Kuaishou: Promote & Sell your Brand on this Chinese Short Video App

In the era of social media, platforms like Kuaishou have become increasingly popular for marketing. But what works on this Chinese short video sharing platform? In this article, we take a look at how brands can use Kuaishou for marketing, how to use this social media platform as a selling channel, and some tips on how to make your campaigns successful.

What is Kuaishou?

Kuaishou began as a GIF maker app in 2012 and has since grown into one of China’s largest short video platforms, allowing users to film and share videos about their daily lives.

Users can also purchase things straight from the app via branded storefronts and agreements with Chinese e-commerce giants like JD.com, Taobao, and Pinduoduo.

Consider it like Douyin with a somewhat different user base, higher engagement, and greater prospects for e-commerce firms, for reasons we’ll explain.

On Kuaishou, live streaming is likewise more popular, accounting for more than half of the company’s $7.2 billion in yearly sales. This establishes a fundamental distinction between itself and Douyin, which we’ll discuss later.

The Rise of Kuaishou

Kuaishou had over 300 million daily active users by 2020, up 41.5 percent year over year. Several factors have contributed to this remarkable expansion.

First, Covid-19 has resulted in a substantial surge in digital usage as a result of lockdowns and social isolation, which Kuaishou has directly benefited from.

Take, for example, live-streaming. The platform recorded 170 million daily active live-stream viewers in the first six months of 2020, an increase of more than 70 million from December 2019.

This implies that during a lockdown, marketers used Kuaishou to connect with their customers via live streams, resulting in not just a large boost in live engagement, but also a rise in Kuashiou’s overall popularity.

The platform’s massive advances in the e-commerce market further demonstrate Covid-19’s significance.

In the first half of 2020, daily e-commerce users surpassed 100 million, with a GMV allegedly reaching 332.68 billion yuan, putting Kuaishou China’s fourth-largest e-commerce operator, after Alibaba, JD.com, and Pinduoduo.

Kuaishou has actively accelerated its e-commerce profile by:

  • Organizing its own retail events
  • Forming profitable retail alliances
  • Partnering with key opinion leaders (KOLs) to boost traffic to the platform

It has also invested over $460 million in its live-stream infrastructure, including the construction of a brand-new 5G ecosystem in Chengdu, which has significantly increased the platform’s capacity for new content.

Furthermore, the massive growth of Douyin in China has resulted in a major increase in the popularity of the short-form video market, which is one of the most important factors driving Kuaishou’s rise.

Overall, each of these forces has propelled Kuaishou to greater heights:

  • The impact of Covid-19 on digital uptake
  • E-commerce and live-streaming investments
  • Douyin’s ascent and the short-form video market

Kuaishou User-Base

Kuaishou’s user base is primarily made up of young people who live in China’s lower-tier cities.

The following is a rough breakdown of user distribution per city:

  • 1st tier: 15%
  • 2nd tier: 30%
  • 3rd tier: 24% 
  • 4th tier: 31%

This suggests that the majority of Kuaishou users have less disposable money than Douyin users.

However, by developing retail ties with companies like JD.com, the network is deliberately pushing a more affluent user base. As we’ve seen, this has resulted in a considerable boost in the platform’s monetization. 

Kuaishou users are divided into four groups based on gender and age: 48 percent are female, 52 percent are male, and 70 percent are under the age of 30.

In fact, from July 2019 to June 2020, Gen Z users (those born between 1995 and 2002) accounted for over 70% of all published material on Kuaishou.

This makes Kuaishou among the most effective venues for reaching Chinese youth, particularly those interested in lifestyle issues, which account for about 30% of all content on the network.

Kuaishou users are, on average:

  • Young (under the age of 30)
  • Evenly split between male and female 
  • E-commerce shoppers
  • Interested in lifestyle content
  • Located mostly in Tier 2 and 4 cities in China

How Do They Spend Their Time on the Platform?

