Last week, the top Weibo KOLs gathered in Beijing to attend the three-day V Influence Summit hosted by Sina. V is the abbreviation of VIP that refers to key opinion leaders (KOL), i.e. social influencers, in China.
Unlike Twitter being left behind the competition with Facebook and Google, its Chinese equivalent, Weibo, has successfully transferred into a more dynamic and entertaining platform (Here is how) with text, image short videos and live to broadcast as content pillars. It was the third edition of V Influence, on which Sina reviewed the platform performance and KOL landscape, overlooked the international digital trends and released positive information for the future development while KOLs and agencies shared the case studies and the best practices.
We have summarised three key takeaways from the event:
Dive deep into the segmented micro-influencers and entertainment.
In the first 11 months in 2017, there are 2.3 million professional copywriters across 12 vertical topics. Those who have more than 100,000 views are called “Top writers”. Accumulatively, they have earned more than 200 million RMB (ca. $30 million) from Weibo platform only. Now, Weibo increased the vertical topics from 12 to 18, the monthly impressions of each topic are over 10 billion. Celebrity, media and fashion are the top three topics, while education, foodie, TV shows, e-commerce and sports are among the new topics.
Develop e-commerce on social platform.
The booming of micro-influencers pushed the KOL monetization pattern from being brand ambassadors, to selling branded products, till now building their own brands or collaborating with brands for a new collection. It’s proven by the success on Singles Day: four Weibo KOLs sold more than 100 million RMB worth of products, and almost all the Taobao top sellers closely worked with Weibo KOLs.
In 2018, Weibo’s new movement is to initiate an investment fund, focusing on content e-commerce, high-quality short videos and entertainment. The content e-commerce is to help content creators to build their own brand, produce collaterals and monetize the exposure.
Test the paid knowledge go
Weibo, inspired by KOL voice broadcasting and paid QA, aims to find a new approach to monetization. It will open “reward” function for the influencers, meaning that follower can pay for the influencer to answer their questions. Meanwhile, those who didn’t ask the question can pay 1RMB to read the answers. Red Bean Live, as Weibo’s by-product, enables KOLs to sell “tickets” for their live broadcast.