WeChat KOLs vs. Weibo KOLs

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Key opinion leaders, or KOLs, are major players on China social media and have an important role in most successful digital marketing strategies on the mainland. Ranging from fashion bloggers to celebrity travel photographers, KOLs have amassed large and loyal audiences largely due to the high-quality content and unique perspectives they provide in a given category. With this combination of influence and reach, KOLs have become a favored tool for marketers to amplify a message across a targeted audience as well as provide a localized perspective for domestic consumers who are discovering new brands and products.

With gradually increasing popularity of WeChat, more and more brands turn to WeChat KOLs for product/brand promotion or establish a total package covering both social channels. Generally speaking, WeChat KOLs are a terrific way to advertise because they are usually a trustworthy source of knowledge and advice for their followers. Moreover, WeChat reportedly has less fake followers/fans hence when the content is good and intriguing to their target groups, followers are often willing to share on their Moments.

Price is very varied due to KOL’s number of average views and followers, position of aggregation messages, etc. Reportedly, price range could be from 5k to 150k depends on this KOL’s focus category.

Here is an example of how Peter Xu (fashion & luxury influencer) promotes Gucci on Weibo and how he built up himself a Weizhan to attract more followers and brands for sponsorship.

peterxu_weizhan

example of how Peter Xu collages a good-looking photo to promote Gucci’s SS fashion show 2016 (left) and his Weizhan with brief introduction, brands supported and articles engaging with his followers (right).

Most of the time, WeChat KOLs promote brands with a mix of their style such as Tong Dao Da Shu (同道大叔) who is an influencer focusing on star signs (horoscopes). His style tends to be fun and interesting hence the brands sponsored by him are usually more young or targeting young audiences.

TongDaoDaShu_wechat

screenshots of how Tong Dao Da Shu promotes Budweiser x Uber in his recognizable WeChat posts which users are redirected to the campaign mobile site by clicking “read more”

There are also aggregator and celebrity WeChat public accounts just like KOL types on Weibo. However, there is a content difference between them- aggregators promote more generic topics like movies, gossips, and lifestyle while celebrities use WeChat to share their latest work and appearance to stay high-profile. Hence, it is important for brands to choose the right and suitable WeChat KOLs to create great synergy together with audiences sharing common interest.

About Author

Social Brand Watch (SBW) is a collection of experts in digital, mobile and social media in China. SBW was created to complement Resonance's China Social Branding Report, a bi-weekly report focusing on modern marketing methods of the world's top brands in China.

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