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5 Steps to Creating a Successful KOL Campaign in China

In past years, Key Opinion Leader (KOL) campaigns were considered a novel method to communicate with Chinese consumers. However, nowadays they are an essential part of campaign dissemination in the East. According to iiMedia Research, the number of Chinese Multi-Channel Networks (MCNs) has grown rapidly from 160 in 2015 to 28,000 in 2020 – 175 times larger in just five years. As more and more KOLs are incubated by MCNs, the way they approach followers has become formulated and so the majority of their content is becoming increasingly similar.
Being faced with homogenized content, people are beginning to tune out, and it’s becoming harder for brands to have overwhelming success by conducting KOL campaigns. This is in part because some of the rules in the industry have changed, and so to better navigate these changes and help maximize your China marketing strategy, we’ll walk you through 5 key steps to creating a successful KOL marketing campaign.
In this article you’ll learn…

Step 1: A clear objective is the cornerstone

What do you want to achieve by investing in a Key Opinion Leader campaign? Is driving sales your ultimate objective? Or is it the attention you want to bring to your brand through the activation, or your brand image that you want to build?
These three questions are essential to ask before embarking on a KOL-supported campaign, as too often brands want to achieve all of these elements within just one campaign. But without a clear vision, the guideline that brands deliver to KOLs might be confusing or misleading. And thus, the content created based on the guideline becomes vague and doesn’t reinforce marketing objectives.
Take fashion brand Tory Burch as an example, which conducted a campaign with Chinese top fashion Key Opinion Leader Mr.Bag in July 2021. The event was a tea party and Mr.Bag invited around 40 followers who are based in Shanghai to the brand’s flagship store at Jing An Kerry Center. Followers had a tour of the store, listened to Mr.Bag’s introduction of Tory Burch’s classic bags, and watched models presenting the brand’s apparel.
The campaign was not sales-driven, although followers were given special discounts on that day, however, no one was encouraging them to buy anything. The sales numbers generated from this campaign event may not have been large, but it was a special experience for these followers to connect with Mr.Bag and have an intimate way to build up their awareness of the Tory Burch brand and products.
4 more stepts are comming up. Stay with us for more China KOL marketing strategies.

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