How to do livestreaming in China_Part 2
In the previous article, we gave a basic breakdown of livestreaming in China (Part 1). This time, it is all about finding the right fit and the process of executing your livestream to ensure the best return on your investment.
Industries Suitable for Livestreaming
Livestreaming has emerged as a significant enrichment to the e-commerce experience for consumers. Allowing for live interaction between audience and presenter, livestreaming goes beyond video marketing by breaking the fourth wall, being responsive in real-time to customer questions and demands. Consumer feedback’s immediacy means this medium is suitable for marketing products at any development stage, from concept to post-launch. The flexibility of this medium means it is suited for a wide variety of industries:
The move to online for the retail industry has only accelerated with the coronavirus crisis. As more and more retailers set up shop online, livestreaming can bring back the human touch to digital retail. In the fashion realm, last year saw Tmall’s first digital Shanghai Fashion Week featured see now buy now runway shows featuring emerging domestic brands like Shushu Tong while Louis Vuitton livestreamed styling tips for their Escale summer 2020 collection on Little Red Book. With all major Chinese e-commerce platforms such as Taobao, Tmall, and JD.com, as well as livestreaming video platforms such as Douyin supporting e-commerce, livestream digital retail, is now a mature digital marketing strategy in China.
By leveraging VR with livestreaming, the real estate industry has created its own livestreaming model in China. During the lockdown in China, it was the only way for the real estate industry to sell homes. Last year, Poly Real Estate’s VR livestream sold 102 apartments in half an hour, with over 1000 units sold over the full-day livestream. Fang.com, an online housing expo, handled over 120,000 livestreams last February, clocking in over 5 million viewers. VR technology allows these real estate livestreams to provide a fully immersive feel of the spaces, a crucial experience for potential homeowners.
With delivery services firmly embedded in Chinese lifestyles at this point, the F&B industry in China has fully adopted digital. It only makes sense for them to jump onto the livestreaming marketing wagon. Chefs from major chain restaurants such as Xibei and Meizhou have taken to livestreaming food preparation techniques, tempting diners to place orders for delivery or semifinished dishes. These product presentations allow audiences to interact more intimately with those who prepare their food and build trust.
The above industries are by no means the only industries suitable for livestreaming. As we have seen from the examples above, it is about creatively strategizing how to make livestreaming suitable for your industry. Whether it is selling computer parts through hugely popular livestreamed gaming events or selling health food on livestreamed fitness workouts, finding the right fit is of utmost importance.
This means finding the right platform for your livestream.
How to Enter Popular Livestreaming Platforms
The platform your livestream occurs could make or break your return on investment. Decide whether you want to livestream on an e-commerce platform (Taobao, Tmall, JD.com), livestream apps with e-commerce functionality (Momo, Yizhibo, Douyin, and Kuaishou), or social media apps with livestream and e-commerce integration (Douyin, Weibo, WeChat, Little Red Book, Meipai).
Each of these platforms offers advantages and disadvantages depending on your industry and where most of your customers can be already found. With livestreaming capabilities already so widespread across platforms, it is most likely the platform where your brand has the largest following already allows for livestreaming.
For all these platforms, livestreaming functionality will the most straightforward for livestream apps. For platforms with livestream functions, not all users will be immediately granted the ability to livestream, nor will livestreaming be entirely natively integrated for all users. For example, WeChat’s livestreaming function is integrated through the Tencent Live app, which users must download first. Then, users must apply for livestreaming rights by verifying their business license and ID via Tencent authorized service providers. Taobao’s livestreaming service, Taobao Live, on the other hand, also requires an app to operate the stream but removed registration fees for smaller merchants in February of 2020 during the height of China’s pandemic.
With the platform chosen, now it is time to assemble the livestream hosts and speakers.
Choosing the KOL
A KOL will help attract audiences from outside your existing following to liven up the livestream and localize your product presentation.
Brands may choose to decide on finding a KOL through an MCN or Multi-Channel Network. While the term MCN may have connotations of failure in the West, in China, they are ubiquitous in the KOL sphere, with most top and mid-range KOLs only reachable through the MCN they are signed to. MCNs help KOLs become more professional and increase their reach and thus grow their KOL network’s overall reach.
Some MCNs connect advertisers and vloggers directly and already have pre-existing partnerships with major Chinese companies like Tencent, JD.com, and others. A notable example of this is PRAD, a KOL talent agency that has been around for over twelve years. There are also many industry-specific MCNs. In the fashion world, Beauty Q is a prolific MCN whose clients include Dior, Chanel, and Tom Ford.
Including Your Top Management/Designers
To build customer loyalty and trust, including top management/designers from your brand on the livestream is a must. If your company requires a long-term commitment from consumers in adopting your product and its ecosystem, consumers must be able to put a face to the company to trust in the process and stay with your brand for the long haul.
This practice is especially prominent in the tech industry, where top brass leads the show, building consumer trust in not only the product but the direction of the brand itself. Any major tech brand’s product launch livestream will always include CEOs making keynote speeches, whether it be Huawei’s Richard Yu or Apple’s Tim Cook. Outside of the tech industry, we see similar approaches from the likes of Laichun Sun (founder and CEO of Lin Qing Xuan, a local beauty brand in China), Chuyuan Li (CEO of Guangzhou Phar. Holdings), and Jianzhang Liang (chairman of Ctrip).
Brand Sales Representatives
Brand sales reps play one of the most important roles of livestream marketing – closing the deal. While audience Q&As on more specific product technical specs might be too challenging for KOLs but too informal for a large company CEO, brand sales reps strike the middle ground. As their job in brick-and-mortar retail environments is about interacting with and answering customer questions, brand sales reps can shine in how they increase the immediacy and personability of a livestream for viewers without compromising technical expertise.
In the first article on livestreaming, we broke down the industry, and in this second article, we have given the recipe to create the next steps right before turning the camera on and hitting the record button. From here, it is a lot of fine-tuning to find your voice and audience.
How Melchers Supports You in China
With over 150 years of business experience in various sectors in China, we know that every company needs its unique approach to the Chinese market. China’s business world is continually changing and varies significantly from region to region in terms of prosperity, regulation, openness to business, and other factors influencing the business environment. Due to its size and diversity, China can hardly be compared to any other country in the world. To successfully master the regional differences, small and medium-sized companies need to have an experienced partner like Melchers in China. With locations in the most important economic centers in Greater China, we have a regional and holistic understanding of the Chinese market and can tailor your market strategy ideally to individual regions. By utilizing our expertise from many years of cooperation with numerous national and international companies in China, we can offer comprehensive services along the entire value chain and make your business in China a success.
To learn more, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.