Zhihu Marketing: Is Zhihu The New Opportunity for Beauty Brands in China?

China’s beauty market is booming, and Zhihu provides a unique opportunity for beauty brands to engage with their target audience. On Zhihu, users actively seek advice, recommendations, and information about beauty products and skincare routines.

This presents a perfect opportunity for beauty brands to establish themselves as trusted experts in the industry. In this blog post, we will show you the perks of crafting a perfect Zhihu marketing strategy for your beauty brand in China.

What is Zhihu 知乎?

Zhihu (Do you know?) is a Chinese question-and-answer website like Quora, launched in January 2011. Its motto is “Share your knowledge, experiences, and thoughts with the world.” In fact on Zhihu, users can create, edit, and organize questions and answers.

Zhihu marketing: average monthly users
Average monthly active users (MAUs) of Zhihu Inc. in China from 1st quarter 2021 to 1st quarter 2023

In 2023, its average monthly active users (MAUs) reached 102 million, becoming China’s largest knowledge-sharing community. By now it is certainly an important source for the Chinese to obtain specialist knowledge and insights on various topics. Zhihu’s success is continuing to grow. For this reason, it is one of the most functional platforms for marketing in China.

Zhihu marketing: info

Zhihu platform is a popular knowledge-sharing platform in China that provides an opportunity for beauty brands to promote their products. It is known for its ability to influence long-term buying decisions as users often turn to the platform for in-depth reviews and analysis before making a purchase. The platform is particularly effective in China, as Chinese people are more likely to trust messages delivered by other common users.

In addition to its question-and-answer function, Zhihu has expanded its features to include Zhihu Bookstore, Zhihu University, and Zhihu Live. Users can now write articles, participate in discussions, read e-magazines, and even give online presentations about specific topics. They can also interact with an audience in real time.

Zhihu marketing: Zhihu for business

Since 2019, Zhihu has also allowed users to insert links to products sold on e-commerce websites, further enhancing its potential as a tool for soft-selling. Overall, the Zhihu platform provides beauty brands with a powerful tool to engage with users and influence their purchasing decisions.

Zhihu Personal Account

Zhihu Personal Accounts allow users to create their own profiles and engage in various discussions and knowledge-sharing activities. It provides a space for individuals to ask questions, share their expertise, and connect with like-minded people.

With a Zhihu Personal Account, users can follow topics of interest, receive personalized recommendations, and contribute to the community by answering questions or writing articles. It’s a great platform for those who are curious, seeking knowledge, and looking to connect with others who share similar interests.

Zhihu Business Account

One of the features offered by Zhihu is the Business Accounts, which cater to companies and organizations looking to promote their brand, products, or services. With a Zhihu Business Account, companies can tap into the platform’s vast user base and connect with potential customers in a meaningful way.

So, what exactly is a Zhihu Business Account? Simply put, it is a specialized account designed for businesses to establish their presence on the platform. It allows companies to share valuable insights, industry knowledge, and expertise with the Zhihu’s users, positioning themselves as thought leaders in their respective fields.

Zhihu marketing: Perfect Diary

Why Zhihu is so important for brands?

Zhihu is a platform with highly educated and affluent users, making it an attractive audience for brands. The content on Zhihu carries more weight on Baidu, the popular search engine in China, resulting in higher rankings in search results.

Zhihu is particularly beneficial for brands that can provide professional knowledge or information in specific fields, as users seek reliable and practical information on the platform. The addition of e-commerce linking and live streaming has further enhanced Zhihu’s reputation as a forum for the beauty community.

In 2019, Zhihu introduced a feature that allows users to recommend products sold on e-commerce websites, making it a valuable tool for content marketing strategies.

Many beauty Brands, like Perfect Diary, Lancome, l’Oreal, SK II, Estée Lauder have integrated Zhihu into their digital marketing strategies generating more shareholder value, increasing their ROI, and achieving long-term brand growth.

Zhihu marketing: Lancome

Key Benefits of Zhihu Marketing

Read as well: Zhihu Content Marketing Guide

High-quality content

Zhihu is known in China for its high-quality content, and reliability, therefore the content engages well-educated users with particular interests, and it can influences the user decision-making process.

Most users research very specific topics on Zhihu, so brands can find their target audience in a natural context without allocating multi-million dollar marketing budgets or ad campaigns. For example, the term “cosmetics” has 230,000 followers and over 68,000 related questions.

Zhihu marketing: Sunscreen

Brands can also register for official verified accounts, where they can build their customer base and interact directly with their fans by answering specific questions.

Word of Mouth Function

Since most of the users are well-educated, being mentioned on the platform can help your brand establish trust and go viral through word-of-mouth across the community.

SEO Exposure

Zhihu has a very high domain authority on the Baidu search engine. Therefore whenever a keyword is searched for on one of these platforms, you will most likely always see a Zhihu Q&A on the first Search engine results page.

