zhihu marketing china

How to Optimize your Brand Reputation in China with Zhihu Marketing

Zhihu is the biggest Q&A platform in China. It is often compared to Quora in the West, with a strong UGC posting and answering questions. With over 100 million monthly active users, the platform gathers well-educated netizens who ask and reply to seek and share knowledge. Hence, this platform has become a strategic leverage for luxury and fashion brands to increase their brand reputation and market education for potential customers through Zhihu Marketing in China.

In this article, I will share with you the best Zhihu Marketing Strategies.

And show you how to optimize your brand as an industry authority.

Key Takeaways:

  • Zhihu is China’s biggest go-to Q&A platform for highly-educated and well-off Chinese individuals for expert insight
  • There are 100 million monthly active users
  • The users share is composed of 53.3% male users and 61% of those aged between 25-35
  • Zhihu ecosystem consists of 4 user types: User, Zhihu Official, Brand, and Influencer
  • It is used to increase brand credibility via expert-driven content generated by authentic users
  • Brands can launch a “Brand Business Account” to share market education articles and videos
  • They can engage with loyal and potential consumers by participating in product discussions

zhihu marketing china


What Is Zhihu?

Zhihu is China’s largest Q&A platform and a leader in the field of paid knowledge services. The majority of its users are highly educated and well-off individuals, seeking new learnings. There are 53.3% male users on the platform. The majority of users are aged between 25-35, accounting for 61%.

In China, Zhihu is the go-to platform for people to ask questions and share their opinions on topics related to lifestyle, education, development, science and technology, business information, and so on. It is appreciated by Chinese consumers for its authentic and transparent content. They appreciate high-quality professional information from experts and companies.

Over the years, Zhihu has become the primary source for Chinese people to acquire knowledge online.

Who Are the Zhihu Users?

On the Chinese equivalent of Quora, you can find different users. We often say that there are 4 participants inside the Zhihu ecosystem:

  1. The User (who could be the brand’s potential customer)
  2. The Zhihu Official
  3. The Brand
  4. The Influencer

Hence, understanding how each component works and synergizes on Zhihu can help improve brand awareness through marketing campaigns. They have different usage and can be used by brands in their local strategy.

Let’s see how.

The Users on Zhihu

The user is a well-educated Chinese netizen. He is the general user of the platform and the potential customer for companies. His activity is to search for queries, ask questions, and answer topics when he feels legitimate.

For instance, he can search “What’s the best water bottle material for a baby under 6 months?” on Zhihu. Then, he or she found knowledgeable insight in one post on Zhihu recommending the best brands that use this material for baby water bottles.

In other words, the expertise of the brand and product is well-seeded in this mother’s shopping list. And then converted into the purchasing phase.

The Zhihu Officials

Zhihu Official focuses on running a community between user and brand. There are several tools such as Q&A forum, Zhihu Lecture, Round Table & Premium Product Reviews, and Zhihu Marketplace.

Let’s seem in details:

  • Q&A forum: Promote authentic and expert questions and answers
  • Zhihu Lecture: People can learn AI Technology, Foreign Languages, Law and Finance knowledge, etc.
  • Round Table & Premium Product Reviews: Zhihu organizes Topics Campaign with brands. For instance, they launched with the skincare Brand Estée Lauder the Topic “Blushing and Sensitive Skin Research” on Round Table (same as the literal meaning – online conference on Round Table). Skincare experts, influencers, and users who have this problem will all participate in the conversation to question, comment, and share insight. At the end, there will be Premium Product Reviews shared by authentic users to seed the product in more potential customers’ minds
  • Zhihu Marketplace: Zhihu is inviting more brands to join its marketplace on the platform to finalize the seeding phase and convert to purchase

The Brands on Zhihu

Brands can establish their own Business Accounts on Zhihu. They can use it to share Market Education articles and videos for new product launches. They can also reply to and collect customers’ questions and feedback, and initiate Topic Campaigns to increase brand awareness for well-educated core Chinese potential customers.

The Influencers on Zhihu

The Zhihu influencer is different from other platforms. They are not promoting products or brands like they do on Weibo, Little Red Book, WeChat or Douyin. They are a vertical expert with a problem-solving mindset.

For example, one fashion influencer on Zhihu will teach people about the “Color Card Matching”. This is a specific style book for fashion outfits (and viral “OOTD” in China). Besides this insightful type of Q&A, they can organize live streaming and paid consulting, supported by Zhihu Official.

zhihu influencers china

Reverse Group is the partner of Zhihu Official and we have 250+ Chinese influencers in the industry of fashion, luxury, lifestyle, and so on. Contact us to learn more about our Zhihu Marketing and Influencer Campaign for your specific project!

How do Brands Benefit from Zhihu in China?

The key advantage of Zhihu for brands is to increase brand credibility via expert-driven content generated by authentic users. This is giving a more expert positioning to brand in China. 

