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Influchina-Marketing influencer China

Influencer Marketing in China: How to Boost Your Brand in the Red Dragon

Chinese social network
Influencer Marketing in China: How to Boost Your Brand in the Red Dragon

Chinese influencers have become an essential tool in digital marketing and advertising. Better known in China as KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders), people with a large number of followers on social networks such as Little Red Book, Douyin (Chinese TikTok), WeChat, Kuaishou, Toutiao and Weibo.

KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) in China are people with large numbers of followers on social networks such as Little Red Book (Chinese Instagram), Douyin (Chinese TikTok) or WeChat

In addition, Chinese social influencers have great sway in the opinion of their audience, which makes them a key element for brands looking to promote their products and services.

Chinese influencers are considered professionals on social media in China, as they know how to stand out, in addition to having a great ability to promote and sell products effectively

Their success is the result of the sum of their interesting personalities and their extensive knowledge of Chinese social media. Moreover, Chinese consumers rely heavily on recommendations from people they follow on social media, underscoring the importance of understanding this market.

74% of Chinese consumers make purchasing decisions based on influencers' recommendations, compared to only 30% in the rest of the world

Table of Contents

1. Advantages of Chinese influencer marketing partnerships

Advantages of Chinese influencer marketing partnerships

Collaboration with top influencers in China has become a key strategy in the digital marketing world to reach consumers and, in China, the use of Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) is even more important, due to the quirks of the Chinese market. Some of the most significant advantages are:

Brand awareness

Brands can leverage their marketing campaigns by utilizing the large, highly engaged and active communities of social media influencers in China. Top influencers wield immeasurable influence over the Chinese population. 

Chinese influencers are considered by their followers to be experts in a specific area, as each one specializes in a completely different sector

Sales growth

Collaborating with Chinese influencers can be an effective way to exponentially increase your brand’s sales. In addition, influencers can easily communicate with their followers, presenting products in an authentic way, in addition to their great persuasiveness.

Chinese consumers, before making a purchase, seek the opinion and recommendation of KOLs to reassure themselves about the purchase

2. Steps to create a Chinese influencer campaign

In an industry as vast as the Chinese market, it is essential to have the right tools to find the best Chinese influencers to promote your brand.

Before implementing an influencer marketing strategy, you need to take into account several aspects: 

  1. Define the objective of the campaign.
  2. Determine the budget.
  3. Select the types of influencers.
  4. Search for Chinese influencers on platforms.
  5. Other relevant factors.

To plan the campaign, you need to keep in mind the importance of Chinese social media, so using several Chinese influencers to promote your products or services on different applications is the most effective way to attract more Chinese clientele. This works very well both there and for Chinese outbound tourism.

Steps to create a Chinese influencer campaign

If a Chinese user finds a brand through recommendations from multiple influencers on multiple sources, the credibility and reputation of the brand will improve immeasurably

Our agency dedicated to influencer marketing in China specializes in helping brands increase their online sales and visibility through strategic collaborations with the right Chinese influencers.

Define the campaign objective

The budget factor is key, of course, but, before thinking about it, it is advisable to analyze other aspects such as what are the objectives of the campaign:

  • Brand awareness
  • Sales
  • Reach
  • Interactions

Another aspect to define is which geographic areas you want to cover (Tier 1, 2 or Tier 3 and 4 cities), which relates to which demographic sector you want to reach depending on the nature of the brand or products.

Before thinking about the budget, we recommend analyzing the objectives of the campaign, related to sales, brand awareness, reach and interactions, in addition to identifying the demographic sector you want to reach

Determine the budget

At this point of the strategy, it is important to know that prices vary, depending on whether the influencers are located in highly developed areas of China or not. Another factor is what is required of the influencer, since the costs are not the same for a video as for a simple post

Top influencers in China also value the client’s requirements, such as: number of times the product appears, product orientation in the content (plans, appearance), the period in which they collaborate (Chinese holiday dates are usually less economical than periods without holidays), number of collaborations, reposts on social media, the Influencer’s commissions, etc.

It should be noted that some Chinese social influencers may charge higher rates for brands that are not yet very popular in China

It is critical to have a clear idea of the budget needed to determine which types of Chinese influencers to hire.

