Mar 22, 2018 | By Rose Garrod
Mar 09, 2017
By Sandy Chu
WGSN caught up with up-and-coming Shanghai based KOL (Key Opinion Leader) Yanie Durocher of The Marginalist to get her take on blogging in China.
What makes you popular as a KOL?
I think it really comes down to two things: the content and the tone-of-voice which can be direct, personal but also professional as I am sharing my first hand experience on current movements. I’ve recently changed my style into something more bold, aggressive, strong and somewhat violent ( bringing back the nostalgic 1990s). I feel it gives off a stronger impact and personal reflection of who I am. This also helps with my positioning, I have transitioned from general lifestyle blogger to something that is more niche and pinpointed to my Chinese audience and global millennials who like youth culture, the streets, Cyber punk, Sci-fi, Pop-Goth etc.
How did you build your following?
The blog did not rise up immediately; it took several years of work to create an initial fan base that I started four years ago. At first it was slow, I didn’t even understand what “digital character” I wanted to be. What made ME different from the millions of other bloggers???
To reach the next level of success as a blogger it was fundamental for me to understand my positioning and target audience. Do I want to be niche or the mass market? Image and publishing consistency is also important, not only does it help your brand image and positioning but it also helps your SEO.
I also use a variety of social media platforms (both Western and Eastern) and I collaborate with key Chinese digital (and print) media which helps me raise my profile. Partnering with influencers in different categories helps too, think photographers, artists and makeup artists for projects. We @ tag each other to tap and share our audiences. For Wechat, given that it is a closed platform it is really important to leverage your current fan base onto the WeChat while using collaborations and word-of-mouth to gain new followers.
How do you plan your content to grow your following?
Usually, my publishing peak time can be Wednesday or Thursday and Sunday night (9-10:45 pm), never Friday nights (lol) people usually want to cool off and do their own thing. For me, in order for content to be interesting to the target audience, it must be relevant to them. How will the events and trends I’m covering potentially affect their lives and generally change the way we consume? I always try to bring the content back to them so it is relevant. I think about why they should care, why is it important?
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