Friday Forum – We bring the hottest questions from the Chinese Social & Digital space to our brightest minds.

How will the future Douyin influencer look like in five years and why?

Lesley Tam
Account Manager / We Are Social


With Douyin’s in-video search function with image recognition technology, it will bring a profound shift in the way social media users interact with video content, as each appearance of a product on-screen becomes a point-of-sale. In this result-driven world of capitalism, Douyin KOLs are on the way to become superstars for brands to turn to.

Howie Jiang
Account Manager / We Are Social


You can look at Li Ziqi to know how excellent Douyin influencers will be in the future. However, not all influencers will be lucky to own their exclusive brand like Ziqi. In the post-pandemic era, digital marketing has presented its great advantage in terms of flexibility and various touchpoints. In the meanwhile, it is also a fast-paced era, Douyin influencer's future will depend on themselves how unique they can build their brand and if they are capable "to get out of the circle or not".

Ivy Wang
Associate Account Manager / We Are Social


The number of new influences will increase, which means it will become crucial for them to become a "brand" themselves, that have differentiated characteristics and content to stand out in the fierce competition. Besides, with the wide usage and spread of 5G soon, the prominence of live-streaming in China will increase the overall quality and reliability of the content, thus putting creativity in the center of survival for influencers.

Tom Tang
Senior Account Executive / We Are Social


I think content producers on Douyin will pay more attention to selling products utilizing their influence and live-streaming. They will start by producing high-quality short videos that encourage users to follow them. After generating a large fan base, they will use live-streaming to build stronger engagement with the aim to drive traffic to their Douyin online shop. In terms of deciding the content for the ongoing live-streams, essential insights can be gathered from previous videos such as likes, comments, and reposts. For instance, products with greater potential can be broadcasted through the live-stream to increase conversion efficiency.

Monty Lin
Account Executive / We Are Social


In the near future of KOLs and internet celebrities, it will become important to create more vertical and professional content to be able to break out from the crowd and develop a diversified KOL type. KOLs will use distribution strategies based on their unique positioning and content style and utilize different platforms to get more traffic from the entire ecosystem.

People like "Li Ziqi" will create their own brands, but they also need enough high-quality content to support this effort which will require a highly professional team behind them. Social marketing will pay more and more attention to KOL investments with an increase in high-quality paid content which consumers are willing to pay for. Lastly, second- and third-tier cities will also become the biggest markets for these influencers.