Personal Branding in China Technology

Do you want to be famous in China? Become a KOL? Here’s HOW

Do you want to be famous in China? Become a KOL? Here's HOW

What are KOLs?

KOLs are common social media customers who’ve created viral content material and developed a big following on social media platforms. Many are specialists of their respective fields who create a private reference to followers sharing recommendation, critiques, directions or ideas relating to merchandise, manufacturers or different life subjects. Chinese language KOLs have a a lot stronger affect on society compared to different nations and may have hundreds of thousands of followers who belief their recommendation and actively interact with the content material they create regularly.

How huge is China’s influencer market?

With the rise of social media on this digital period, it’s no shock that the fast-moving influencer business has developed at an much more superior tempo. KOLs are seen as having extra significance and relevance than mass media as a result of they’re able to join and relate to their viewers in a method that’s intimate. From Weibo and WeChat to Chinese language social media platforms on the rise corresponding to Douyin, KOLs have turn out to be a essential a part of any model’s advertising technique in China. The 2016 Chinese language influencer financial system was value an estimated $eight.6 billion. It’s projected to be value over $15.5 billion by the top of this yr, having doubled in worth in simply two years, in line with CBNData. Current analysis from Tencent, one of many nation’s largest tech corporations, exhibits 54 % of college-aged respondents determine “on-line superstar” as their primary profession selection. It’s straightforward to see the attraction: designer freebies, comparatively straightforward cash and tens of millions of adoring followers. Being a KOL appears to be a dream job for younger women!

How highly effective are KOLs in China and why?

Chinese language shoppers have been by way of all types of scams, pretend corporations, pretend merchandise, pretend providers, and so forth. They’ve reached some extent the place they don’t belief what a model says about itself. And they also depend on individuals, as an alternative. KOLs have the facility to considerably improve model consciousness and finally affect buy selections. Greater than 70% of Chinese language Gen Z shoppers – these born after 1995 – choose shopping for merchandise instantly by way of social media than via different channels, in contrast with the worldwide common of 44%, in line with a 2018 research by consulting agency Accenture. One more reason why Chinese language influencers are so highly effective is the endorsement of social media and e-commerce. For Chinese language, social media platforms like WeChat and brief video platform Douyin, buying is all a part of the expertise. Customers can faucet hyperlinks, choose an merchandise and pay for it whereas they’re nonetheless studying a publish or watching a video – a far cry from Instagram. Since Chinese language KOLs are actually efficient in producing gross sales, they’re extremely valued belongings for themselves and types.

One instance of profitable KOLs in China is Becky Li. Li is not any pop star or TV character however in a means, she’s precisely the type of movie star that manufacturers more and more lust after.

Type blogger and KOL Becky Li

With greater than 7.5 million mixed followers on social media platforms WeChat and Weibo, Li is certainly one of China’s prime style bloggers. She’s certainly one of China’s influencers who’ve been capable of convert followers and generate gross sales on a staggering degree. Two years in the past, her WeChat collaboration with British carmaker Mini bought 100 automobiles in 5 minutes. And on the finish of that yr, Li launched her personal clothes model, which reached 1 million Yuan ($146,000) value of gross sales inside seven minutes of the launch of its first merchandise.

Chinese language blogger Zhang Dayi is one other KOL who’s astonishingly profitable.

KOL Zhang Dayi 

Zhang’s gross sales quantity on the 2017 Single Days buying pageant alone hit 170 million Yuan ($24.eight million), in accordance with Chinese language information portal Sohu.

Tao Liang, higher generally known as Mr. Luggage is an skilled whom all Chinese language flip to for buying luxurious luggage.

Until in the present day, he’s garnered virtually three.5 million Weibo followers and numerous followers on his WeChat account, and has been tapped by luxurious manufacturers similar to Dior, Fendi, Chloé and Tods for collaborations. His collaboration assortment with Givenchy, for instance, generated appreciable pleasure, with 1.2 million Yuan value of luggage being bought in simply 12 minutes on his WeChat platform.

Manufacturers are seeing KOL advertising as a cornerstone of their advertising methods in China. KOL advertising spending in China is estimated to be no less than RMB 35 billion (~USD5 billion) and is predicted to develop three to 5 fold over the subsequent 5 years. Advertisers are additionally allocating extra assets to KOL advertising. In line with AdMaster, 63% of manufacturers need to make investments extra in KOL advertising in 2018.

So, persuaded sufficient to start out your enterprise of turning into a KOL?

How a lot do influencers in China earn?

Followers of Chinese language influencers are far more tolerant towards promoting. Whereas sponsored posts are likely to create a backlash within the West (accusing influencers of “being too business”), Chinese language followers are likely to embrace and encourage collaboration between influencers and types. A typical WeChat marketing campaign will value between zero.5 RMB and 1.5 RMB per view. For example, WeChat influencer “After Celebration”, with 550,000 followers and about 32,000 common views costs 40,000 RMB for one publish. WeChat KOL “blogger手账” with 70,000 common views expenses 33,000 RMB for one publish.

Chinese language influencer Gogoboi fees round $50,000 USD per promotion message and may run as much as 15 model collaboration every month. That’s $9 million USD of yearly income solely from WeChat promoting for an account estimated to collect round 8M followers. Gogoboi’s Weibo account, with almost 10 million followers, probably brings in a further $15,000 USD per publish, with round 10 collaborations per 30 days, netting one other  $1.8M USD per yr of income from Weibo promoting. Along with collaborations with manufacturers, KOLs additionally earn a fortune from working their very own e-commerce shops or permitting advertisers to place advertisements on their platforms. Xiaoxiaobaomama, a well-liked childcare KOL, runs a well-liked WeChat Mini-program Retailer producing greater than 80M RMB of gross sales per 30 days. Assuming a 30% fee on all product gross sales, it’s about $43M of revenues yearly.

