The Chinese beauty market is permeable, huge, and ever-changing. Tapping into this market would be a profitable business decision if you’re making the right moves. One of these moves is choosing relevant nano-influencers that can talk directly to your audience. As such, you could generate more buzz around your brand and attract more customers. Read this guide to find out how to do that. We’ll discuss the right platforms, potential product lines, and how to connect to Chinese Millennials. But first:

Why Nano-Influencers?

Using nano-influencers for your brand entails a host of benefits:

  • Pervasiveness. Nano-influencers have below 10,000 followers, which means they can access tight groups of people. Thus, they can address and engage beauty niches better.
  • Human-centric. People trust their loved ones when it comes to beauty advice. One reason is that they’re more honest, but it also matters to see the results first hand. A nano-influencer can show their audience how your beauty products work. Besides, they will engage in intimate conversations about purchasing advice. Therefore, it’s wise to have them talking about your brand.
  • Building a brand community. Nano-influencers are very active in particular geographic areas so that they can build offline communities in those parts. These communities can meet, try, and talk about your products. The result is these people develop authentic relationships revolving around your brand.
  • Building trustworthiness. KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) in China know what sort of content works for the Chinese people. Compared to their western counterparts, Chinese nano-influencers understand that the local social media emphasizes written content. This is an advantage for your beauty brand because you get more chances to explain how your products work and why people should choose them.
  • Budget-friendly. Nano-influencers in China and around the world are affordable. About half of them don’t need cash compensation either. Instead, they’re okay with having first dibs at your products, free samples, or gift baskets. Then, they can try these products and show their audience the benefits.

Warning: China faces the poignant issue of fake influencers. These people are buying followers because the influencer market is very lucrative. As such, they want a piece of that cake.

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For example, Douyin – the Chinese name for TikTok – had 100+ million users during its beginning year. Statistics show that two-thirds of these users are women living in Tier 1 and 2 cities. This demographic is ideal for your beauty brand, so you need to make sure you’re not picking a fake KOL.

How do you do that?

Avoid nano-influencers who use click-farms, buy their audience, and generate scandal and if you are collaborating with them on TikTok, check their engagement rates.

Western Beauty Brands and the Chinese Market

JD Global – Beauty Segment

Chinese Millennials are captivated by the niche Western beauty because they want to show how unique they are.

Do a quick search for the keyword “niche” on Chinese social platforms like Xiaohongshu, Weibo, and Douyin. You’ll get around 2 million posts on that topic.

So consider this:

  • The Chinese beauty market is worth about $63 billion, but it could reach $9.2 trillion in 2025.
  • More young people want to show they’re unique. Thus, they use make-up and beauty products as a form of self-expression.
  • 92% of men and 31% of young women are loyal to niche beauty brands because they are compatible with their cutting-edge lifestyles.
  • The term “niche” packs a lot of meaning. Niche beauty brands in China need powerful stories and attractive packaging.
  • Every beauty brand can associate itself with this concept in China, whether you’re as big as L’Oreal or as tiny as Milk Make-up.

An Alternative to Social Media

Tmall by Alibaba is a renowned e-commerce platform in China that has recently propelled the Drunk Elephant beauty brand within the top 10 international brands. Skinceuticals also saw $14 million in sales in 2020 after partnering with this platform.

So, it would be wise to work with a Chinese e-commerce platform too. This strategy, plus the use of nano-influencers, would allow more people to try your products. Plus, you’d have more reach in the Chinese festival’s market for beauty brands. If you don’t know where to start when it comes to Chinese e-commerce platforms, you can hire a B2B lead generation agency to help you find the right partners. 

The result is that you can increase your ROI and build a more engaged community.

Another advantage is that you’re positioning your brand as a niche and trendsetter. As you’re building this “exclusive” aura, you’re motivating more people to want to become part of your community.

Which Platforms do Chinese Millennials Use?

