Chinese consumers do a lot of research before deciding to spend money on a product or service. One of the most important factors is reputation. In China, there is nothing better than a local KOL (key opinion leader) vouching for a brand. With some KOLs having over 10 million followers, this marketing strategy has become a neccessity.

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What is a KOL?

A key opinion leader is an individual with a dedicated following on social media and significant influence on his or her followers. They have the ability to sway public opinion. By simply displaying a product or speaking about a service, they can convince their followers that it is a reputable and worth paying for.


Why this works

KOL marketing works in China because the influencers engage with their followers, by developing a relationship and making themselves relatable. They have an ability to make things trend and that is a power that brands should be looking to invest in. A large number of Chinese do not trust information that is distributed through traditional marketing channels.

China has a history regarding fake product scandals and KOLs are the solution to this problem. The products they endorse represent their personal brands and would not give out advice that could damage their image. KOLs have found a way to be genuine, unlike the traditional form of advertisements.


While the majority of KOLs may be millenials, do not limit your brand to this age group. The trend has spread far and wide in China. Chinese internet culture has made room for digital marketing to grow. The number of people with internet access continues to rise as KOLs become the main source of information for the majority of consumers.


How KOL marketing can work for your brand

Each KOL appeals to a specific demographic and lifestyle group, making it easier for the brands that they collaborate with to engage with their target market. A good strategy will ensure that the correct people have access to information regarding your brand. The key is to target KOLs with a real influence and not just those with a high follower count.

It is important to do your research when selecting a KOL. Maintain a good relationship and work together to develop a marketing strategy. KOLs are a successful marketing tool because they are not seen as marketers by their followers. They are seen as someone they can trust.

Depending on your product and target market, costs may vary. In the long run, it is important to look at what you require from this collaboration.


A good agency knows which KOLs would best represent your brand and produce worthwhile results. At GMA, our team consists of both local and international experts in digital marketing. We are able to represent the client from an understanding perspective as well as negotiate the best deals through our local team. Contact us if you have any enquiries or pop on for a cup of coffee at our offices.

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