RED part three: Turbocharge business growth with advertising

If you’ve recently seen a positive trend in content engagement and follower growth on your Little Red Book (RED) business account, it may be time to test the waters to see if RED advertising can help you drive further growth and scale your brand more quickly. Previously in our RED series, we looked at how to use the platform and how to create content that delivers. This third instalment explores how you can maximise your advertising strategy on RED to boost brand growth.

Why should you advertise on RED?

Since 2021, RED has increasingly been commercialising its mature lifestyle community and as a result limiting traffic directed to third-party platforms. 

What does this mean? Long story short, brands with an organic social account exclusively on RED are not allowed to mention or display their purchase channels outside of the platform. This includes – but isn’t limited to – their official website, Taobao/Tmall store, WeChat mini-program store, personal contact information, to name a few. 

Any brand in breach of this requirement will find its private message function suspended and relevant posts removed from the feed recommendation for up to 30 days. In worst case scenarios, the account may be suspended permanently. For this reason, paid promotion is the only solution to bypass the strict traffic directing regulations on the platform since advertiser accounts are exempt from the limitations mentioned above. 

Additionally, RED advertising can help your account quickly increase awareness and garner more followers through intelligent interests and demand match. 

What can RED advertising do for brands?

As RED is a community for users to share their content, experiences and opinion, brand advertising strategies relating to this platform need to be customised to cater to their specific audience. 

Generally speaking, brands tend to have two types of campaign objectives when advertising on RED – either to boost organic posts for branding purposes, or to promote products for higher sales. 

Below are the conversion paths for each campaign objective:

Typically when brands put together advertising creatives, they tend to design banners or videos to sit alongside their organic content. However, this may not be beneficial for those who are advertising across RED. 

In fact, we recommend that brands select creatives from their collection of currently best-performing content, since they have already stood the test of organic traffic. More importantly, it also makes your ads look more native to their feed. In addition to the content you publish on your account homepage, you can also pay to boost influencer collaboration content as well. With extensive reach and accurate targeting powered by ads, organic content will help you achieve better campaign results.

Want to know how to create content that’s engaging and delivers value to your audience? Check out part two of our RED marketing blog series here.

How to start advertising on RED

If you’ve already set up a RED business account for enterprises and are looking to kick-off advertising on the platform, the next step is to verify your advertiser credentials from the backend of your account.

There are several key pieces of information in this verification process that we suggest you pay close attention to:

  • Your organic business account for enterprise has to be verified before you apply to upgrade it to an advertiser account.
  • Advertiser accounts sync account name, profile image and account entity with organic business accounts – this means profile information on the two accounts need to be exactly the same.
  • It only takes around one working day to complete the advertiser account verification.
  • RED supports ad credit top-up from either a Chinese or overseas entity, so only having an overseas business bank account shouldn’t be an issue. Once your advertiser account is verified, you can start launching paid campaigns. 

RED provides two types of ad campaigns: in-feed ads or keyword search ads. Both ad types are native ads displayed alongside organic posts.

Let’s take a closer look.

RED in-feed ads

In-feed ads are displayed on the “Explore” homepage of the platform. Other than the “Sponsored” icon in the bottom left hand corner of the post, the ads are delivered in a native format to ensure a good user experience.

The targeting capabilities of in-feed ads supports targeting by location, gender and age, mobile operating systems, user active time, as well as interests-based affinity targeting. Although RED’s ad targeting categories are somewhat basic and limited, the platform has recently launched its own data management platform (DMP), allowing advertisers to deep dive into audience insights for optimisation ideas and pinpoint their audience more precisely by creating tag-based audiences.

Generally speaking, in-feed ads have a much larger traffic pool in comparison to keyword search ads, and we recommend launching in-feed ads when you first start advertising on RED.

RED keyword search ads

Search ads are displayed in the search results pages, “All” and “Marketplace”. You can bid the keywords that are most relevant to your products or services in order to place your ads in the search results of these keywords.

In comparison to in-feed ads, keyword search ads allow for more specific targeting. However, the limited traffic size also means that it’s relatively hard to see results with this ad type.

Advertising on RED offers brands exciting opportunities to drive growth and can be a great way to boost your digital strategy. Are you all geared up to elevate your RED marketing performance? Feel free to contact our team to discuss what a bespoke RED paid social marketing strategy might look like for your business.

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