7 Insights on Shanghai’s KOL & Digital Marketing World

Last week, IPWS hosted an exciting gathering with a diverse panel of professional women discussing the modern world of Key Opinion Leaders and digital marketing concepts. Like many of us, if you’re using any kind of social media, you might be influenced by a dynamic Key Opinion Leader (KOL) without even knowing it! In the last year, millenials in China have been sparking ideas that take social media & live streaming to new monetary heights setting new goals & pathways in the global digital world. In 2017 and as professional women, what could this mean for us and our career or business? What can we learn about the changing digital world and these KOLs to enhance our work & daily lives in Shanghai?

Making up this innovative panel of speakers: Kim Leitzes – Founder & CEO, ParkLU, Nadja Rauscher – Senior Marketing Manager, China Skinny and Zia Word – Co-Founder, chozun and Milla Booth – Senior Fitness Marketing Manager, Reebok China

The event was moderated by Heather Lee and if you have some patience buffering video you can rewatch our live stream here (hosted on Yizhibo – a Chinese Live Streaming site) as the main discussion starts around 10 minutes in.

In the meantime we’re delighted to bring you some notes on the event. Tonya Ridgely is a Facilitator, Performer & Speaker here in Shanghai and part of the IPWS broader community, and today she has helped us gather our thoughts on what was spoken about and what ideas were thrown around! Here are 7 insights on Shanghai’s KOL & digital marketing world:

Advice for Grassroots Start-ups With Small Budgets
If you’re just starting out…
Step 1. Develop your marketing strategy and KNOW YOUR NICHE
Step 2. Network with your aligned potential partners and build relationship them
Step 3. Be consistent with creating QUALITY content – make timelines and find out what your niche audience is wanting to hear from you – ASK questions and deliver – this will help you build your following
Step 4. Keep up with latest marketing trends and always keep learning; stay open and curious!

Finding the Right KOL
Step 1. Research the KOL and make sure you know they are GOOD; for example – who are their clients, what’s their project history…do they align w/ your values and message?
Step 2. Align with what GOOD KOL’s care about.

Once you’ve found one…
– Get creative and incentivize your relationship: Try Bartering your services/products OR use the Profit Sharing Model

– Utilize live streaming as a way to engage KOL’s

The Future of KOLs…
– Folks are using KOL to brand their product and/or service

– There is untapped potential that is available and ready to be found!!

– Reach young people and utilize how they like to learn and engage as a way to stay current

– BUILD echo-chambers and credibility with your brand – and then you’ll rock

Watch Out for Pitfalls & Mistakes!
– Make sure you don’t invest too little

– Use the right metrics to track if you can

– Know your audience: expats engage differently then Chinese.

– Meet your audience where they like to be met. Don’t assume every consumer is the same and automatically will jump on board with what you are selling.

Interesting extras…
– 80% of live streaming is done by women.

– China uses the most celebrity KOL engagement – though OUTSIDE of Shanghai. Folks in Shanghai want authenticity and can smell someone who is not genuine.
– Using celebrities is NOT necessarily the best move. Therefore BE CREATIVE & AUTHENTIC!!

Great Brand Examples Who’ve had success with KOLs
– Crossfit

– Blackmores Supplements

– Weetbix


Thanks to Tonya for sharing your thorough notes! Written by Tonya Ridgely aka Tbird Luv is empowering the lives of others through playful and artistic intervention and her website tbirdluvinfo.strikingly.com