Xiaohongshu (小红书), which literally translates as “little red book”, has experienced a few twists and turns over the past year and Xiaohongshu marketing has been a hot topic. After the platform was pulled from Chinese app stores in July 2019, the effect was staggering—monthly active users fell from 93 million in June 2019 to 72.88 million in October 2019. However, by 28 November, an official announcement at the Xiaohongshu Content Creators’ Conference (Jing Daily and SCMP both called it the “Xiaohongshu Creators’ Day conference”) confirmed the platform had again exceeded 100 million monthly active users. As a result, Xiaohongshu KOLs may be an effective marketing resource for you.
Brands have also been showing renewed enthusiasm toward the platform as it been adding new features after the app store crisis. So if a brand wants to promote themselves on Xiaohongshu, where should they begin? Is Xiaohongshu a good fit for promoting the brand’s products? And with millions of bloggers and endless content on the platform, what promotional strategy is most suitable for that brand?
Today, PARKLU will answer some questions brands may encounter when embarking on their journey through marketing with Xiaohongshu KOLs.
What type of content is most common among Xiaohongshu KOLs and content creators?
According to “Upwards Living 2019 Xiaohongshu Community Trend Report”, the main types of content covered by Xiaohongshu KOLs include beauty, travel, fashion, culture and entertainment, food, mother and baby, pets and weight loss.
What kind of products are not suitable for promotion by Xiaohongshu KOLs?
At the moment, tobacco and alcohol products cannot be promoted by Xiaohongshu KOLs, due to laws that explicitly prohibit their promotion. Nationally banned drugs related to cosmetic surgery are also banned from being promoted on Xiaohongshu.
According to data from iResearch, the ratio of female to male users is almost 9:1. This means there are very few male Xiaohongshu users, so products targeted at men are also relatively unsuitable for promotions on the platform.
How does one open a brand account?
Visit the website below to register your brand account:
Please refer to Xiaohongshu account @薯管家 for a detailed guide.
How long does it usually take to apply for a brand account?
Generally, the process takes two weeks to two months depending on how quickly the brand prepares the required materials.
If the brand wants to run a promotion but doesn’t have time to apply for a brand account before the promotion is due to start, is there another way to co-operate?
If it is too late to apply for a brand account, we recommend contacting a Xiaohongshu representative to discuss options.
Can a brand use advertorial posts for promotions?
When it comes to XiaoHongShu marketing, many brands will ask this question. Currently business promotions need to be carried out through the “Xiaohongshu Brand Partner Platform”. It’s best not to use advertorials. The Xiaohongshu’s system can identify promotional content, and also has a team tasked with manually spotting advertising disguised as content. If it is determined that advertising content has been published in violation of regulations, all the brand’s posts will be censored for a certain period of time.
There are different types of Xiaohongshu KOLs, including celebrities and large-scale KOLs, mid-level KOLs and small-scale KOLs. How do I choose which type of influencer to use when doing content promotion? What kinds of strategies are there for each of these types of influencers?
Generally, when it comes to Xiaohongshu marketing, brands use these two strategies. One is for promoting new products, combining large-scale, mid-level and small-scale KOLs to make new product announcements. The other is aimed at creating word of mouth content for the brand. Brands usually choose small-scale bloggers to carry this out.
Take a perfume brand’s new product promotion on Xiaohongshu as an example. First, the brand selected one or two large-scale KOLs to endorse the product via text-and-photo posts or video recommendations. Next, 10 to 15 mid-tier influencers will publish product reviews to guide consumers. Finally, 15 to 20 small-scale influencers will do experience sharing posts about buying and using the product, which can add to the post volume and increase the topic participation rate.
Xiaohongshu is based on building word of mouth, and it can’t directly link to other platforms such as Taobao and JD.com. However, if a brand has opened a store on Xiaohongshu’s brand marketplace, a product link inserted within the text of a post can allow the user to jump to the brand’s marketplace store.
According to QuestMobile’s “Content E-commerce Research Report”, users frequently visit other e-commerce platforms such as Taobao, Pinduoduo, JD.com, VIP.com and others directly after closing Xiaohongshu. In other words, users are more likely to see product endorsements in Xiaohongshu, then jump to other e-commerce platforms to make purchases because the larger e-commerce platforms are still dominant.
What should brands take note of when creating promotional content for use on Xiaohongshu?
- Understand the rules of the platform and understand that sponsored posts cannot exceed 20 per-cent of an influencer partner’s total monthly post volume on Xiaohongshu.
- When a brand is selecting a blogger, the brand can log in to the platform’s back end to view data about the blogger’s past collaborations in order to forecast future performance.
- Brands need to be familiar with platform rules and the latest advertising laws in order to avoid using offensive words in published content, especially words related to skincare. Otherwise, bloggers’ posts could be censored.
- Always strive to achieve high content quality and optimise SEO.
Does Xiaohongshu have any plans to launch new features?
During its Creators’ Open Day on 28 November last year, Xiaohongshu launched the “Creator 123 Project”. “123″ refers to one: creators’ centre, two: public classes and listening events, and three: platforms, which include Xiaohongshu’s brand partner platform, a “good product” recommendation platform and an interactive live broadcast platform.
In addition, the platform also announced the launch of a paid post promotion tool called Shutiao (“Chips”), which helps creators deliver marketing content. The company also released its “Xiaohongshu MCN Co-creation Plan,” which included four sub-plans covering rapid growth, breaking through to new networks, IP co-creation, and superstar KOLs. The program’s mission is to support content producers with a combination of well-known large-scale Xiaohongshu KOLs, content creators, MCN agencies and high traffic volume.