Practical Guide to Advertise on Xiaohongshu (Paid Ads)

Xiaohongshu is a Chinese social shopping platform with over 100 million monthly active users. Xiaohongshu, also known as Red, is a Beauty, LifeStyle, and fashion-focused app where people can share their own style and discover new products from around the world. In this practical guide, we will explain how to advertise on Xiaohongshu (Xiaohongshu native ads) and what are the benefits of doing so for your business. We will cover topics such as: How much does it cost to advertise on Xiaohongshu? What kind of ad formats can you use? Should you target male or female users in China? And many more! If you’re interested in advertising on Xiaohongshu, this post is for you

What are the characteristics of Xiaohongshu / Little Red Book?

Xiaohongshu, one of the largest and fastest-growing social e-commerce platforms in China, has quickly become an important go-to for companies looking to capture the Chinese Generation Z. It brings together elements of e-commerce, user-generated content (UGC), and product reviews. Chinese consumers place a high value on product reviews during the pre-purchasing phase and this platform offers them a real opportunity to get recommendations and at the same time buy products.

Xiaohongshu successfully combines social eCommerce et paid ads

This shopping and sharing platform is seen as a true word-of-mouth sharing community that offers many features and functions in one app. The app works as a launching point to enter the online world to do browsing, searching, socializing, and shopping altogether. Therefore, young Chinese go to Xiaohongshu multiple times per day.

On this platform, users can share text, images, and short videos touching on all areas of lifestyle, such as fashion, food, travel, cosmetics and beauty, fitness, apparel, and childcare products. Xiaohongshu enables Chinese consumers to buy overseas products directly through its app, therefore has attracted global brands to build official accounts, launch KOL campaigns, and pay to advertise.

China Social Media - Xiaohongshu Kols

How international brands can advertise on Xiaohongshu?

Xiaohongshu offers numerous paid and unpaid ways to promote brands and their products to Chinese consumers. These ways include opening an official account (1), partnering with KOLs – Key Opinion Leaders(2), and traditional paid ads(3). In this article we will analyze these types of advertising, focusing more on traditional paid advertising.

1- Opening an official account on Xiaohongshu

Having an official account is a guarantee of authenticity. the official account is a means by which to interact with one’s community, increase brand awareness, and drive sales.

Thanks to the official account, brands can share News with their followers, publish images and video content, sell products, and respond to fan reviews and comments. If your content attracts the interest of your community, thanks to the type of sharing and word-of-mouth platform, you will quickly see your followers increase. Furthermore, with the increase in your followers, your brand will be seen as more reliable in the eyes of Chinese users who tend not to trust brands they do not know.

To sum up, having an official account gives the brand the opportunity to interact with users through comments and transform inquiries into purchase opportunities.

China Social Media - Xiaohongshu officila brand account

How to open an official account on Xiaohongshu?

To open an official account the company must first create a personal account, then deliver certain documents to Xiaohongshu, including:

  • The name of the company, logo, and trademark
  • Chinese legal entity,
  • Name, contact, and signature of the owner

The peculiarity is that the registration of the official account is much cheaper than platforms such as Tmall or Furthermore, the requirements and times to open a verified profile are less restrictive than those of other platforms, such as WeChat and Weibo.

Once the documents are approved, Little Red Book will open the shop and proceed with a training course for the company. The training provides a path to learn how to sell on the platform and optimize results.

2 – Collaborate with KOLs and influencers on Xiaohongshu

China Social Media - Xiaohongshu Kols

Influencers and KOLs are the most powerful form of advertising the platform has to offer. The reason is that Chinese consumer is very suspicious and before finalizing a purchase they usually check the quality of the brand and the product on different online sources.

The KOL responds precisely to this need as they enjoy strong respectability and have a large following. They are considered highly reliable, know their audience very well, and consequently know what content to offer them. Therefore, collaborating with influencers on the platform allows you to increase the awareness, credibility, and desirability of companies.

