RED part two: Creating content that delivers 

If Little Red Book (RED) sounds like the right fit for your business, then the next step is creating an account for your brand. Part two of our RED series will provide you with a step-by-step guide for setting up your account, and tips for creating effective content to thrive on the platform. If you’re not sure that RED is for you, take a look at our previous RED blog which outlines the basics of the platform and its potential suitability for your brand.

Setting up a business account

First, you’ll need to create a personal account linked to a mobile phone number on the mobile app (non-Chinese phone numbers are also supported).

You’ll then need to verify this personal account and upgrade it to a business account for enterprises through RED’s business account platform. This can be done via PC or mobile. We suggest you gather all the required documents in advance and have the account application letter signed before you move onto the final application phase.

As RED supports enterprise account verification with businesses registered either in China or abroad, non-Chinese brands have the chance to build up their brand storefront on RED without a local business entity in China. That being said, more specific credentials may be required depending on the nature of your business, for example, a website ICP licence, or local government issued business permit for certain industries.

Craft a winning content strategy

Although a cliché, the phrase ‘content is king’ still rings true for RED. Great content will help your Chinese audience get to know your brand, and build long-lasting trust and positive relationships, paving the way for successful marketing of your products or services. Here are a few golden rules that need to be kept in mind when deciding your content strategy:

1. Content on RED is more about what you can bring to your customers, rather than focusing on ‘me’, don’t just talk all about your brand, your company, your products, but keep in mind that your content should always be developed from customers’ viewpoints. Solid types of content that are appreciated by RED audiences are:

  1. How-to tutorials
  2. Problem-solving solutions
  3. Product comparison and reviews
  4. FAQs and customer testimonials

By providing relevant, interesting, and educational content, customers will stay hooked on your brand.

2. Keep your posts easy to read, and don’t be too wordy. The ideal length of a RED post is within a phone screen, about 100-200 characters. It is also suggested to break down long sentences and insert suitable emojis to spice up your content.

3. Adopt an SEO mindset. Insert brand or product keywords into your RED post title and main text in order to bring organic traffic from searches. By doing this, some of your content may gain another spike of engagement even after months of publishing.

Here’s a universal formula for optimising your post title:

‘target audience+brand/product keywords+number+trendy terms+emoji’

As an example of a post caption, this would look something like: ‘3 amazingly lightweight commuter bags that every office lady cannot miss this spring👩‍💼👜’.

4. Optimise your creatives with cover image designs. As mentioned in part one of our RED series, the RED interface is highly visual-dominant, so it is important to develop eye-catching lifestyle creatives that fit perfectly into the RED community style, but are also aligned with your brand visual identity.

5. Post bite-sized videos. Video content can help you achieve exponentially higher views and engagements, not only does the RED algorithm favour video assets, but audiences love to watch short, high-quality and interesting videos.

6. Be responsive to engagements. Always reply to comments, private messages, and encourage user-generated content. Participating in conversations with your followers will make them feel acknowledged and heard, so that they are more likely to stay engaged.

KOL (Influencer) marketing

Also known as KOL (Key Opinion Leader) in China, new brands on RED can leverage influencers as another shortcut to gain quick success on top of their own content calendar. It is suggested to cover different tiers of influencers in a pyramid model, from a few top-tier KOLs to spread your brand name with their large follower base, to more mid-tier or micro-tier KOLs that endorse your products with more credibility among customers. Both sponsored creatives and content and gifting/seeding products are effective methods when collaborating with RED influencers, and the specific terms and conditions depend on further negotiation with each influencer.

There are two approaches for reaching out to RED influencers:

1. Pugongying is an official platform provided by RED, which can be logged into once you have a verified RED account. You can search for and select influencers on this platform by industry, follower number and demographics, content types, specialty/niche and price range, to name a few. There are also some examples of successful collaboration cases updated monthly for your reference, and the latest quotation for each influencer is displayed clearly on the platform. A potential downside to Pugongying is that some successful influencers may not be listed here if they do not have an agreement with the RED platform, and Pugongying also charges a 10% service fee on the basis of influencer cost.

2. If you would like more options and to save the 10% service fee, there are also other third-party agencies that provide the influencer collaboration scheme at a lower price. But the benefits don’t come for free, as RED regulations on influencer collaboration outside Pugongying are getting tighter. Unofficially sponsored content has risks of being blocked or limited traffic, so run the risk of no return on your influencer investment.

If you are interested in developing your brand on RED for marketing your products or services, contact our team, and we can help you to break into the lucrative Chinese market and customise a winning social media marketing strategy. 

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