Kicking off the New Year, XiaoHongShu has already launched two new features that will surely prove to be advantageous for many brands in the Chinese market.
1. XHS’s official influencer marketing platform
2018 was a big year for influencer marketing all over the world and it looks like it will continue to be a massive driving force for brands who want to expand and improve sales via online shops throughout 2019. Influencer marketing not only facilitates specific brands to reach a larger audience and increase their sales, it also builds trust amongst the consumers as they often find a KOLs’ opinion more trustworthy. Through XHS’s new influencer marketing platform, brands will obtain a direct way to connect and work with appropriate influencers. Similarly to Douyin’s Star Map Platform, the platform will aid influencers to monetize their social media channels and increase engagement with their current and potential customers.
In order to be able to join and use this new platform, brands need to ensure that their brand official account is verified; and influencers/KOLs must have over 1,000 followers with a certain number of monthly average post views. However, if a certain KOL were to have too many fake fans and likes, they may fail to obtain XHS’s approval. Additionally, through the platform influencers/KOLs are able to set a price for their posts and when posting verified influencers must tag brand official accounts when publishing a commercial post. This will in turn allow brands to view the exposure and engagement data of each commercial post, allowing brands to see what works for them and what doesn’t.
2. XHS's official advertising packages
In early 2018, the co-founder of XHS stated they would not make money through the community and would instead focus on genuine user generated content as it is the platform’s fundamental value. Conversely, later that year just days before double 11, XHS launched a trial ad with Laneige, making people wonder if the platform will launch an ad platform similar to that of FB.
Nevertheless, now the platform is finally launched. With XHS’s new ad packages, brands are guaranteed an increase in both exposure and click through rate as the ads will be integrated within the explore page feed. There will also be a tailor made topic page that will include what’s hot at the moment and tailor made stickers for each brand in order to showcase the brand’s tonality and enhance its story. While brands will have several packages to choose from that are set at different prices depending on the position and quantity of the ads, it will be very selective as XHS will charge package prices rather than cost per click. Additionally, for now, the platform is not very comprehensive, meaning brands are unable to target specific groups of people geographically or according to their interest.