The leading digital platforms for KOL marketing are essentially dictated by the leading digital platforms for users.
Right now, WeChat, Weibo, Douyin, Xiaohongshu, and Meipai are the leading platforms. Below is an overview of each platform, and the respective benefits they offer to marketers.
WeChat is an extremely challenging platform for marketers as it’s primarily a communication and commerce application. Distributing content en mass and discovering new content is more difficult on WeChat than any other platform. It takes four clicks (five if its a video) to engage with followed account’s content on WeChat, it only takes one on Weibo (open the app).
Weibo is tantamount to Facebook in that it makes advertising relatively easy and provides the widest array of content options. However, since the arrival of Weirenwu, KOL marketing has become more complicated and expensive on the platform.
Douyin has exploded on China’s social media marketing scene. My only concern with the KOLs on Douyin is the pace of their growth. Traditionally, most KOLs grow quite slowly, which gives them time to establish trust and affinity with their followers. On Douyin, many “KOLs” are overnight sensations. While this might be great for general awareness, it’s not great for one of the key value propositions of KOLs – trust.
Meipai has taken a large hit to its usage since the arrival of Douyin, but it is still an important platform that provides users and KOLs with a broader range of content options.