Chinese Influencer (KOL) Marketing Why It’s So Effective in China

With consumers utilizing social media platforms at an ever-increasing rate, collaborations between brands and influencers are now commonplace and a highly effective way to promote your brand, particularly in the Chinese market where KOL’s (Key Opinion Leaders) are heavily influencing purchasing decisions.

The 2017 Digital Commerce Trends Report states that “72% of brands interviewed in China indicated that they would continue to focus on social media marketing, while 63% will be enhancing their collaboration with influencers.”

How did social media become so prevalent within the Chinese community, eclipsing western social media?

Trust in brands has deteriorated due to fake or unsafe product scandals and consumers regularly turn to social media for reassurance via reviews and peer group discussions.

Western social media such as Facebook and Instagram are banned within China which helped pave the way for the creation of Chinese domestic platforms. These local platforms are far more powerful and form a highly integrated digital ecosystem – perfect for the concept of influencer marketing.

It’s OK to sell via social media to the Chinese community in fact, there is an expectation to do so as they turn to social media before making a purchase.
Accenture found that 70% of Chinese born after 1995 will turn to social media to directly purchase products as opposed to other channels. The global average is 44%

The Chinese community spends a staggering amount of time on mobile devices. In 2017 there was 225 billion hours of time spent using apps, which is 4.5 times more than the second highest market, India.

Apps such as WeChat provide a seamless customer journey with a range of services including search function, online payment, ticket booking and takeaway ordering etc encouraging users to shop. Almost all Chinese use WeChat and Weibo allowing KOL’s to easily amass a large following of fans.

More recently, live streaming in China has increased rapidly and shows no signs of slowing in fact, a Deloitte report states that China will most likely continue to top live streaming records of viewers of over 450 million and revenue will hit $4.4 billion in 2018.

KOL’s are seen as “friends” and trusted advisors. Chinese consumers believe their recommendations are honest and truthful because they have taken time to build their credibility in the online world and would be reluctant to damage their reputation.

Many brands have recognised the KOL’s value in the market place and their ability to influence consumer purchasing decisions. This has led to additional collaboration opportunities between brands and KOL’s.

China Social Solutions is a Melbourne-based leading digital performance marketing agency. Specialising in Chinese social media, its team of experts have unrivalled experience in the AU-China market. Connect with us for enquiries, world-class Chinese marketing solutions and everything in between. or 1300 469 667.