WeChat- The release of the self-service Moments Ads platform
WeChat- known for their strict stance regarding advertising access- is finally taking a more egalitarian posture. No longer will advertisers have to be in touch with WeChat’s sales team directly, but can now operate, manage and even top-up their Moments Ads accounts via a self-service login. Glance below for the basic layout.
Besides further administration privileges, you can monitor ROI/Click Through Rate/Cost Per Click through an analytics dashboard (see below).
Not Quite for Everyone
While this exciting new feature is still in its beta-phase it is available only to those already have a WeChat Moments account, and have been invited to try it out. That said, it will likely become more available over the coming year as Tencent looks to step up its monetisation by casting a wider net. More on this later.
Advertising in user’s Moments initially cost a small fortune – 10M RMB (~$1.5M USD today). Last year it was down to a comparatively low 200k RMB, and as of Q1 2016 we’ll see the price drop to a palatable 50k RMB. The trend towards appealing to a broader range of advertisers is clear, but it’s still by no means without restriction.
Stepping It Up- Location Based Services (LBS)
Perhaps the ability for more focused targeting goes some way to explain the new pricing levels. Whereas before advertising end-audiences could only be filtered by the very basics (gender, city, age and interests), advertisers can now zero in making promotions based on a user’s physical location. This more efficient use of advertising space will allow more to participate, for cheaper.
Banner advertising now also makes use of data relating to the user’s:
- In-APP game purchases
- Purchase history of items via Tencent & Jingdong products
- Education level
- Marital status
If there is one thing WeChat isn’t short of its data, and it’s this kind of information utilisation that is increasing the confidence of would-be WeChat advertisers. So, if you’re still a student then perhaps you won’t see the banner ad promoting the latest Chow Sang Sang gold bullion offering. You might, however, be tempted by a discount on a cup of Starbuck’s new Coco Cappuccino.
Giving rewards for users re-sharing your content- AKA viral marketing- has long been forbidden on WeChat. It seems this is about to change.
With Tencent looking to step up its money-making game, a new “viral marketing” program has been announced. While details are still coming out, it is likely that users of the new incentive program will be required to specifically use WeChat payments, as well as their embedded discounts.
WeChat Waiting for its Paycheck
A study by Deutsche Bank recently highlighted the gulf between the WeChat money making model and the likes of other APPs such as Kakao Talk. WeChat’s revenue per MAU (Monthly Active User): a miserly $2 US/year. Kakao Talk’s? $23 US/year. The opening of WeChat ads seems to be an obvious solution to these revenue-woes, however, the battle is yet to be won. A foray into banner ads appearing at the bottom of Public Accounts left advertisers and users unconvinced- not something that Tencent wants to happen again.
No matter the uncertainties and challenges, as we keep a keen eye on WeChat Ads’ development throughout 2016, we’re excited to see how the tides will turn.