The Rise of Brand Awareness Through Q&A Marketing Campaigns

Most brands start marketing on Zhihu using its basic question-and-answer function. After creating an organization account on Zhihu, the first thing they’re encouraged to do is tell users who they are and what they can bring to the platform. Therefore it’s a good opportunity for a brand to make a good first impression.

Zhihu marketing

Brands can establish a relationship with users and build their reputation, they can also promote their brands and introduce their products in a more professional and technical way.

In addition, KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) play an important role in this platform, because a brand can invite experts or key opinion leaders in its industry to answer questions. Chinese consumers trust a lot in KOLs and answering questions on Zhihu allows your brand to showcase your expertise and connect with users.

A brand can encourage users to ask questions

This allows them to get high-quality user-generated content, improve their user engagement, and amplify their influence on social media.

The most common practice is for brands to post questions directly related to their products.

For example, a topic called “What is the difference between cheap cosmetics and big-name cosmetics?” has generated 36,614 followers and was viewed 36,885,923 times.

Zhihu Live streaming

Zhihu Live streaming creates opportunities for brands to provide in-depth knowledge, have a discussion, and communicate with users in a more direct way.

Zhihu marketing: L'Oreal

Live streaming is popular in China and is particularly loved by users for its ability to be transparent and authentic. Livestreaming might be the perfect choice to show your brand’s value and quality products and to engage large masses of users in minutes. The KOLs, in all this, are the key that guides the listening.

Zhihu Advertising

Zhihu, China’s largest Q&A platform, presents a wealth of paid ads to businesses looking to tap into its educated and affluent user base. For broad visibility, you can use Pop-Up Ads, which appear as full-screen images when a user opens a certain page. They can be effectively used for brand exposure and promotion.

Main Page Banner Ads, displayed on various sections of Zhihu’s interface, provide high-frequency exposure and are great for showcasing product features or services.

Open Screen Ads are full-screen ads shown when users open the Zhihu app, offering immediate attention and a wide reach.

Lastly, News Feed Ads appear organically in users’ feeds, and due to their seamless integration, they drive high user engagement and can be used for detailed product introductions or sharing valuable content.

Each ad type on Zhihu caters to a unique marketing objective, providing advertisers with the flexibility to create a comprehensive and effective advertising strategy.

China skincare market case study GMA

The Most Important Steps to Build a Positive Brand Image on Zhihu

Open a Zhihu Official Account

Building a professional profile is essential in establishing your brand as the basis for your continued marketing efforts on Zhihu.

It allows you to interact and communicate with users or even act as an industry representative to provide useful answers to questions on the platform.

Engage the Zhihu Community

Reach other Zhihu users through community interactions such as asking questions or posting answers.

This helps improve credibility and provide a professional brand image by providing high-quality content.

Produce Learning Materials Through Live Streaming

A beauty brand can compose live sessions to teach how to use products correctly and demonstrate some popular make-up trends in China. Many brands like L’Oréal, SK-II use this kind of marketing strategy.

A brand could also publish electronic books on Zhihu, introducing different cosmetics raw materials and how they are used in its products.

Zhihu marketing

Leverage KOLs

A brand can also cooperate with KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) to write tailored content (questions or answers) for your brand on Zhihu. KOL campaign is very effective and popular among marketers on Zhihu.

Whether you are interested in raise brand awareness or generating leads, a KOL can do wonders for reaching your ideal audience.

Chinese consumers tend to make purchasing decisions based on information they collect from different social media, making KOLs incredibly important for beauty brands.

For example, Zhihu user “Chili” (吃梨) specializes in sharing beauty and cosmetics tips. She has answered 253 questions on Zhihu and has accumulated more than 100k followers. More surprisingly, she has received more than 800k likes, and her answers were saved more than 1 million times.

The three most powerful beauty bloggers in China are:

  1. Lei Yunqi, whose online acronym is MK Liangliang. Her qualifications as a makeup artist are hotly debated by followers.
  2. Mint Q is a UK-based blogger who offers beauty tips based on her extensive academic research and real-life experiments.
  3. Junping Big Devil (aka Fang Junping) is one of the most well-known male beauty bloggers in China.

We Have The Know-How You Need for Good Zhihu Marketing Strategy!

Zhihu, as a question-and-answer platform, is gaining popularity among brands and organizations looking for new digital marketing strategies. To succeed on Zhihu, it is important to offer users valuable and relevant knowledge while fostering communication with them.

However, creating detailed content can be challenging, as Zhihu users have high expectations for quality and accuracy. Therefore, effective marketing on Zhihu demands significant effort and dedication.

Contact GMA

Collaborating with an agency specialized in the Chinese market is the best way to achieve your goal and increase your Return On Investment. As all companies are different, the marketing and advertising strategy must be tailored according to their needs and within their financial means.

Proud of the success of the companies we have helped over the years, we know exactly what a certain company needs.

Thus, if you have questions about selling, advertising, exporting, etc. your cosmetics in China, contact us directly, and we will reply to you within 24 hours.

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