Marketing on Douyin 2023: Unveiling the Power of China’s Leading Social Platform

Check top advertising opportunities & tips for marketing on Douyin to unveil the power of the leading Chinese social & short video platform

Marketing on Douyin Unveiling the Power of China's Leading Social Platform

Today, Douyin is the most popular Chinese short video platform which is intensively developing e-commerce and advertising opportunities. More and more Chinese and international brands are working intensively with Douyin to gain popularity and increase sales. In this article, we will tell you about the marketing opportunities of Douyin in 2023, the leading Chinese social platform.

Douyin and Tiktok: what is the difference?

Nowadays, the Chinese government strictly regulates the China market in the fields of Internet, social media industry and social platforms, etc. Some popular social media platforms have Chinese and international version. For example, the target audience of WeChat is foreign users, whereas Weixin is the Chinese version of WeChat used by Chinese consumers. Douyin and Tiktok are similar cases.

Some people think that Douyin and Tiktok are the same app and only differ in targeting audiences by geographic location, which also defines that both short video apps are related to two completely separate entities owned by Bytedance. But these two apps are also different social media platforms in terms of marketing opportunities.

Video content on the Douyin app is followed by various commercial functions and wide opportunities to launch effective marketing campaigns. Unlike Tiktok, Douyin is actively developing internal e-commerce solutions, has its own payment functions integrated with its own advertising system, offers more opportunities to work with key opinion leaders, etc using Chinese short video platform.

In particular, the Chinese iteration of TikTok is more advanced when comparing the functionality of the home page. Moreover, to trending hashtags, banner ads, sticker ads, and links to funny videos available on both versions of the app, Douyin goes a step further by offering comprehensive rankings of top accounts categorized by celebrities, foreign and Chinese companies, and more. In addition, Douyin users have a natural curiosity about new brands and respond positively to advertising.

Douyin users

The majority of Douyin users are under the age of 30. This is not surprising, as the short video format is extremely popular among this group in China today. At the same time, KOLs, who are also widely represented on the Douyin platform, play an important role for Generation Z. In terms of gender, Douyin is a predominantly female social media platform: about 55% of the audience is female, and 45% of other users are male

Douyin users statistics graphic Chinese Leading Social Platform

It is also worth noting that the majority of Douyin’s active users are affluent Chinese, as most Douyin users belong to developed metropolitan regions and tier 1-2 major cities.

As a result, Douyin is primarily a platform for young and affluent people. This fact distinguishes it from some other social media platforms, such as Kuaishou, which is more focused on other Chinese consumers in smaller cities.

Douyin users by location graphic dvertising opportunities

Douyin is not only available for Chinese people who usually use Chinese app stores, but also for foreign users. For example, overseas Apple Store users can change their ID to mainland China and download.

Advantages of Douyin for Chinese companies and foreign business  

Brands such as Dior and GUCCI have long had accounts on Douyin to promote their products. Cities have their own official business accounts to publish promotional short videos and attract tourists. Restaurants and hotels use the app to conduct virtual tours, talk about the hotel, conduct various promotions and, of course, make sales using a Chinese short video platform.

Advantages for Chinese companies and foreign business  China's Leading Social Platform short video platform

Douyin offers powerful business promotion features, including various ad formats, hashtag challenges, influencer collaborations, mini programs, live streaming, analytics, etc. These features enable brands to increase visibility, engage with audiences, drive sales, and optimize their marketing strategies.

At the same time, brands should consider the verification option. Verifying your Douyin account opens up a range of advertising opportunities on the Ocean Engine platform, enabling promotion across ByteDance’s multiple platforms.

Verified accounts gain access to comprehensive analytics, unlimited post-promotion, display of contact information, contest participation, in-app stores, and robust live streaming capabilities for sales.

You can also get a blue checkmark to indicate the legitimacy of your brand. It’s worth noting that only Chinese individuals or businesses are eligible to verify an official account.

All this is also important for the development of e-commerce. In March 2021, Douyin introduced flagship stores for brand accounts, which include campaign banners, brand recommendations, product recommendations, offline store information and other features. Today, brands can launch their own flagship store to increase product exposure and improve conversion rates. 

Douyin marketing options

Targeted ads

Douyin has quite extensive mechanisms for setting up ads. For example, you can work with a single cabinet in Ocean Engine, which allows you to run ads for all services in the Bytedance ecosystem.

You can also run ads for particular short videos, including targeting your audience of relevant bloggers in Douyin. Read on to learn more about the main ad formats with the Chinese short video platform.

Open-screen ads

Open screen ads on Douyin are full-screen display ads that appear as posters or videos and fill the entire screen for a few seconds. 

