How Brands Leverage Xiaohongshu to Grow Brand Awareness

Picture of GAB Team

GAB Team

Picture of GAB Team

GAB Team

Xiaohongshu, also known as Little Red Book, is a Chinese social media and e-commerce platform that has emerged as a significant player in the digital landscape. Founded in 2013, it started as a platform where users could share product reviews and shopping experiences, particularly those from overseas. Over time, it has evolved into a comprehensive platform that combines social networking, lifestyle sharing, and online shopping, especially popular among young, urban Chinese consumers.

 

As of February 2023, data indicates that Xiaohongshu (RED) has surpassed 260 million monthly active users. Among these users, over 70% are born in the 1990s, and the platform experiences nearly 300 million searches daily.

 

Little Red Book App

 

 

As a seeding platform, Xiaohongshu plays a crucial role in influencing consumer behavior. “Seeding” in this context refers to the strategic placement of product mentions or endorsements within the platform’s content to subtly ‘plant’ the product in the minds of potential customers.

Brands use Xiaohongshu to ‘seed’ their products by leveraging user-generated content, influencer partnerships, and engaging posts. This approach is effective because the content is often perceived as authentic and trustworthy by the platform’s users.

 

 

Why is seeding important for brand awareness?

Let’s look at the consumer journey on Xiaohongshu, which encompasses the entire process a consumer goes through before making a purchase decision. This journey includes stages like awareness, consideration, decision, and advocacy. Xiaohongshu impacts this journey in several ways:

  1. Awareness

    By browsing through the platform, users discover new products and brands, often through posts or recommendations by other users or influencers. Consider this scenario: a young professional is preparing for a trip to Thailand or contemplating which skincare foundation to purchase. In addition to seeking advice from friends, they are likely to turn to Xiaohongshu to gather diverse insights and tips from various users.

  2. Consideration

    Users turn to Xiaohongshu for genuine reviews and detailed experiences shared by others, which helps them evaluate products.

  3. Advocacy

    Post-purchase, users often share their own experiences and reviews on Xiaohongshu, influencing others and completing the consumer journey cycle.

 

 

Strategies for Brand Awareness

 

  1. Content Marketing

    Brands create engaging, lifestyle-oriented content, with an emphasis on high-quality visuals and genuine narratives. For international brands, creating content that resonates with Chinese culture and trends is key to connecting with the local audience.It’s noteworthy that besides common content formats like images, short videos, and brand streaming, blogger live streaming has become an important method for brands to create a self-sustaining loop and enhance conversions on Xiaohongshu (RED).

    Zhang Xiaohui's live stream
    Livestream hosts are taking a more refined approach to selling products, breaking from the typical adrenaline-fueled, hard-selling style.

    This year, the performance of celebrity or blogger live streams on Xiaohongshu has been particularly impressive. Starting from Dong Jie’s debut live stream achieving over 50 million RMB in GMV at the beginning of the year, to Zhang Xiaohui’s live stream in October generating sales exceeding 100 million RMB, the success of blogger live streams in terms of sales data has given brands ample confidence to deepen their engagement with Xiaohongshu.

  2. KOL Partnerships

    Collaborations with influencers (also called Key Opinion Leaders) on Xiaohongshu are vital for product endorsements and creating buzz. On the platform, a particular group is rapidly gaining prominence – known as ‘KOS’ or ‘Key Opinion Sales’. KOS creates an additional transactional route for brands: online content seeding and offline conversion.

    In a way, the emergence of KOS has altered the traditional content-to-commerce logic. With their brand-certified professionalism and close consumer relationships, KOS understand and swiftly respond to consumer needs, finding matching product solutions. Moreover, KOS bridge the gap between online seeding and offline store experiences, providing customers with a personalized shopping experience. This means that by integrating a KOS matrix on Xiaohongshu, brands can shorten the conversion path and enhance business efficiency.

  3. User-Generated Content

    Encouraging users to share their experiences with products boosts brand visibility and credibility.

