ZHIHU MARKETING GUIDE

Founded in 2011, Zhihu is a Chinese-language Q&A platform where questions are created, answered, edited and organized by the community of its users. It is 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 education backgrounds.

Through the professional Q&A format, brands can convey a more convincing message to audiences which help them to understand brands better. Therefore, this platform attracts various industries, including high-end brands like Samsonite and BMW, to establish official accounts on Zhihu. Meanwhile, it is also a suitable platform for less-known brands to conduct brand education and reach more customers. Due to the professional image of the platform and attributes suitable for different industries it has become popular among netizens in recent years and is a marketing tool that should not be underrated. 

BRAND USES AND THE BENEFITS OF MARKETING ON ZHIHU

1. Professional Platform Image

There is strict profile verification for Zhihu accounts which help to maintain the professional image of Zhihu. Additionally, Zhihu has a series of platform schemes such as the Community’s Competitive scheme which encourages users to continue creating valuable insights. All of these enable Zhihu to gradually attract a highly educated user base and build up a reliable community atmosphere. Therefore, Chinese consumers now tend to turn to Zhihu if they need to clarify something in a professional way.

 

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 3rd-Party Mentions

Building trust through 3rd-party mentions is a good form of content marketing. As most of the users are highly-educated, being mentioned on their post can help brands establish trust and go viral through word-of-mouth across the community. KOLs would be the most suitable candidate as the 3rd-party.

Unlike other social media platforms, Zhihu’s KOLs should be people in certain positions to convey credible and professional messages such as the company CEO or people specialized in some field. Carefully choose suitable KOLs and let them work as reliable 3rd-parties to enhance brand reach.

Some brands have conducted successful marketing in Zhihu. Take Samsonite; a luggage manufacturer and retailer as an example. A Zhihu user asked for advice on a durable suitcase brand, attracting 273 replies. Among them, the most popular answer is 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 put my luggage down the stairs. There are important documents in my laptop , Which scare me. Fortunately, Raydien DB3 is really durable, my laptop is safe and secure, the suitcase is almost intact, and there is only a small and shallow mark in the corner. ”

Additionally, the post publishes pictures, listing its materials, wheels, weight, internal dimensions and product experience to explain why this model is 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 did not appear like an advertisement. The post helped the above-mentioned Samsonite gain trust and spread word-of-mouth among many Zhihu users. Future KOL collaborations in Zhihu can learn from this case.

RESTRICTIONS THAT BRANDS NEED TO CONSIDER

Conducting successful marketing in Zhihu is not an easy job. There are plenty of restrictions that brands need to consider:

 

1. Enterprise Account Set-up and Maintenance

As mentioned, it is necessary to set-up an Enterprise account while it is strict on the verification part. The set-up and verification website is only in the Chinese version, and for those who have no full set of documents for verification will then require alternative methods or materials. The verification request will pass to the Zhihu team for checking and there are only 3 opportunities for you to supplement documents according to their checking result. If you cannot fully meet their standards after 3 times supplemented, you will need to re-apply which requires more cost and time. After the account is set-up, there will be an ongoing annual review which requires the strict checking process again. As a team experienced with Zhihu, we can smoothly navigate you through this step.

 

2. Proper Marketing Content

There is a specific culture among Chinese netizens which changes all the time. Brands who cannot understand the culture well are easily mislead and cause dissatisfaction among audiences. 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 and up-to-date teammates and associates that master understanding Chinese netizen 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 appearing like pure advertisement. This requires high skills. As a professional team we have mastered all different kinds of social media platforms in China to help brands generate suitable powerful content and conduct a range of marketing activities.

WHY US?

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 engine platforms and 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 

Contact us to learn more about our Zhihu services.

FAQ

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.

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