Little Red Book Advertising guide 2024

How Does Little Red Book Advertising Work? [Full Guide]

Did you know that more than 70% of posts in Little Red Book are user-generated content?

Looking at this data, it’s apparent that the platform’s massive consumer base of 260 million monthly active users highly prefers word-of-mouth marketing over traditional promotions. Because of this, foreign brands must strive to be more authentic and raw if they want their ad campaigns to appeal to Chinese consumers.

In this post, we’ll discuss how Little Red Book advertising works and the different ad formats you can utilize to increase brand awareness in the app.


Understanding Little Red Book as an Advertising Platform

One reason paid advertising is so well-received by Chinese users on LRB is the audience’s willingness to consume new brands. In fact, more than 50% of the platform’s user base is open to discovering new products from non-mainstream businesses.

As an app that thrives on user-generated content, some may be surprised to learn that 80% of Xiaohongshu’s 30 billion RMB annual revenue comes from ad formats. The other 20% of its revenue is derived from its e-commerce features, primarily the app’s brand store segment.

Despite this, it’s worth noting that Little Red Book is a bit more cautious about paid advertising than on some social media platforms popular in China. According to the company’s sources, the app’s content team is hesitant to push commercialization as it could result in excessive ad placements that could hinder community growth and affect user experience.


Key Figures of Xiaohongshu Advertising Landscape:

  • Ads account for 80% of Little Red Book’s total revenue
  • Key Opinion Leaders remain the primary reason why Xiaohongshu users visit the app
  • 25% of the platform’s ad revenue comes from promoted and sponsored posts
  • 21% of all posts in Little Red Book are sponsored content


Key Figures of Xiaohongshu Advertising Landscape


Influencer marketing also remains among the most common paid promotional campaign strategies you’ll see on Xiaohongshu. With the app hosting over 6,000 highly engaged KOLs and KOCs, many international brands like Innisfree and Fenty Beauty took this opportunity to collaborate with these influencers to expand their reach in the Chinese market.


Who are the Target Audience of Little Red Book Ads

Before you decide to advertise on Little Red Book, you must get to know the demographic you intend to target. With its social commerce features and broad niche focus, you can expect the platform to attract a varied audience.

This social e-commerce platform has a massive consumer base of female users, covering over 67.8% of the app’s total population. Thanks to the app’s active campaign to expand its product range, the number of male Xiaohongshu users has gradually increased over the past few years.


Xiaohongshu user base key figures 2024


The reach of your ads on Little Red Book (Xiaohongshu) may also vary by region, especially since the Chinese market is highly segmented. When weighing your advertising options, don’t forget that half of the app’s consumers reside in the first-tier and second-tier cities.

Among these demographics, around 72% are young Chinese consumers born in the 1990s and 2000s.


How Does Xiaohongshu Advertising Work?

●     Open an Official Account on the Little Red Book App

Before you proceed to open an official account, it’s worth mentioning that only brands with a Chinese business license are allowed to advertise on Xiaohongshu.

Beyond the ability to post content, an official profile can give you access to different advertising tools that a personal account won’t be able to utilize.

Little Red Book is a community-based social commerce platform with a closed shopping cycle. So, it’s only natural that many Chinese consumers are wary of counterfeit or low-quality products. In such instances, your brand’s official account serves as a credibility badge that can help in the long run with exposure and sales.


Luxury brands on Xiaohongshu


●     Conduct Market Research

While ad formats are meant to boost campaign performance, they won’t work if your content does not resonate with the local consumers who use Little Red Book for their regular shopping ventures.

Before you advertise anything, our team suggests conducting a market study according to your brand’s niche. This method can help you identify how Chinese consumers in your industry make purchasing decisions and use the data to improve your advertising strategies.

Social media platforms are popular among local and international brands in the Chinese market. You can use its prevalent usage to observe your competitors’ performance on the platform. By obtaining competitive intelligence, you can pick apart which advertising strategy works and which does not.


