Kuaishou Marketing Insights for International Businesses (2022)

kuaishou marketing

Almost all young people all around the world that use the Internet and smartphones on daily basis heard about the legacy of Tik Tok and its Chinese twin and original version; Douyin. But what about Kuaishou? This massive short videos app which works similarly to Douyin has not received its well-deserved fame outside of China yet.

Kuaishou went public in 2021 and Kuaishou users represent one of the most engaged young active user groups in China nowadays, thanks to Kuaishous’ target audience and other factors. Kuaishou is the biggest competitor of Douyin and one of the most popular Chinese social media platforms, with 300 million daily active users. Let’s take a look at this Chinese short video platform.

What exactly is Kuaishou?

Kuaishou, the second-biggest video content platform in China, is backed up by the Chinese giant tech Tencent. Kuaishou is also the first China-based video platform to have an IPO, which made it listed publicly in Hong Kong. It’s actually the biggest tech IPO since Uber in 2019.

Although Kuaishou shares many similarities with Douyin, with the short video focus, and operating business accounts that are running a promotion or product placement on the app, it’s a unique app in one sense; the audience. Kuaishou is the first app that focuses on lower-tier cities.

Most Kuaishou users don’t come from first-tier cities. In fact, Kuaishou’s initial rural orientation encouraged so many people to use the app, as Kuaishou users could create personal engagement experiences and show the world through a rural content creator’s lens without feeling weird among luxury brands, top influencers from first-tier cities, and so on.

Kuaishou paid marketing analyze roi

Kuaishou is getting increasingly popular locally and also striving to expand its business globally, with seamlessly integrated online and offline resources to succeed. The global team of Kuaishou, headed by the ex-CEO of the 99 apps, consists of executives from TikTok, Facebook, as well as Google who were hired to help with the company’s global marketing targets.

How does Kuaishou stand out from the rest?

What makes Kuaishou different from its rivals and stands out from the fierce competition is its relatable content that is created, valued, and shared by people from different backgrounds of life in China.

Kuaishous’s audience, as well as its content, may be called boring and ordinary by some. However, that boring and ordinary content represents the daily life of Kuaishou’s large active users’ group. 300 million daily active users relate to that content more than some teenagers’ dance contests on Tik Tok.

Kuaishou's community dimension

For instance, while Douyin focuses on showing people’s good life stories emphasizing luxurious, glamorous bits, Kuaishou encourages everyone to join in and share all kinds of everyday life videos related to cooking, cleaning, or any other ordinary and not-so-glam subjects.

Even a small and niche brand from rural areas can have a business account and get a big following on the platform, with user engagement rates bigger than those of Douyin.

What does Kuaishou have in common with Douyin? 

Both Kuaishou and Douyin are platforms that offer short video browsing with an emphasis on user-generated content in China’s short video market. Most videos are made with music for added effect. Both of the also allow business accounts with an advertising solution and live streaming function.

Another thing in common with Douyin is, Kuaishou also uses AI to personalize recommendations for users based on engagement and other data. Once the users sign up, they can view videos from people in their city and follow them. The system tracks user preferences and provides tailored recommendations accordingly.

kuaishou marketing

How is Kuaishou different from Douyin?

There are several key differences between Kuaishou and Douyin. For one, Kuaishou doesn’t play on full-screen but gives the option of several videos on the page. The videos would not start playing unless the user chose to click and enter. However when it comes to Douyin, once the users turn on the Douyin app the short videos are already on auto-play. This way Kuaishou allows the audience to pick what they are actually interested in seeing.

Compared to Douyin, Kuaishou’s content is more down-to-earth and realistic since it depicts the everyday lives of its users, especially rural app users. The majority of its user base consists of people living in third or fourth-tier cities.

Unlike Douyin, Kuaishou doesn’t have many celebrities promoting their products on the platform. Therefore, this app is better suited for businesses whose target demographic is regular consumers who share original videos.

How does the company generate revenue from its users?

Kuaishou has several ways of making money;

1. Live-streaming features & one-click purchase: 

The primary revenue driver is the live-streaming feature. There are even ways for users to purchase virtual items to gift their loved streamers. In 2020 more than sixty percent of the total sales were made out of the live-streaming function, with a few million daily active users watching live streaming.

2. Digital marketing features & ads options: 

In addition to making money from live streaming, with digital marketing tools and newsfeed ads, Kuaishou saw a more than 200% year-on-year rise in this area of revenue. This generated roughly 30% of the company’s total revenue.

Online Paid advertising in China - Kuaishou Display Paid Ads

3. E-commerce features & mobile games: 

Recently Kuaishou brought new features to its encouraged users including e-commerce features with digital games. The Kuaishou app allows users to purchase products from mobile streamers. Within the first months of 2021, Kuaishou saw a rise in transactions of more than a thousand percent. This means that over two hundred billion yuan worth of transactions were done via its app.

Why should brands market on Kuaishou?

As e-commerce sales start to plateau in China’s larger metropolitan areas, marketers are looking to expand their reach into smaller cities. A recent report by Tencent found that residents of low-tier cities are two times more enthusiastic about shopping mobile than top-tier city consumers.

Kuaishou effectively offers brands opportunities to raise brand awareness and connect with consumers they may not reach otherwise, particularly those who live in rural areas or lower-tier cities. Northern China is especially Kuaishou friendly and gives shout-out options for companies trying to better understand potential markets and direct traffic to external websites.

Kuaishou direction maximize exposure

Kuaishou is not only popular with city-dwellers wanting to see real rural life, but it’s an excellent way for brands to get their products in front of users by collaborating with rural content creators who feature videos about farm life and other country living activities.

With advertising features, e-commerce integrations, and short-video sharing options, companies can reach their target consumer with their business account on the platform.

Luxurious Brands Should stick to Douyin

Nevertheless, it is important to mention that Kuaishou is not every brand’s cup of tea. Although urban Kuaishou offers brands e-commerce stores and business accounts that are cheaper than those of Douyin, for brands situated in high-end markets, like luxury labels and premium cosmetics, Kuaishou’s rural orientation could threaten their reputations.

Are you looking for ways to start Kuaishou Marketing? We can help you!

Our team of experts has extensive experience with Kuaishou and can help you get started with marketing your business on this growing social platform. We have more than 10 years of experience in the Chinese market and we understand the user base of the platform and its shopping habits.

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