Inside Little Red Book – Unravelling the Power of Product Seeding for Brand Growth and Awareness

By Doris Yinuo Xiao

“Your new shoes look great!”

“I got seeded to buy them after seeing them on RED.”

“These cookies are delicious!”

“I got seeded to try them after seeing them recommended on RED.”

Conversations like these are common among Chinese consumers.

In the Chinese online world, “种草” (zhòng cǎo), or “product seeding” in English, is a popular internet term. It refers to the act of sparking others’ desire or interest in purchasing a certain product, service, or experience through sharing or recommending it. The term originated from “planting seeds,” metaphorically suggesting that by planting a seed, one can nurture it into a tall tree, similar to how people are encouraged to develop a strong interest in and purchase a specific item.

In today’s Chinese market, RED (Little Red Book, or LRB) has become a top-tier social media platform for seeding. Desires are ignited here, decisions are made here, and transactions are completed here. With its high-quality content and strong user base, brands can leverage RED to attract more attention and understanding from customers. In this article, we will explore how to fully utilise RED’s seeding function to achieve effective Chinese marketing.

About Red

Content with High “Seeding” Power

Positioned as a platform for lifestyle sharing, RED’s content covers all aspects of life, including beauty, travel, real estate, sports, outdoors, fashion, food, workplace, parenting and city adventuring. Here, users share their daily lives, product recommendations, and experiences, using authenticity to attract the audience’s attention and trust. This has made RED a true “National Encyclopedia of Lifestyles” while also providing a platform to showcase brands.

Additionally, the posts on RED are primarily visual-dominant, making them more appealing to users. Through images, videos, and other forms of visual content, brands can creatively convey their image and product features, deepening user impressions.

Users Willing to be “Seeded”

As of September 2023, according to platform statistics, RED has 260 million monthly active users, with 85% being young people aged 23-38, and half of them residing in first- and second-tier cities. Although these statistics reflect usage in China, the number of Chinese people living in Australia who are using RED is increasing dramatically. The platform’s main users are vibrant, with stable jobs and strong purchasing power. They are willing to spend more money to follow the latest trends and improve their quality of life. They are also enthusiastic about trying new things and emerging brands.

Users on RED typically browse content with the intention of “exploring a better way of life,” expecting fresh and useful product information. Many even actively seek purchasing advice. Research shows that 46% of users discover new products through RED. “Browsing RED whenever I have time” has become the norm, and RED has become the gateway for many people’s purchase decisions.

Driving Purchasing Behavior

The content on RED effectively influences users’ purchasing decisions. The user path on the platform usually manifests as “awareness-seeding-purchase-sharing”. Initially, users gradually become “aware” of various products, services, or experiences by browsing platform content. Then, unconsciously influenced by other users’ life experiences, they develop a desire to purchase, known as “seeding”. After “purchase”, users are willing to “share” their shopping experiences or product usage feelings, becoming a virtuous cycle of social media marketing.

Statistics show that compared to other platforms, RED has a higher number of users who make purchases after browsing. This makes RED a golden platform for brand promotion, bringing more commercial value to brands.

How to Seed Consumers on RED: KFS Method

Within RED’s platform mechanism, high-quality content is not constrained by timeliness and enjoys exposure through multiple in-app channels, namely users’ follow pages, Feeds, and Search pages. Brands can choose to deploy content individually or in combination across these in-app channels based on their needs. This method is commonly referred to as KFS.

K stands for Key Opinion Leaders

The vibrant and creative environment of RED has nurtured numerous outstanding Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs). They boast a substantial following with clear interests and needs. Furthermore, KOLs exhibit unique content styles, enabling them to effectively convey brand messages to their audience in a vivid and engaging manner.

Collaborating with suitable KOLs offers distinct advantages. Every time they publish content, it directly appears on users’ follow pages, allowing brands to precisely reach their target audience and significantly enhance their promotional effectiveness.

Here are some suggestions for collaborating with KOLs:

  1. Define collaboration objectives: Firstly, brands need to clarify the objectives of the collaboration, such as increasing brand awareness, promoting new products, or boosting sales. This helps to determine the focus and direction of the collaboration.
  2. Find suitable KOLs: Based on the collaboration objectives and target audience, brands should select suitable KOLs that align with the brand image and product positioning and possess sufficient influence and recognition in their desired market.
  3. Pyramid model: When arranging KOLs, it is recommended that brands cover various levels of opinion leaders. Utilise a small number of high-quality top-tier KOLs to establish brand recognition, middle-tier KOLs to spread awareness, and a large number of lower-tier KOLs to expand reach.
  4. Establish contact: KOLs usually provide contact information on their profiles. Brands can directly message, send emails, or establish contact through intermediary agencies.
  5. Supervise collaboration content: Under the established collaboration plan, KOLs create relevant content. It’s in the best interest of the brands to provide the necessary support and supervision to ensure that the quality and presentation of content meet their expectations.

 

F stands for Feeds, and S stands for Search

In addition to conveying messages through KOLs, brands can register their own accounts to produce content. RED’s page feeds function recommends different posts to users every day, providing more exposure opportunities for high-quality content. Users will also actively search for terms. According to statistics, RED receives an average of 300 million search queries per day.

Therefore, by producing content that aligns with user interests, brands can gain more views. To create high-exposure and high-ranking search results, brands need to follow a series of steps, including targeting the audience, gaining insights, and keyword planning. 

Here are six steps we have compiled for you:

  1. Topic selection: Identify the target audience, observe discussions on related product categories among the target audience to understand user needs, and identify product key selling points.
  2. Write headlines: Headlines should contain keywords highly relevant to the target audience, such as product features, user pain points, and usage scenarios, to create curiosity, anticipation, and connect with the target audience.
  3. Write the text: The copy should be concise and clear to keep users engaged. Adding relevant hashtags at the end can increase content visibility.
  4. Create the cover: The first thing users notice when browsing content is the cover of the post, so creating visually appealing covers is essential.
  5. Guide interaction: Invite users to like, comment, and share posts by asking questions or conducting polls within the content. This can increase the post’s popularity and exposure to more people.
  6. Publish the post: Publish posts during peak traffic periods, usually during meal breaks and after work hours.

 

Ready to unlock the full potential of seeding marketing using RED for your own brand? Contact our Marketing team today for personalised insights and a strategy that propels your products and services to new heights. 

Data source: 2024 RED Platform Marketing General Plan https://www.opp2.com/333482.html

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