China Insights

For mother and infant nutrition, WeChat needs more

Martin Guo

Editor-in-Chief, Kantar China Insights

Social 26.11.2015 / 09:30

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Kantar Media CIC and Ogilvy China conduct research on WeChat content for mothers and infant nutrition, analyzing data between December 2014 and May 2015.

Kantar Media CIC, China's leading social and digital business intelligence provider with over 10 years' experiences in research and analysis, and Ogilvy China have jointly published a study about WeChat content for mothers and infant Nutrition, with in-depth analysis of half year's WeChat data (December 2014 to May 2015).

WeChat content was collected by Kantar Media CIC from 92 influential mother and infant media's WeChat public accounts, 12 mother and infant care KOL (key opinion leader) public accounts as well as 24 brand accounts and analysed by Kantar Media CIC's unique text mining & data analysis technology. The in-depth research focused on the different types of content created and conducted a comparative analysis of these accounts' focus and reach. This research will prove essential to marketers when they work to create effective content strategy and guidelines that target expecting and new mothers.

The content in each of the three different categories displayed a different type of reach. For instance KOLs, as opinion leaders, specialise in providing practical experience in childcare for the audience, while brands focus more on products, services and answering questions. According to our research, brand accounts have the greatest amount of original content, media has the highest forwarding rate and KOLs tend to boast the greatest audience reach.

Media, brands and KOLs focus on different facets, but complement each other

Within these three types of public accounts - Media, KOL and Brand - the KOL accounts tend to express leadership in mother and infant expertise and knowledge. Among the few KOLs highlighted in this study, WeChat attention tended to surround well-known nutritionists and paediatricians. For example, microblogging accounts of paediatricians like "Cuiyu Tao Family Parenting [崔玉涛家庭育儿]" and "Nutritionist Care Center [营养师顾中一]" garner a large amount of fans. In addition, KOLs using other online and social media tools exhibit a more flexible way to spread their reach; popular paediatrician Bao Xiulan set up a "Healthy Energy" microsite and "Rice Cake Mama" has a well-known online radio channel on Himalaya FM.

In contrast, media accounts tend to offer social and messaging functions, with names like "Parenting Networks [育儿网]" and "Kung Fu Mom and Kid Education [功夫妈咪孩子教育]", which focus on topics like nutrition, parenting and discussion forums. These accounts created interactive lifestyle platforms that build comprehensive communities of mothers. Brand accounts tend to focus on providing customer service, with information like weather services, consultation, product authentication and marketing-related activities meant to generate customer loyalty.

The takeaway from this evaluation concludes that original content has the advantage of leveraging media reach, and creates a more powerful influence on the audience. At the same time, brands should focus on developing their own KOLs, establishing the brand in the field of mother and infant nutrition to establish public leadership.

Infant nutrition content is well documented, but pregnant mothers need more

The mother and infant segment demands target content for their target audiences.  Bid farewell to mass marketing, it's time to create precise content!


Among the accounts studied, infant nutrition topics account for 48.7% of all content. However, looking deeper into the different stages of infant development (Figure 1), the most available information focuses on infants aged 0-6 months while nutrition information for those 3-6 years is lacking, accounting for only 0.3% of the total amount of content.

The most important part of infant nutrition content is divided into four sections: Daily diet, Illness, Growth & Health and Food Taboo. Food Taboo is clearly insufficient. (Figure 2).  Brands should focus on strengthening their online nutrition content focused on children aged 3-6 years old, plus more on "food taboos".  

Topics Discussed For Infant Nutrition Compared with the infant nutrition content, nutrition for pregnant women is woefully insufficient (only 1.7%) (Figure 3) - it's incredibly general and there's very little content that focuses on the different trimesters of a pregnancy, least of all the first trimester.   

Content For Pregnant Women Vs Infant Nutrition

This is a clear opportunity for brands to beef up their content. By focusing on content across different trimesters and different facets of pregnancy including diet, developmental knowledge and peer interaction, they can ultimately increase brand viscosity.

Multimedia and cross-subject content works

For today's readers, WeChat posts with images, charts and video boast a much higher amount of readership (Figure 4).  Data shows that KOL accounts that resonating the most with fans involve charts and images. In contrast, the brand accounts seem to still be lagging behind in terms of this content.  

Articles With Richer Display Boast Higher Reach In addition, connecting infant nutrition and mom topics with other "associated" topics can help spread the word. (Figure 5) For infant nutrition content, there are many "associated" areas that promote crossover, including ones like beauty, health, home appliances and children's products. For example, in articles or forums discussing the prevention of infant eczema, skin care brands are often mentioned. Brands need to take advantage of associated domain content to create a diversified revenue model and broaden WeChat content from different angles.  

Word Cloud Of Associated Topics


Source: Kantar Media CIC

Editor's notes

* Research methodology:

This White Paper puts various infant nutrition-related WeChat Accounts into three categories: media, KOLs, and brands. With Kantar Media CIC's patented text mining technology and advanced semantic analysis tools, we analysed the performance of 128 infant nutrition-related WeChat l Accounts  in the past six months, uncovered a wide array of trending topics that are infant nutrition related, and evaluated various brands' presence on WeChat from a social media perspective. In addition, based on Kantar Media CIC's analysis of various M&B forums and Sina Weibo accounts, we further investigated other topics being discussed in infant nutrient-related online conversations, and explored potential opportunities for brands to better connect with their consumers via social media.

* Credits:

Sam Flemming, CEO & Founder, Kantar Media CIC

Kantar Media CIC Monica Zhao, Head of Research Innovation, Kantar Media CIC

Theresa Loo, Chief Knowledge Officer, Ogilvy & Mather China

* To reach the author, or to know more information, data and analysis of China's social media, please contact us.

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