Select the types of influencers

Choosing the type of influencer depends on the available budget. To plan the number of collaborations, it is essential to distribute the budget as effectively as possible. To do this, you need to know the types of Chinese influencers.

Depending on the budget, you will be able to access different types of Chinese influencers, which are divided according to impact, size and social networks.

Select the types of influencers-influencers China

By audience and impact

Depending on the influencer’s impact and audience, we can categorize into two types:

- KOL (Key Opinion Leader)

KOLs, as we have seen, have become increasingly important in the marketing strategies of those who wish to break into the Chinese market. KOLs are celebrities, writers, and social media celebrities who are considered experts in a certain field or topic, so their advice is perceived as genuine and unbiased.

- KOC (Key Opinion Consumer)

KOCs are consumers who personally promote products through reviews. These individuals tend to be much more selective in what they are willing to recommend and share as safe information, so their reviews are much more similar to advice among friends than user-generated content.

KOCs are key to users making a purchase decision because they are generally considered more trustworthy due to their authentic content.

By size

By size, influencers can be divided into:

  • Nano: this type of influencer has a smaller audience, between 1,000 and 10,000 followers, so you will not have a large reach but you will be able to target a more specific audience. In addition, it is very useful for positioning specific content optimized for specific keywords on Chinese social networks. As a result, they will sustain the presence of many results in the search for information phase, so more traffic will be channeled to the evaluation and decision/conversion phase.
  • Micro: they are less prevalent and their audience is small, between 10,000 and 100,000 followers. Campaigning with them does not imply a large reach but a more specific audience. As they are a more specific niche, the audience’s willingness to buy could be higher. As with nano influencers, this type of influencer is also very good for positioning specific content optimized for specific keywords on social networks, which will lead to more traffic being channeled to the evaluation and decision-making phase.
  • Medium: they have a smaller follower base, between 100,000 and 500,000 followers, but tend to have a greater connection with their followers as well as vertical content, which helps to target more specific audience groups, having become the most frequently used to obtain targeted campaigns with high interactions.
  • Macro: these influencers have the largest number of followers and a massive audience, starting at 500,000 followers, which can reach up to 6 or 7 million. Running a campaign with them ensures a very wide diffusion to a very varied audience, which probably includes a large part of the public that cannot afford the product.


Nano KOL

Micro KOL

Medium KOL

Macro KOL

Number of followers

1K-10K

10K-100K

100K-500K

>500K

Focus

Conversion and persuasion

Conversion and persuasion

Brand awareness, interaction and reach

Brand awareness, interaction and reach

Pros

Increased credibility and engagement

Focus on specific niches

Greater reach and impact

Varied audience and maximum reach

Cons

Low reach

Low reach

High prices

High prices

Influencers can be nano (between 1,000 and 10,000 followers), micro (between 10,000 and 50,000), medium (between 50,000 and 500,000) and macro (500,000 and above)

By Chinese social networks

Chinese social networks are highly influential in the purchasing process of Chinese citizens. Moreover, according to data from Turespaña, 74% of Chinese tourists choose their destination based on recommendations on networks and platforms, compared to only 30% worldwide. In this respect, it is important to have a presence in Chinese online travel agencies (OTAs), such as Ctrip or Fliggy.

- Douyin

Douyin is a social network that was launched in 2016 that allows you to create and share short videos and stream live. Outside China it is known as Tik Tok, but Douyin is a different and unique version within the Chinese territory.

Douyin represents an exceptional opportunity for companies to reach the Chinese tourism market. As it has not been around for long, brands still have time to get ahead of the competition.

Douyin is an exceptional opportunity to stay ahead of the competition in the Chinese tourism market

Little Red Book (xiaohongshu)-chinese influencers
- Little Red Book (xiaohongshu)

Little Red Book has emerged as the most used platform by Chinese tourists when looking for recommendations, reviews and information to select a product or service, such as destinations, restaurants, hotels and many other leisure experiences. In the link below you will learn how to successfully utilize Little Red Book marketing in China.

