Thinking About Douyin For Your Brand? 6 Tips in a 3 Min Read


FOMO alert! Douyin has become one of the hottest social media platforms in China and the world. Douyin now has more than 200 million daily active users. It beat Facebook, Instagram and YouTube as the world’s most downloaded app in the first quarter of 2018, with an estimated 45.8 million downloads.

Douyin is a social media app for creating and sharing short music videos and live-broadcasting, which was founded in 2016. Its international counterpart is called TikTok, and can only be downloaded outside mainland China.


Douyin is a very exciting opportunity for brands to reach customers in China, especially within the Gen Z market. It is also still at an early stage of its life, which is why companies can still benefit from a first-mover advantage if they navigate the platform correctly.

Here are 6 tips to help you launch Douyin for your brand in China:

1.     Gen Z and Shifting Demographics

This is the social media platform for Gen Z, with over 70% of all users under 24 years old and 90% of all users under 35 years old. Other interesting insights: 60% of all users are female, 60% have a college degree or higher. Recent studies have also shown its rapid geographic expansion, with more than 40% of its users in 1st and 2nd tier cities, and another 50% in 3rd and 4th tier cities.

2.     Go Official or KOL?

For now, the two main ways for brands to use Douyin are similar to any other platform: you can pay Douyin to run an official campaign or work with KOL’s whose audience is in line with yours.

For companies with bigger budgets, the best option is to work directly with Douyin to create branded campaigns. A typical Douyin campaign could include banners, a promoted hashtag challenge, and maybe a custom video filter. The good news is, Douyin’s audience is very open to commercial content. More than 70% of users would accept commercial content if it’s interesting, and over 40 % of female users don’t mind product placement when watching a tutorial video.

Michael Kors, AdidasNeo, Audi were some of the first brands to partner with the app. Now, many more brands have joined the platform, including Airbnb and Pizza Hut.


3.     Start A Hashtag Challenge

Last year, Michael Kors became the first luxury fashion brand to partner with Douyin, creating a hashtag Challenge to warm up the “The Walk” runway event (#KorsShanghai#). The official Challenge with the hashtag allowed users to create their own Michael Kors fashion walk video with a custom video filter. The brand also worked with Chinese KOLs to create content including Michael Kors apparel and accessories. The campaign resulted in over five million views on just three videos by KOL’s and over 30,000 user-generated videos.

4.     Think Vertical

Here is a crazy stat: we use our phone vertically 94% of the time, even when watching a horizontal video. Douyin is built for mobile use and to watch videos vertically, thus focusing on the way customers look at the screen. Brands need to think vertically when creating their strategies for Douyin.

5.     How Much Does It Cost?

Not long ago, the app was used to be a more cost-effective alternative to other Chinese social media platforms such as Weibo, WeChat, but as Douyin’s popularity has risen, so has the cost to market on the platform. The pricings of KOL posts varies, but standard cost per post on Douyin is calculated by multiplying the number of followers x (0.03- 0.05) RMB.

6.  Localised Strategy and Content Is Key

A smart hashtag challenge is the key to viral success. Many brands received overwhelming attention from hashtag challenges that they didn’t even initiate. For example, the famous hot-pot chain Haidilao suddenly went viral when many users started sharing alternative recipes while visiting one of their locations.


An in-depth understanding of the lifestyle, sentiments, and tastes of your target audience is more important than ever to succeed here. Discover how Datawords’ e‑Multicultural Technologies can help you achieve that success!

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