If looking at Huawei’s regional brand ambassadors, you will generate a list of “UAE Top Social Influencers” in no time. The magic of social influencers to the advertisers is not uncommon in this digital era. The capability to reach out to a highly target audience group who share the same interest or values is what every advertiser is in pursuit.
Have a close look at the western and Arab social influencers. Those on the top list are mostly actresses, fashion bloggers, models, singers, all sorts of celebrities or a bunch of good-looking people who always focus the lenses on themselves and present their daily life to the world. Snapchat and Instagram are their main platforms. Visually strong content is a must.
However, as China has grown its own digital world rules and platforms, social influencers in China play a different game as well. The social influencers, more often called Key Opinion Leaders (KOL), come from all folks of life: their identity could vary from novelist like @Fengtang, fashion blogger like @Gogoboi, film cementation like @DuSheMovie, fashion magazine like @Bazaar, to an economist @WuXiaoBo.
The name “Key Opinion Leader” itself tells the difference from “Social Influencers”. The commonality of these social influencers is that they all expertise in one specific area and impose a profound impact on their fans. Those who can interpret the academic research, form their own opinion and spread the knowledge enjoy the popularity as well. The knowledge becomes more accessible and digestible to the general public.
The KOLs could be an individual, a well-known brand, or a virtual brand identity, as long as it proves its value proposition. A good example is @LuoZhengYu, who produces talk show and makes himself famous for commenting on the historical events. There are opposite attitudes to his talk show. Some believe that he inspires more people to learn history, Nevertheless, other people argue that he doesn't give enough in-depth to the facts or even oversimplify the right-or-wrong.
No matter what people's attitude to these KOLs, they do change the advertising landscape. Let’s compare the format of content between Chinese influencers and foreign influencers. The function of precise targeting is born as the fruit of social influencers all over the world. But it is presented differently. Due to the nature of Wechat, KOLs in China enable to write a long blog on Wechat account with images, video, GIF and QR-code, which is close than a blog than a quick posting platform like Instagram. In this sense, the line between media and social influencers are very blurry.
The complexity of the content decides that the advertisement collaboration with these influencers varies. For example, if a fashion blogger in UAE is paid to talk about my new collection, she might post a picture with the new cloth and tag the brand in the text, with a few behind-the-scene Instagram stories. Or she might do a few snaps and Instagram Live while attending the brand event. Then what’s equivalent in China?
Live broadcasting on the event is the same, while editorials are different. The cheapest option is to repost what is given by the brand in the lower rank. However, Most high-profile influencers are reluctant to share the brand content directly but to write the editorial blog themselves, to keep the brand consistency. Some even mark the editorial content, so that their followers can choose whether to click and consume the ads. The more expensive option is to . Instead of a hard-sell, the KOLs prefer choosing an angle which has no difference to their regular content. The promoted brand and product will be bought out only at the very end in a subtle way.
Identifying the right KOLs for the brands and managing these influencers to deliver on-brand message are not easy. Seeniun Media, the integrated marketing agency in Dubai with a special focus on China, can help you handle KOLs and plan your campaign in China and Dubai.
Contact us now!