Kim Kardashian joins the Little Red Book today. Check out what does it mean for brands in your Chinese marketing strategy.
Are you a Key Opinion Leader (KOL)? Do you long for further development in your KOL career? You have come to the right place.
Being a KOL is never easy, particularly in certain competitive landscapes. Building a profile on social media and attracting a small group of fans are quick and simple, but keeping a continuous growth of your KOL career needs way more than that. Not only ongoing maintenance is needed for your account, but capturing the suitable business trends is also essential.
For instance, China is one of the most attractive markets for KOL. The latest data reflects the net worth of the China KOL marketing industry is at £3 billion. In 2017, there are over 470,000,000 Chinese are fans of KOLs. Some KOLs can even earn over £30 million a year.
China's dynamic social media development had created an extremely active online community. Crucial communication platforms like WeChat, Weibo, and Tik Tok (Douyin) greatly facilitate KOL to unleash their distinct characteristics. KOL can produce content and attract followers more conveniently. Fans can interact with them, buy their products, and support their commercial collaboration with brands. This is why KOL in China can transform their impact on the Internet into actual earnings quicker than any other country.
As a KOL, it is a must to grasps every trending business opportunity and knows where the valuable markets are. That is why many KOLs aim to enter foreign countries, like China, other than staying local.
It is also important to link with the marketing agencies to explore for international collaboration. For example, Comms8 is a professional marketing firm that connects Europe and China. We help companies to enter overseas markets through campaigns, in-store promotion, and various events. KOL plays an important role in all these strategies. If you are ambitious in raising your profile and collaborating with more global brands, don't hesitate to work with us!
Click to know more about Comms8.
3 Tips on How to be a Better KOL
1. Maintain a High-quality Content Output
Every influencer specialises in particular fields, such as cosmetics, travel, and baby products. However, some rising KOLs quickly fade out after a year or so. Why? Because they start to be like everyone else!
It is challenging to stands out in a large ecosystem of KOL. To avoid losing your direction in the mainstream, try to stick to the genuine unique feature of your own. The key point is: to preserve what makes you special and find your unique positioning in the market.
For instance, Papi Jiang is the top KOL in China. She is extremely different from the usual Chinese KOL, who mostly share cosmetics and fashion to fans. Papi Jiang created a video that discussed problems in romantic relationships. The content was rich and funny. Along with her exaggerated performance, the video made Papi Jiang gone viral in the Chinese online community. Luckily, she was not blinded by the instant fame. She was well aware that fans liked her humorous facial expression and down-to-earth content. Therefore, even after such a hit (She was estimated to have a value of over RMB$ 100 million), Papi Jiang stays the same and continue to develop her unique personal image through producing high-quality videos.
From Papi Jiang's case, it is obvious how KOL should always be consistent in both the position and content. KOL industry is fast-changing. An overnight sensation, even like Papi Jiang, is not going to last. You need to produce high-quality content constantly at a regular pace.
People value and consume content. It is a must to obtain more relevant information and convert them into something that surprises your fans. Keep up-to-date with the latest trends but voice out your individual opinion.
Many KOL put the cart before the horse. They excessively package themselves and focus merely on publicity stunts. This only threatens your personal brand image and kill the possibility of growing instead.
2. Join More Collaboration
There are many powerful networks between KOL and among agencies. Utilize them wisely as a strategic move. Despite those established ones who can wait for brands to approach, the majority of KOL need to find and grasps golden chances actively.
Opportunity favors the prepared mind. You need to accumulate a strong base to transform yourselves from an emerging KOL to a dominant one. Never underestimate the effect of joining events for so-called "small" brands. Your effort will only bring benefits to your reputation and secure your future growth as a KOL.
Marketing & advertising agencies can provide many opportunities. For instance, Comms8 has been holding various compelling campaigns and events for our international clients. We are currently craving for talented KOL in the UK to join our network. Join us so we can contact you when there are suitable brands!
3. Love What You Do
Last but not least, love what you do. Only this will make you more influential to your fans. People can tell when you are treating it as a job and producing soulless content. They only go for the one who is passionate.
Do not force yourself to be a KOL in the field you don't like. There is no point in doing so! Find the one you truly enjoy. It will make content producing, interaction with followers, and collaborate with brands much easier. Comms8 believe that there is always a witness there to appreciate the results you delivered whole-heartedly.
