Chinese Digital Marketing

KOLs on Xiaohongshu – What You Need To Know To Get Started in 2022

Xiaohongshu has grown to become China’s leading shopping site for beauty, fashion, and luxury goods, over the years. It has around 300 million registered users and 85 million monthly active users as of 2021.

Xiaohongshu is largely used by young Chinese females to provide reviews on cosmetics, beauty items, fashion, and so on. You’ll notice a lot of Xiaohongshu KOLs pushing various items and sharing their thoughts on them.

Why are KOLs necessary?

KOLs are considered trustworthy. Users pay attention to high-quality content shared on a brand account, but they will always value user-generated content more. Many consumers rely on KOLs to help them cut through the noise and make speedy purchasing decisions.

KOLs understand how to develop the appropriate type of content for the platform. They can write in a conversational, informative tone that appears genuine.

KOLs confirm desirability. If a consumer goes to Xiaohongshu to investigate your goods and finds little to no user-generated content about it, they become dubious about the product’s quality. KOLs also aid in the discovery of new audiences for your business.

The 3 Types of  Xiaohongshu KOLs 

  1. Loyal platform users who organically developed an audienceThese influencers, whether micro or top-tier (explained below), are likely to have a solid understanding of the platform, and a strong connection to its audience.
  2. Other platform influencers – Example: Weibo and WeChatAs Xiaohongshu grows in popularity, an increasing number of established influencers have launched accounts on the platform. Working with them has the advantage of allowing them to post material for a single campaign across several platforms; however, unless they’ve been on Xiaohongshu for a long time, they may not be as effective as a ‘homegrown’ influencer.
  3. CelebritiesMany celebs, both from China & the West, have joined Xiaohongshu. Chinese celebs use it to connect with fans; content is generally more behind-the-scenes and casual, compared to what you see on their Weibo accounts.

Here is a classification based on follower count & average cost:

KOL Size No. of Followers Average Cost
Top Tier >1 million 30-300 Thousand RMB
Mid-Tier >10,000 10-30 Thousand RMB
Micro/ Long Tail Few Thousand 2-10 Thousand RMB
Celebrities >10 million Endorsement fees range from millions to tens of millions (RMB)

Gifting & Price Negotiation

Because RED is an open forum for product evaluations and suggestions, product seeding is an excellent approach for brands to obtain exposure on the network. Gifting is an excellent way for brands to engage KOLs for product seeding, especially for brands that are new to the market.

There will always be KOLs that refuse a non paying gig, but with enough effort, marketers can always discover KOLs who understand the value in your product or brand and are prepared to conduct free content seeding in exchange for gifting. If the collaboration is easy and the content is compelling, try working with them on subsequent sponsored campaign as well.

This content will be far more authentic than a paid collaboration. The table above shows the typical pricing range for KOL content if you pay for it.

In Closing

Dealing with Xiaohongshu KOLs  for content seeding is less expensive than working with WeChat KOLs, who charge exorbitant fees. Working with the correct KOLs to provide interesting content, similar to Weibo and WeChat, is the key to a successful campaign.

At Digital Crew, a multicultural marketing agency in Sydney, we help you leverage your brand presence among KOLs through our advertising strategies that include sponsored posts, product reviews, KOL giveaways and other KOL campaigns. Get in touch with us today.

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