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WeChat Brand Marketing: How to use WeChat to build awareness

February 26, 2018 |   Dandan Cheng

When it comes to WeChat marketing, a ‘build it and they will come’ approach simply doesn’t work. Businesses must be highly proactive about driving follower acquisition to gain sufficient reach and engagement with their brand marketing efforts.

What is WeChat Brand Marketing? 

WeChat brand marketing is all about leveraging the key features and functions of China's super app, WeChat, to market your products or services in a way that supports you brand and allows Chinese consumers to better understand your company mission. WeChat brand marketing can make a huge difference in getting your brand more recognition in the China market.

There are two main tactics that will help you build your brand awareness in China:

  • Advertising
  • KOLs

However, please note that as with any marketing initiative, these promotional tactics work best when they are integrated with each other. This will ensure that WeChat users have multiple touches with your brand and can engage with your brand on a deeper level. For instance, you could use advertising and KOLs to promote a WeChat game or content piece you have created. QR codes are an essential part of acquiring followers, so be sure to include them in any campaign, both online and offline.


Because of the large amount of data that WeChat collects, targeting can be highly effective for both types of ads currently available on the platform. You can target WeChat users based on their demographics, interests, hobbies and much more. More recently, WeChat also enabled the targeting of Chinese communities overseas and Chinese outbound travellers, which is a particularly useful feature for international brands and tourism organisations.

While the cost of advertising used to be prohibitive for smaller businesses, WeChat have recently changed their pricing in line with their new targeting options, making this option more viable for SMEs.

Banner ads

Building brand awareness through WeChat marketing banner ads

Banner ads appear at the bottom of WeChat Official Account articles, and can drive users to follow an Official Account, download an app, claim a coupon code, buy a product, or sign up to a service or offering via a customised landing page.

Moment adsBuilding brand awareness through WeChat marketing moment ads

These ads appear, as the name would suggest, in Moments, and can include up to 6 pictures, which can be tiled to create one larger picture, or used to showcase a product or tell a story. They can also include 6- to 15-second videos.

Users only see one Moment ad every 48 hours, and the ad is removed if users don’t like, comment, or click on it. If they do interact with it, though, it is more likely their friends will also see the ad.

Key opinion leaders (KOLS)

KOLs are influencers with a large and highly engaged base of followers and can be a very effective way to reach your target audience, particularly in the beginning. KOLs exist in just about every niche market: there are celebrity KOLs, fashion and luxury bloggers, industry KOLs that share their expert knowledge on very specific subjects, and community KOLs that are run by groups of people.

There are many ways that brands can work with KOLs to gain followers and promote their products. This can take the form of an advertorial, where the KOLs write an article or review about the brand or product. KOLs can also add banner ads to their articles, or promote the brand or product with a coupon, discount or giveaway.

The cost of working with KOLs can vary widely, from a few hundred to hundreds of thousands Renminbi, depending on the extent of their influence. However, if the KOL is well aligned with the brand, they can be an excellent way to enter the Chinese market and quickly growing your base of followers.

We would recommend working closely with an agency who has had experience working with KOLs, to get the best ROI from your campaign.

One of the key differences to remember when working with KOLs versus WeChat ads is that the former offers a much more subtle and softer way of promotion. If done well, KOL promotions can be excellent drivers of conversion, not just brand awareness. 

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