Comms8 is now recruiting!
Most importantly, if you are a merging KOL longing to take it to the next level, don't hesitate to click HERE to join our KOL network for rich opportunities from leading names!
How can brands make use of these Short-Video Sharing Apps to reach their target audience
Since their inception, social media platforms have always been essential tools for brands to reach their target audience, especially in China, where over one billion people use the internet every day.
However, besides WeChat (China’s WhatsApp), Weibo (China’s Facebook), and Youku (China’s YouTube), what other social media platforms should you utilise in order to communicate with your audience?
This article will introduce you to two emerging short-video sharing apps in China, which enjoy increasing popularity among Chinese consumers, especially younger consumers.
Kuaishou (快手, meaning ‘quick snap’), launched in 2011 in Beijing and backed by Tencent and Baidu, it is one of the fastest growing short-video sharing apps in China. With over 400 million users, Kuaishou is also the highest ranked app in the short-video sharing industry, which means that one in three internet users in China are using this app.
Standing out from other short-video sharing apps, Kuaishou does not use celebrities or KOL’s to attract traffic but aims to build a place where everyone’s voice has a chance to be heard. Kuaishou not only offers users an opportunity to have a glimpse of other people’s lives, but it also serves as a platform for them to build relationships with each other.
For example, a video uploaded by a construction worker, which shows his working routine, received over two million views on Kuaishou. He has been sharing videos recording his process of losing weight and showing his special talents, for example, raising a 6-meter steel tube with one hand, and has gained many followers.
Users of Kuaishou generally have higher engagement and closer relationship compared to other short-video sharing platforms. In the above two videos published by the worker, each of them has received over 6,000 comments. “Fight, smile and keep going!” “Applause for our construction worker!” These are just some examples of the kinds of conversations on Kuaishou.
Video users regard Kuaishou as an interesting and down to earth brand. Compared to other short-video sharing apps like Douyin, most of the users on Kuaishou are young females who live in small cities. According to a report by Penguin Intelligence, 66.6 percent of users on the app are under 24 years old, and over 61 percent of users live in third- and fourth-tier cities.
Lauched in September 2016 by Toutiao, one of China’s biggest tech start-ups, Douyin (抖音, meaning dynamic music) reached 100 million users in just six months.
Differing from Kuaishou, most of the videos on Douyin are creative social content and most people view Douyin as a fashionable and young brand where they can show off their personalities.
For example, Douyin lets users choose a song, record themselves miming and dancing to the tune. Moreover, Douyin offers various filters and speed options like time lapse and slow motion, which help users create more engaging and exciting content.
Compared to Kuaishou, users of Douyin are generally younger and have higher education levels. In addition, most of them are from bigger cities. Over 90 percent of the app’s users are under the age of 30, 66 percent are female, and over 45 percent live in first- and second-tier cities, the Penguin Intelligence report shows.
How can brands make full use of short-video sharing apps
For brands that target China’s Gen Z Consumers, these two emerging short-video sharing apps have increasing influence. Currently there are two popular ways for brands to promote themselves using short-video sharing apps.
The first choice is to work directly with these apps to launch branded campaigns. These campaigns could include a banner on the homepage, a promoted challenge hashtag, or a custom filter.
For example, Pizza Hut and Suning worked with Douyin to launch some interesting video filters. Despite the fact that these filters contain small brand logos, people are still happy to use them, which helps increase brand exposure to a large extent.
Another way for brands to use short-video sharing apps is to work with KOLs. While KOLs do not necessarily mean celebrities, normal people seem to have more influence than celebrities in short-video sharing apps.
According to the Penguin Intelligence report, 57 percent of users will follow normal people who produce interesting and funny videos, 53 percent of users will follow people with a special talent, while only 20 percent of users said they would follow celebrities.
A good example of working with KOLs is Adidas neo’s cooperation with two Chinese celebrities on Douyin. By producing engaging videos with celebrities, Adidas neo gained 150 million views and 1.2 million followers in one month after they became active.
While video-sharing platforms might not be the perfect fit for all brands, they offer great opportunities for those who are looking to experiment. Moreover, based on the fact that there are several platforms with different audience segments and various ways to work with them, it is important for brands to figure out which platform and methods best suit them.
Source: Penguin Intelligence
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