If you want to have an efficient communication campaign engaging Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) is a must for your branding. Big brands, have done it successfully but you don’t need to be one to use KOL, just smart about it. during their marketing strategy or campaigns to launch new products. It is even more efficient in China since a product or service promoted by someone they know and trust is much more effective than promotion via traditional channels. You need to partner with social media active KOLs, WOM (Word of Mouth) is the key. How to choose the right KOL for the right audience for the right message you want to share?
Understanding the Chinese market
First of all, China shouldn’t be approached like a unique market, because China is in fact a multitude of different markets. Indeed, you have metropolises but also deep rural areas. Moreover, consumers are fragmented, especially by generations, while 45 y/o consumers will be less demanding and sophisticated, the generation under 25 y/o will be extremely active on Social Medias, they inform themselves on products and are having high expectations. They are more individualist than the generation before them (between 25 and 45 y/o), focused on work and on family needs.
One should also know that the Chinese social landscape is slightly different from the Western one, you won’t use the same tools, forget about Facebook, Twitter or Instagram which are banished in China (unless you use a VPN) and say hello to Weibo, WeChat and many other social networks…
Defining the right KOL to use
Usually huge celebrities are used when high fashion or cosmetics are being marketed. It obviously helps to have someone famous promoting your product. But you should really ask yourself what is worth for your brand. If you are selling a toothpaste, is it really necessary to have a superstar promoting the product? Maybe an expert, like a dentist will be more suitable and reassuring (and effective) for consumers.
The key strategy: Be authentic
If you want to deliver a highly credible message you need to share content based on real experiences. The more the consumers are getting sophisticated the more they will chase after authentic marketing messages which they assume are more valuable. The best solution to deliver such a message is to make a KOL test your products and then testify about the experiment.
Your KOL must have a qualitative Fan Base
A fan base is basically the whole group following, supporting and more important listening to your KOL. A great way to measure a KOL fan base is to check on the number of followers or subscribers. But let’s face it, numbers are just numbers, and the growing number of fake accounts force marketers to analyse more deeply KOL’s followers. Some mathematics models have even been developed in order to scan automatically the fan base size.
Play the viral card
Having a good buzz is the best solution to have a quick visibility nowadays and it is a very efficient strategy in China. A celebrity’s message will always be spread quickly even if it is the most basic stuff written. You should then use this viral effect to deliver the valuable message you want to spread.
Have a O2O strategy
Your KOL needs to be not only on Internet but also represent your brand offline, by attending high profile events and cover them by networking there and then share some content like Pictures or Videos. Your KOL should occupy a deeper position than just having a Social Media presence.
So why use KOL?
In China, People heavily rely on their peers reviews, especially if those peers are famous and/or experts in their area of expertise. Kol may bring you very quickly the credibility you need to enter your market in China on the right foot.
Ask us more about how you could unlock the full potential of your marketing campaign using Key Opinion Leaders!