Recruiting Content Creators for Your Brand…The Right Way!

23 March 2022

Last week, we discussed brand equity, why strong brand equity is a must for sustainable market success and how KOLC marketing is key to constructing robust brand equity in China. We explained how and why quality content is essential for building resonance with your brand. Today, we’re going to talk about the right way for you to recruit effective content creators for your brand.

We already showed you how quality, authentic content can go a long way in solidifying your reputation and brand equity. Now, let’s look at some challenges brands face when trying to find the right content creators, why you shouldn’t do what they do, and what you should do instead.

In any competition, there will always be those who play strategically and win in the long run, and those who seek shortcuts and end up falling behind even further. When it comes to finding content creators for a brand, some marketers turn to nonstrategic, ineffective methods of recruitment. For example, a brand may post a “tonggao” (advertising notices soliciting posts in exchange for payment, i.e. pay to post) or recycle the same influencers over and over. 

These approaches may seem like a hassle-free solutions, but the consequences may be dire. Let’s look at them in detail.

● Open Solicitation: Unfocused, Untargeted Content Creator Selection

Tonggaos are open and available for anyone in the right place at the right time to view. While some may consider this helpful for increasing the chances of getting more content creators, in reality this is not helpful for the brand.

The point of content marketing is to increase the quality, quantity and relevance of content to the right audiences. In order for content to be relevant, it is important that content creators themselves are relevant to target audiences. However, with tonggaos openly recruiting anyone provided they have a pre-defined minimum follower number, the result is low-quality, unfocused and homogenous content that does not speak to anyone in particular. The engagements and performance for such a campaign are almost guaranteed to be either underwhelming or falsified.

An example of a tonggao soliciting influencers

● Influencer Fatigue

Certain influencer service providers have limited resources and small influencer networks, often within 200 KOLs and KOCs. With such a small network, these providers are often unable to bring influencer variety. When selecting KOLs and KOCs with a typical service provider, brands often find themselves in a situation where they rely on the same influencers for multiple activations. This leads to a phenomenon called influencer fatigue — when the same influencers promote the same brand for too long, the type, style and voice of content begins to stagnate. When consumers see the same influencers and content representing the same brand for too long, the content becomes patently commercial and brand authenticity goes down. This is one of the reasons most influencer service providers offer such seemingly good offers at face value: the small number of KOLs and KOCs in their network means they have less influencers to pay.

● Decreased Brand Equity

Tonggaos and influencer stagnation both damage brand equity. When ordinary consumers come across tonggaos, it makes the brand appear disingenuous, damaging consumer trust in the brand. When consumers see similar content from the same influencers covering the same brand/products over and over again, they will grow tired of seeing this generic, highly commercialised content and will be more likely to tune out future messages from the brand.

Once consumers go down this path, the door to building brand equity has essentially been slammed shut.

Identifying and recruiting the right content creators for your brand is no easy feat. Having an immense influencer community is only half of the battle. Successfully weeding through that community and communicating with the chosen ones (and getting them to agree to participate in your campaign) is a completely different story. With your average influencer service provider, the service is presented as an “in-house” solution, but what is really going on behind the scenes is:

  • The provider takes your campaign and distributes information and requirements to its small 200-or-less influencer pool.
  • These influencers, who have been posting for a number of other brands across every industry, take pre-fabricated content and post them on their social media.
  • Often, these un-authentic influencers have low engagements and purchased (fake) followers. At the same time, the service provider does not give access to real-time campaign performance data, enabling them to manipulate any data as needed to make purchased traffic appear organic.

The result: an influencer marketing campaign that appears successful on paper but has not brought anything meaningful in terms of ROI.

So what should you do to prevent this happening to your brand?

Rather than trying to cut costs the wrong way, understand that influencer marketing is a long-term investment. As with any long-term investment, it requires careful planning and guidance from the proper experienced team. The fact that you’re reading this article means that you are on the right track to getting your brand off the ground the right way.

PJdaren provides end-to-end KOL and KOC activation services for your brand, no matter your industry or target audience. With a screened and verified community of over 4 million KOLs and KOCs, the influencers collaborating with your brand are real. The content they post resonates with your target audiences. And the engagements are legit, provided in real time via the dedicated PJdaren platform. Check out some of our case studies and learn more about the steps you need to take to become a powerful brand in the world’s most competitive consumer market!

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About 评价达人 – PJdaren:

Since 2016, PJdaren has helped some of the world’s largest brands build trust, collect insights and drive sales in China by engaging Key Opinion Consumers (KOCs) and Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) through our state-of-the-art influencer marketing platform.

Our software and services connect brands with our over 4 million-strong KOC and KOL community. We facilitate targeted, authentic conversations and content, enabling brands to capture the market with measurable results.