China Marketing Reading List: The Complete List of Resources to Maximize Your Strategy in China

Ayeesha Holder

With China on track to become the largest luxury market by 2025, brands across the globe are investing plenty of resources to get more involved and improve their China marketing strategies. But jumping into a foreign market – one that’s socially, culturally, and technologically distinct from the commonly understood West – is an opportunity worth planning for.

When it comes to creating a China marketing strategy for fashion, beauty, and luxury brands that incorporates Influencers, social media, and many more elements – doing your research is key. Before finalizing your strategy, get to know the players, the platforms, the tactics to use, and the key measurements of success. 

With these ten resources, you’ll learn all of that and more – and gain the competitive advantage you need to maximize your strategy in the East.

1. Everything you should know about Key Opinion Leaders in China (KOLs)

Establishing an Influencer marketing strategy in the West is one thing, but how do you successfully get your brand noticed on Chinese social media? The first step is understanding that you’re no longer dealing with Influencers, but with their Eastern equivalent – Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs).

So, what’s the difference between an Influencer and a Key Opinion Leader? How do KOLs deliver content on key Chinese platforms? And how can your brand leverage it?

As the nature of social media differs between the West and China, so does the content created by KOLs vs Influencers. The key to success in connecting with the Chinese market lies in getting to know the basics and then delving deeper into a tailored strategy and building the best KOL relationships for your brand.

2. The Ultimate Dictionary for KOL Campaigns in China

Entering the Chinese market is an exciting and yet somewhat daunting prospect, especially for brands entering the space for the first time, so where do you start? The short answer: with the Ultimate Dictionary for KOL Campaigns. 

This succinct and informative eBook will brief you on all the essential terms and definitions around Key Opinion Leaders, plus give you tactics to enhance your brand performance.  

Learn about the top five social channels you should consider for your campaigns, the different types of Chinese Influencers, and the collaboration models they use. We’ll also take you through five key metrics for measuring KOL campaign performance. So if you’re a marketer looking to get started in the East, you won’t want to miss this.

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The Ultimate Dictionary for KOL Campaigns in China

3. WeChat: The Complete Guide for your marketing campaign in China

With more than a billion monthly users, WeChat is one of the most popular social media messaging apps in the world, and the most popular in China. What if you could leverage its vast user base to reach a wider range of consumers? 

What started as a simple messaging and photo-sharing app has expanded to include a huge number of features. So how are Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) using it to generate ROI for brands? And how can you use it to spread your brand’s message? 

In this article, we break down what WeChat is and how it can benefit brands, illustrated by the Media Impact Value™ WeChat brings for luxury fashion companies such as Louis Vuitton and Max Mara.

4. China Fashion Influencer Marketing Highlights

Evaluating what does and doesn’t work for other brands is a fundamental step in developing any Influencer marketing strategy. 

In this data brief, we analyze and compare performance data for 22 fashion brands on the Chinese social media platforms Weibo, WeChat, Xiaohongshu, Douyin, and Bilibili. 

At-a-glance graphs show ROI growth for top-ranking brands year-on-year to the second quarter of 2021. We also highlight two China marketing campaigns – one fast fashion and one premium fashion – breaking down the top five Influencers involved and how successful they were in terms of both engagement and dollar value.

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China Fashion Influencer Marketing Highlights

5. #KnowyourMIV: The Top 10 Chinese Influencers for Beauty you should know

The sheer power of KOLs on Social Media platforms in China is evident through their potential to influence their incredibly devoted followers, especially in comparison to their western counterparts.

With China on its way to taking over the beauty market, understanding how KOLs work and their relationships with brands is critical for any beauty company. Enter this article, which spotlights the 10 top Chinese Voices in the beauty sector according to their Media Impact Value™.

6. China’s 520 Valentine’s Day

This year, for the first time, more brands participated in China’s 520 celebrations than those for Valentine’s Day. And so this article gives some exclusive insights into the brands that leveraged the buzz around this digital day of love.

In this enlightening report, we break down the best-performing campaigns by global luxury brands, including their top posts and how they performed on Chinese social media. For marketers looking for inspiration, insights and ideas to springboard your next campaign, diving into the effective strategies of leading fashion, beauty, and jewelry brands is a great step.

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China’s 520 Valentine’s Day

7. 5 KOL Marketing Tactics Every Brand Needs to Know in 2021

Before you reach out to Chinese Key Opinion Leaders, stop, take a pause, and read this article. 

When it comes to marketing with KOL with millions of followers, it’s not a simple case of popularity = ROI. Success comes down to having the right approach and the right tactics. “The environment is constantly changing,” writes our content team. “What worked last year may not work this year.”

So what KOL marketing tactics will bring your brand success in 2021 and into 2022? From choosing platform-specific voices to building long-term partnerships, it’s crucial to break down the tactics and discover the power of KOLs.

8. China Beauty Influencer Marketing Highlights

If you’re looking to better understand the impact of Influencer marketing on the Chinese beauty industry, look no further. This data brief will leave you with key insights into the state of the market as of 2021. 

In the report, we explore the performance of 22 leading skincare and cosmetics brands across Chinese social media networks like Weibo, WeChat, Xiaohongshu, Douyin, and Bilibili.

It also includes visual snapshots illustrating the relationship between Influencer numbers and Media Impact Value™, as well as campaign highlights from SkinCeuticals and Dior Beauty breaking down the strategies they used to drive success.

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China Beauty Influencer Marketing Highlights

9. Popular Chinese Apps in 2021

Which social media apps are dominating the Chinese market right now? And, more importantly, which Chinese social media apps are right for your brand strategy as you embark on a China marketing strategy?

It’s vital to choose the apps that will get your brand in front of the right demographic, in the most compelling format, and in the most timely way

Understanding each app’s user profile, content distribution method, e-commerce functionality, and brand collaboration opportunities – all these elements are broken down in this article which covers platforms like Douyin, Bilibili, Weibo, WeChat, and more.

10. Chinese New Year 2021: Fashion, Beauty and Luxury Campaigns

Tying in your China marketing strategy with key national events can be one of the fastest pathways to campaign success. That’s why Chinese New Year 2022 presents an unmissable opportunity for brands to capture the attention of an Eastern audience.  

As the Year of the Tiger draws nearer, it’s time to think about how you can leverage this crucial event to get Chinese social media buzzing about your brand. And reflecting on some of the most successful luxury campaigns from 2021’s event is the perfect way to get the ideas flowing ahead of your next strategy. 

In this post, you’ll find out what master marketers at Guerlain, Burberry, and Gucci had up their sleeve for Chinese New Year 2021 – including campaign tactics, key Voices used, and measurable metrics of their success.


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