●     Choose the Right Little Red Book Ad Format

As a new brand account in the Xiaohongshu app, generating substantial traffic with word-of-mouth recommendations can be challenging. One of the best ways to expand your reach on this social e-commerce platform is through paid advertising.

These ad formats are meant to drive traffic to a specific landing page. It can be your official account, store, or product page. Regardless of your choice, it can help the business gain more recognition among local users.


Little Red Book different ads' formats


1.    News Feed Ads

Many advertisers also call this format “Native Ads.” They blend well with the platform’s feeds, and Xiaohongshu users typically spot them on the platform’s Explore page.

These posts have accurate ad targeting options that allow brands to reach only relevant users. You can advertise using this format in two ways: through post feeds or a big video card similar to a banner. Either way, both ad types have a CPM buying model and a frequency of three times daily.


Xiaohongshu Newsfeed ad redirecting to WeChat mini program


2.    Pop-up Ads

If you want to promote your brand more creatively, you can also use pop-up ads. This format suits brands that want to post content about event promotions, partnerships, product launches, or fancy brand messaging.

True to its name, these advertising campaigns pop up upon opening the app or switching to another page. Advertisers can choose to display their promotions in full or partial-screen format and designate which landing page will be selected when the user clicks on the content.

The cost of launching a pop-up ad depends on every 1000 impressions the content gains. It can also vary according to the format you choose for the advertisements. Your options are a static picture, an interactive image, or a five-second video.


Xiaohongshu pop-up ad app opening


3.    Brand Zone

Xiaohongshu users are bound to look for word-of-mouth recommendations when looking up information about your products. By using brand zone or search ads, you can take advantage of this potential traffic and make your desired landing page appear at the top of the platform search results.

This format aims to enhance your brand’s visibility on the search results page when a user enters a query related to your brand keywords.

You can configure these ads with the proper keywords and switch the landing page between accounts, post content, the official store page, or the product section. They also come in different formats, like display, banner, and multi-page tabs.


Xiaohongshu brandzone ad redirecting to a post and shop

Xiaohongshu brand zone ad redirecting to a post and WeChat mini program


4.    Topic Ads

Another Xiaohongshu advertising option you can try is the topic ad. It’s a format focused on building a community around your brand account.

It allows advertisers to create an exclusive topic to help potential audiences understand their offerings or convince them to buy a product. For this ad type, you can select between custom and hot topics.

The custom topics are often shown on the regular topics page through banners, videos, or lists. Meanwhile, the latter appears on the search results or the brand zone, where the impression is the highest.


Xiaohongshu topics ads


5.    Sticker Ads

Chinese social media and e-commerce platforms are in the age of Gen-Z and Millennial shoppers. You must get on with the trend if you want to amplify your Xiaohongshu advertising results. The best example of that is the Sticker ad format.

Brands can create virtual sticker packs with their branding that users can use when posting reviews and comments about their products and services.

It’s among the most cost-effective options when you advertise on Xiaohongshu because the price will depend on the in-app search volume. And since it’s a trendy marketing strategy, you can expect it to build positive attention around your brand.


Xiaohongshu sticker ads


●     Collaborate with the Right Influencers

Among Little Red Book’s large user base are many influencers and industry professionals who can sway the purchasing decisions of their followers. These internet personalities are more influential than celebrities mainly because they offer a consumer perspective.

When it comes to Xiaohongshu advertising, finding the right Key Opinion Leader to work with often translates not only to high-quality content but also to possible sales conversions.

However, you can only achieve this if the influencer you chose matches your niche and the message the brand is trying to convey to the audience. Otherwise, you could risk your business reputation.


Xiaohongshu KOLs collaborations


Key opinion leaders on other platforms are not necessarily the same as the ones you may have encountered on other platforms in the West. These KOLs are often categorized differently according to their influence and audiences.


