Is influencer marketing worth a slice of your China marketing budget?
Since few years, KOLs became a real part of the influencer marketing. They are numerous and powerfull. Do you need to ask you if a KOL can be useful for your business? Most of the brand call on KOL because they are an effective tool to do business. Because they are more and more numerous and powerfull, they are more and more expensive.
Focus on the KOL power
WHO ARE THE KEY OPINION LEADERS ?
KOLs are often Chinese celebrities, popular social media users, experts of a specific subject, columnists, socialites, fashionistas, or bloggers … They have created a viral content and developed a community around them. They have a lot of followers because their content is quality and knowledgeable. They post on a various social media websites on all types of different topics: sports, video games, fashion, food, traveling, luxury goods, cars, etc.
They provide advice, instructions, feedback to their followers and users love them because they trust KOLs more than brands.
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The power of KOLs needs to be understood if you want to do business in China. Working together with them can help create significant buzz for your company or your products.
All over the world, you have the same phenomenon on Youtube. On Youtube, you have a lot of influencers – as we call in our western countries – who have millions of followers. A lot of brands have used them to advertize on the web, and it’s really successful. Influencers and KOLs are very similar. So, you understand why they are so important ?
EXAMPLE OF VERY POPULAR KOLS
Papi Jiang (Jiang Yilei) is in China a superstar. Even if in the past, she had troubles with government censors, she is very famous with over than 40 million followers. She works with a lot of brands of different size. A huge brand like New Balance and smaller brands like Lilly&Beauty which paid a whopping 3.5 million/USD to be the first business to place an ad in one of her videos. She was selected as the most famous person of the year in 2016 in China. With all her contracts and followers, she is a powerful influencer all over the world.
Ma Jianguo is also a famous chinese KOL. He shares moments of the lives of his pets : a dog named 妞妞 and a cat 端午. He shares some GIFS and pictures of his animals lives and became very popular in China. Figures are here, he generates more than 10 million RMB in revenue a year, just with weibo advertising. He also helps some articles to highlight his pets and some products and generate a big buzz for brands.
WHY A KOL FOR YOUR BUSINESS ?
KOLs in China are very influential and powerfull. They can help businesses advertise their products through product placement and feedbacks. Because, they are not celebrities, Chinese consumers trust them more than traditional advertizes. The average consumer trust KOLs because they are people like them. That’s why they have such power.
You have to know that traditional advertising methods available on Wechat or Weibo are not as effective as KOLs to promote products. Besides, it’s a very expensive expense for your company and no very effective.
KOLs have access to massive audiences and they can provide a good message to their communities to advertise your products or brand.
But, you need to be careful in selecting the right KOL.
Finding your KOL can be difficult. Each KOL has his own community made of people of different demographics, psychographics and lifestyle preferences. You have first of all to find the KOL who can represent you as best as possible. Developing a clear KOL strategy of who exactly you would like to receive your message is crucial prior to making your selection.
You need to work together with your KOLs to come up with advertising strategies that can maintain the authenticity of the KOL while at the same time promoting your product or company.
Some businesses think that choosing a KOL you just have to contact the KOL with the biggest audience. But it’s not true because maybe his followers are not your target.
HOW MUCH DO A KOL IS ?
There is no a price for a KOL. In fact, it depends on a lot of things. If the KOL has a lot of followers and is famous, it can be more expensive.
You have a different method. A low-cost method is to gift them one of your products in exchange for a review/discussion of the product. But, this method doesn’t work each time, a lot of KOLs expect a payment.
Just some quick price reference for you: the cheapest KOLs cost around $250 USD, while some of the more expensive KOLs have been known to charge as much as $2,500/USD for a single post! However, as the market has become more saturated and developed prices have begun to fall bit by bit.
You don’t have to find the KOL the most or the least expensive. Just find the best representant of your brand.
TO CONCLUDE, A KOL IS NECESSARY OR NOT ?
As you can see in this article, KOLs are now the new marketing strategy in China. Because of all the scandals and counterfeiting, consumers don’t trust brands. If you want to be effective and touch your target, you need to include a KOL in your strategy because it’s the new tool to communicate in China. If you work together with a good KOL, you will touch your target easily. It will be a great way to promote your products, attract Chinese outbound travellers or even sell your real estate properties. You need to work with a digital agency which can help you in your KOL strategy.
We are a specialist e-commerce agency based in Shanghai, the economic heart of China’s modern miracle. We understand e-commerce and the real methods for success in this lucrative market.