Many companies now collaborate with influencers and KOLs on the platform for this reason. Chinese and international companies such as Gucci, and Perfect diary (the Chinese make-up brand), are working closely with both celebrities and KOLs to achieve these results.

Xiaohongshu’s ‘influencer platform’, a database hosting around 6,000 influencers is designed to connect you to those most relevant to your niche and budget.

3 – Investing in traditional paid advertising on Xiaohongshu

Xiaohongshu offers various advertising tools for brands. if you have doubts about the effectiveness of influencer marketing or organic marketing, you can choose a more traditional way which can be a safe way to start.

Many brands from several different industry sectors have shown good results from paid advertisements. The Cost-per-click of the paid advertisements starts at 0.3 RMB/CPC AND the minimum ad fee is 5K RMB.

There are 2 forms of paid advertising on Xiaohongshu:

  • Xiaohongshu ‘Pop-up’ ads

Pop-ups are displayed when you open the Xiaohongshu app. The announcement also gives access to the brand store directly by pressing a small button at the bottom of the page.

  • Xiaohongshu Integrated ads

Integrated advertising appears in the news (in both the discovery and the following pages), displaying the accounts the user subscribes to. Users are advised of posts thanks to a small button at the bottom of the page on the left of the photo, called “Guanggao”, which means “advertising”.

China Social Media - Advertise on Xiaohongshu Paid Ads
Xiaohongshu Native Paid Ads

You can not do whatever with Paid ads on Xiaohonsghu

For the content to be reliable and truthful, Xiaohongshu and national advertising regulations prohibit companies from using languages ​​such as “the best”, “the most”, “luxury”, “upscale” and others. Like this the Xiaohongshu app:

  • Try to prevent companies from misleading users to sell their products.
  • Allows only trustworthy content and tries to satisfy its customers by checking the information.

For a few years now, Xiaohongshu is becoming more and more of a platform for advertising. However, by striving to maintain the authenticity of the content, Xiaohongshu does not host it on a large scale.

This process may not be the best strategy for Xiaohongshu for two main reasons:

  • Because this option is new and information about users and their interests cannot yet be effectively used for platform targeting.
  • Chinese users do not have much confidence in advertising but prefer advice and suggestions from users.

More about Online Paid Advertising in China

Open an online store on Xiaohongshu

China Social Media - Xiaohongshu Red Store

Xiaohongshu makes shopping much easier with the help of the in-app online store. In fact, thanks to this model, users are not required to exit the app, but can quickly make purchases within the app through mobile payment systems.

Users of the platform can go directly to the brand store or they can see purchase (hyperlink) links when they see images, and videos, and click on them to buy products.

There are largely two types of stores in Xiaohongshu:

  • One is self-operated by Xiaohongshu (Xiaohongshu supports your products and buys them in advance)
  • One is operated by registered brands (The company creates its own store)


There are various steps to open an online store on Xiaohongshu:

  1. Sign up for Xiaohongshu via company email,
  2. Fill in registration information (Once these steps are complete, Xiaohongshu will analyze your registration application and process it),
  3. Sign the agreement online and the paper version

Then, the company has access to its online store, as well as various training modules on the management platform Xiaohongshu.


China Social Media - GMA Xiaohongshu Agency

Gentlemen Marketing Agency is a Digital Marketing Agency that is an expert in helping foreign companies to establish or strengthen their position in China.

Discovers our Xiaohongshu solutions:

  • Audit (Who are your competitors? What are they doing? What are the best Solutions for you?)
  • Little Red Book Account (Our Agency takes care of creating your Little Red Book Official Account)
  • Shop & Account Management (Design, Content, Community.. Our dedicated team makes sure your account is alive and well)
  • KOLs (Run successful affiliate campaigns on Xiaohongshu with our KOLs Partner)
  • Marketing Campaigns (PR, Ads, Contest, etc. Our team promotes your Little Red Book Account & Shop)
  • Monthly Report (Every month receive a marketing report to see the progress of your campaigns and decide with our expert what comes next).

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