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If Chinese consumers can only choose one app for product-related information, it will be Little Red Book.
This user-generated content and eCommerce platform has been dominating the consumer online community. Nascent brands such as Perfect Diary successfully gained their initial momentum solely relying on Little Red Book. How can your brand replicate their Little Red Book marketing success?
What is Little Red Book?
The Chinese name of the platform, 小红书, can be literally translated as Little Red Book. Also known as RED or Xiaohongshu, the platform has no opposite number in the West.
At the core of Little Red Book, it is a place for consumers to share their product and brand experience. Consumers, especially young females, use Little Red Book to gather, consume and post product-related content throughout their consumer journey – namely, seed (种草), grow (长草) and weed (拔草) in Chinese slang. This makes Little Red Book the most trusted platform for product search and reviews.
Stemming from this core, Little Red Book has proliferated into a Key Opinion Leader (aka influencer) community and an eCommerce platform. It is no surprise that fashion and beauty bloggers can obtain much greater popularity on Little Red Book. The nature of the user behaviour favours authentic and detailed product reviews from KOLs. Celebrities, mega KOLs, and even industry experts have migrated to Little Red Book to build their online profile.
One year after the launch of Little Red Book, in 2014, Little Red Book has added an eCommerce component. Now, verified accounts can open their own Little Red Book store and capitalise on their followings. By 2021, Little Red Book starts to allow personal stores, encouraging users with personal accounts to open their own commerce site.
Why is Little Red Book important for your business?
Combining its rich vault of user content, a plethora of KOLs and integrated eCommerce function, Little Red Book provides ammunition to marketers for exceptional marketing results. No wonder that most major brands have landed on the platform, from international luxury brands to local emerging stars.
To parse the exact commercial benefit of Little Red Book, let’s take a deep dive into the following aspects:
- As a search engine
- As a user community
- As a brand space
1/ As a search engine
Consumers know Little Red Book owns countless product and brand recommendations, evaluations, testings, reviews and tutorials. Therefore, Chinese consumers have formed the unconscious habit of using Little Red Book as a search engine for products and brands.
This search action can happen at any stage of the consumer journey. Yet, the content that one looks for varies based on the objective. Brands can design and publish quality content that serve the needs of each stage, in order to increase the likelihood of purchase.
When the consumer notices a problem that they want to solve with a product, they’d simply search on Little Red Book with the question. For example, the question “how to treat sensitive skin” has 500k search results, scattered with branded content.
Say one has already grown interested in a few products, how shall they choose? Thanks to the abundant product evaluation and testing content on Little Red Book, consumers can often find the answer on the platform. This is the key content angle that brands can adopt to persuade purchases.
Brands can also produce product usage tutorials and tips, catering to existing customers. In this way, you can reduce any regret or confusion for a more satisfactory product experience.
2/ As a user community
With the rise of digital channels, marketers should quit to deliver monologues TO the target audience, but engage WITH them. Little Red Book is the ideal platform for brands to be a part of the latest conversation among active users.
Thanks to the hashtag functions and smart algorithms, users and brands can easily find a related community. Based on the user behaviour, the user community can be dissected into “powerful KOLs”, “active engagers” and “passive audience”. Knowing how to interact with each one of them is crucial for brands.
Firstly, you should never ignore the influences that KOLs can pose on consumer decisions, especially on Little Red Book. With the use of KOL collaboration, brands are able to garner awareness, educate effectively, and motivate purchases.
Yet, brands sometimes struggle to find the right KOL or the appropriate collaboration method. Click to to read our latest article on celebrity endorsement in China!
For active engagers, who never hold back to express their thoughts in the comment sections, they should be treated with caution. Positive feedback is always nice to see. Give them a like and a grateful reply. Got a complaint? The best solution is to do some crisis management right away. Ignoring negative comments may affect the attitude of the passive audience.
3/ As a brand space
Little Red Book offers a range of tools for brands and marketers to prosper on the platform. Ranging from official brand accounts, paid ads, brand stores and live streaming. By exploiting these tools to their maximum, brands are able to cultivate a multifaceted brand ecosystem on Little Red Book.
Little Red Book official brand accounts are like your Facebook and Instagram brand account. You create, post and repurpose content to build your brand image and interact with brand followings. Unlike on Instagram, where brands usually post original content, Little Red Book is filled with repurposed user generated content (UGC). Cost-effective and credible.
Paid ads, on the other hand, help you break into a new audience group. Little Red Book provides splash screen ads, feed ads (static image and video) as well as sponsored posts. All forms of paid ads are blended in naturally into the user experience. The choice is yours.
Live streaming and brand stores are bonus add-ons if you have enough resources. The upward trend of live streaming has no sign of slowing down in China. Well-known live streamers like Viya are also veteran Little Red Book users, loved by the audience. Brand stores can streamline the purchase decisions and directly transform followers to consumers in one access.
How can you use Little Red Book to grow your business?
With full transparency, based on our team’s experience in Little Red Book marketing, we will not suggest EVERY brand to go on to Little Red Book. The platform’s audience is heavily skewed towards young females living in the more developed regions in China.
However, this is your brand’s target audience, you should never overlook Little Red Book – such as beauty products. By implementing appropriate and optimised Little Red Book marketing strategies, the platform can make your business thrive.
What are the best marketing strategies? Our experienced team has summarised the following list of Little Red Book marketing solutions as a guidance:
- Little Red Book Official Brand Account
- Little Red Book Content Creation (incl. Images, short videos & repurposing UGC)
- Little Red Book KOL Outreach & Collaboration
- Little Red Book Display Feed Ads
- Little Red Book SEO
- Little Red Book Official Brand Store
Unlike WeChat or Weibo, Little Red Book is still a young platform with constant updates and changes. Find it hard to grasp the key of Little Red Book marketing? We are more than happy to help!
Contact us to get started on Little Red Book marketing for you.