The Key to KOL Marketing

Source:iResearch July 01,201912:08 PM


“You’ll look like a wealthy noblewoman if you wear this!”“You will have tender and moisturized lips if you wear this!”“The boys will stampede towards you if you wear this!”These are all words of Li Jiaqi, a Chinese male beauty blogger who livestreams reviews of lipstick on Taobao. If he says “Oh My God” about a lipstick, the lipstick will often be sold out soon. This is the energy and charm of KOL marketing. 
KOL marketing, Key Opinion Leader Marketing, refers to the marketing activities endorsed by or conducted in cooperation with the KOLs, who developed along with the development social media. When functionality of the products is no longer the concern of the consumers, marketing activities need to focus on spiritual satisfaction and emotional connection. This is why we have KOL marketing. 
KOLs and their followers, who are on an equal footing, are from all walks of life. According to the data from iResearch UserTracker, a database monitoring the behaviors of internet users on multiple platforms, in Q1 2019, the KOLs are mainly from six of the top10 APP categories by monthly unique devices in China, including instant messaging, news & information, music, short videos, online shopping and mobile games. This shows that there are many scenarios and opportunities for KOLs to reach the users. Exposed to mobile internet users on a daily basis, in Q1 2019, messaging & chat, and social networking ranked at the first and third place, opened by the internet users 10.7 times and 6.9 times on average respectively. Fragmented and repeated media exposures make the internet users exposed to KOLs more frequently. 


No doubts, KOL marketing has great significance, especially in terms of group communication and mass communication. On the one hand, KOL marketing may reach the audience behind the KOLs, and on the other hand, the audience may spread the marketing information, helping the marketing activities covering more people. Then, how to find the right KOLs? Do the followers of the KOLs match with the target audience of the brands? How to evaluate the communication capacity of the KOLs? Therefore, it is crucial to accurately control the KOL selection and placement process. 

How to Choose and Place KOLs

Those in line with the brand features and product attributes are the ideal KOLs. Starting from the browsing behaviors of the users of the brands, OneMedia, an iRcloud new media product, accurately matches and selects KOLs in a scientific way. After selecting the KOLs, it conducts real-time placement management and result evaluation, to timely adjust placement plans and maximally complete the marketing target. 
I.Selection of target audience and recommendation of KOLs 
To find the target audience is the fundamental and the most important step for brand marketing. With increasingly intense competition, if you hope that “Everyone is my user”, usually, the result is taht “none needs your product”. Therefore, the best way to enhance brand influence and have a higher conversion rate is to pay attention to the preference of the potential users and select KOLs to accurately push product information. 
According to this logic, we not only need to learn the demographic characteristics of TA and the brands they are interested in, but also learn about what media platforms and KOLs they are following. Only the KOLs recommended in this way can be readily accepted by the potential consumers of the brand.  
II. Choose the ideal KOLs 
After the recommendation information of the KOLs is collected, it is necessary to analyze the features of various types of KOLs. 
The top KOLs are most attractive to the traffic, while those in the waist and tail also play a significant role in content spreading. In comparison, the latter are more cost-effective. 
Different types of KOLs play different roles. The star KOLs are most effective to help topics go viral, pan entertainment KOLs are good at spreading information and the vertical KOLs are for the interpretation and penetration of deep contents.

In the digital era, all are fragmented and decentralized. KOLs explode in number and have diversified layers and types. But the key of KOL marketing is not to find the KOLs with the largest number of followers and most popular on the market. Instead, after analyzing the brand features and product attributes, they select the KOLs that best match with their marketing plans. 

III.Placement Management and Result Evaluation 
The fast changing KOL market can be reshuffled and features the survival of the fittest. and the marketing cycle is long. Without effective management and periodic reviews and evaluation, the marketing effect may be compromised. Therefore, the brand owners need to check the effect and the user feedbacks of KOL marketing in real time, adjust the strategies at different stages and maximally achieve the marketing target. 
Consumer goods industry, especially makeups, has been leading the KOL marketing. As early as in 2012, the world famous makeup brand, E, hired the makeup blogger Emily Schuman to promote its new products via her Instagram account. and this year, it started to cooperate with Yang Mi, Sun Feifei and other Chinese stars. KOLs have become an important approach of the group on Chinese market. 
Now, taking Brand E for example, we’ll analyze which KOLs it can select to work with. 

Case Study of KOL Marketing of Brand E

I. Selection of Diversified Target Audience 

As said above, to pay attention to the browsing behaviors of the potential consumers is the basis for the KOL recommendation and marketing. 

OneMeida not only identifies the target audience using the DMP labels of iResearch and focuses on their gender, age, region and other demographic indicators. and by judging their brand preference and analyzing the behaviors of the consumers when browsing media platforms and KOLs, it helps recommend KOLs. 


On this basis, the brand owners may select KOLs according to the advertising value index, TA reach, TGI, stickiness, number of followers, etc. Also, they may compare the profiles of the potential consumers and followers of the KOLs, and make their choices by projecting the actual KOL marketing result. 

In this case, brand owners may select the target audience before recommending the right KOLs. 

