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May 2, 2019
Welcome to the China Influencer Update, a weekly roundup of news, reports, and trends in China’s social media and influencer marketing industries. 

What makes China Influencer Update different? We won’t churn out the same articles being shared in every China marketing group and newsletter, instead drawing on Chinese language articles, first-hand observations, and original interviews to bring you information and viewpoints you’re unlikely to find anywhere else.

Interesting Reads: 

Body Care Product Trends 

Tmall presents some consumer trends for body care products. Some key takeaways: 
  • Consumers 85% female, 15% male
  • Post-80s and 90s are the largest consumer group for body care products, making up 32.2% and 46% respectively, and they are paying increasing attention to this topic
  • Most popular provinces for boady care products are Guangdong(广东), Jiangsu(江苏), Shandong(山东), Zhejiang(浙江) and Henan(河南). 
  • Coconut based products, hair removal, and deodorant categories experiencing rapid growth
  • Slimming and weight loss creams sales have grown more than 600%. 
  • In China, neck cream is not for middle-aged women. Post-90s consumers account for 43% of sales and post-00s have also begun purchasing it (3.7%).  
  • Keyword alert: it might seem strange, but the word “神器”, literally ‘magic object’, has become the most popular word to use in skincare searches in combination with whatever type of product they are looking to find. 
Read More: 天猫国际大数据:90后超爱颈霜,“神器”成最热关键词
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What Does ‘Private Traffic’ (私域流量) Mean and Why is Everyone Talking About it 

As online traffic is becoming more and more expensive in China, the term ‘private traffic’ (私域流量) has become one of 2019’s content creation buzzwords. The western equivalent of private traffic would be a blog or and email list, which are owned channels, however, in China, people rarely visit websites or use email, so influencers and brands are seeking out ways to have private traffic, although still on social media sites. For example we hear of influencers who have hundreds of private WeChat groups for their fans or are opening their own mini-programs.

The Chinese concept of ‘private traffic’ can be a confusing concept to wrap your head around. Even for Chinese people. So instead of explaining what it is, this article shares 5 common misunderstandings:  

1.Private traffic is not limited to WeChat personal accounts 
While this may be the classic example, according to Chinese marketers, private traffic includes: 
  • Apps
  • Social media accounts
  • WeChat personal accounts and WeChat groups

2.  Private traffic does not mean people trying to sell you stuff on WeChat Moments
When many hear private traffic, the first thing they think of is their acquaintances who fill their WeChat Moments feed with pictures of products they’re trying to sell. But according to this article, there’s a difference. Those obnoxious WeChat sellers use WeChat purely transactionally, while influencers and brands use WeChat personal accounts and groups to develop community and have a more direct way to communicate with their audience, and selling products is just a bonus.

3. Private traffic marketing can be used by large companies too
Many people think large companies can’t take advantage of private traffic, that it is a grassroots marketing tactic for small businesses only, but this article gives examples of how Luckin and JD.com have used private traffic. 

4. Private traffic not only for 2C companies, 2B companies should be using it as well
2C companies have a higher conversion rate so to effects of private traffic marketing are more obvious. However private traffic can be very useful for 2B companies. For example, think about the professional WeChat groups you are in, they are often run by someone from a company, and while they don’t market their product to you, they use the group to display their expertise, and eventually you might work with them. 

5. You still need public traffic, public and private traffic are complementary
The article shares the example of Huayang Tingyuan (花漾庭院) is an Airbnb in Yunnan Province. 70% of their customers come from Douyin. If one of their videos does well, they use “抖+” to pay to push to the video to more people. Their original exposure is private traffic, while “抖+” is public traffic. 

Read More: 私域流量就是微商?你可能有什么误会
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Douyin Allows All Users to Film 1-minute Videos

All Douyin users are now able to make videos up to 60 seconds, removing the previous 15-second time limit, putting more of a priority on micro-vlogging. They have also started a hashtag challenge called “Vlog10亿流量扶持计划”. When users upload an original vlog video which is over 30s, they can participate in the topic. Douyin will select outstanding creators and give them traffic support. Winners will be rewarded with the title of Douyin Vlogger.

Read more: 给你一分钟,用Vlog记录你的美好生活

Influencer Spotlight:

Jing Yue: Not Your Average Travel and Fashion Vlogger

Weibo account: @大概是井越
Weibo followers: 1.9 million

Vlogging is popular now, but Jing Yue has been doing it for years. Yue is a quirky guy who beats to his own drum, one of those eccentric individuals who makes crazy Einstein hair, a Sesame Street shirt, and a stuffed elephant look cool. 

Yue originally chose the vlog format because he is an introverted person and he could record a vlog all by himself, he also felt he was in control and would have more freedom to express his personality. With vlogging recently becoming mainstream, Yue is attempting to distance himself from much of the homogeneous, lackluster content being published, sarcastically renaming his vlog series to “Not a Vlog”. 

There is plenty of humor sprinkled throughout Yue’s content. A main character in Yue’s vlogs is his stuffed elephant Xiao Xiang (小箱) who he treats as his pet, since he’s too busy traveling to have a real pet. In the evening, when Yue goes to bed, he pulls Xiao Xiang’s nose out of the quilt, worrying that he might not be able to breath under the quilt. Xiao Xiang goes everywhere with him and often appears in sponsored posts for luxury brands such as Bvlgari and LV.

In contrast, Yue feels that vloggers are poets, and often mixes his philosophical meanderings in with his humor.  

While originally a travel vlogger, Yue and his girlfriend have an adventurous sense of style and he now often works with many top fashion and accessories brands, doing a great job of promoting the products, while also staying true to his personal brand. 

Read More: 专访井越:人人皆可vlogger,但用vlog赚钱是另一回事

Rankings:

Top Sports Brand WeChat Official Accounts

Here are a few WeChat trends from the brands on this list: 
- Majority are using WeChat for the combination of WeChat articles + E-commerce + After-sale service + Event ticketing 
- Multiple niche accounts get better traffic
  • Take the Chinese brand ANTA (安踏) as an example. It has multiple accounts including ANTA Sports, ANTA Basketball, and ANTA kids (安踏体育,安踏篮球,安踏儿童) which specifically serve customers interested in those sports and activities
- Accounts’ functions are specific to each consumer segment
  • Most accounts have separate accounts for e-commerce and after-sale service.
  • Decathlon (迪卡侬) also has an account for booking teaching lessons. 
- Domestic brands tend to have more accounts 
  • Many foreign brands tend to have one account. 
  • Having one account also has its advantages such as lower operation cost and the ability to gather large centralized customer base
This newsletter brought to you by Lauren Hallanan
For speaking and consulting inquiries, email lauren@unchartedmedia.co 

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