Chinese social media is different from Western world platforms. However, the same fundamental principles apply:

Use the proper channels depending on your brand’s personality and audience. Even if you want to reach Chinese Millennials, remember that there are several sub-groups within this category. Men and women, for instance, have different needs. Men prefer “niche” beauty brands that make them feel unique, while women will mostly opt for natural and organic brands.

Make sure your nano-influencers know how to use these platforms for your purposes. Of course, you’ll have to define your goals first. Raising awareness, creating engagement, and increasing your ROI require different strategies.

Here are some differences to consider:

  • Mobile is king in China as 99% of internet users browse these platforms on their phones. So, make sure your KOL’s content is easy to read on a small screen.
  • Chinese platforms are wordy instead of visual because the Chinese language is more descriptive. Ensure your nano-influencers can produce relevant content along these lines.
  • Chinese apps are versatile, cheap, and all-encompassing. For instance, WeChat allows you to do whatever you want, from renting bikes to chatting and paying your bills. Thus, your beauty brand needs both a user-friendly website and an intuitive app. Besides, your nano-influencers would create an engaged community better if you could concentrate your audience on an app.
  • Chinese social media platforms are fragmented and dynamic. That means these platforms cater to specific demographics, but they also evolve quickly. So, your KOLs need to master these issues.

Here are some of the most popular platforms in China for Millennials:

  • WeChat: best for engagement and increased ROI because it combines social sharing, entertainment, and e-commerce
  • QQ: best for building a brand community through sending photos, texts, and joining groups
  • Weibo: best for exposure and outreach because you can inform more people about your beauty products
  • Youku: best for creating loyalty through videos (tutorials, results, how-to, etc.)
  • Bilibili: best for live streaming, user-generated content like testimonials, and e-commerce

In Conclusion. How to connect to Chinese Millennials Using Nano-Influencers?

Connecting to Chinese Millennials using nano-influencers is mostly the same as within any other country. The trick is to understand how the Chinese platforms work and to create unique products. You also need enough nano-influencers to get the job done and you might need to find a micro-influencer marketing agency to help you manage your campaigns. 

1. Special Products

Over 90% of Chinese girls and young women purchase according to online trends. Millennials start buying cosmetics early on at 15 or 16. Thus, they’re your most significant market in China after Gen Z. Most of these young women turn to nano-influencers for beauty advice and make-up reviews.

And here’s the thing about the Chinese beauty market: the mainland Chinese TV industry dictates fashion trends.

Look at the most beloved young actresses in China, such as Yang Mi or Guan Xiaotong. They boast delicate complexions, discrete make-up, and natural hairstyles.

The keyword in China is, therefore, natural. So, your best brand would be to create a unique organic and natural-based line for your beauty products. For example, use pastels and classic colors.

Conversely, young men prefer niche beauty products and brands with powerful stories.

So, get long-term collaborations with Chinese nano-influencers to promote these product lines. As trusted KOLs become your brand ambassadors, your brand will become trustworthy too.

2. Enough Nano-Influencers

In China, you can tap into a vast pool of beauty nano-influencers that address Millennials. These peoples are experts in their niche, and their followers have similar interests. Basically, you’re targeting a precise public.

Of course, you want to make sure these KOLs are credible, authentic, and relevant for your audience.

But there’s another crucial thing for the Chinese market:

You know that China is enormous. So, whatever number of KOLs you’d need in a Western Country, depending on your brand size, multiply it by ten. That way, you can attract and engage different niches within the Millennial base category.

So, start strategizing according to several consumer profiles and pitch relevant KOLs for everyone. Use a proper database application to keep track of your influencers, their content, content performance and analyze what works best for your brand to make informed decisions on your future tactics. 

3. How Chinese Platforms Work

We already discussed that above, so remember these key points:

  • You need expert, word-centered content.
  • It’s not wise to associate your brand with an ideology or political movement like you would in Western countries because these are taboo topics in China.
  • Your nano-influencers have to prove they can create engagement on Chinese social media.
  • Connect to a trustworthy agency that puts you in touch with these nano-influencers

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