Key Opinion Leaders are powerful influencers on Chinese social media platforms. Major brands have always worked with celebrities to generate exposure and sales. In the past, they paid celebrities to endorse products but with the rise of social media a new wrinkle has been added to this marketing technique.
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What is a KOL?
With billions of users, social media platforms and blogs continue to house the most influential Key Opinion Leaders. These are individuals, groups, brands with large followings in relevant niches.
Key Opinion Leaders might have the same impact but they’re not all the same. With China, there are three distinct types of KOLs:
- Influential Bloggers,
Additional KOLs include Weibo Interest pages, WeChat subscription accounts, and Weibo communities.
KOLs can promote with Advertorials
Advertorials (or native advertising) are the most common way to promote with WeChat KOLs. KOLs write articles in their usual style focusing on the product within a larger topic or by using images featuring the product to illustrate the article. For instance, a gourmet blogger may discuss a cookware brand within an article entitled “Introduction to French Cuisine”. Since the articles are original, informative and interesting, readers are less likely to click away or unsubscribe from the account.
For example, SH Home Appliances is one of the leading manufacturers of home appliances worldwide. To promote its kitchenware in the Chinese market, BSH provided appliances for the kitchen of a leading female character, Andy, on the well-known TV series Ode to Joy. In conjunction with this, they launched an offline campaign called “Andy’s Kitchen” to reach more potential clients and let them see their products in person. They also partnered with online media and Chinese KOLs, including Dsmovie, to promote their products and the campaign.
Product Reviews are the straightforward way
For brands, this is the most straightforward way to introduce their products and services. Many WeChat KOLs are experts in their field and produce informative and reliable product reviews and comparisons so their followers consider them trustworthy. They influence and facilitate their followers’ purchases as product reviews are often paired with giveaway campaigns or links to the product’s online sales page. Brands that partner with WeChat KOLs who like their products can reach a large audience and see an uptick in sales.
Use KOLs for Interactive campaigns
For brands, campaigns structured around user-generated content (UGC) have a huge influence. Thus the brands can use the popular KOLs with huge number of followers to promote their products to more and more people. Nevertheless, getting users to actively participate and contribute high quality content can be difficult.
Sponsored Articles Combined With Direct Sales
KOLs can also work with brands to create sponsored content and add purchase links in the articles. Once the article stimulates the audiences’ desire to purchase, they can buy the product immediately with a few clicks. This integrated style of promotion is most effective when the products are in limited supply.
KOLs are important to your brand
The average consumer craves recommendations. Especially Chinese people usually prefer to buy KOLs’ words, which they follow. Thus KOLs’ opinions and suggests would affect their followers’ decision.
People usually would not trust a random salesman with his products simply. They would go back and ask mutual friends or read reviews to see what the consensus is. In this scenario, a Key Opinion Leader is a mutual friend you trust.
By linking up with a Key Opinion Leader, you’re gaining access to their audience and their network. This means their recommendation will produce clicks, increase social media exposure, and push people to buy your products or services. Their ability to do this lies in the powerful relationships they have with their followers.
This form of marketing has led to the demise of traditional outbound marketing. In many cases, business and brands have recognized influencer marketing as the quickest and most effective way of increasing exposure.
Traditional methods have become saturated whether it’s billboards, TV ads, or radio ads. With access to the Internet and social media, contemporary consumers wish to learn about their purchase before spending money. They want to hunt for a great deal, and that begins by trusting Key Opinion Leaders.
The efficiency of a KOL’s influence is what makes them beneficial.
It’s a simple three-step process. Position themselves as “Experts” In Your Niche; Create Content about Your Brand; Recommend Your Brand to Their Followers.
The followers appreciate the new content and act on it leading to sales.
Case study: Laboratoires Genevrier
Here is a successful case with the effort of GMA.
Laboratoires Genevrier: iALUGEN is the top hyaluronic acid skin care brand owned by Laboratoires Genevrier, a well-known biotechnology company in France. Laboratoires Genevrier (Genevellian laboratory) originated in 1920. Since its establishment, it has been aimed at improving public health. The quality of all products can stand the entire test.
However, there is a better to use KOL for promote its products through various social media platforms like WeChat and Little Red Book. Eventually it achieved great results that increase of brand&products awareness among Chinese consumers. Furthermore, 70% of exposure and enhancing the stickiness of the brand consumer community came into conclusion in the end.
Gentlemen Marketing Agency
GMA is so specialized in the digital marketing that understands deeply KOLs could be the treasure for the business if utilizing KOLs in right ways.
There is no doubt that KOLs could be your advertisers in a wide range of industries, such as education, e-commerce, tourism etc.
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