Each day, the average Kuaishou user spends 60 minutes exploring and creating content on the app. Over 19 million users have also made money on the network, making it an excellent venue for launching a KOL or KOC marketing campaign.

Lifestyle material is the most popular type of content on Kuaishou (29.8%), followed by:

  • Girls/selfies (9.9%) 
  • Beauty (8.7%) 
  • Education (6.3%) 
  • Farming (5.9%)
  • Anime (5.8%)
  • Guys/selfies (5.2%)
  • Food (4.1%)
  • Talents (3.7%)
  • Kids (3.3%)
  • Skills (2.9%)
  • Sports (2.5%)
  • Games (2.5%)
  • Pets (2.0%)
  • Travel (0.8%)

Different Account Types on Kuaishou

On Kuaishou, there are two categories of accounts: 

  • Individual creator accounts 
  • Business accounts 

Individual creator accounts allow users to share and produce content, engage with friends, and use the network in a non-commercial capacity.

Brands, otherwise, can create business accounts to advertise their products, build brand awareness, and interact with followers directly.

Organizations can register for marketing under a variety of categories on Kuaishou, including commercial, media, and government department accounts.

Business accounts have the same access to the site as regular users, but they also have access to additional features like e-commerce integrations and advertising options.

They can also be verified on Kuaishou, where a ‘V’ emblem appears next to their account name as a seal of validity and authority.

This is a terrific method for brands to expand their following on the platform, and it also gives them access to special services like advertising discounts and growth advice.

How Can International Brands Use Kuaishou?

International brands can use Kuaishou in a variety of ways once they’ve registered and submitted the relevant business documentation:

Produce Native Content

Kuaishou is the ideal medium in China for reaching young users with native content if you have a business account. This entails creating engaging content (such as videos and live streams) that engages users and improves platform brand awareness.

The finest native content will build on what Kuaishou users already like. The goal for a brand should therefore be to turn a promotion or product placement into content that is interesting or rewarding for its intended audience.

Top ideas for native content on Kuaishou include:

  • Taking part in topic tags (or hashtags)
  • Creating subject tags and fostering user-generated content (user-generated-content)
  • To attract customers and KOCs, run product giveaways.
  • Creating material that demonstrates how products work
  • Hosting live streams that allow followers to interact directly with you

Advertise on the Platform

Kuaishou provides partnering brands with a variety of paid advertising options.

Display advertisements, newsfeed ads, and discover ads are all examples of this, and they can all be in the form of short video clips or banners. These can be used to drive traffic to account profiles, specific videos or live streams, games, external websites, and e-commerce stores, among other things.

Brands can also use Kuaishou to promote their topic tags (or hashtags), which can lead to viral UGC and increased brand awareness.

Users can be targeted for each advertising solution based on their gender, age, geography, interests, and platform behavior.

Furthermore, KOL marketing on Kuaishou provides a very lucrative possibility for brands. KOL Xinba, for example, produced moreover $57 million in sales for affiliated brands in only one day during its November 6 shopping festival.

To create an effective Kuaishou KOL strategy, you’ll need to:

  • Collaborate with a key opinion leader (KOL) who is relevant to your target market.
  • Choose a KOL with a track record of success.
  • Give instructions
  • Paid marketing can help you get more exposure.
  • Examine the return on investment

Boost E-Commerce Sales in China

Kuaishou is quickly becoming one of China’s most popular e-commerce platforms, thanks to several new integrations.

Take, for example, the recent collaboration between Kuaishou and JD.com.

Read more about this partnership

The two companies collaborated to host a 24-hour online shopping festival that produced over $200 million in sales in just one day.

Users can now purchase JD products directly from the Kuaishou app, eliminating the need to exit the app.

These types of improvements have helped Kuaishou become one of China’s most popular e-commerce channels.

The following are the top-selling items on the app:

  • Stationary 
  • Running shoes 
  • Chinese noodles
  • Laundry detergent
  • Skincare products 
  • Water filters
  • Massage chairs
  • Technology (Huawei Honor V30, iPhone 11 Pro)
  • Water heaters and air conditioners 
  • Fashion 
  • Jewelry 

Brands must combine well-targeted items with marketing tactics that check all the boxes to create an efficient e-commerce strategy for Kuaishou.

