Interviewing entrepreneurs in China: How to operate impressive content creation on Douyin

China Paradigms interviewed Fabian Ouwehand, the founder and growth director of UPLAB to learn more about the process of content creation on Douyin and managing KOLs under Douyin.

Fabian Ouwehand, a specialist at creating the content on TikTok

Fabian Ouwehand has demonstrated his strong entrepreneurship potential from a young age, namely since high school; he has been running e-commerce and mental-health businesses before founded UPLAB.

brands leverage Douyin
[Source: a portrait from Fabian Ouwehand’s Linkedin page, “experienced in helping brands leverage Douyin”]

Fabian is a specialist in content marketing and growth&influencer marketing. With an international background, he is currently based in Berlin, but at the same time traveling between Europe and Asia. It assures his proficiency in helping foreign brands doing content creation on Douyin and assisting Chinese KOLs going abroad.

UPLAB, a credible Tiktok / Douyin partner for content marketing

UPLAB is one of the most integrated and connected agencies providing influencer marketing and content creation on Douyin (TikTok), Instagram, WeChat, etc. TikTok is a fast-growing social platform for posting short videos (10-15 sec), it is known as ‘Douyin’ in China. Douyin has the same functions as TikTok, but the users are mostly Chinese and, therefore, content creation on Douyin is essentially in the Chinese language.

content creation on Douyin
[Source: the logo from UPLAB official website, “qualified expert in content creation on Douyin”]

UPLAB has rapid growth in two years, at a similar speed of Tiktok, which started with a small scale in mid-2017 and blew up in the first quarter of 2018. UPLAB has plenty of successful cases in helping brands leverage Douyin through content creation on Douyin, it couldn’t achieve such a success without collaborating with KOLs under Douyin.

“The influencer, they know how to create content. They know how to build this audience, engage with his audience, but they’re not always real business people.”

Having noticed this situation, Fabian has built a credible bridge between brands and KOLs. The brands know what campaign they want; the KOLs know the approach to creating content on Tiktok, UPLAB connects these two in a favorable way.

Douyin, a distinctive social platform in comparison with WeChat and Weibo

The rapid-growing platform based on its excellent algorithm

ByteDance, a Chinese internet technology company that has applied machine learning to content platforms like Douyin. It is also the reason why Douyin has become a hit in a short time:

“ByteDance basically filters out the right people for the type of content. That’s why you see a lot of influencers grew very fast in a short amount of time because they directly got the right audience proposed to them.”

Different from WeChat, as a relatively random and closed social community, and Weibo, as a platform with various contents on it, Douyin is a specific video platform where the content is open to every user. Equipped with an excellent algorithm, content creation on Douyin is expected to arouse the attention of appropriate audiences. Therefore, Douyin is a perfect platform for brands to do content marketing.

“Bytedance is putting a lot of effort on Douyin”

Bytedance has now endeavored to develop Douyin in China and Tiktok overseas. For instance, the educational type of content on Douyin is a specific focus of ByteDance. Users could use 10-15 seconds in different ways: some have cut a long educational video into smaller parts (like Gary V on Instagram), others have post advertisements for educational agencies within 15 seconds.

Partly because of the sensitive content regulation in China, Bytedance is aiming to create both a healthy and creative environment on Douyin. Educational content creation on Douyin is an efficient way to attract more positive learners to this platform and accordingly, Douyin is able to create a good image among online content platforms.

Douyin collaborates with other e-commerce platforms

Some accounts on Douyin have reached great sales in beauty/fashion products, there are links under videos that can directly lead Douyin users to e-commerce platforms like Taobao.

“Douyin integrates for e-commerce purposes with Taobao, JD, and Tmall. Basically, it can connect your store to Douyin and sell directly without basically leaving Douyin itself.”

Douyin has chosen mostly e-commerce platforms rather than social platforms like WeChat because it regards WeChat as their competitor, however, there is no worry about e-commerce platforms being competitors. E-commerce companies could leverage Douyin for advertisements and have a high conversion rate through leading Douyin audience to directly buying their products.

“For product companies, Douyin is the right channel in a way like you can convert to sales.”

Brands leverage Douyin for marketing: how to attract potential customers in 10-15 seconds

It is somehow difficult for brands to leverage Douyin because they need to post content that is attractive enough.

“For brands which are like, ‘What type of content is interesting for us? And how can we make that in 10 to 15 seconds?’ I think that’s a very big challenge.”

The audiences on Douyin are also the content consumers, they are willing to consume interesting content. Considering their ages, they are basically a younger generation in China and easily get bored with advertisements. Then many companies take KOLs under Douyin into account: different from traditional marketing strategy, influencers are experts in content creation on Douyin and already have their audiences. When it is a challenge for brands to post interesting content by themselves, the best way for brands to leverage Douyin is to contract right KOLs under Douyin. KOLs under Douyin. It is again exactly what UPLAB is doing: to seek the appropriate KOLs for brands and help them realize a potential growth.


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