Find right platform to promote the right content at the right moment to the right targets – That’s the fundamental social influencers strategy now. The social influencers in China are called Key Opinion Leaders (KOL). It had gone through huge changes and evolution from political and interactive to entertaining and commercial. Seeniun Media sneak peaks the KOL landscape and evolution.
The first wave of social influencers appeared with the viral growth of Weibo between 2009 and 2012. They discuss humanity, livelihood and social affairs. When Wechat was launched in 2012, the social influencers started to diversify. On one side, the knowledge sharing oriented KOLs became active thanks to the long-content form on Wechat, on the other side; the celebrities’ social accounts heated the entertaining trends. After 2014, the diversified KOLs, as well as the niche platforms, bloomed. You can find KOLs in all different niche categories, such as constellation, film review or overseas education.
KOL strategy becomes an important part of the digital marketing. Which KOLs to choose, what’s the collaboration format, how to co-create content that contains the key messages while aligns with KOL tone and voice are among a long list of points to consider.
Dubai cites itself as an example of how to work with KOLs on various campaigns, and balance the commercial hard sell and editorial influence. During the New Year campaign, Dubai Tourism works with @石榴婆, the top fashion KOL on wechat to create an editorial feature with clear call-to-action "Dubai is the perfect destination for winter trip" at the end. While, @丽贝卡的异想世界, smaller than @石榴婆 but with strong proven conversion capability as a fashion KOL, was invited with her mum to visit Dubai and then talked about her experience in the city. The followers of these fashion KOLs usually have strong purchase intention and active conversion.
Papi Jiang (Papi酱), famous for the funny short self-made video, has 20,640k followers on Weibo and 2,504k on Bilibili. She has a strong personal style and also has a strong engagement for the brand. However, if the brand image isn't aligned with her entertaining style, or brand target audience doesn’t match hers, it’s not going to work.
Over the years, the KOL battlefield for brands becomes more complicated and competitive. A few trends to keep in mind:Other than WeChat, Weibo and E-commerce social platform, news platforms with social function is an emerging platform. Brands need to better utilize it too for brand impact. Not all the categories need to rush chasing after social media frequent users.
If you are looking for a specific KOL or want to launch a social campaign, don't hesitate to drop us a line. Based on your objective and budget, Seeniun Media helps you develop a practical social influencer engagement strategy, as well as identify and manage the right KOLs for you.