RedFern Digital is an award-winning full-service Digital Marketing and E-commerce agency responsible for the strategic direction, growth, and performance of some of the largest and most successful brands across a dynamic range of categories in the China market. Services offered by the agency cover Research, Branding, Strategy, Social Media Marketing, E-commerce, and Technical Integration. RedFern works with brands to navigate the digital ecosystem, driving actionable insights, building online sales, and executing creative campaigns that have an impact on the market.
Paid Media Campaign Overview and Purpose
Loop Earplugs is a Belgium brand that produces high-quality and fashionable earplugs for everyday use. The brand already had established a cross-border e-commerce store on Tmall Global and wanted to boost sales to the store and increase brand awareness through a campaign on the Chinese social media platform, Little Red Book (RED, Xiaohongshu). The purpose of the month-long campaign was to build engagement, interactions, and digital presence on RED through working with Key Opinion Leaders or Key Opinion Consumers on the platform, with the ultimate goal of driving traffic and sales to the brand’s Tmall Global store. The campaign ran from 7 October to 5 November 2022
Little Red Book was the chosen platform for Loop because of its positioning as a lifestyle platform that is ideal for the discovery of new products and brands, especially with its rich user-generated content that can be utilised for word-of-mouth marketing. On RED, users share their daily experiences and provide product reviews and recommendations to each other via images and videos.
Moreover, RED also shares similar functions to regular search engines, wherein Chinese consumers tend to conduct searches on RED to see what other users are saying about products before purchasing.
Influencers with large followings on the platform are known as Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs), whereas regular users that are able to reach and impact the purchasing decisions of their friends or family circles are known as Key Opinion Consumers (KOCs). Through content posted by KOLs and KOCs on the platform, brands can increase awareness and drive sales.
Working with KOCs and KOLs on the platform to conduct product seeding and share the product’s unique selling points through authentic content and reviews can allow the brand to precisely reach their target audience.
Pre-Campaign RED Social Listening
Before building out a strategy, RedFern Digital conducted initial social listening on Little Red Book to ensure that it was the appropriate platform to be promoted on. We investigated topics that users were interested in that could also be related to Loop, discovering popular notes included keywords such as: “products for improving sleep quality”, “products recommended for travelling”, and “noise reduction earplugs”. The popularity of these topics indicated interest among Chinese users on RED for products that could assist with sleep, travel, and isolation from surrounding noise.
RED KOC Strategy
To ensure a brand match, we selected handpicked KOCs who would be a match for Loop in terms of style, content, and followers. These users were then provided with the product introduction, the product seeding information, and were asked to place orders for the products themselves. The KOCs shared the process of ordering the products, along with their opinions and perspectives as consumers.
Content that is authentic and shows the personal user experience of the KOCs is the most effective, especially as the KOCs are leading the discussions, making the content more trustworthy to other users on the platform.
RED SEM Promotional Tool Strategy
Little Red Book offers built-in promotional tools that can be used to increase the reach of individual posts. To utilise RED’s promotional tool, we first pre-selected suitable advertising keywords for Loop and applied a promotional budget to the keywords to improve the rankings of notes from the KOLs and KOCs. During an initial testing period, we monitored the results to find the best-performing notes. These notes saw their spending increase, while lower-performing notes had their spending decreased. The optimisations led to top-performing notes that reached the largest audience at the lower CPC and CPM.
RED Ambassador Program
RedFern Digital also ran our ambassador program with Loop, allowing for guaranteed ROI. This program works with KOLs on RED to directly drive sales, with the main difference being that these KOLs also run their own WeChat groups through which they can promote the products directly to users and drive sales to Loop’s Tmall Global store. These KOLs will encourage users in their WeChat group to make purchases, share the brand and products to their WeChat moments, and leave reviews on the Tmall store, further boosting brand presence whilst also converting to sales. Users are encouraged to make first-time purchases through incentives or gifts after spending a certain amount on the products.
Tracking RED Campaign Results
Little Red Book is very strict about promotional content on the platform and will restrict traffic to posts if they appear to be too commercial or promotional. Therefore, KOCs are unable to directly link or refer to sales channels in their posts. One method of still driving sales is through KOCs or KOLs responding to comments under the posts asking for the sales channels.
As a result, the impact on sales from RED cannot be directly measured. Instead, results can be tracked by analysing the unique visitor data, brand keyword search volume on both the E-commerce sales channel and on RED and increases in sales on the E-commerce store. Monitoring changes in these data points in the 48 hours after RED posts go live is essential to understanding campaign impact.
The RED Ambassador Program differs slightly in that the conversion rate and ROI can be measured directly, as the KOLs are sharing unique sales links in their WeChat groups. The sales that result from each link can be tracked and measured, therefore allowing for a comprehensive understanding of the sales resulting from each KOL.
RED Paid Media Campaign Results & Takeaways
The purpose of the campaign was to build up initial brand awareness on RED and drive users to purchase on Tmall Global through working with KOLs and KOCs and utilising the RED promotional tools. Through our efforts, we were able to exceed our target RED posts exposure and engagement, which were both about 90% higher than the industry average on RED. Within a month, over 500 user-posted content was shared about Loop, and the estimated total exposure exceeded 1 million impressions, while the total engagement exceeded 40,000.
In terms of sales, we were able to exceed our expected ROI of 0.5 for the RED Ambassador Program, reaching an ROI of 0.7. The buyers also left authentic and in-depth reviews of the products on the E-commerce platform, which is essential for driving future sales.
As additional takeaways from the campaign, we worked with a range of different KOLs, and gathered insights on the types of content and KOLs that are most likely to drive sales or induce comments that are related to sales. Additionally, we were also able to receive feedback and suggestions from the KOLs about the products and how to promote the products in the future.
More on e-commerce strategies
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