ZHIHU MARKETING GUIDE
Founded in 2011, Zhihu is a Chinese-language Q&A platform, similar to Quora, where questions are created, answered, edited and organized by its community. It’s China’s largest Q&A platform with over 1 million registered users.
Unlike other social networking platforms, Zhihu is committed to building a high-end Q&A and knowledge platform which enable it to attract a user base with better educational backgrounds.
Through professional Q&A formats, brands can convey clear and compelling messages to audiences and help them to understand brands better. Brands from various industries, including high-end brands like Samsonite and BMW, have official accounts on Zhihu. It’s also a good platform for lesser-known brands to do brand education and reach more customers. Due to its professional image, useful information and suitability for different industries it’s become popular in recent years and is a marketing tool that shouldn’t be overlooked.
BRAND USES AND THE BENEFITS OF MARKETING ON ZHIHU
1. Professional Platform Image
There is strict profile verification for Zhihu accounts which helps to maintain the professional image of Zhihu. Additionally, Zhihu has a series of platform schemes such as the community’s competition scheme which encourages users to continue creating valuable insights. These enable Zhihu to attract a highly educated user base and build a community atmosphere based on trust and reliability. Chinese consumers now turn to Zhihu if they need to clarify something from a trustworthy, professional source.
2. Engage the Community: Raise Brand Awareness in the form of Q&As.
Establishing an official account is a way for brands to engage the community. With this account, brands can conduct customer education by sharing stories, or offering expert help via answering user questions. Furthermore, brands can raise topics within the Zhihu community so as to spur active discussions to generate interaction and in-turn enhance brand awareness.
3. Build Trust Through Influencer Mentions and Recommendations
Building trust through other mentions on the site is a good form of content marketing. As most users are highly educated, brand mentions on the site can help establish trust and go viral through word-of-mouth across the community. KOLs can also help to establish brands on the platform.
Unlike other social media platforms, Zhihu KOLs should be people who are in a position to convey credible and professional messages such as the company CEO or people with specialized training in their field of expertise. Carefully choose suitable influencers and let them work as reliable spokespeople to enhance brand reach.
Some brands are known for their successful marketing on Zhihu. Take luggage manufacturer Samsonite as an example. A Zhihu user asked for recommendations for a durable suitcase brand, attracting 273 replies. The most popular answer was one of Samsonite’s DB3 suitcases. Answer details:
“This suitcase has taken me to many places. The most memorable experience was when I was on a business trip to the United States. At 11 pm, I stumbled, missed my steps, and pushed my luggage down the stairs. There were important documents on my laptop, which scared me. Fortunately, the Raydien DB3 is really durable. My laptop was safe and secure, the suitcase was intact and there was only a small and shallow mark in the corner. ”
Additionally, the post included pictures, listing its materials, wheels, weight, internal dimensions and product experience to explain why this model was the best.
This kind of real experience sharing gained it 8 million viewers as it easily aroused resonance among consumers from the perspective of everyday users and it didn’t appear in an ad format. The post helped Samsonite gain trust and spread word-of-mouth.
RESTRICTIONS THAT BRANDS NEED TO CONSIDER
Conducting successful marketing on Zhihu is not an easy job. There are plenty of restrictions that brands need to consider:
Brands must set up enterprise accounts but they have strict verification requirements. The interface for account registration and verification is only in Chinese and for those who don’t have the full set of required documents, alternative methods or materials are needed. Once verification requests are passed to the Zhihu team for checking, there are only 3 opportunities for you to supplement documents based on their assessments of the paperwork. If you can’t fully meet their standards after 3 checks, you’ll need to start the process from the beginning, costing more time and money. After the account is set up, it will be reviewed on an annual basis and be subjected to the same strict checking process again. As a team experienced with Zhihu, we can smoothly navigate you through these steps.
2. Proper Marketing Content
Net culture in China is constantly changing and goes through waves just as it does in the West. Brands that don’t understand this culture well can be easily misled and cause dissatisfaction. Once a brand’s image is negatively affected, it takes time and plenty of effort to rebuild it. As an international team engaged in content marketing in China, Alarice has experienced personnel who understand Chinese net culture, trends and can help brands to better communicate with Chinese consumers.
3. Zhihu Marketing Skills
In a professional community, brands can struggle to convey insightful marketing content to consumers while at the same time not engage in outright advertising. This requires skill. With our experience on various Chinese social media platforms, we can help you generate powerful content and conduct a range of marketing activities.
For new brands entering China, the most important goal is to build trust with consumers. Chinese consumers do careful research and check for information about brands before purchasing so it’s important to be ranked on search engines and information sites so brands need to pay attention to Zhihu. This Quora-like Q&A and knowledge platform is for consumers looking to learn more and also plays a role in search engine ranking. By working with us, you can be sure that:
- Alarice will assign a personal account manager, responsible for KOL promotion campaigns and launch advertising campaigns to increase their brand exposure.
- From setting up official accounts to taking care of marketing activities, Alarice will fully support you on the platform.
- We work closely with the Zhihu internal team and often know of new functions and updates first.
- Alarice is familiar with Zhihu’s key features, newest updates and the best ways to do branding on the platform. We have hands-on experience in crafting specific, effective content for audiences on Zhihu and we’ve helped both B2B and B2C companies to drive engaging, productive discussions on the platform
How to find eligible KOLs to collaborate with on Zhihu?
It largely depends on the quality of each KOL’s answers, professional field, audience and personal image. Due to Zhihu’s complex authentication mechanism and data disclosure, it is easier for you to find suitable KOLs.
How to increase the followers of my Zhihu account?
You can frequently answer popular questions related to your industry which will display your professionalism, and meet the readers’ need for acquiring knowledge. Sincere interaction with the audience in the comments section is another way to improve brand favorability.
Can I directly promote products in the answers?
We wouldn’t recommend it since any stiff advertisement in answers goes against Zhihu user expectations. It is necessary to establish effective marketing strategies in Zhihu.