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.”
More brands are choosing Nano- and Micro-influencers strategy
Influencers have been a large part of the social media landscape for the past couple of years. Here is a changing trend of consumer’s purchasing pattern – their consumption decision are highly affected by influencers or KOLs(Key opinions leaders).Thus, influencer marketing is recommended by marketers as they could always saw the incredible impact on how brands brand awareness increased.
Choosing the right KOL for yourself
Here are 4 different types or scale of RED KOLsfrom top-tier (>500k followers) to nano- and micro-influencers or long-tail influencers (<10k followers) depends on the number of followers. We cannot always say that more followers, more Influential the KOL is. A study by Experticity found that “82% of consumers are “highly likely” to follow a recommendation made by a micro–influencer or long-tail influencers, compared to 73% who are highly likely to act on a recommendation from an average person.”
Trends always evolve
It has become a trend that increasing brands are willing to choose nano- and micro-influencers – the representatives of the most real life, instead of top-tier KOLs. Long-tail influencers are been considered as the most powerful influencers because of their engagement rates. They might have a handful of followers, but they reach deep into their niche markets and have the “influence” that needed for influencer marketing. According to a Digiday survey, nano- and micro-influencers are often able to engage up to 8.7% of the audience they serve whereas the engagement percentage is only 1.7% for celebrities who have more than a million followers. More recently, marketers have turned to micro-influencers: more specialized and thus more trusted individuals, who might be persuaded – for a micro-fee – to become a “brand ambassador” for a vegan bacon startup, or share a post about an aspirational cuticle treatment.
Nano- and micro-influencer make you spend less money but more effective outcome
As media becomes more fragmented, the role of the nano- and micro-influencer will become even more important as brands look to target a specific niche in the market. These influencers have strong and engaged followings with audiences that trust them and often make purchase decisions based on their recommendations. It’s important to recognize their value and find one who’s worth your investment.
Why you have to choose Nano- or Micro-influencers?
Now, let’s thinking about the reason why nano- and micro-influencers became more concerned now. A great amount of savvy audience has the sense that most influencers are been paid to advertise certain product – the trustworthy reviews are really hard to identify. So, it can be said that nano-influencers or long-tail influencers as you may know have in-built authenticity and can be trusted.
Furthermore, ordinary people are much easier for brands to deal with – ConnectX has rich source of nano- and micro-influencers, once the influencer has the product, they are in charge of spreading the word at least one month. Last but not the least, you could save a great amount of money by choosing nano- or micro-influencers rather than celebrities. You may enquire that how could only few nano- and micro-influencers make your brand a much-talked-about topic? It is true that few is not enough, but imagine thousands of everyday users post you product together, won’t that be a buzz?
How ConnectX taking this to the next level?
Nano- and micro-influencer advertising are already yielding great results, but we want to take this to the next level. As mentioned before, the packageConnectX offer includes：keywords strategy plan (increasing the chance of content inclusion rate and exposure rate), right influencers positioning (choosing influencers that fit your brand positioning, and speak the right tone to your target audience), high quality contents offering (guiding influencers and make sure the content they create is far more likely to engage), eye-catching photos attached (preparing genuine and attractive pictures).
Nano- and micro-influencers is the premium choice if you just make decision to enter Chinese market but do not want to invest too much so as to avoid the risk.
However, if you thinking about brand value in a long-term way…
Normally, the use of only KOLs or nano-influencers can at most only boost short term sales but all the product have its lifecycle, meaning limited lifetime to exist in the market. Neither KOL or Nano influencers can make you a long-term success – if you want to make your brand sustainable, you have to entitle it with a profound brand value to gain customer loyalty. ConnectX would suggest you with the greatest combo of 80% nano-influencers plus 20% KOL based on the statistics of our previous cases – this combination has the greatest possibility to be successful.