Prepared for Ramon B. | Delivered September 30, 2019
Influencer Marketing in China
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Identify case studies of successful influencer marketing campaigns in China with a focus on how creator studios and influencer incubators work. The information will be used to determine how this marketing tactic has developed in China.
INFLUENCER INCUBATOR CASE STUDY
Zhang “BB” Xi
is a Gen Y influencer in China with around
in all her social media accounts.
She posts beauty vlogs and tutorials on these platforms.
Even if she has many fans in her social media accounts, she
was not able to make a dent
yet in the highly-competitive influencer industry.
Still, her legions of fans attracted talent scouts from one of the country's biggest "
key opinion leader (KOL)
," Ruhnn Holding.
is considered as an influencer management firm or an influencer incubator.
The firm's scouts go through various social media accounts to look for amateurs with
over 5,000 followers
who have the potential to scale.
The company typically evaluates around
on a monthly basis.
prospective candidates were then made to t
ake several tests
One test require
identifying best-selling items from 100 pictures
to gauge the potential candidate's marketing clout.
This is considered as a significant test as these influencers typically
build their own e-commerce stores
to sell items to their followers.
The company will also provide
a small funding
amount to test if many people will signify their interest.
Ruhnn will typically grant 2,000 yuan or around
on campaigns to try to bring in
to each candidate's social media profiles.
If these people became followers, the company became
more secure in their decision
to take the influencer into their fold.
ultra-commercialized level of talent search
shows the multi-layered strategy of the country's influencer industry.
It is seen to be a
potential business model
that can be emulated by social media influencers from other countries.
Ruhnn typically offers a contract for
5-10 amateur influencers
out of the
that it evaluates.
The binding contract will then give the firm
sole portrait rights
and the privilege to manage the social media platforms and online stores of the influencer.
The chosen influencers will then collaborate with the company to
determine which products to sell
In return, the firm will provide a support group and
four months of heavy training
to the chosen influencer.
The training will include lessons such as
camera presence techniques
, types of videos, product-selling, and other relevant topics.
Based on an assessment from a USC associate professor and author of the Social Media Entertainment book, China's influencer industry "has
accelerated far more quickly
and provides more lucrative careers for its creators" even if it is still in its early stages compared to Western models.
Once Ms. Xi was chosen by Ruhnn from among thousands of accounts, her follower count jumped from
300,000 to almost 1 million
across all her social media accounts.
Her number of followers is still increasing and she hopes to further
leverage other media types
Ruhnn's first investment was for an influencer named Dayi Zhang who was known for being "
the queen of e-commerce.
Ms. Zhang was able to sell over
1 billion yuan ($145 million)
worth of products through her e-commerce store. Her store releases around