General, it’s unquestionable that Chinese language influencers can yield monumental returns, rather more than their Western counterparts.

The necessary query, tips on how to turn into a KOL in China?

1. Content material is your prime precedence

“A KOL is an individual who efficiently combines experience and keenness.”

Perhaps you’ll attempt quite a few methods to draw viewers and followers, however good content material is all the time the highest factor of success. To begin with, it’s essential to know your audience nicely. This implies understanding what they need and wish; then getting the content material, channels and communication type proper. It is best to responsibly spend money on your self, in addition to your space of curiosity, persistently working to develop your information. Since you are attempting to be positioned as an skilled in a sure matter, continually offering viewers with up to date, recent and unique concepts must be the primary precedence. As well as, it’s essential that your contents are partaking – ideally inside the first few seconds. We’ve in all probability all skilled watching movies or studying articles that take too lengthy to get to the purpose, or fail to seize our consideration from early. Make your content material look nicely invested and professional both they’re studying or watching supplies. Get assist from specialists if in case you have restricted or no expertise in producing top quality content material. Above all, be your self! Authenticity is uncommon and really a lot appreciated on this period of large media.

2. Get social, social and social!

In case you are excited about turning into a KOL, it’s essential that you simply make your self accessible to your group, each in individual and on-line. Social media in China is a very massive deal. By some estimates, there are 600 million social media customers within the nation. Large names elsewhere (Fb, Google, and Twitter) are blocked. In consequence, China-specific platforms have developed, messaging and social media app WeChat and Weibo amongst them. McKinsey & Firm just lately discovered that greater than 91 % of Chinese language Web customers used social media prior to now six months (in comparison with 61 % within the US). Due to mistrust in centralized communication, social media additionally has a bigger affect on purchases in China than anyplace else on the planet. Social media is your playground and it’s a must to maximize them.


Weibo is a micro-blogging platform just like ‘Twitter’. Weibo’s customers can change content material and comply with different customers’ accounts. With over 650 million registered accounts, Weibo is an effective place to be partaking with in case you are trying to be well-known in China. As a public platform, Weibo is a launchpad of viral content material and the place the place on-line influencers unfold their content material and get a number of followers. Reside streaming and Mini-videos have turn out to be an important element of Weibo’s choices (the platform simply acquired its live-streaming companion, Yizhibo) and is a serious device for KOLs to interact with their followers. As well as, Weibo Tales, which is analogous to “Instagram Tales”, additionally permits you to add brief visible content material. It’s a very ‘open’ social community and subsequently the simplest for KOLs to construct their fame.


WeChat boasts an enormous month-to-month lively consumer rely of over 1.06 billion (August 2018), and is on the rise, each regionally and internationally. Wechat began as a easy app for the smartphone whose principal attraction was to ship brief vocal and written messages earlier than morphing right into a fully-fledged, built-in social networking platform. WeChat permits you to join subscription or public accounts and market content material to WeChat customers in several methods. Furthermore, WeChat has been evolving shortly into e-commerce subject with the discharge of mini packages, favoring KOLs and the social promoting facet of e-commerce. Many KOLs have Subscription Accounts, which may now seamlessly hyperlink to ecommerce mini packages. Because of this a shopper may be studying a bit of content material from their favourite KOL, one click on will get them into this KOLs WeChat mini program the place they will browse merchandise, share with buddies, and in just some clicks buy no matter they want all with out leaving WeChat.

With Wechat, you’ll be able to increase your followers in addition to monetize them.


It’s an software for buying that focuses on giving customers genuine product evaluations, high quality journey ideas, and so forth. Little Purple Ebook permits customers to publish evaluations, begin discussions, and add their very own content material. This platform focuses virtually solely on providing trusted product evaluations and experiences and is a wealthy supply of ideas for lots of younger shoppers. The Little Purple Guide is extremely profitable for Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) trying to construct their fame via their content material. Tens of millions of shoppers go on Little Purple E-book for info and recommendation. Subsequently, get your self a foot right here is necessary. Very first thing is to offer tons and plenty of distinctive content material to customers.  The WOM and sharing impact of Little Purple Guide will quickly unfold out your fame since Little Purple Guide is a extremely partaking group.


In China, one of many largest social media phenomena has been the rise of zhibo or “stay” showings. These are primarily stay broadcasts through which KOLs sit in entrance of a digital camera and speak, dance, sing, or in any other case look engaging to an viewers in actual time. Individuals could make feedback, just like the posts, or ship cash within the type of digital presents. Within the mainland, over half of all social media customers (greater than 344 million) have used considered one of China’s live-streaming apps. Notably well-known anchors could make tons of of hundreds of dollars every month, principally from presents given by followers. A report from Deloitte finds that China is more likely to proceed to prime stay streaming data, with viewers reaching over 450 million. The income generated from reside streaming will, Deloitte estimates, rise 32% from 2017 to hit $four.four billion in 2018. So that you can turn out to be a KOL, first be an skilled in stay streaming.

Our Case research on private branding

Who’s Isabelle PATISSIER ?

Isabelle Patissier is a French world champion rock climber, and has lately been excelling as a rally driver.


  • Social media: talk on Weibo
  • Organise a convention on sport advertising


  • 40 manufacturers engaged
  • 2,000 followers / month
  • Publicity : 250 000 views per thirty days…


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About GMA

Via experience within the improvement of partaking social media campaigns, in addition to content material writing, Gents Advertising Company may help set up your Key Opinion Management. By managing your social media profiles, constructing your e-reputation, creating sharing subjects, and extra, Gents Advertising Company can customise your path to success, serving to to relay your message to the suitable viewers.





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