On 21 and 22 September 2017, the ESSCA EU-Asia Institute supported China Channel and WalkTheChat in organizing China CHat, China’s biggest WeChat & Social Marketing Conference for international companies. More than 400 professionals in different fields attended the 2-day networking event, seeking new ways to develop their businesses on social media platforms, and gaining valuable experience from hands-on workshops sessions.

This year within CHina CHat Shanghai, Robin8 and the #MBADMB, EFAP’s MBA in Digital Marketing hosted by ESSCA, organised an interactive workshop showcasing how to increase Return on Investment (ROI) from ‘Key Opinion Leaders’ (KOL) in China. The participants of the workshop were able to learn from case studies presented by leading experts in the field, such as TAN Siok Siok, Founder and CEO of Kinetic One as well as Filmmaker and Entrepreneur, Sean YU, Product Director at MyMM, and WU Qiaqia, Fashion Travel Blogger and reputed KOL.

Max Rech speaking about the CHina CHat 2017.

The moderators of the panel were Miranda TAN, CEO of Robin8 and Maximilian RECH, Programme Director at ESSCA Shanghai. They raised the questions of how to find real and beneficial KOLs for international brands, how to gain real engagement of KOLs, and how to drive engagement to conversion. In the booming industry of virtual reality and digital marketing, authenticity remains to be a significant concern for professionals. Through exploring Weibo metrics and analyzing data, it is relatively easy to figure out whether the person concerned is not a ‘fake KOL.’

Key Opinion Leaders are strong influencers on Chinese social media platforms, such as Weibo, WeChat, Meipai, Miaopai, and others, and there are various ways to keep the audience interested. Travel fashion blogger WU Qiaqia argued that businesses, which yearn to maintain a high level of audience loyalty, should engage the followers in different promotion campaigns, exemplified by free giveaways of travel packages or beauty products.

Filmmaker-Entrepreneur TAN Siok Siok pointed out that KOLs should be defined by the quality of the content, not quantity. Every day a new e-generation of consumers gets subjected to large amounts of fresh information. In such a world of one-line texts and GIFs for any possible human emotion, it is increasingly difficult to capture the audience’s attention with simple images and unsophisticated messages. Hence, the success of the KOL campaigns depends on the creativity and originality of the content. Product director Sean YU also emphasized the importance of new media formats. New media create traction, which is why short videos, for example, are gaining more popularity in the media space.

China CHat is a unique experience to discover and discuss new perspectives on trends and development of digital marketing in China. If you missed it this year, add a reminder to your calendar for CHina CHat 2018!

Report by Oleksandra Zavertailo, assistant to the ESSCA Shanghai Programme Director.


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