According to Stairs, 64% of Chinese tourists mainly use Little Red Book when deciding on hotels and restaurants, and it now has more than 200 million users

64% of Chinese tourists primarily use Little Red Book when deciding on hotels and restaurants

Search for Chinese influencers on social media platforms

Being familiar with the most popular platforms in the process of searching for Chinese influencers is essential. Some of them are:

Xiaohongshu

Xiaohongshu, also known as Little Red Book, is a Chinese application that brings together elements of e-commerce, user-generated content and product reviews, which functions as a social network

Pugongying is a platform created by Xiaohongshu, where brands can collaborate with Chinese influencers to promote their products and services, in the form of images and text, or videos. 

To access the platform, the company must be registered in China. Once inside, a proposal must be sent to the influencer to be accepted and thus establish communication with them.

Weibo

This is an open network platform that focuses on content sharing, visibility and community building.

Weirenwu is the official online advertising platform for Chinese influencers on the Sina Weibo social network. It features influencers in various areas such as comedy, gastronomy, entertainment, live streams, among others. 

Search for Chinese influencers on social media platforms-Xingtu

Xingtu

Xingtu is the official platform to collaborate with Chinese influencers on Chinese social networks such as Douyin, Xigua and Toutiao. To access the platform, a multi-stage registration must be completed, in addition to having a Chinese company in order to access the platform’s data. 

Kuaishou

Collaboration with influencers on Kuaishou can be crucial, as it is a social network that has been experiencing dizzying growth in recent years, plus it is the only social network that does not exclude anyone, so people from tier 3 or 4 cities or rural areas, which are the most interested in shopping, can see your products.

It is important to note that all collaboration platforms with Chinese influencers have as a main and mandatory requirement to have a company registered in China, in addition to paying taxes and a percentage of commission charged by the platform itself. 

Any platform for collaboration with influencers in China requires having a registered company in China, in addition to paying taxes and a commission percentage

Another extremely important aspect is that, despite using these platforms, it is necessary to carry out an exhaustive study of the influencer and analyze the data of their videos, since most social media accounts have a considerable amount of fake followers.

Our agency specializing in collaborations with Chinese influencers has a large and solid database of high quality Chinese influencers. Our team has made a thorough selection and conducted successful collaborations with various brands

We are committed to connecting brands with the right influencers to ensure strategic and effective collaborations. You can count on us to find the perfect Chinese influencers to drive your brand’s success in the Chinese market.

Search for Chinese influencers on platforms-Chinese Influencers

How many Chinese influencers do you need to collaborate with?

Brands that collaborate with several Chinese influencers are more likely to increase their online visibility. However, this depends on the available budget, which makes it very necessary to invest wisely, especially if the budget is limited.

In addition, it is important to promote and optimize posts. It is not the breadth of the campaign that matters, but the quality of the pre-planned strategy.

How much does engaging a Chinese influencer cost?

The price of collaborating with Chinese influencers depends on the popularity of the KOL, their number of followers, the sector of activity, the amount of products the KOL will promote, the time dedicated to the promotion and the sales generated.

In terms of budget, collaborations with Chinese influencers who have less than 500,000 followers can range from €1,300 to €3,500 per influencer, while for those with more than 500,000 followers, costs start from €3,500 upwards

Other relevant factors

Engaging directly with quality Chinese influencers can be tricky on the platforms we have seen, as they are open to almost all users who call themselves influencers. Also, competition in the Chinese market is stiff, and finding the right Chinese influencer can take time and money.

However, we are here to help you find the KOLs that fit your brand. We specialize in Chinese influencers and have a comprehensive and reputable database, which we have used in the past to assist other clients. If you would like more information about our services, you can contact us directly.

Other relevant factors-Chinese influencers

3. Conclusiones

Chinese influencers are especially relevant for brands looking to connect with local consumers. With the rapid growth of e-commerce in China and the increasing purchasing power of the middle class, Chinese influencers have become an important tool for brands to promote their products and services

If you need help with your marketing strategies in China, InfluChina can help you deploy the most efficient digital marketing strategies for the vast Chinese market. For more information email hello@influchina.com or check our services.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about working with Chinese influencers

KOLs are Chinese platform celebrities who are seen as experts in a certain field or domain.

Influencers in China are social media specialists, plus they have a huge ability to influence the opinions of their listeners.

Influencers in China are social media specialists, plus they have an enormous ability to influence the opinions of their listeners.

The best way to get Chinese influencers is to look for a specialized agency for professional advice and help to reach your targets.

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