Therefore, in this article, we won’t just introduce you to Douyin but provide you with deep, detailed information on how to do marketing and e-commerce on Douyin.

Remind you of what Douyin is

Douyin was launched in 2016 as a short-video platform, allowing users to quickly and easily create unique short videos with multiple filters, effects, stickers, background music and other editing tools to share with friends and the world.

The audience is hooked by funny, super creative and interesting 15-second-or-so videos; from people (often attractive young females) eating/making food, doing passionate lip-syncs and comical dances, shopping, to holding some more puppies. Very conveniently, users swipe to the next videos, which just makes it even harder to stop watching those videos.

Users can choose to take part in Douyin-er Challenge organized according to themes. Here they can compete with the best video creators in terms of creativity and storytelling. If these competitions offered by brands, winners will have the chance to win valuable prizes.

2. Latest data about Douyin’s users and their behaviors

Douyin has more than 100 millions active users in China only.

They are Gen Z people living in the 1st Tier and 2nd tier cities who are considered more educated and wealthier compared to the typical user demographics of Kuaishou, which is also a popular short video platform born before Douyin and has attracted mostly young people in 3rd, 4th or below cities.

On average, each user opens the app 5 times per day, totaling around 30 minutes per day.

They are highly active on the platform with 91% liked, commented on or shared a video and 36% shared a video on other social media.

The app is very addictive with videos made with extremely eye-catching effects and ear-catching music. Moreover, the short time nature of videos fits into the fragmented Chinese daily lifestyle.

They open Douyin when they are on the subway/ bus; when they take a break between working/ studying hours or even when they are with friends and family… There is always some minutes available to turn on Douyin and get immersed in its colorful and exciting world.

3. Marketing & E-commerce on Douyin

Create a company certified account

With an account, you have an “identity” to start creating and publishing engaging videos or organizing competitions where users produce content mentioning you as well as cooperating with KOLs.

The company certified account will have a special blue logo. It can add official website links and Taobao/ Tmall shop links. The account is allowed to make up to 1 minute of video and can pin a video.

Documents required:

– A Douyin Account

– Chinese Business License

– Official certification application letter

– Certificate fee: 2000RMB

Create fantastic videos that amaze the audience

Yes, will all the tools in Douyin, brands can produce excellent short videos to promote itself.

Brands can watch top viral videos on Douyin for inspiration. Basically, everything can be made into an interesting short video. It can be a store visit, how-to-use tutorials, product effect showcase, even about the company workers, events…

Traditionally producing a video can cost brands a lot of human and financial resources. They are usually too afraid that the not-well-curated videos may affect their brand image in some ways and thus often too “well-arranged”. This may lead to a delay in releasing videos or a lack of surprise and human-like elements.

It is up to the company to make professional videos to promote its products or simpler ones which are closer to the audience.

However, I believe the frequency in posting videos are as well critical to attract new fans and maintain current ones.

Therefore, remember to upload good quality videos frequently on Douyin to capture the attention of millions of young Chinese customers who are a hunger for your content.

Generally speaking, it’s better to post your video on week-end, the morning, during lunch time or midnight to get better results.

The video that is sent at ordinary times with no special creative ideas may not have a lot of views or reactions from viewers.

Working with KOLs for viral videos or challenges

Working with KOLs is an important part of any marketing plan in China. I don’t need to mention how influential KOLs are leading opinions of general Chinese people.

Nearly 50% of top content publishers on Douyin are influencers. One of the reasons for Douyin’s fast growth is properly thanks to its association with popular characters from the early stage.

KOLs on Douyin are professional video makers. They understand how to maximize the platform’s capabilities; also understand how to excite, and then convert their followers. Therefore, working with KOLs on Douyin will not only create brand captivating videos but also help brands reach and amuse millions of targeted customers.

KOLs can make videos about brands and share them on their accounts for brand exposure to their massive followers; or simply share brand videos on their accounts.

KOLs can also cooperate with brands to organize competitions to encourage users to generate their own content according to the themes that brands and KOLs decide. In this case, KOLs will do demo videos to spread the news and set the themes.

In general, the power of Douyin comes from the quality videos of its users. Therefore, marketing efforts should focus on how to encourage users to make interesting videos about you.

Chinese young people love their KOLs and usually follow their actions, styles, purchases and recommendations. Involving KOLs in your challenges will be able to encourage a lot more participants.

We helped Lancome cooperate with KOLs to create videos on Douyin about product testing and offline Visit at its stores. This campaign generated astonishing results.

Contact us for more details and more case studies.

Running ads to reach wider targeted viewers

Running ads can also be an option to market your products. There are 2 main types of ads on Douyin.

Brand takeover

That’s the full-screen ad displayed before the app itself is opened.

There is only ONE advertiser allowed for this type of ads per day. The ads direct users to a brand’s landing page or hashtag challenge on Douyin.

It’s usually 3 to 5 seconds long. It can be a picture, GIF-type micro-advert or video content. The skip button is on the top right corner. Users tap screen and will be directed to the landing page, which is opened in the web view.

In-feed native ad format

The newsfeed in the Douyin app is basically a never-ending scrolling adventure. Videos auto-play instantly when you scroll past them- no need to press “play”.

Promotions are incorporated into the newsfeeds of users. The ads are displayed after the fourth scroll-up refresh and can be an image or a 15-60 second video. It may include (but doesn’t have to) a message and an external link. They support call-to-actions like app downloads (both App Store and Google Play) and site visits.

Clicking on the profile photo or bottom banner directs users to the landing page or app download page

The price is around 240 RMP per CPM.

Finally, sell on Douyin!

Every social media in China has to be linked with e-commerce since social commerce is dominating here. Douyin is also fast to capitalize on its strong and active young users to help brands generate sales.

While watching videos, users can now spontaneously buy things they like immediately without having to search for those products outside the platform.

Linking to Taobao store is the most common way Douyin KOLs sells. Anyone with 10 video posts can drive traffic to a Taobao store.


You can activate the Douyin Merchandise Sharing feature to sell products from Taobao. It’s the most widely used Douyin store feature. However, make sure you have at least 10 videos posted on your Douyin account before using this feature.

Douyin also has a native e-commerce system. You will be able to purchase directly within the Douyin App. The store could be linked to other apps in the Bydance ecosystem, for example, Toutiao, Huoshan Video, and Xigua Video.

The most popular e-commerce categories on Douyin are women’s clothing, men’s clothing, cosmetics, and F&B products.

You will need to have over 1000 Douyin followers. Then you can create a Douyin Store as an individual (Chinese citizen only) or as a company.

To create the store, you can visit Douyin Store’s official store page:



GMA is the most visible marketing agency in China. We have developed many successful projects because we know how to effectively promote your business in China by using the latest digital tools. Chinese people are very connected online, in order to reach these consumers, you need to adapt your strategy.


We can help you with community management. Social media represents the best way for you to increase your e-reputation and brand awareness in China. Our team includes effective Chinese staff who can answer all questions and requests from users. Also, we can choose together and operate a suitable strategy for your brand in China.


To collaborate with KOL is a way to promote your brand. They have often a huge number of followers and are daily in touch with them. There are KOLs on each social media platform.  GMA can help you to contact and choose the right person, depending on your positioning and your target.

If you want to learn more about our services, you can take a look here.

If you have a business to develop or to launch in China and want to have further discussions, feel free to contact us.

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