Personal branding is very important for your success in China. Are you a celebrity, an athlete, a gamer, or a musician? As long as you want to enter China and benefit from the 1.4 billion audience, you need to have your personal branding strategy. A good personal branding strategy can help you boost your reputation in China, and lead to your success. But entering the market on your own is not easy. You need to know all the local platforms, speak Chinese, and build a detailed action plan.
- 1 Why Do I Need to Do Personal Branding in China?
- 2 Boost your Reputation with Local Marketing Tools in China
- 2.1 1. Identify the Social Media That Corresponds to your Audience in China
- 2.2 2. Open and Run your Official Accounts
- 2.3 3. Combine with PR Management to get Exposure on Top Media and Magazines
- 2.4 4. Make Chinese People Know you Better and Faster with Word-of-Mouth
- 2.5 6. Build your Persona with Baidu Baike: The Chinese Wikipedia
- 3 Top Analysis of Existing Success in China
- 4 Personal Branding: How to Choose a Platform that Suits Me?
- 4.1 Gamers/Live-streamers: 2 Ways to Launch the Chinese Market
- 4.2 Weibo can Never be a Bad Choice for your Official Launch
- 4.3 Most Youtubers can Go Straight on Bilibili
- 4.4 Should I Open my Account on WeChat?
- 4.5 Xiaohongshu is the Best Option for Fashion & Lifestyle KOLs
- 4.6 From TikTok to Douyin, It’s not a Must
- 5 GMA: Boost your Personal Reputation Hand by Hand
- 6 Some Personal Branding Cases of GMA
Why Do I Need to Do Personal Branding in China?
China has a Huge Netizen Group
As we all know, China has 1.4 billion population which is currently the biggest in the world. According to the Statistical Report on Internet Development in China released by China Internet Network Information Center in 2022, the amount of Chinese netizens has reached 1.05 billion by June 2022. The netizen cover rate has reached 74.4% of the total population. Also, the data shows that the average usage of the internet has reached 29.5 hours per week and a 99.6% usage rate of the internet on smartphones.
Expand your Audience and Develop your Fan Base in China
The amount of potential audience in China is so attractive for anyone who needs to expand their audience and fan base. Imagine you can be seen by 1% of Chinese netizens with a 1% conversion rate, then you will have 10M views with 105k fans. Based on the huge internet user group in China, success in your personal career becomes much easier than anywhere else.
Find Potential Opportunities in the Blue Ocean
You might be surrounded by competitors similar to you in your own country. But things which are common in your country can be fresh in another market. Since there is a huge difference between China and western countries, anything you find common might be your leverage in China. Be the first one among your competitors to enter the Chinese market, and enjoy the Blue Ocean!
Boost your Reputation with Local Marketing Tools in China
1. Identify the Social Media That Corresponds to your Audience in China
The very first step for you to do personal branding in China is to identify the platform that really fits you and corresponds to your audience in China. There are a wide variety of social media and other platforms that you can join in China, but you don’t necessarily join all of them. Pick 1 to 3 platforms maximum will be more than enough for your official launching in China.
There are multiple benefits to choosing the right platform:
- You can use your existing content to save time.
- You can target the right audience for better efficiency.
- If you already have some fame on specific social media in China, you can start very quickly.
- Benefit from the leverage of a certain platform that fits you the most.
- Exposure to your potential clients and sponsors.
2. Open and Run your Official Accounts
After you have made your decision on the platforms, it’s time to open and run your official accounts. Comparing to staying as a normal account, verifying yourself as an existing public figure can help you gather popularity from your current followers. This verification is available on most platforms, and will also act as proof of your identity.
Running your official account properly is important, you might need a small team to help you with that. Making sure your content is in proper Chinese is a basic but usually ignored issue by the majority of western celebrities and influencers. Unlike most languages in Europe, improper translation to Chinese can course huge misunderstandings and poor reading or watching experience. Also, your Chinese audience will expect your regular interaction with them to show your respect and how much you value them.
3. Combine with PR Management to get Exposure on Top Media and Magazines
Some people might think that PR is dead in 2022 since most people are paying more attention to social media. But actually, it’s still considered the main criterion for consumer trust. Good PR management can help you attract eyeballs in a short time which is very attractive for newcomers to China. Being noticed by multiple media can bring leads to your own account and discussion among your potential audience. As our easy calculation goes, even if you have only a 1% conversion rate, you can benefit a lot from the exposure.
4. Make Chinese People Know you Better and Faster with Word-of-Mouth
Blogs and forums are the key tool to increase your iWOM, your internet word-of-mouth. This operation is referring to questions and answers on different platforms related to you. Mainstream QA platforms in China include Zhihu and Baidu Zhidao, both have a huge amount of viewers in China. You can propose questions and answers about you and your experience on these platforms to build up your image as well as gain visibility.
