11 KOL Influencer Marketing Statistics in China That Will Surprise You

Social SEO
6 min readOct 12, 2020


As social media in China becomes a more integrated part of their lives, KOL marketing has exploded. Chinese consumers are turning to their favorite Weibo models, RED personalities and TikTok stars for advice and recommendations on purchasing decisions.

Interest in influencer marketing has only raised, which means a lot of research has been conducted which has produced interesting statistics. So let’s take a look at some of the most eye-popping results of these studies. Here are 11 KOL influencer marketing stats that will surprise you.

1) 48% of Generation Z follow KOL Influencers to Guide Purchasing Decisions

This statistic demonstrates the growing importance of social media KOLs for brands to connect with their younger audiences. Not only do 48% of Chinese consumers depend on influencer recommendations but it is reported that they are willing to spend a quarter of their income on products the their favorite KOLs recommend.

If consumers feel confident about an influencer’s recommendation, they are more likely to make a purchase. Brands are able to piggyback on the trust of influencers.

2) 63% are Receptive to KOL Endorsed Brands and 78% to Celebrity Endorsed Brands in China

According to a study released in May 2018 by consulting firm A.T. Kearney, receptiveness to brand recommendations by celebrities (78%) and KOLs (63%) among social media users in China ranked higher than in any country surveyed.

This creates huge opportunities for marketers in the promotion of products (sponsored or not) to reach new audiences and influence key cohorts such as millennials and Gen Z.

3) 86% of Women Use Social Media for Purchasing Advice

This statistic should be important to any brand that either has women as their primary target audience or within their scope of ideal customers.

It seems if you want to reach more women and get them to buy your product or service, you need to be present on social media and aware of the KOLs that they are interested in. And this behavior is growing as 45% of women claim to be more active on social media that they were just 2 years ago.

The key to engaging this cohort through KOLs is to be genuine and inspirational.

4) 71% of Marketers say the Quality of Customers and Traffic from KOL Marketing is Better than Other Sources

The word of a celebrity isn’t as valuable as it used to be. Not only do Chinese customers have a hard time trusting brands, but also traditional celebrities seem to have lost the influence they once had.

KOLs themselves often have a good gauge on the likes and dislikes of their audience, so speaking to them can also provide valuable insights for launching a successful campaign. From the earlier mentioned survey by Mediakix, 71% of marketers say the quality of customers and traffic from KOL marketing is better than other sources.

It seems these days’ consumers in China trust social media influencers and their peers above anybody else. Power has shifted to social media influencers.

5) KOL Marketing Is the Fastest-Growing Online Customer-Acquisition Method

More brands are hopping on the KOL marketing train. It’s becoming more important than ever to build relationships with KOLs who resonate with your brand and to create campaigns, which are aligned with the values of an influencer’s followers.

In addition, 22% of marketers say KOL marketing is the most cost-effective method of obtaining new customers.

6) 57% of Fashion and Beauty Companies Engage in KOL Marketing

Fashion and beauty are industries that rely heavily on KOL marketing as organic growth for brands has become more challenging without advertising and amplification.

In this sector, 57% of companies now use influencers as part of their marketing mix while 21% are planning to add this to their strategy in the coming year.

7) The KOL Marketing Industry in China is Expected to Hit $15 Billion by 2020

According to The Influencer Marketing research report from Business Insider Intelligence, influencer marketing is on track to be worth up to $15 billion by 2022.

This growth means more widespread use in marketing and will require marketers to evolve strategies in the way campaigns are measured, create analytics to scale campaigns and look at how to manage relationships between brands and influencers.

8) 89% of businesses say their KOL Marketing Has a Strong ROI

Every business should ensure that they set relevant KPIs before engaging in any KOL marketing campaign. Total reach, sales conversion, and click-through rate are common examples of KPI for measuring the performance of KOL marketing. Choosing the right KOL to reach your target audience can help you to achieve these KPIs and deliver significant ROI for your business.

Overall, 89% of businesses say their ROI from KOL marketing is comparable to or even better than other marketing channels according to Mediakix.

9) 67% of Marketers Promote Content With the Help of KOLs

We already mentioned 73% of marketers have a budget set aside for KOL marketing, but as of right now just 67% are actively engaging with and have a relationship with influencers. They’re getting ahead of the curve and striking marketing deals to borrow their trust.

Now is the time to jump in and get involved in influencer marketing. It’s time to do your research and find influencers who might have the trust and dedication of your target audience.

10) 60% of Consumers Have Been Influenced by Social Media or Blog While Shopping at a Store

This changes the meaning of comparison shopping. According to research, 3% of consumers would consider buying a product in-store if promoted by a celebrity compared to 60% for an influencer.

Not only is the influence greater, but over half of customers are consulting blogs and social media on their mobiles prior to shopping highlighting the importance of easy to find information and posts (social and blogs) to reveal a product’s reputation.

11) 71% of Marketers Believe Influencer Partnerships are Good for Business

Influencer marketing campaigns should not be a one-and-done proposition but are a valuable strategy in a marketer’s toolkit. with nearly three-quarters of marketing professionals citing them as good for business.

If you can partner with them and create a long-term relationship, making them ambassadors of your brand, the message they portray comes across as more trusted instead of promotional. It helps to boost your brand’s credibility if you’re seen as trusted by an influencer.

Join the Social KOL Influencer Marketing Party

It’s better late than never when it comes to developing an KOL marketing campaign. A good way to start would be to reach out to some of your industry’s top KOLs and show off your great product or service.

Otherwise, you can work with marketing agencies like ChinaKOL to find out which ones have your target audience as a significant portion of their following and go from there.

How do I find the best KOLs for my campaign in China?

Visit our website to find out more.

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: https://www.ChinaKOLexperts.com



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