Top KOLs

These top KOLs have a diverse and broad following. The engagement rate on their posts varies greatly because their influence can reach different industries.

You can utilize them in an influencer marketing campaign that focuses on highlighting the product’s selling points and posting brand-related topics to maximize their audience reach.


Vertical KOLs

These influencers may have a smaller following than top KOLs but have a massive influence in a specific niche. Their content mainly focuses on a single area of expertise, so most of their audiences are highly engaged.

Many brands like to work with vertical KOLs because of their professionalism and the quality of traffic they attract. Collaborations under this category often focus on spreading influence on target groups and driving sales conversions.


            Key Opinion Consumers (KOCs)

KOCs are not your traditional influencers. One reason they’re popular among other users is that they’re also first-hand consumers. They are valuable in word-of-mouth marketing strategies because they hold a strong influence in many social groups.


Users view their opinions about brands as authentic and raw. Because of this, they generate excellent traffic and sales conversions when utilized accordingly.


Advertising Regulations On The XiaoHongshu App

Remember that XiaoHongshu is still part of the Chinese digital ecosystem, which has strict regulations on honest promotional methods. As an official brand account holder, you must abide by the country’s stringent advertising laws.

Local brands or not, your promotional content can’t include restricted absolute terms like “the best” or “the most.” Exaggerating what your products and services can offer is not encouraged nor allowed as part of the effort to prevent misleading consumers.


How much does it cost to advertise on Xiaohongshu?

Advertising on Xiaohongshu comes with various costs tailored to specific business needs. The starting price for pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements is 0.3 RMB per click, alongside a baseline advertising spend of 5,000 RMB. The platform also implements a commission fee, usually between 15% and 20%.


Xiaohongshu advertising costs


Prospective advertisers should also be prepared for an initial deposit requirement of 20,000 Yuan and other account maintenance fees. Besides these expenses, brands might encounter additional costs related to ad campaigns and collaborations with key opinion leaders.

While the investment to engage with Xiaohongshu’s advertising market may be substantial, brands must consider these costs as an integral part of tapping into this promising audience.


Quick Q&A

How does Little Red Book algorithm work?

Little Red Book (Xiaohongshu) employs a sophisticated recommendation system that tailors users’ homepages to their unique preferences. This customization is achieved by analyzing and leveraging their browsing and search histories.

Additionally, the platform features an “Explore” page designed with the same data-driven approach. This feature enables users to delve into topics they find intriguing while filtering out content that doesn’t capture their interest.


How do you get followers on Little Red Book?

To grow your follower base on Little Red Book, start by consistently posting high-quality, authentic content that resonates with your audience. You can also engage in weekly challenges using specific hashtags.

Fostering a community through active engagement and collaborating with influencers can extend your reach further, especially since the platform favors KOLs with fewer than 5,000 followers.


Your Little Red Book Advertising Partner In China!

Little Red Book is a mix of social media and e-commerce driven by user-generated content, so it’s natural for new brands to doubt the effectiveness of their advertising strategies on this app. And with the growing user base and brand competitors in this landscape, it’s easy for your content to get lost in the crowd.


You may also want to read:
Douyin Ultimate advertising guide


Don’t let these complexities hinder your brand’s success in XiaoHongShu! At Sekkei Digital Group, we understand the subtleties inherent to the Chinese market – including consumer behaviors and the ever-evolving trends that shape it.


Sekkei Digital Group Services


With our extensive expertise in this niche, we offer you the avenue to unlock your brand’s potential and secure a formidable position as a leading entity in the industry.

Whether it’s crafting compelling advertising campaigns, utilizing social platforms, or collaborating with relevant KOLs, we have all the digital solutions you need. Contact us today, and let us help you navigate the challenges of Little Red Book’s business scene.


contact us SDG



Xiaohongshu’s push to make users spend on its platform
Xiaohongshu (Little Red Book) 2023
Advertising on RED/XiaoHongshu

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