We have already seen who KOLs are and why they are essential for your marketing in China. Knowing how to distinguish the different categories, or understanding their huge impact on online commerce, does not mean you can randomly pick one.
Since Chinese buyers are cautious about buying products, it's important to be well-informed about the potential KOLs you want to partner with, because they are the ones buyers will look for before making a purchase.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT KOL FOR YOUR BRAND
The KOL must match your products: you have to know the audience of your KOL, otherwise, you will not target the right niche for your products. Aims for a KOL with a relevant following to your products and services. Analyze he/her content and check if it is in line with your brand.
Check KOL’s sponsored posts: it is not a wise move to choose a KOL that already has many sponsors. You would not have the primary focus for your brand and it will be challenging to get noticed by the audience. Better to choose a KOL with a fairly large market group but with few sponsors.
Beware of fake KOLs: you have to be careful that the followers you see in their profiles are not fake. it may have thousands of followers, but it may have few likes and little audience interaction, and a low rate of engagement. Choose the KOL where there is a non-stop interaction with her/his followers.
The platforms used by the KOLs: the KOL must use more than one platform, such as Weibo, Wechat, or Xiaohongshu, to reach as many users as possible. It is also important that the KOL have a well-defined agenda when it comes to brands. The content need to be organized for every single platform used and you can discuss this with him/her about the schedule of the content.
KOL’s reputation: KOL's reputation is important to Chinese buyers even when he/she isn’t working. So be sure of their background otherwise your brand reputation will suffer as well. You have to build trust with potential buyers, thus choose a KOL that is trustworthy. Moreover, the KOL that promotes your brand both online and offline is an extra step to increasing your sales.
Keep an eye on your budget: we cannot lie on this point. Working with a KOL is not cheap. Depending on the budget you are willing to invest in KOLs, you will have a certain number of KOLs available. The budget required also varies a lot based on your goals (brand awareness, traffic, or sales) and also on the amount of time you would like your partner to spend on your brand. Positive side: you can always discuss and bargain with the KOL about the budget.
WHERE TO FIND THE RIGHT KOL FOR YOUR BRAND
There are currently three main sites where you can find your future KOL:
- WeMedia: there are all kinds of KOLs, but here you will have to be more careful to not bump into fake profiles.
- Newrank.cn: Here you can find KOL, let's say, more “professional”, but it may take you a long time to find the right one for your brand if you don't know exactly what to look for.The main point for successful marketing and sales in China is not to fossilize with just one action plan. Better to have a flexible approach. Do not consider KOLs as the only tool for your business. The Chinese online market is incredibly vast and varied, with new trends springing up every day, and your marketing and sales strategy must be the same.
- Xingtu.cn: owned by ByteDance, it’s a KOL marketing platform supported by Douyin, Xigua and Toutiao, this means that brands and advertisers can use their Douyin or Xigua to find the best KOLs that are suitable for their products and services and budgets. Xingtu agency provides the right KOL for your brand with discounts and convenient KOL packages.
If you are interested in marketing to China strategies, book a meeting with us to discuss!