The ABCs of Effective KOLC Activations: Part 1

30 March 2022

We’ve mentioned this in the past, and now we’re bringing you the full scoop. KOLC marketing is the new standard of influencer marketing in China. But KOLC marketing is not a straightforward, one-size-fits-all strategy. Every element of a KOLC campaign is a variable that is influenced and determined by factors such as your brand reputation, brand equity, industry, target audience, budget and KPIs, to name just a few.

So today, we’re going to walk you through Part 1 of the process of planning a KOLC campaign, including the Dos and Don’ts of recruiting KOCs, key things to consider in order to select the right KOLs and how you can define the proper content angles. Sit back and put on your reading glasses — this is the only guide to KOLC marketing in China you’ll ever need, so get ready!

Step 1: Identifying Your Brand

Before you ask “Who are my customers?”, you first need to ask “Who am I?”. It is crucial to understand what your brand aims to bring your target consumers. Not only that, any understanding of your brand must be contextualised with the culture, conditions and uniqueness of the particular market that you are targeting.

Step 2: Identifying Your Audience

Now that you understand your purpose in your target market, you need to understand your consumers. It is crucial to build a set of profiles for each segment of your target audience. These profiles should include the key highlights of each profile, such as consumer background, familiarity with your product or industry sector, and questions or concerns that consumers in each profile may have towards your brand and your products.

This step is extremely important when planning your campaign, because the consumer profiles you identify and decide to target will decide the scope of your campaign, including but not limited to content style, content approach and influencer selection. We’ll talk about this in more detail in Steps 3 and 4 (no skipping!).

When identifying your consumer profiles, ask yourself questions such as:

  • “Who does my brand/product appeal to?”
  • “Who do I want my brand/product to appeal to?”
  • “What are the consumption patterns among this user segment?”
  • “How do users within this segment perceive brands/products like mine?”

Step 3: Identifying Your Content Creators

Once you have identified your target consumers, you now need to identify the right content creators that resonate with them. Brand content creators are usually split into two categories, KOLs (key opinion leaders) and KOCs (key opinion consumers). KOLs are social media heavyweights with followers in excess of 50k. With these numbers, KOLs have a strong reputation among Chinese social media users, and brand endorsements from them tend to make waves in the market.

Then there are KOCs. These are social media users who have anywhere from 5000 to 50k followers. KOCs are necessary for you to reach a wider breadth and depth of everyday consumers, particularly those who are interested in learning more about your brand and products from the perspective of a consumer.

When putting together your influencer pool, it is important to make your selection based on the different target audience profiles you identified in Step 2.

In this process, examine influencers based on samples of content they have previously posted, paying attention to details such as brands they have posted about before, engagements between the influencers and their followers, as well as the influencer’s content tone. It is important to select influencers that speak in a manner that reflects your brand’s persona, otherwise they may create content that does not align with your brand values, thus risking damage to your brand equity.

Step 4: Identifying Content Angles

After you have identified the right content creators and put together your influencer pool for this activation, you need to develop content angles for each influencer segment. Please note, identifying content is not and should never be the same as creating pre-defined content for your influencers to post. As we just mentioned above, this has potential to backfire and damage your brand’s reputation in the marketplace.

Instead, identifying content angles means tailoring the scope and direction of content for each influencer segment to address the respective questions and concerns of each corresponding consumer profile. By speaking to each profile in a (metaphorical) language that they understand, you will be able to maximise the efficacy of your KOLC campaign and facilitate consumer engagement with your brand.

Step 5: Communicate with your content creators

Once you have defined your content strategy, it is time to connect with your KOLCs! For this step, you first need to deliver your content brief to each of the influencer groups in your pool. Then, you need to deliver samples of your product and other complementary materials to each member of your influencer pool. You also need to confirm that each of your influencers have received all samples and materials intact as expected. This step in particular is a significant strain on resources and manpower for most brands. With PJdaren’s influencer community of over 4 million and versatile campaign systems, you’ll be on your way to a winning KOLC marketing campaign in a flash!

Next week…learn how to manage your campaign, interpret results and improve your brand performance!

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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.