Online influencers are increasingly integral to luxury and beauty brands’ sales strategies in China. Most influencer marketing programs are still in their infancy—the majority have been active for less than two years, according to a report by Fashion and Beauty Monitor—but that hasn’t stopped brands spending a significant chunk of their marketing budget on partnerships with online influencers, especially in attempts to reach younger consumers.
Partnering with these influencers, also known as wang hong (网红), does, however, pose challenges for luxury brands. Low production videos shot by amateurs in small, cluttered, city apartments don’t exactly scream luxury. Nevertheless, examining the short history of online influencers in China shows that this space is rapidly evolving, and new opportunities are opening up.