Nike scores big in Chinese KOL competition

The brand gets more out of its influencer efforts on Chinese social-media platforms than most other apparel and fast-fashion companies, according to a report by Parklu.

TFBOYS singer Karry Wang is a Nike KOL.
TFBOYS singer Karry Wang is a Nike KOL.

When it comes to influencer marketing in China, Nike is strides ahead of fast-fashion and athletic brands in terms of reach and engagement, distribution and media value, according to an analysis by influencer-marketing agency Parklu.

The report analysed 28 fast-fashion brands as well as over 20,000 influencers who have a reach of over 500 million across 11 platforms, including Weibo, WeChat, Xiaohongshu and Douyin. The brands studied include international brands such as Forever 21, Off-Whilte and Gap as well as homegrown brands such as Peace Bird.

Reach and engagement rate

While Nike is tops in reach and engagement (above), fast-fashion brand Zara garnered the most influencer mentions throughout the April analysis period (below). 

Influencer mentions

With regards to search, Nike, which has benefited from China’s NBA obsession, came out on top on Baidu and WeChat (see below). However, the report pointed out that the members of the post-90s generation were less likely to use traditional search engines and more attuned to what was trending on social media. Adidas appeared to be winning on that front, according to the company.

Platform-wise, Weibo still took the biggest share across the majority of brands studied, but social commerce channel Xiaohongshu was fast catching up, especially for Zara, H&M and Mango. A series of female celebrities, including mega KOL Fan Bingbing have recently joined Xiaohongshu, further cementing the popularity of the platform.

Meanwhile, the report pointed out that Zara had made good use of major social-media platforms in addition to strengthening its online sales. Similarly, Uniqlo, which successfully drew shoppers to its stores on Singles Day last year using a FOMO strategy, was singled out as an example of brand that demonstrated integration of online and offline. While these fast-fashion brands enjoy high engagement rates, their reach was nevertheless weak, the report said.

Athletic brands and brands launched by KOLs, on the other hand, dominated Weibo, although the report said Nike and Adidas suffered from poor engagement there.

Social media distribution
 
WeChat Index
 
Baidu Index

 

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