II. KOL Recommendation 
Based on the browsing behaviors of the potential consumers of Brand E, OneMeida recommends over 3,000 KOLs. In general, the higher advertising value index means that the profile of KOL followers matches well with the profile of potential consumers. Now, we will take Li Jiaqi Austin (Tik Tok) and Duoyu & Maomaojie (Tik Tok), the top two KOLs with the highest advertising value, for example to analysis. 
In Mar. 2019, the daily unique devices of both KOL accounts remained above 250,000, and peaked 3.04 million and 2.61 million respectively. Generally, Li Jiaqi Austin (Tik Tok) had a daily unique devices higher than Duoyu & Maomaojie (Tik Tok). 



1. Comparison of the age and gender of the users: Li Jiaqi Austin (Tik Tok) is better 
87.6% and 85.4% of the followers of Li Jiaqi Austin (Tik Tok) and Duoyu & Maomaojie (Tik Tok) are aging 18-35, 4.6 percentage points and 2.4 percentage points higher than the potential consumers of Brand E. 

81.0% of the followers of Li Jiaqi Austin (Tik Tok) are female, slightly higher than that of Brand E. While Duoyu & Maomaojie (Tik Tok) has a lower share of female followers than Brand E. In comparison, followers of Li Jiaqi Austin (Tik Tok) better meet the requirements of Brand E on potential consumers.  


2. Comparison of users by province and city: Li Jiaqi Austin (Tik Tok) is better 
Like Brand E, the top10 provinces by followers of Li Jiaqi Austin (Tik Tok) and Duoyu & Maomaojie (Tik Tok) are mainly in eastern and southern China. and 53.2% and 51.6% of the followers of Li Jiaqi Austin (Tik Tok) and Duoyu & Maomaojie (Tik Tok) are in higher-tier cities, close to the 52.7% of Brand E. 
By region, profile of the followers of Li Jiaqi Austin (Tik Tok) is similar to that of the consumers of Brand E.



On the whole, potential consumers of Brand E are mainly stylish women in urban areas aged at 18-35. Most of them live in eastern and southern areas in China. The followers of these two top KOLs resemble the potential consumers of Brand E. In comparison, followers of Li Jiaqi Austin (Tik Tok) better meet the requirements of Brand E on potential consumers, proving that it is a scientific way to rely on advertising value index. 
However, should we work with all the KOLs recommended? Or, if the KOLs selected are not available, what should we do? 
Under such circumstances, we may turn to OneMedia for similar KOLs. According to analysis via OneMeida, 40.3% of the followers of Duoyu & Maomaojie (Tik Tok) are followers of Li Jiaqi Austin (Tik Tok). Therefore, without sufficient budget, it will be a great waste of advertising resources to select both KOLs at the same time. 
While only 12.2% of the followers Mahua Keke (Tik Tok) are followers of Li Jiaqi Austin (Tik Tok) at the same time. If the two form a marketing matrix, they may cover a more diversified group of potential consumers relying on the huge number of followers and great appeal. 
Then, we’ll check whether the followers of Mahua Keke (Tik Tok) meet the requirements of Brand E on potential customers. 
1. Comparison of the age of the users: Mahua Keke (Tik Tok) is better 
88.5% of the followers of Mahua Keke (Tik Tok) are aged at 18-35, a share 0.9 percentage point and 3.3 percentage points higher than that of Li Jiaqi Austin (Tik Tok) and Brand E. and 87.2% of the followers of Mahua Keke (Tik Tok) are female, a share 6.2 percentage point and 7.9 percentage points higher than that of Li Jiaqi Austin (Tik Tok) and Brand E. 
In terms of age and gender, the followers of Mahua Keke (Tik Tok) better meet the requirement of Brand E on potential consumers. 
2. Comparison of users by province and city: Mahua Keke (Tik Tok) performs better in 1st-tier cities 
The top10 provinces by the number of followers of Mahua Keke (Tik Tok) are mainly in eastern and southern China, and only one province is different from those of Brand E. and 52.7% of the followers of Mahua Keke (Tik Tok) are in higher tier cities, the same as Brand E. 
Notably, 11.6% of the followers of Mahua Keke (Tik Tok) are in 1st-tier cities, 0.7 percentage points and 0.6 percentage points than that of Li Jiaqi Austin (Tik Tok) and Brand E. The higher share of followers in 1st-tier cities may lead to a bigger voice in brand communication. 


In summary, though Mahua Keke (Tik Tok) has fewer followers than Li Jiaqi Austin (Tik Tok), the followers better meet the requirements of Brand E on potential consumers. Therefore, if the KOLs you want to work with is not available or you have insufficient budget, you may add some KOLs with fewer overlapped followers to the marketing matrix. This not only helps reduce budget, but also covers a diversified group of consumers and lead to an ideal marketing result. 

III. Placement Management and Result Evaluation 
After selecting the KOLs, the brand owners need to check the effect of KOL marketing in real time, timely adjust the marketing strategies and maximally achieve the marketing target.
OneMeida is capable of removing duplication and analyzing the expected reach of devices uploaded KOL matrix. It is also capable of dividing the KOLs into groups in accordance with their needs and managing the KOL matrix to meet different demands. 
Based on the AEI (Advertising Effectiveness Index), OneMeida evaluates the marketing result of the KOLs in cooperation. In this way, periodic reviews and evaluation may give you some reference for adjustment of marketing strategies.
How to conduct placement management and result evaluation? Apply an account and have a try! 
Finally, here is a KOL Recommendation List for Brand E in March










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