6. Build your Persona with Baidu Baike: The Chinese Wikipedia
As a public figure, you need to have your own profile page on Baidu Baike, the Chinese Wikipedia. This is a way to show all your information to those who want to know you better after knowing your name. A rich profile page on Baidu Baike can also show your professionalism which brings a positive image to you. In the meantime, Baidu Baike pages always rank on the first page of Baidu. It will benefit your reputation and turn your persona into a regular user to a complete influencer or leader.
Top Analysis of Existing Success in China
Max Fosh: From Youtube to Bilibili
Max Fosh is a British Youtuber proposing creative videos. After noticing that his videos were reproduced and uploaded on Bilibili with positive feedback, he decided to open his official account on Bilibili and Weibo. He doesn’t need to propose much extra work but put a well-translated Chinese subtitle on all his videos. It took 6 years for Max Fosh to attract 1.45 million followers on Youtube since he created the account. After launching officially on Bilibili and Weibo, he got 0.48 million followers in 7 months, and his first video got 1.91 million views and more than 2,600 comments.
From the success of Max Fosh, we can see how effective it can be when you have chosen the right platform to launch in China. That’s why we always recommend you carefully select one or two right platforms rather than launch on all social media.
Pamela Reif: Followers in China Have Exceeded her Global Fans
Pamela Reif is a fitness Influencer with a huge fan base globally. Her main platform was Instagram and Youtube posting photos and videos about her fitness daily and lessons. As a huge Influencer, she got 8.96 million fans on Instagram and 9.23 million fans on Youtube since her launch in 2013.
Similar to Max Fosh, Pamela Reif decided to enter the Chinese market in June 2020. Her video about at-home fitness lessons got popular in China during the Covid. The platforms she selected are Bilibili as a replacement for Youtube and Weibo as a replacement for Instagram. Although her Weibo account only got 1.8 million fans, her video on Bilibili became a huge success with 9.26 million fans. This has already exceeded her follower number on Youtube in one and a half years.
What’s more, she also found her position on Keep, a fitness app. This action enabled her to target her audience sharply and direct. The result is also amazing: 13.3 million followers on a non-mainstream platform, way more than her global fan base.
Fil Xiaobai: Chinese Fashion KOL Lead you into the Chinese World of Influencer
Fil Xiaobai is a Chinese Fashion KOL and a stylist who started as a student in 2011. During her 12-year journey of being a fashion KOL, she obtained fame from her followers, cooperated with big brands, participated in fashion programs, and finally became THE Fashion KOL in China. Until 2022, she has got 5.94 million followers on Weibo.
In her conversation with JingDaily, she exposed her insight into this industry. Fil claimed that to be a fashion KOL in China, you need to be recognizable with additional vocations and skills. She can be a good example as a fashion KOL and a stylist. Fil is concerned about the current trend in this industry that many new KOLs are only trying to make sales. Her suggestion for anyone who wants to join this industry is to focus on producing high-quality content that increases their market value.
Personal Branding: How to Choose a Platform that Suits Me?
From the success of Max Fosh and Pamela Reif, we have seen the importance of the choice of your platform in China. To help you make that hard decision, here are some tips for different people.
Gamers/Live-streamers: 2 Ways to Launch the Chinese Market
There are 3 main live-streaming platforms in China: Douyu, Huya, and Bilibili. All of them have a huge amount of users and a variety of sectors from gaming to dancing. But before you make a decision, you need to check if your content fits the Chinese market.
Especially for gamers:
- Make sure the game you play has a certain audience in China.
- Make sure your game is allowed to be live-streamed by the regulation.
Because popular games are different in different countries, the game you play might be a very niche one in China. Also, the Chinese regulation banned some games to be live-streamed such as Rainbow Six Siege and Dead by Daylight.
What if you cannot do live streaming on Twitch and a Chinese platform at the same time? What if your game has an audience in China but is banned from live-streaming? Here is a second way to launch the Chinese market: Videos and Footage. Live streamers can edit the footage of their live-streaming and post on Bilibili to launch in another form. This way, you can still obtain followers on Bilibili while having back leads to your Twitch channel.
Weibo can Never be a Bad Choice for your Official Launch
If you are a celebrity, Weibo is your first choice. If not, it can never be a bad choice either. You can make your daily press or interact with your followers on Weibo. To make sure your existing followers can recognize you, you can also apply for verification as a public figure. Weibo is one of the biggest Chinese social media, launching an account on Weibo and getting a huge amount of followers can benefit you a lot:
- Build up your reputation among Chinese people.
- Find your potential partner on Weibo.
- Cooperate with brands to make paid Ads.