  4. Interactive Campaigns

    Brands engage users with challenges, contests, or giveaways, fostering community interaction and brand recognition.

  5. E-Commerce Integration

    Direct linking of products in posts simplifies the purchase process, blending content with commerce.

  6. Data-Driven Insights

    Direct linking of products in posts simplifies the purchase process, blending content with commerce.

 

Below are some examples illustrating how brands across various sectors use Xiaohongshu’s unique combination of social media and influencer partnerships to enhance brand awareness and engage with the Chinese consumer market.

 

Case Study: Ubras’ Successful Awareness Marketing Campaign on Xiaohongshu (RED) for Autumn/Winter 2023

 

Marketing Campaign on Xiaohongshu

 

Overview:
Ubras, a notable lingerie brand, utilized Xiaohongshu to launch an effective marketing campaign for their ‘Wool Skin Base Garment’ during the autumn-winter season of 2023. This campaign serves as an exemplary case of leveraging social media trends and consumer insights to drive product awareness and sales.

 

Objectives:

1. To introduce the ‘Wool Skin Base Garment’ as a key product for the autumn-winter season.

2. To capitalize on the increasing ‘autumn warmth’ demand among young consumers.

3. To integrate the product within popular content trends on Xiaohongshu.

4. To achieve a significant increase in brand exposure and sales during the Double 11 shopping event.

 

Strategies:

  1. Product Positioning and Timing

    Focusing on the ‘Wool Skin Base Garment’ during the seasonal shift to autumn-winter, addressing the specific need for warmth.

  2. Engaging with Trending Topics

    Utilizing popular content themes like ‘Early Autumn Healing Atmosphere’ on Xiaohongshu to create an emotional connection with the audience.

  3. Hashtag Campaign

    Launching the hashtag #WarmThroughChillDays to encapsulate the product’s value proposition and spark conversations.

  4. User-Generated Content

    Encouraging consumers to share their experiences and styling tips, enhancing the product’s appeal from a functional and fashion standpoint.

 

Results:

The campaign led to over 61 million exposures of the co-created brand topic. The ‘Wool Skin Base Garment’ emerged as a must-have item for 2023’s autumn and winter seasons.

On Xiaohongshu, the search frequency for the product surged by 35 times. During the Double 11 event of 2023, the product ranked as the top pre-sale item. Ubras’ flagship store achieved the highest GMV in the tech-warmth category.

Ubras’ campaign on Xiaohongshu demonstrates the power of aligning product marketing with seasonal consumer needs and trending content. By leveraging emotional resonance and engaging user-generated content, the brand not only increased its visibility but also established a strong product presence in a competitive market. This case underscores the efficacy of strategic awareness marketing on social media platforms like Xiaohongshu.

 

Case Study: Discus Mart’s Effective KOS Marketing Strategy on Xiaohongshu

Effective KOS Marketing Strategy

 

Overview:

Discus Mart, a renowned American college apparel manufacturer with a 50-year legacy, faced the challenge of amplifying its brand presence during the opening of a new store.

 

Strategy:

The brand capitalized on Xiaohongshu’s KOS matrix to elevate its marketing campaign. This strategic move was aimed at increasing brand buzz during the store’s launch period.

 

Results:

The brand witnessed a staggering 500% sequential increase in online brand buzz. There was a near 200% sequential growth in the number of notes published, significantly boosting brand recognition and in-store traffic. The strategy led to immediate business success upon store opening. KOSs played a pivotal role in maintaining a strong connection between the brand and its customers, contributing to long-term business growth.

These case studies exemplify how integrating KOL and KOSs into a brand’s marketing strategy on Xiaohongshu can significantly enhance brand visibility, customer engagement, and overall business growth.

Through these multifaceted strategies, Xiaohongshu serves as a powerful platform for brands to not only build awareness but also engage deeply with a dedicated community, influencing consumer choices and driving sales in the burgeoning Chinese market.

 

 

Unlock your brand’s potential on Xiaohongshu with Gab China’s expert guidance.
Contact us today to schedule your complimentary consultation session and start expanding your brand awareness!

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