Self-made cyber celebrities take over positions of established Key Opinion Leaders (KOL’s) and redefine marketing, says vlogger and China-veteran Ashley Dudarenok, co-author of Digital China: Working with Bloggers, Influencers and KOLs, to the China Daily. Brands are discovering the new trend.
Brands are starting to reap more success from working with self-made bloggers, converting their own fan numbers into influence with brands.
For instance, counting on her over 3 million followers on Weibo and 4.5 million fans on WeChat, Fan Yimin, who is better known by her online avatar Becky Li, helped sell 100 Mini Cooper Countryman cars within five minutes via her WeChat post last year.
She is a role model to a generation of digital natives who have established viable careers as social media “influencers”, and found fame and fortune solely by posting blogs and sharing their preferences online.
The power of word of mouth is one important reason for blogger success from the cultural perspective, according to Ashley Galina Dudarenok, founder of social media agency Alarice and a veteran social media expert.
“Chinese customers have very deep trust in key opinion leaders (or KOLs) and this psychological bond can be partially explained by the pseudo-intimacy created by social media,” she said. “Social media make you feel like influencers are friends as you know who they are in real life, thanks to the details of their daily lives shared through Weibo, WeChat and live streaming apps.”
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