- Infinite possibility.
Most Youtubers can Go Straight on Bilibili
There are several video platforms in China, but most Youtubers can find their place on Bilibili. This is a PUGC (Professional User Generated Content) video platform, with 7.7 million videos uploaded and 6.6 billion interactions per month. The monthly active user of Bilibili reached 294 million in the first quarter of 2022, of which 80% of them are Gen Z living in first and second-tier cities.
When Bilibili users are looking forward to more interesting videos, more and more YouTubers are launching Bilibili. Just like what Max Fosh and Pamela Reif did, reproduce your video with Chinese subtitles and post on Bilibili can do the job. Don’t forget to interact with your Chinese audience to build up a strong relationship.
Should I Open my Account on WeChat?
Everyone knows that WeChat is the biggest social media in China. But is it always the best choice for you? The answer is no. WeChat does have the largest user group, but its main function is daily communication. We rarely suggest you launch on WeChat for personal branding to save your time and energy.
Xiaohongshu is the Best Option for Fashion & Lifestyle KOLs
What can be the best choice if your want to launch as a Fashion or Lifestyle KOL? Xiaohongshu is the answer. Xiaohongshu is currently leading the fashion trend in China and is the ideal platform for you as a fashion KOL. Sharing your taste and skill with unique content can help you become popular among your competitors. Just like Fil Xiaobai said, always focus on producing high-quality content that increases their market value.
From TikTok to Douyin, It’s not a Must
Naturally, content producers on Tik Tok can switch to Douyin easily since they are almost the same thing. But depending on your content, it’s not a must. There are several platforms in China where you can post short videos. Selecting your platform by the audience you are targeting is very important. You can target younger generations on Bilibili or target fashion lovers on Xiaohongshu. Douyin can be a good choice, but never the only choice.
GMA: Boost your Personal Reputation Hand by Hand
GMA is a digital marketing agency with rich experience in the Chinese market. Having cooperated with hundreds of brands in the past decade, we are able to provide complete support for any brand and individual. Based in Shanghai, we have more than 70 experts in different fields who will help your boost your reputation and business in China.
How can GMA Support you
GMA provides 360°support for your success in China. We will analyze your content and carefully make your strategy in China to help you launch smoothly and with great effect. Our service is long-term, we don’t stop at your launch, but will walk with you even in your daily operation.
Professional in Digital Marketing, ROI Focused
We are professionals in digital marketing, mastering all kinds of digital tools and social media. We know how to build your image in China and boost your reputation, and always focus on your ROI for your own good.
GMA Luxury Division is directed by Anais Bournonville, an experienced former LVMH talent. She will provide her precise suggestion in your case of personal branding in China. At the same time, you will be able to benefit from the GMA brand network, and easily find your cooperator brands from our brand pool. Contacting her for a first consult can be your first step to succeed in China.
Some Personal Branding Cases of GMA
Victor Maxence: A French Pianist
Victor Maxence is a French pianist. He started practicing when he was 6 years old under his mother’s guidance, who was a music teacher. Seeing the potential audience in China, Victor decided to enter the Chinese market as an independent pianist, but this need him to gain enough visibility in China which led to our cooperation on personal branding.
To make sure Victor Maxence can benefit from a wider audience, we made our first step in attracting more Chinese audiences. Victor Maxence was promoted through different distributions including media, forums, and social media. In the meantime, we made an effort on improving his online reputation to make sure his audience can be converted into his followers.
- 25 Media Mentioned
- +15K Engagement on Forums
- +17K Followers on Social Media
Humaima Malick: A Pakistani Actress
Humaima Malick was born in Quetta into a Pashtun family. She graduated from Government Girls College Quetta and then moved to Karachi along with her family following her father’s retirement. Malick started her actress and model career at the age of 14 and appeared in Pakistani and Bollywood films and serials. To connect with more fans in China, she needs GMA to do personal branding in China.
Finding that Humaima Malick has a similar facial appearance to Angelababy, GMA decided to compare Malick with Angelababy to gain attention from Chinese netizens. This post was shared by KOLs and created a buzz on the internet and got massive interactions in only 2 days.
- 686K+ Views
- 5K+ Comments
- In 2 Days
Patrick Le Chinois : A French Humorist
Patrick the Chinese alias Baimage is a French humorist. Being the first Humorist that made a Show in Mandarin for Chinese, he decided to contact GMA for personal branding.
For Patrick Le Chinois, we decided to do Buzz marketing on Chinese social media. By taking advantage of different digital marketing tools and social media platforms, Patrick Le Chinois gained a huge amount of followers and boosted his personal reputation.
- +130K Articles
- +3M Exposure
- +1.5M Views of his video
- +130K Followers