We’ve been running sales-focused campaigns for our clients for the past 3 years. And lately, we are consistently getting 300%-500% Return on Investment (ROI) on WeChat campaigns. Given most of KOL (key opinion leader) campaigns can hardly breakeven, this is an impressive result.

And as always, we are open to sharing our criteria for selecting the KOLs to maximize our clients’ ROI. 

Note we mostly promote niche premium fashion/cosmetics brands

How to Find Wechat Influencers or KOL Marketing Data?

 

Yes, data could be fake. But in reality, no one bothers to creates the perfect fake data. You just got to do thorough due diligence.

Is the cost reasonable? 10k-80k RMB

The cost per article view for high-quality WeChat KOLs is usually 1- 2.5 RMB. We tend to work with KOLs who charge between 10k to 100k RMB per article. Below this range could indicate low-quality or an industry with lower prices (for example sports news compared to fashion or cosmetics).

A cost per view above 2.5 RMB often means an overpriced KOL, which would negatively impact ROI.

Article views 5,000-80,000

To maximize the ROI, we specifically focus on working with influencers with article views between 5,000-80,000 for the first-article views. Smaller KOLs with high ROI are harder to identify, and high-quality KOL with views above 80,000 tend to charge over 100k for posting one article.

Most of our clients prefer to work with KOLs in the middle price range that can bring high ROI. 

Open rate > 1%

Open rate (average view/total follower amount) is a good indicator of followers’ loyalty and stickiness. For example, WalktheChat’s open rate is between 6% to 15%, since we are a small WeChat service account with niche but active followers. 5% is a high open rate for a WeChat subscription account. Ideally, you want to work with KOLs with an open rate between 1% to 10%. 

Like rate > 0.1%

A like rate (Number of likes/number of article views) above 0.1% is a good indicator of a highly engaging account. 

Other than the article likes, also pay attention to the top comment like. The most liked comment can usually receive around 0.05%-0.3% likes compared to the article’s number of views.

If you see an article with a lot of article likes but no likes on the comments, the likes are most likely fake.

Pay attention to the comments

Fake comments tend to look similar, while genuine comments usually are quite diverse in content.

A good comment rate (comments amount/views amount) is 0.1%-0.01%. For example, an article with 20k views with 10-20 comments is an excellent engagement rate. 

If an account with over 10k view but don’t have any comments, it’s likely a fake account.  

Ask for conversion data

A KOL that cares about the quality of his/her content should be able to give estimates of conversion rate. Some KOLs may refuse to share their conversion rates due to a lack of understanding of their own campaigns or because they’re trying to hide low performance. In this case, it’s best to test the KOL’s quality, starting with a seeding campaign.

KOL seeding means gifting your products to the KOL for them to try out. If the KOL likes your products, they might be able to mention it in blogs, thus brings free exposure. You can then measure the performance of the KOL by analyzing first-hand data.

 

WeChat back-end analytics 

 

If the KOL is not able to provide conversion rate estimates, does not agree to seeding, and you are not able to tell if the traffic is real or not, then you can ask for a screenshot of their WeChat Official Account backend. 

Traffic source

Good content can have a lot of re-shares, from different channels. For example, re-shares from friends, WeChat moments, history message, and “Liked by friends” section. Unless the article has gone viral, the traffic source should be coming from all of these sources.  

If one of the sources takes up the majority of the traffic, it is a warning that the account might be buying fake views. 

Check to see the percentage of the Official Account followers who read the article. This is an excellent indicator of the stickiness fo the account. 

 

Ask for the hourly views report

 

This is a typical article views by the hour.

The maximum views will be within 2 hours of the article push, then its views will decrease gradually. The initial view amount during the first hour could usually indicate loyalty from the account followers. 

A typical fake views report looks like this: 

A sharp increase in a specific hour, and almost no view afterward. 

 

Did users read the article all the way to the end?

 

Heatmap graph is a new analytics feature released by WeChat last week.

Since most KOLs put an action call only towards the very end of the article, whether readers reach the bottom of the article makes a bit difference.

For example, the graph below shows that half of the users finished reading the article.

Wechat influencers in China or Hong Kong questions?

Check out other brands promoted by the KOL

If you can find other similar brands also worked with the KOL, it’s a good indicator, especially if some of them engaged in repeat collaboration.

Is the KOL picky enough?

A good KOL would be very careful to select the product they want to promote. Do not work with a KOL who says yes to any brand.

Does the KOL write original content for the ads?

Only work with KOL that creates original advertising content. If the KOL agrees to re-share content provided by the brand, word by word, most likely it’s a poor quality KOL. 

Conclusion

It takes a lot to check if a KOL can bring substantial returns for a brand. However, given the increasing prices of KOL campaigns, this process of due diligence is more than ever necessary.

If carried out properly, brands and marketers can achieve consistent returns from influencer campaigns. It is an essential tactic to support or lay the ground for sales on marketplaces (Tmall, JD) and offline sales.

 

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