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On omni-media, platform choice becomes simpler, targeting complex

On omni-media, platform choice becomes simpler, targeting complex

New standards measure influencer effectiveness

by Coolio Yang

CEO, Greater China

Media Division, Kantar

Coolio.Yang@kantar.com 

Chinese social media is unique, complicated, and ever expanding. Some sites have become omnipresent, principal portals for online interaction. These are mature platforms with critical mass that offer one-stop solutions. We call these platforms omni-media. The most representative omni-media platforms in China are WeChat, QQ, Alipay and Taobao, each with over 500 million users.

These users access the omni-media platforms for search, networking, communication, entertainment, gaming, purchasing, and the ability to share content within or outside the platform. In addition to omni-media, core social media (relationship-centric platforms) and derivative social media (content-oriented platforms) still play important roles in China’s social media landscape.

On average, brands in China often navigate five social media platforms to disseminate brand marketing content. These include omni-media, and core and derivative social media platforms (such as WeChat, Weibo, TikTok, Toutiao, and Little Red Book). In addition the variety of owned social media in China has attracted a huge volume of users for brands and influencers to reach. However, the relative homogeneity of marketing content by brands has often led to competition for the same resources and ideas.

In order to grab the attention of as many target users as possible, brands and influencers need to select appropriate platforms. That requires creating relevant campaigns and other content and adapting them to fit each platform’s characteristics.

This is particularly the case for omnichannel platforms, which will require content tailored for each function on the platform, such as e-commerce, recruitment, and CRM.

In spite of their dominance, omnimedia platforms have not replaced core or derivative media platforms, but we are witnessing a trend of media platform integration. The rise of omni-media impacts brands in two contrasting ways: it can make selecting a platform easier when deciding on marketing investments; but it also can make communicating with precision to the targeted audience more difficult.

Social GRP—New measurement standards for influencer marketing

Across social media, influencer marketing is a key practice for brands to leverage and promote themselves to drive internet word of mouth (IWOM). Some established brands have already announced their plans to increase investment in influencer marketing in 2020. The increasingly emphasis given to influencer marketing also implies that brands will be more conscious in the selection and cooperation of influencers. Consequently, brands need a more scientific way to measure influencer relevance and effectiveness.

Introducing Quanceng Quanceng is a Chinese term referring to a group of social media users organized around their shared interests or occupations. Understanding quanceng makes it easier to understand China’s complex social media landscape.

  • People have many varied interests and may belong to multiple quancengs, which adds complexity. Neither brands nor influencers fall into only one fixed quanceng.
  • Quancengs evolve over time, from the initial enthusiastic followers, to those with lighter interest who may eventually exit the quanceng. Because of this fluidity, it is important for brands to understand the specific interests of the various users and to update content to prolong user participation.
  • To develop engaging content or select the most influential KOLs, it is critical to recognize the variations of interest that exist within a quanceng. Some people are new to the topic, others are experts.

Introducing Social GRP Social GRP is a new standard metric that adapts the principle of Gross Rating Points to influencer marketing. Kantar, Media Division CIC Intelligence, in its eleventh China Social Media Landscape Whitepaper, introduces the concept of Social GRP, as a valuable tool for brands to achieve greater reach and frequency, and number of users.

  • Reach: The percentage of the brand’s targeted quanceng it actually reaches. More is better, although the impact diminishes after a certain point.
  • Frequency: The instances where the quanceng that a brand reaches overlap.
  • Number of Users: The total number of users reached.

In one of our research initiatives, we examined how marketing effectiveness within a quanceng is impacted by the KOL a brand selects. In the example we used, two brands within the same product category used the same KOL to reach people in the same quanceng. We found that the Social GRP rates varied and were much higher for the brand whose customers had greater affinity with the KOL. In addition, to maximize ROI, brands also need to employ a broader mix of influencers with different quanceng combinations, or with higher quanceng overlapping.

The rapid change of social media has made it imperative for the industry to set up a unified standard measurement. Starting with Social GRP as the measurement of influencer marketing, there will be more evaluation tools introduced to measure social marketing more scientifically.

In order to grab the attention of as many target users as possible, brands and influencers need to select appropriate platforms. That requires creating relevant campaigns and other content and adapting them to fit each platform’s characteristics.