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What is a KOL marketing in China and why should you care?

KOL stands for Key Opinion Leader, which is also known as a “influencer”. Influencer is a person or an organization who as expert product knowledge and influence in a respective field. They are seen as having more importance and relevance than mass media because they are able to connect and relate to their audience in a way that’s intimate and authentic.


Social media influencers are able to create a conversation, making campaigns much more engaging since these real people are sharing thoughts and ideas about a product. Key Opinion Leaders (KOL) are extremely powerful and are instrumental in most China marketing campaigns.


In China, Word of Mouth (WOM) is incredibly important in terms of consumer decision making—20 to 50 percent of all purchasing decisions are influenced by it. In 2018, the KOL market value was about 102 billion yuan according to Weibo big data.  There was an increase in the amount of KOLs on Weibo. KOLs with more than 100,000 followers increased by 51 percent, and those with more than 1 million increased by 23 percent. The overall amount of followers on Weibo increased by 25 percent, equaling up to about 600 million.

These influencers are regarded as the authority in their area of expertise and are perceived to be trustworthy and approachable because they are known to their audience. In turn, this makes the process of marketing significantly more successful since followers are swayed by their thoughts and opinions.

How do you find the best Key Opinion Leaders in China?

You are trying to tap into the Chinese market, but you don’t know anything about the social media landscape and how to reach your target audience.


Working with a social media influencer agency can help to streamline the process of influencer marketing. That’s especially true if your brand is completely new to influencer marketing. Working with an agency can make it easy to get a sense of how the process works.


Using an agency can make it easy to find the right influencer for your campaign. You know your ideal candidate for partnership but don’t know how to find them. Partnering with an agency keeps you from having to trawl through social media. They match you with an influencer with the right amount of engagement and the appropriate subject niche.

Using an agency doesn’t just simplify the process of finding an influencer, it saves you a considerable amount of time. Conducting a DIY influencer search can lead to mixed results. There’s no way to know if the influencers you find are looking for partnerships. In contrast, the influencers who are on an agency’s roster are likely all looking for work.

There’s another, more important reason to work with a social media influencer agency. Your brand will benefit from the agency’s experience and expertise in influencer marketing. Brands, particularly brands that are new to working with influencers, often have a lot of questions about the process.

For example, you might be unsure how much to pay influencers or what a fair price is for a campaign. An agency can help to guide you through the negotiation process with an influencer and give you a good idea of the going rate for a campaign, based on the influencers’ clout and engagement rate.

Have any Questions? Comment below and we can answer your questions.

ChinaKOL is a company that helps companies increase their social media presence in China. Check out our website at: