Alliances with Key Opinion Leader is Strategic for Branding in China
As you know, social media in China is booming and becoming more and more important as a solution for Marketers to promote their product or their brand.
- Weibo with 500millions of subscribers, and 58 millions of daily users
- WeChat is the popular platform of the moment with 400 subscribers
- 80% of Chinese netizens are using social media
- 580 million Chinese People are active on top social network, QZone, wechat and Sina
The digital landscape is very complex, netizens will use different plateforms according to their interest.
This new trend (start i n 2011), that social media in China is becoming increasingly influential, lays pressure on companies to increase their visibility on this new plateform.
Key Opinion Leader in China
One of the strategic solutions: build alliances with KOLs, key opinion leaders.
In China, most of bloggers writte content on their microblogs or to some specialized BBS (forums). KOLs are influencial. Most of KOLs are specialized in one field, for example KOL in Tourism are professional travellers, fashion KOL working in fashion industry but also spend their time to criticize new brand collection.
Branding in China have to use KOL inluence
Brands who are searching to develop their reputation, image or awarness have to use KOL . These online leaders have already built a community around themselves with a lot of fans. They can be stars, bloggers, experts or commercial accounts where you can always find interesting news.
In China social lanscape you can find 4 main types of KOL:
2- Organization accounts: who publish news and sponsorship posts
3- Gurus in one field: who are professional in one field
3- Grassroot celebrities: normal people but with strong personal branding
Weibo : the main place for KOL
In China, the main SNS where KOLs can express themself and communicate to their communities is Weibo. Even the TOP Sina Blogger Han Han uses Sina weibo, instead of his previous blog.
Most of the Brands have nowadays own their own accounts on Weibo, and to get traffic or more fans, most of them use KOL influence.
Example of KOL in Luxury, engaged by “Coco Chanel”
You have many way to use KOL
– Engagement of KOL: let them discover what is your brand product, and “entice” them.
– Event: organize event and meet them. It is similar to Public relation, need relationship and give them benefits
– Pay them: mots of KOL will accept money in exchange of posts, or Share
– Brand ambassador: use them as ambassador for your brand is a good way to benefit 100% of their influence.
Fashion, luxury and cosmetic are the main field where KOLs are very popular. Most consummers need advice before selecting the best items, clothes or have the best style.
Example: this girl is a KOL in cosmetics. She tests most of the product and give her feedback.
The Risk of KOL
The main problem is the Fakes Fans phenomen . Most of account have more or less % of fake fans, because Fake fans add everybody automatically .
The real challenge is to mesurate the % of zombies fans or dead account, and be able to measurate the real influence of the KOL .
The real value of Agency is their database per industry, and the capacity to engage the KOL to the brands. Who are the real influenceur? marketers need to analyse the context of KOLs, look the level of engagement, reposts and comments.