On Kuaishou, the most popular funnels are:

  • Live streams with direct purchase links 
  • KOL collaborations 
  • In-app shopfronts 
  • Giveaway campaigns 
  • Product videos with direct purchase links

Kuaishou vs. Douyin

In truth, there is not much difference between the Kuaishou and Douyin. Differences between the two lie mainly in the target audience and level of focus on eCommerce. But let’s have a look at their algorithm and users’ habits

The content is displayed in a way each content creator gets a fair amount of views but also puts a bigger emphasis on the relationship between users. Surveys show that Kuaishou users prefer to follow “regular people” rather than VIP content. Finally, if you’re considering using Kuaishou for influencer marketing, the greatest answer is to depend on Key Opinion Consumers aka KOCs.

The Douyin algorithm, on the other hand, is more effective in raising awareness. It’s because it displays new, fashionable material and is more suitable for advertising. Companies spend a lot of money on ads and KOL marketing to get their content to become widespread on the app.

Another significant distinction has to do with the aim. Both applications are extremely popular in China, however, Douyin is one of the most popular in first-tier cities, and Kuaishou is more popular in lower-tier cities and rural areas. Both primarily target young Chinese, particularly those under the age of 30.

Finally, there is a distinction in terms of eCommerce. In comparison to Douyin, Kuaishou promises more compatibility with other eCommerce platforms, resulting in a stronger service offer.

What Brands Should Know About Kuaishou

Kuaishou’s user base can assist brands in reaching out to potential customers, particularly those looking to break into the “xiachen” industry. Brands will be able to read consumers in Northern China, lower-tier cities, and rural areas using Kuaishou. Kuaishou is also used by many urban viewers to “see” rural life through the eyes of the rural content provider. Videos of farming or fishing, for example, are especially prominent on the platform. When working with these types of video makers, brands might add organic or natural ingredient principles.

Actors in some areas, though, should be wary of the move. Consumer stereotypes about Kuaishou’s rural orientation can endanger the brand image of those brands in the greater market segments, like premium brands and high-end skincare items. Despite Kuaishou’s quick growth in urban users, TikTok’s urban users mostly overlap with Kuaishou’s. High-end brands may find it more advantageous to focus their marketing efforts on Tiktok at this time.

Why Should You Use Kuaishou for Your Marketing Effort in China?

We’ve compiled a list of reasons why Kuaishou should be a part of your marketing strategy:

  • Kuaishou is a company that focuses on e-Commerce marketing and has partnerships with Taobao, Tmall, JD.com, and Pinduoduo.
  • When it comes to selling in e-Commerce and selling your products, Kuaishou has a 3 to 5 times greater conversion rate than Douyin.
  • There is a highly active community there that is far more willing to buy than Douyin.
  • Because the user base on Kuaishou is smaller and people do not advertise as much as they do on Douyin, advertising and marketing for your items are less expensive.
  • On Kuaishou, this is more relationship-based, so on the discovery page, you’ll see content from people you’ve already seen 40 to 50 percent of the time.
  • Because it is relationship-based, Kuaishou live-streaming has a more engaged community. This is now the greatest platform for streaming e-Commerce. Kuaishou live-streaming has a 5 percent engagement rate compared to Douyin’s 2%.
  • Kuaishou is attempting to broaden its scope to include first-tier cities. It seeks to reach a bigger audience, such as Beijing or Shanghai, by partnering with e-commerce platforms and targeting its user base.

Wanna get started with short video marketing in China?

Over the last 10 years, GMA has helped thousands of companies set up themselves for success in the Chinese market. Thanks to our experience, we offer innovative marketing solutions at the best price point. Feel free to contact us and request an appointment with our fashion and luxury expert to learn more about how your brand can also make it in the middle kingdom.

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