How much do social influencers earn in China?
My girlfriend and I started one of those ‘couple pages’ about 2 years ago on a few Chinese social media sites. A few viral videos, TV advertisements and collabs with luxury brands I’m going to share with you what I learned about the industry and how it’s all going now.
What is Chinese social media?
We’ve got friends who make video content for Chinese twitter (微博- “weibo”), Chinese YouTube (Bilibili) and even product videos on Chinese Amazon/ebay (淘宝 — Taobao) but the pay on 小红书 or ‘Little red book/RED’ which is China’s answer to Instagram is by far the best.
How much money can I make per video on Chinese social media?
Where your price per video changes depending on your follower count to engagement ratio. The following prices are subjective, however, these are the prices recommended by the best in industry agents. If you have 20,000 followers with good engagement (classifying good engagement as 3% likes and 2% comments and 1% saves) you can expect to make about $900 per advertisement. However, each advertisement needs 4 non-commercial style videos to stay in the algorithm’s good books. Thus, you can make about 900/5=$180 per post (4 posts +1 advert) on RED. At the 50,000-follower level with good engagement, it’s a good time to increase your price by 50% to around $1350. Next milestones are 100,000 followers to around $2000. We’re currently at 70,000 on RED and 25,000 on Chinese ticktock 抖音. Expect an update on these prices in the future to see how we do as we grow. Read below to see how much the agent takes.
Do I need an agent to be an influencer and how much money do they take?
Yes, you do. Since RED is our biggest account, we’ll be using that as an example. We started RED by just posting silly comedy/romance videos. We started to take it seriously after one 30-second video went viral and got around 100,000 likes, from that video alone we saw brands approach us asking for collaborations and agencies message us to work together. In China there is an APP which tells you which agencies are the best; based on the influencers they manage performance. We signed with the second agency which approached us, known as being the top agency.
The big companies we’ve worked for like Dior, Vivo, Tiffany & Co and YSL all approach the big agencies first when they want to promote a product. If you’re not with an agent, you don’t get access to these big clients.
Without detailing the exact numbers in respect for our contract, usually agents will ask you to sign 3-year exclusivity with their company. They will take 60–70% of all profits until you achieve 100* your original reach pre-signing. Upon achieving this they will take 40–50% until you reach 500* original reach. Then the account can be yours again, or if the contract term (usually 3 years) expires. After this time, you can choose to have commercial contract where you still work together to receive advertisements from their clients, but you don’t need to give them such a huge %, that is the ideal scenario.
Can I be an influencer without an agent?
You can, but you won’t grow as fast. A good agency will give you a dedicated account manager who is in constant communication with you, a photographer and a content editor. As well as this, they will meet with you weekly and give you rough script outlines. They will then edit and write the content piece for the video. You need to post 3/4 times a week to catch the growth from the algorithm, so doing all this work without an agent is possible but your content quality might suffer.