These ads create a natural-looking experience and are limited to a maximum of four times a day per user. Known for its effectiveness among luxury brands, this ad format has a significant impact on audiences. 

They allow brands to deliver visually compelling storytelling that engages users and increases brand awareness, favorability, recommendations and purchase intent. Check top advertising opportunities & tips for marketing on Douyin to unveil the power of the leading Chinese social & short video platform.

Open-screen ads are displayed whenever the app is opened and come in two types: static ads (lasting three seconds) and dynamic ads (lasting four to five seconds). They provide a non-intrusive experience while delivering a strong visual impact.

Douyin marketing options advertising opportunities

Feed ads

Feed ads on Douyin are seamlessly integrated content that appears in a user’s daily feed. These ads mimic the style of user-generated content, resulting in a high level of engagement. 

Feed ads appear on the fourth page refresh and can take the form of photos or videos. They include a message and a link that directs users to the brand’s home page, app or website. Check top advertising opportunities & tips for marketing on Douyin to unveil the power of the leading Chinese social & short video platform.

Douyin users can interact with feed ads by commenting and sharing them, providing an opportunity for various brands to expand their audience. Brands can promote short videos ranging from 5 to 60 seconds, ensuring a native ad-style display within the Douyin feed.

Influencer marketing on Douyin

Douyin offers a wide range of marketing opportunities for KOLs. KOLs in China are usually professional bloggers who seek to work with multiple brands on a regular basis. It is possible to select a blogger through Douyin’s special digital marketing matching service and start a collaboration.

One of the ways to collaborate is for the blogger to do a live stream about your product. During these broadcasts, the blogger can sell your product live; Douyin’s functionality optimizes this process and allows you to display a link button to your store. Another option is to buy ads from a blogger who posts videos about your product for an agreed period of time. Since KOLs in China on Douyin are usually professionals in their field, their engaging content can gain popularity very quickly and bring you a lot of user traffic.  

On Douyin, the bigger the blogger, the easier it is for him or her to sell the more expensive segment. At the same time, today’s Douyin mostly sells relatively low-cost products in segments such as beauty, food and beverage, home appliances, furniture, baby products, and so on.

Content management

Of course, working on creating content professionally is the key to consumer engagement and success on Douyin. The platform’s algorithms allow popular content to rise to the top very quickly, which brings a huge return in the form of traffic from active users and new customers. Therefore, working on visuals and creative, music and video pitches are critical to increasing your brand awareness.

At the same time, you can actively engage with your audience by organizing challenges. For example, you can ask users to tag your account and include hashtags in themed posts for a small fee. Check the top advertising opportunities for marketing on Douyin to unveil the power of the leading Chinese social platform.

Developing Douyin marketing strategy

To develop an effective Douyin marketing strategy, you should consider the following six points:

  1. Define your goals: Clearly articulate your marketing goals on Douyin. Whether it’s increasing brand awareness, driving web traffic, generating leads. Or increasing sales, having specific goals will guide your strategy and allow you to better measure your success.
  2. Understand your audience: Conduct thorough research to understand the demographics, interests, and behaviors of your target audience on Douyin. This knowledge will help you tailor your content, messaging, and overall approach to effectively connect with your audience.
  3. Create compelling content: Develop engaging and visually appealing content that matches the preferences and trends on Douyin. Experiment with different video formats and storytelling techniques, and use popular hashtags and challenges to attract attention and encourage sharing.
  4. Collaborate with influencers: Identify influential creators and key opinion leaders on Douyin who align with your brand and have a significant following. Work with them to create sponsored content, endorsements, or brand-related challenges, leveraging their influence to extend your reach and credibility.
  5. Take advantage of Douyin’s advertising opportunities: Explore the different ad formats available on Douyin. Such as open-screen ads, feed ads, or brand takeover ads. Use the platform’s targeting capabilities to effectively reach your desired audience and optimize your ad campaigns for maximum impact.
  6. Analyze and optimize: Regularly analyze the performance of your Douyin marketing efforts. Using the platform’s analytics tools or third-party analytics software. Monitor key metrics such as views, engagement rates, follower growth, and conversions. Use the insights you gain to refine your strategy, adjust content, and optimize campaigns for better results over time.


All in all, Douyin is not only the Chinese equivalent of Tiktok. But also a popular platform for marketing and e-commerce in China. A large base of affluent Chinese users and extensive advertising opportunities make it an indispensable platform for any company interested in spreading brand awareness and expanding into the Chinese market. I hope you got the top advertising opportunities for marketing on Douyin to unveil the power of the leading Chinese social platform.