific sets of stickers that users can add to their online libraries.
Encouraging users to use these stickers can be done through campaigns, giving rewards, or reposting certain UGCs that utilize them creatively.
Douyin stickers. Source: Kunming.cn
7. Search Ads
Search ads are targeted Douyin advertising solutions that appear in the search results when users try to find specific keywords on the platform. These keywords are chosen by brands to closely align with their name, business sector, or the services and products they offer.
When target customers search for keywords related to a brand or its industry, the brand’s ad appears, introducing or reinforcing its presence on top of the organic search results.
How much does Douyin advertising cost?
Like in any other country, advertising in China comes with a price. Its cost range is comparable to other platforms such as WeChat, Baidu, and Weibo. To set up an advertising campaign on Douyin, you can expect to spend about $250. However, if you manage the setup process independently, this cost can be reduced to approximately 600RMB.
In addition to the setup fee, Douyin also requires a down payment of around $750 to commence advertising.
You should also know that its advertising platform operates on two primary pricing models: Cost Per Click (CPC) and Cost Per Mille (CPM). It means that the cost of your ads on Douyin can be based either on the number of clicks your ad receives (CPC) or the number of times it is shown (CPM).
The actual cost of Douyin ads is not fixed and will vary depending on the industry’s competitiveness or the field you’re advertising in.
Step-by-step Guide For Launching Douyin Ads
Open A Douyin Business Account
You must fulfill several criteria to create a Douyin business account as a foreign individual or company. The typical requirements you’ll need, which may vary, include:
- A valid business license or an equivalent document from your home country to confirm your business’s legitimacy;
- A Chinese mobile number is mandatory for account verification. If you don’t have one, don’t hesitate to contact our team for assistance;
- Douyin usually requires a Chinese bank account for handling advertising expenses or e-commerce activities;
- You may need to present a valid form of identification, like a passport;
- Complete an application detailing your business’s nature, target audience, and your reasons for wanting a Douyin account.
These requirements may change according to Douyin’s regulations, so it’s crucial to stay up-to-date before anything else. Once verified, your brand account will be identifiable by a blue V icon called the ‘企业蓝v.’
You can begin the process by going to renzheng.douyin.com and hitting the main button, ‘立即认证.’ You can also opt to either scan with the Douyin app or hit ‘进入PC端认证流程’ to provide a Chinese phone number.
From there, hit the 开启认证 button to start. You will be presented with a form asking for the following information: Username, business license number, country of origin, business category, business license scan, additional qualifications, company name, account operator name, operator contact number, email, and finance contact.
Companies in industries like F&B, education, and insurance must provide additional permits to operate legally in their respective jurisdiction.
After submitting all the information, go to the authentication page, where you must provide identity information, including ID or passport scans, and pay a 600RMB fee. The review of the materials is not done by Douyin directly but instead outsourced to partner companies. You will be notified which company handles your application and how to contact them.
The authentication will be completed within a few working days, and as long as the correct information is submitted, there should be no problem. There is a 98% pass rate.
Configure Your Douyin Ad Campaign Through Back-End
This social commerce app offers two distinct paid advertising platforms: Dou+ and OceanEngine. Both are available to advertisers as soon as their business accounts are verified. Here’s a breakdown of the key differences between them:
● Ocean Engine
OceanEngine is tailored for e-commerce digital marketing campaigns. It promotes online stores, flash product promotions, and highlighting specialty items. If you ask us, this platform is more commerce-driven, focusing on product and store promotion.
The platform allows for manual bidding. Advertisers can adjust their spending based on desired reach speed and accuracy, allowing more control over ad spend and targeting.
Meanwhile, Dou+ can boost exposure and interaction through short videos or live streams. It emphasizes content over commerce, aiming to engage audiences with creative content rather than direct sales pitches.
It also offers programmatic advertising capabilities, which allow businesses to automate their ad buying and optimize their campaigns in real time. This feature helps companies to save time and improve their ad performance and cost-effectiveness.
Another excellent feature this platform provides is its advanced and valuable insights. With this feature, businesses can access user demographics, interests, behaviors, and more data to create better ads on Douyin.
Best Strategies For Advertising on Douyin
1. Create Visually Appealing & Engaging Content
Douyin is, at its heart, an entertainment platform. Feed ads are often successful, particularly those that educate or showcase unique, humorous experiences. Sticker ads should focus on these elements or visually striking aesthetics. An excellent example is Pizza Hut’s branded sticker in the image below.
2. Collaborate with Key Opinion Leaders
Collaborating with Douyin influencers through one of the platform’s advertising options presents a unique opportunity for businesses to tap into specific audiences. They have a well-defined audience demographic, making it easier for advertisers to reach their target market.
Unlike some other platforms, the presence of a well-known KOL does not guarantee that an ad will see high levels of engagement. Here, the best idea is to find KOLs most aligned with the campaign theme, the brand, or the product and engage in co-creation.
3. Explore Different Douyin Advertising Formats
The old saying about not putting all one’s eggs in one basket could not be more accurate than Douyin. Different ads yield varying results, and experimentation is the only way to discover what works best. Douyin’s ad platform is flexible, enabling you to conduct A/B tests and quickly change your target audiences to see the most effective strategies.
What is Douyin used for?
Douyin is primarily a social media platform for sharing short videos, often featuring music, comedy, and creative content. On top of that, the platform also offers ad formats like feed ads, sticker ads, and more. Businesses can also utilize its e-commerce integration for product listings.
Is Douyin the same as TikTok?
Douyin and TikTok are essentially the same in functionality and format but are separate entities. Douyin is the version of TikTok available in China, with some differences in content and features to comply with local regulations.
Your Douyin Advertising Partner in the Chinese Market!
One of the most powerful ways to advertise your brand is through short-form videos, so it’s only natural that Douyin is so popular among marketers these days. However, like any other social media platform, it requires a deep comprehension of its features to launch an effective promotional campaign.
At Sekkei Digital Group, we understand the subtleties inherent to Douyin users – including consumer behaviors and the ever-evolving trends that shape their preferences. With our extensive expertise in this niche, we offer you the avenue to unlock your brand’s potential and secure a formidable position as a leading entity in the industry.
We offer comprehensive services to empower your digital marketing strategies. From crafting compelling Douyin video ads to harnessing the power of search engine platforms and social media channels, we provide the solutions you need to thrive. Contact us today to learn more!