WeChat KOL is one of the key promotion methods to leverage the WeChat fan base of a Key Opinion Leader.
The marketing budget on WeChat is spent on 2 mainly advertising techniques:
- WeChat ads
- WeChat KOL
One of the common objectives for this WeChat KOL advertising: deliver ROI (Return-On-Investment) on a WeChat campaign by generating sales.
1. Introduction to KOL on WeChat
WeChat KOL is also called WeChat influencer.
KOL stands for Key Opinion Leader.
What is a WeChat KOL?
KOL is a person with a large network of followers on whom he/she can have an influence, in their purchasing decision for example.
WeChat being the primary customer engagement hub in China, there are a lot a WeChat-based influencers gathering large communities of readers and followers behind them.
From their WeChat content, they lead shoppers to a product detail page and the ability to buy within WeChat ecosystem.
They can create several form of content that is distributed to their audience via WeChat touchpoints:
- WeChat article distributed through an business account
- Short video shared distributed through the ‘Channels’ section
- Live-streaming session distributed through the ‘Channels’ section
Of course WeChat KOL can also be present on other touchpoints and social media networks.
2. WeChat KOL advertising
KOL marketing strategy should be considered as part of a more global conversion-driven effort which includes WeChat Paid Advertising as well.
Influencer marketing process
- Find the right influence
- Arrange the paid campaign (cooperation model, negotiation, contract as well as brief, campaign ideas, communication)
- Prepare the paid campaign (content creation, design, planning as well as defining success criteria with key performance indicators)
- Launch campaign
- Measure the performance with key performance indicators
- Encourage influencer to continue giving exposure after the campaign
The campaign process last between 2-4 months.
Before doing a paid campaign, a seeding / gifting campaign can have some benefits:
- get free exposure ✅
- test collaboration with the influence before engaging further ✅
- mesurable results on the short term ✅
And some disadvantages:
❌ Limited ROI
❌ Run the operation at scale and over a long periode of time to see ROI
After the campaign, nurturing the KOL relationship can result further exposure with other articles.
Platform considerations when designing influencer marketing strategy
WeChat is more relevant for certain products typology & audience targets.
- Product typology / Product price: 1 RMB – 15,000 RMB
- Buyer persona: 15-60 year old
- WeChat Sales commission: 0% (only pay the payment processing fee)
When breaking into the Chinese market, WeChat influence is a relevant way to market your products, even if you are only testing the traction via China cross-border commerce.
KOL campaign can speed up your online follower growth. Hire KOLs and influencers who have pre-existing fan bases and can raise brand awareness. KOLs often charge on a per-post and their fees can vary. Make sure that the KOLs you hire has a fan base that is in line with your target customer base.
Drive traffic to your online shop so that they enter your sales funnels.
Integration with WeChat KOL campaign
Link from the influence campaign to a WeChat Shop
The KOL can put a clickable product card in their WeChat Article that leads shoppers to a product detail page and the ability to buy within WeChat Mini Program
Direct link from the influencer post to the product detail page is not possible with WeChat H5 (blocked by WeChat).
How to find the WeChat KOL – due-diligence process
Go to a influence database:
- WeChat Search with highly related, short, common, targeted keywords
Few features about this platform
- influences are ranked based on certain criteria.
- influencers are sorted by industry.
- some influencers data are available: view numbers, comments and
When an influencer is identified, as you engage further with him/her, you can ask to provide you with more data (from his/her dashboard of the WeChat Official Account) in order to avoid paying for fake traffic:
- Reading distribution
- Article Heat-maps
- Source of traffic
- Conversion data
Parameter to consider in the due-diligence process to source the relevant KOL for a campaign
|KOL quotation||10k – 80k RMB|
< 10,000 RMB – likely low quality
> 80,000 RMB – likely over priced
|Article view||5k – 80k views|
< 8,000 – likely low quality
> 80,000 – expensive
High user engagement
|% article likes|| 0.1%|
High user engagement
|Top comment’s like amount||around 0.05%-0.3%|
Reasonable amount for organic article
|Comment||Content should be diverse |
Avoid KOLs who don’t activate the comment feature
Pick KOLs with high engagement rate
|Conversion data||Ask for it, how did other brands do?|
|Traffic source||Make sure the source is diverse, and enough is coming from Official Account followers|
|Hour view||Natural curve without sharp peaks|
|Heatmap||Are users reading to the end?|
|Past advertisers||Any similar brands advertised with this KOL? |
Aim at repeated collaborations
|Original content||Only work with KOLs who write original content for ads|
|Source of views||Diverse source of article views|
|Seeding||With good KOLs, always ask for seeding|
Source: LinkedIn – WalktheChat
WeChat KOL advertising cost
WeChat is the most expensive Chinese social network for influencer campaigns in terms of Cost Per Impression (Parklu KOL calculator – October 2019 data)
In general, KOL are getting more and more expensive to work with. There are are different collaboration models:
- fixed fees
- sales commissions
- combinaison of both
According to the follower base and the cooperation model, the fees are different. Quotation for KOL campaign varies also depending on the number of platforms and the type of content the influencer is scoped for.
Further readings on how much do WeChat KOLs charge
3. Case Studies
For example, Becky Li, a KOL on WeChat, posts sponsored content to her feed on her official WeChat account. These posts link to WeChat Mini Programs that direct shoppers to the product’s purchase page.
If you think of some improvements or missing information…
Let’s build up the knowledge around WeChat bots collectively