How to Choose the Right KOLs for Your Brand?

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What is KOL?

What is Key Opinion Leader (KOL) or influencers? They are the expert in specific area – mostly are beauty, cosmetic, fashion or photography. They have certain extent of clout – their audience would like to listen to them and trust them for their area of knowledge.


Here are three types of KOLs on Weibo: Celebrities, influential bloggers and Wanghong (which is web celebrity).


Why They Are Relevant for You?

The use of KOL and influencer have been widely applied in the field of digital marketing and social media influencer marketing, which have been increasingly prevalent in Chinese market in recent years since the evolution of social media and smartphone – most people have their active social media account and they will keep watching on the latest social media posts, news and influencers or KOLs they are interested in. When people using their phones, they are highly likely to spend their time on social media for fun.




In China, these popular social media includes: Weibo, Wechat or even Taobao which is a C2C online shopping platform (To view Taobao has been even considered as a way of relaxation or social for Chinese).


Hence, this would be a perfect chance for those who want to gain traffic and attention for their brands – in particular those brands who is targeting for Chinese market, as Chinese are extremely supportive of influencers or KOLs. Here are millions of cases of how KOL made an incredible sales boost in just one second through a post on social media or live streaming on Taobao.


In last double 11 Singles Day (created by Taobao that is the biggest e-commerce platform in China), under the category of Top-30 best-selling female fashion sales ranking list, 6 stores out of 30 were constructed by KOLs. This is literally a strong evidence of how powerful the key opinion leaders marketing is.



How Can We Make a Successful KOLs Sales Campaigns?

These influencer marketing specialists can be considered as the key of the marketing campaign, yet how to choose the suitable KOL or influencers among so many Chinese beauty and fashion bloggersis a serious problem!


It would be hard to measure the successfulness of a campaign since the benchmark of each company is , especially when those fast sales numbers look bleak. But brands should keep a number of factors in mind when considering their sales targets in a KOL partnership:


Chinese consumers require eight touchpoints before they buy. This is compared to just four for Western shoppers, according to McKinsey China. Ultimately, it means there is an extremely low chance of a Chinese consumer making a purchase after a single point of exposure since Chinese market is extremely competitive and fierce.


For most followers, a WeChat, Weibo, Douyin, or similar post could just leave an impression after read, they would anyway investigate more about certain product through various channel as the prove for shopping. The typical process includes seeking additional social evidence or review either from family or friend or KOLs who did shop the same product before. The platform they used to search contains various searching engine, social media or online shops.



So, a successful KOLs Sales Campaigns is never an easy task. You should impress your customer again and again on different platform.


Platform to Perform the KOL Digital Campaigns

How to choose the right platform? You must have no ideas how much you have to spend on each platform, and how many platforms you have to use. Here is the evaluation of the most famous social media platform in China:



WeChat KOL Sales Campaigns were stuck. The ability to link to outside e-commerce platforms was limited, making it difficult to achieve high conversion rates. But now, thanks to WeChat mini-programs, WeChat KOLs are starting to join the ranks of successful Taobao-based KOL brands.

WeChat KOLs are some of the most respected and in-demand KOLs in China. Their in-depth articles and unique writing styles create a close bond between them and their audience, which in-turn can drive massive sales for the brands they partner with.

However, there has always been a huge obstacle to direct selling: WeChat KOLs typically have Subscription Accounts, a type of account that precludes including links in articles. The only way users can link to external websites and e-commerce sites is by putting a link in the “Read More” button, which has abysmal click-through rates and doesn’t allow links to certain sites like Taobao. In many cases, readers must take several steps before they can reach the item being promoted.



When a KOL with 1 million followers on Weibo posts about a product, they, on average, are going to gain organic views from about 10 percent of their followers. About 1.5 percent of them will click through, and out of this group, only 1.5 will make a purchase right away, resulting in just 22.5 immediate sales. For a brand to achieve break-even ROI from immediate sales, the items sold must be priced at roughly $192 (RMB1,333). Weibo is the best platform for your brand to have a high exposure rate, but relatively hard to make immediate sales.


Little Red Book

Little Red Bookis quickly becoming China’s Social Search Engine, playing an increasingly important role in many consumer goods categories for women between the ages of 18 and 35. If you are an overseas brand and are trying to enter Chinese market through a efficient and cost-saving way, we would like to introduce you with a brilliant platform called Little Red Book(Chinese social e-commerce app) – a sharing platform for young people’s lifestyles through deep-rooted User Generated Content(UGC) shopping sharing community. Since RED is the most influential review platform in China, it could be simple to establishe a specific customer group for your brand.


Taobao Live Streaming

Taobaois China’s largest C2C e-commerce platform that has the greatest volume of online shopping traffic. These KOLs who want to promote particular products would use Taobao live streaming as here would be link redirect viewers to particular Taobao online shops. It is one of the fastest way to do quick sale.


Finding the Right Strategy for Your Brand

“I don’t tell brands that if you spend $1,440 (RMB 10,000), you’ll make these many sales—it’s just not that simple,” Leitzes says. “Ultimately, brands are working with KOLs not just for the sale, but they may want branded content or community growth, or there might be multiple objectives to what they’re trying to achieve. Obviously, marketing is aimed at eventually leading to sales, so it takes consistency through working with KOLs every month, looking at the data to see what works and then understanding the context.”


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