June 28, 2018

Your Total Resource Guide to KOL Marketing in China

Written by CMO Elijah Whaley from PARKLU, China Premier Influencer Marketing Platform, Hong Kong, Shanghai & Beijing


KOL marketing is not a good market entry strategy. The average Chinese customer requires more touch points in the buyers’ journey compared to Western counterparts. KOLs are not a one-stop-shop that will solve all your marketing needs. For any brand to succeed in China it will likely require selling on multiple e-commerce platforms, having a translated version of the website, an SEO/SEM strategy, and social media accounts across all major platforms that regularly publish quality Chinese language content. 


The value of KOL marketing will be maximized once a baseline presence is established. As KOLs are just one touchpoint (albeit a powerful one) along the consumer journey, and they need to be integrated into an overall China marketing strategy. KOLs are excellent at generating top of the funnel awareness, this means that potential customers need the rest of a sales funnel touch points to make a buying decision. KOLs can also drive bottom of the funnel sales, but typically only for brands that already have solid market awareness.


Do you know if there is demand in China for your products? Did you know that there is an easy way to find out? At PARKLU, we have seen too many brands fail because they didn’t start by test marketing. Fortunately, Daigou make it pretty simple because Daigou are the Real Influencers of China Cross-border E-commerce. That’s why we think it’s worth taking a look to see if Daigou Can Accelerate Your China E-commerce Sales.



KOL marketing in China isn’t a good choice if your brand isn’t ready. We often have startups and new brands come to us with a China market entry strategy that neglects the KOL marketing challenges for unknown brands, and that why we wrote Your China Market Entry Strategy & KOL Marketing Challenges. And just so things are crystal clear, we created The Ultimate KOL Marketing Preparation Checklist.


The number one question we are asked at PARKLU is “How much does KOL marketing cost?”. We’ve tried to make this question as easy as possible to answer by creating a free to use. Try ourKOL Budget Calculator. However, if you want to know the ins-and-outs of KOL fees, read our detailed article Weibo and WeChat KOL Marketing Costs.

Brands who want to develop a successful, long-term strategy for KOL marketing in China will need three things: an effective tracking and management system, eager marketing staff, and the right budget. To make sure your management system, team, and budget are inline try reading The 3 Most Important Resources for KOL Marketing in China. Beyond these basic resources, the majority of influencer marketing problems happen when brands and influencers don’t communicate clearly via the campaign brief. So if you are ready to start, stop, and read Fatal Influencer Marketing Problems Start at the Campaign Brief.


If you are going to include influencers into your China marketing strategy, then you need to go all in with your commitment. We have seen it time and time again, An Always-OnKOL Marketing Strategy Beats Out One-Off Campaigns. But Why Build Long-term Relationships with Influencers?Because in the long run, costs decrease and returns increase.


Ready to get tactical with your influencer marketing in China? No strategy is complete without product seeding. That’s why we asked 5 Influencers to Share Product Seeding Tactics For Free Marketing. A lot of China marketers believe that social media marketing, search engine marketing, e-commerce marketing, and KOL marketing are distinct elements. The truth is, they’re completely intertwined, and we prove it in the article Search Engine Optimization in China Utilizing a KOL Strategy.


No introduction to influencer marketing in China would be complete without a review of others failures. So we create a list of 6 Influencer Marketing Fails and How to Avoid Them.


Still have more questions? Try reading The Most Frequently Asked Influencer Marketing Questions & Answersor visit our Influencer FAQ Wiki.