Inside China’s Influencer Marketing Strategy

Oct 5, 2020 | BIZ, China, NEWS, TECH

Digital marketing is all about staying ahead of the curve while ensuring business brands reach as many people as possible. Crafting personal connections with online customers has been a struggle for many brands, but the answer may lie in how effective brands can adapt to the growing trend of influence marketing.

Forecasts by Insight Partners show that the influencer market is expected to be worth $337 million by 2027 in revenue in the US, which is a huge leap considering it was worth $148 million last year.  In comparison, China accounts for 560 million people who watched live-streams according to China Network Information Center.  The country’s market worth is estimated to reach a staggering $170 billion this year.

China is at the forefront of the influencer trend, with brands and creators alike finding new ways to engage with audiences. We take a look at how a collection of influencer strategies Chinese brands have implemented, as well as why influencer marketing is vital for businesses today.

Live Streaming Influencer Marketing Strategy

Livestreaming is an increasingly popular tactic used by Chinese influencers to sell products to their customers. Think of these livestreams as home shopping networks revamped, except this time it’s happening on specific apps. As expected, the main draw of these livestreams are the influencers themselves. Social media platforms are built on encouraging users to go after a specific lifestyle, and having your favorite influencer personally recommend products for you to try out is too tempting to pass up.

Mega Brands are on the forefront to take advantage of this growing trend, with a report by the Financial Times highlighting that luxury brands such as Tiffany and Louis Vuitton went live stream to boost sales in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Shanghai-based influencer Jo Sun can sell 70 to 80 luxury items in just three hours of live streaming, which is a far cry from the sales that these brands would get in their physical stores.

“Live streaming isn’t the only way that influencers sell products. Chinese influencers themselves have gone on to launch their own products in collaboration with online selling platforms, which they then advertise on apps like WeChat and Weibo. Influencers give out special discount codes or freebies to their followers, and typically receive either commission on the number of sales or a set amount per brand deal.

Why Influencer Marketing Matters

The continued popularity of influencer marketing proves that word of mouth is still  the most effective ways to convert customers to brand loyalists.

The best digital marketers know that you can’t just rely on one strategy alone, but it’s also important to note that successful KOLs partnerships can actually boost brands’ other marketing strategies. In particular, referencing influencers in blog posts and creating relevant website content dedicated to them can help search rankings. As Ayima Hong Kong’s SEO strategists emphasize, “Improving your search rankings also increases your business’s exposure to reaching more potential customers.” Influencers can be seen as authority figures within their particular niches.

Influencer marketing can also gain valuable data points when it comes to consumer insights. Tik Tok sensation Chen Jifang proves that consumers of all ages flock to social media apps, but the data coming in from the sheer number of users can make it difficult for companies to find out what info is worth using. The ability to tap into an influencer’s market grants companies first access to a wide pool of users that has already been pre-targeted.

It’s clear that brands need to rapidly adapt influencer marketing strategies to survive in this new digital age. China’s influencer market is well past its infancy stage, providing a successful blueprint for companies who want to successfully implement this kind of marketing strategy.