Global social media influencers discovered China’s lucrative consumer market, which appears to be more inclined to trust YouTubers and Instagramers compared to brands and companies.
Moms, housewives, farmers, and even pets from Chinese Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) earned $4 billion by selling goods in China during 2018. While the amount is tiny when compared to the two-trillion-dollar Chinese e-commerce industry, brands and advertisers are increasingly interested in cooperation with the influencer network.
Since the Chinese market has long been plagued by counterfeit products, the consumers are more receptive to recommendations from online influencers rather than companies. Moreover, according to a survey conducted by A.T. Kearney, no other country in the world place so much trust in influencer promotions.
Experts from the research company TopKlout found Chinese influencer marketing tactics questionable; however, they manage to convert one in every five viewers into customers, leaving traditional advertising channels far behind. By portraying themselves as ordinary people as opposed to emotionless and potentially corrupt brands, they connect with their customers.
The Chinese online retailer Alibaba has spotted the trend and invested heavily in influencer partnership deals. Even the Chinese Communist Party is considering the idea of updating its public relations methods by establishing collaboration with influencers.
A member of KOL receives about $50,000 for a post in a social media account, influencer agency Parklu reports. However, this is not easy money as Chinese influencers run live streams six or seven days a week. They spend hours preparing and drafting scripts, stay on the alert during the show, and interact with their fans and followers after the stream. Sometimes these conversations can last for hours.
In the words of Wang Xizi, a 29-year-old influencer, they try to show their sincerity and professionalism to earn trust and reputation.