For brands that can go further, there are other benefits:

  • Increase Awareness: Either reply and engage with potential consumers’ questions or initiate a Topic Campaign, the brand will target 100 million monthly active users with 53.3% male and 61% from the age of 25-35
  • Optimise Reputation: Answer industry-related questions and demonstrate the skills and strengths of your brand and products to increase trust and establish brand authority in your niche industry
  • Nourish Brand Community: By creating a company page (also known as Zhihu Business Account), answering questions from regular and potential customers, sharing the technological strengths of new products, and initiating Round Table campaign with Zhihu Official to increase fan viscosity

There are several benefits to using Zhihu Marketing.

Let’s see what strategies you can implement now.

4 Zhihu Strategies to Increase Brand Reputation

During my meetings, I realized that 90% of Western brands don’t know Zhihu. And when they know Zhihu, they don’t know they can use it for their brands. This is a huge business loss. Because Zhihu can bring a new “expert positioning” to your brand that can benefit you in the long run.

I’m sharing with you the 4 strategies I implement with our brands.

1. Launch a “Brand Business Account”

Before starting, you need to create a Brand Business Account. Some brands work only with users (UGC) and some brands upgrade to official accounts (PGC). These are 2 different strategies, that you can separate or combine. The creation of a Brand Business Account corresponds to the second strategy. It will allow you to post PGC.

You need to work with a Zhihu official partner, fill in the form, send the requested documents, and finalize the setup. All this process is in Chinese and it’s better to work with a local agency. You can contact us if you need our support

When your account is created, you can share Market Education posts. You can release articles or videos on the platform to drive traffic. Also, you  reply and collect customers’ questions and feedback. You can use them to build the brand’s own social community to increase credibility. Finally, you can also initiate a Topic Campaign to increase brand awareness for well-educated affluent Chinese potential customers.

This is what brings us to the second strategy.

2. Engage with Loyal and Potential Consumers

Zhihu is a community-driven app. Since it’s a Q&A platform, it means that your engagement with your community matters the most. It’s not about posting regular social media content. It’s about creating topics, open debates, and share your knowledge as an expert in your industry (skincare, home decoration, jewelry, denim, etc.).

zhihu marketing china

My best recommendation is to engage directly with regular and potential customers. You can actively participating in relevant discussions and provide helpful answers in a timely manner to show your fans that you value their interaction with your brand. You can also organize a Round Table with Zhihu officials, experts, users, and influencers to make your brand more visible.

This type of user-generated content boosts your website’s search engine rankings (Baidu SEO) and improves your overall online visibility.

3. Collaborate with Zhihu Influencers

In the meantime, brands can collaborate with Zhihu influencers. This option is often forgotten by brands who focus on pure social media only. A combination of social media influencers with Zhihu influencers increases brand impact in China. You can include it in your public relations and PR strategy.

austin li beauty cosmetics live streaming

Influencers on Zhihu contribute to the brand’s content on the platform. They can share a sponsored post on the brand’s page or host a live-streaming Q&A, effectively utilizing their followers to increase brand exposure to potential customers. It increases interaction while building a high level of expertise in your niche market. Ultimately, it will help you to build a social community around your brand.

From Reverse Influencer Pool, you can find the fit ones matching your brand in Chinese Tier 1, 2, and 3 cities!

4. Organize a Marketing Campaign with Zhihu Official

Collaborating with Zhihu Official to run marketing campaigns on Round Table, Premium Product Reviews, and Zhihu Marketplace can magnificantly increase your brand awareness, stimulate community engagement, and attract potential consumers who have interest in your product.

By launching a Zhihu Business Account and leveraging with strategies above, your brand credibility can be increased by expert-driven content generated by authentic users on Zhihu.

Reverse Group is Zhihu Marketing Expert in China.

Contact us to obtain a free consultation based on your specific project!

Unlocking Zhihu’s Marketing Potential in China

We are a French-Chinese Marketing Agency, with over 5+ years of experience in Market Consulting, Creative Communication, Public Relations, and Market Development for 30+ Western Luxury, Fashion, and Lifestyle brands including Lalique, Chanel, ZEISS and so on to thrive in China.

We hope our Zhihu Marketing Guide has been helpful to you! Don‘t hesitate to comment or contact us, if you have any questions about Zhihu or Marketing in China. Let’s keep in touch!

Our Services:

Social Media Management: We work on official account setup, content strategy and creation, community management, and advertising on WeChat, Weibo, Little Red Book, Douyin, Bilibili, and Zhihu to get noticed by 1.4 Billion Consumers

Influencer Marketing: We have 250+ Chinese influencers (from mega KOL to minor KOC) in the industry of fashion, luxury, and lifestyle in Chinese Tier 1 to 3 cities to increase your brand exposure in China

Press Release: We work on your brand notoriety with Chinese press (both digital and printed press) and top magazines such as Vogue China, ELLE China, and Tencent

Zhihu Marketing: We use our partnership with Zhihu to improve your overall reputation by creating expert-driven content generated by authentic users or by your brand itself

Market Study: We handle customized market studies for brands and companies including consumer interviews, trends consulting, strategy building, and platform recommendations to bring you the best data-driven insights in China based on your brand objectives

Zhihu is a powerful tool for luxury, fashion, and cosmetics brands in China. With our in-app knowledge and experience in handling both brands and influencers, we help you lead your industry. Partner with us, and let’s build your brand’s success in China together!

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