Vape.hk is curious about how RELX promote its products, so we did research online about it since most Chinese enterprises promote their products online while they have no offline shop. Following are the most detailed results.
Youtube influencer marketing 95%:
Youtube influencer marketing is important and effective according to my personal experience. I used to sell scooters, and once upon a time, I invited a Youtube influencer with 5 million fans to do a review for me successfully. When his video came out, our website has been down for a long period for too many visitors and customers. I don’t want to disclose the sales amount but only a word can describe that: HUGE. You can’t believe how loyal the Youtube fans are to the influencer.
However, Youtube influencer marketing has been started for many years from 2012-2019. In the early stage, influencers and brands both did not realize the power of this marketing method, so the collaboration fee was ridiculously humble then. When it comes to recent days, the result of Youtube influencer marketing is recognized by the public, and the collaboration fee becomes sky high. Sadly, it costs the brands an arm and a leg. Therefore, only brands with enough capital and funds can play this game. That’s also why RELX get financed first before entering.
The downside is RELX used to only have a Chinese paper user manual and the influencer cannot understand it and introduce it to fans. Moreover, since the company is China, the shipping fee is high and the shipping cost more time.
Youtube official channel 5%:
Nobody cares and follows a new brand’s Youtube channel however good their videos are. RELX official Youtube channel is only used for putting up their official product demonstration video. The best video only has merely 7.2k views and 4 comments.
Top 2: Instagram
This promotional approach is way like Youtube. The key point is the influencer and sponsorship fee.
Its official Instagram also holds some giveaway campaigns or publish some vaping knowledge, which is of little influence.
TOP 3: Agent/Dealership
Most brands love to collaborate with agents and resellers in B2B wholesale business. Because wholesale agents usually place bulk orders with gigantic cash. According to my investigation, the RELX agent dealership is exclusive and usually countrywide. For example, agent A sells in country A, agent B sells in country B, they’re not allowed to sell their products to outer countries in case of a price battle between the agents.
Besides, it also ensures the market education and promotion achievement not stolen by other agents. After all, the agents get the products at a one-third price of the retail market.
Local agents know the local market thoroughly, have deep roots in local sales channels and they are able to do both online and offline promotion themselves using all kinds of approaches effectively.
The inevitable low price battle and agent complaints. In addition, when the agents do their job too good, they have the power to bargain and cut down the price even harder. Then the brand will produce lower profits but have to work harder.
Agents also care if the brand works hard to promote their products. If they found the brand stop promoting, they won’t be willing to place any new order any more.
Top 4: Facebook
It also needs the influencer’s recommendation and help to run a good Facebook or Twitter page. Facebook also allows some vape ads sometimes in a small amount.
Moreover, RELX also runs a closed facebook group with 3000 members.
What’s strange is, it has 3000 members since its establishment last year. But until now, it still has around 3000 members. I heard a piece of news in China (not about RELX), a victim was scammed 10 thousand yuan in a Wechat group with 100 members, then he reported it to the police. After the investigation, the police found that 98 members in this group are scammers.
When talking about Facebook, people must mention its brother Twitter. As for RELX Twitter, it’s just a syndicating medium of Facebook or Instagram.
Look at this, now it’s needless to mention it anymore. It’s not that RELX is not popular, but Twitter is not quite suitable for marketing.
Top 5: Press release
Talk with the news website editors and reporters and ask them to put up your news, which is a common practice among new vape brands. RELX might have forgotten this promotional approach. But its partner FEELM and IECIE who’s an old hand in this field put it in the memorandum.
The reason why RELX doesn’t like the press release dues to 2 factors:
- RELX product launch is not newsworthy. That means, this product is not innovative enough, and this kind of product is already all over the street before its launch. The news editors are not willing to put up their news.
2. RELX team didn’t realize the value of press release or just forgot that.
Most news website not only has a stable audience group but also rank high in search engine. Recent data also shows that search outpaced social for referral traffic last year, driving 35% of site visits vs social’s 26% share of visits, and social media natural traffic especially Facebook sees a great drop. It’s a pity to lose the chance in this track when having enough capital.
Top 6: Affiliate sales
Refer a friend to get commissions or credits for their purchasing new products.
Yes, you’ll get 20 USD when referring to a true smoker successfully – the smoker places a new order on RELX official site. And I’ve tested it myself. However, it seems not working due to a technical problem. If I were in the RELX brand team, I would take part in the Shareasale affiliate program which is more popular and trustworthy in the vaping circle.
An affiliate program means the publishers including deal sites (major sales booster), blogs, social media influencers and private website put up the affiliate link and get commissions when the customer purchase products through the link they published on their network. It’s a result-leading sales approach, which is liked by most marketers.
I used to work in a large e-commerce company and the sales amount of affiliate accounts for at least 20 percent of the total sales with the highest ROI index. However, RELX’s lame affiliate program is disappointing. Not a big deal.
Top 7: Giveaway/special offer/discount
Nobody can resist a free product and a chance to win with little efforts. Just like the lottery, though there is little hope to win, people still buy for the hope of becoming a billionaire. RELX holds campaigns of Tag smoker/vaper friends then win free products.
This works in boosting sales and improving brand awareness. However, the giveaway campaign has a clear and narrow boundary. Not like the affiliate program, the campaign functions for only one time and costs lots of money and time. Not cost effective at all.
However, the result is unknown since I’m not in RELX.
Top 8: Official site SEO
As we all know in the vape online promoting and marketing circle, vape is related to the tobacco products, and tobacco products are not allowed to be advertised by Google ad/Adwords/Google CPC just like CBD products. Therefore, SEO(search engine optimization) is the best way to get traffic. Besides, SEO traffic is natural, free and stable, which cannot be more suitable for marketing. However, RELX is new and new sites usually have problems in search engine ranking for poor content and fewer links. So this marketing method is ranked low in the top 10 list.
Top 9: EDM
EDM stands for Electronic Direct Mail. Since RELX is a new brand, its user and customer email subscription database is extremely small. That’s also why it ranks low in the top 10 list.
Top 10: Mouth to Mouth
Mouth to Mouth means people share the product user experience with each other online or offline by talking with friends directly, social media, blogs or private websites to tell others to buy or not to buy. It boosts a brand, it also kills a brand. On the one hand, RELX pod leakage tortures its product team day and night. And it’s even a disaster and nightmare when it comes to RELX Alpha. The good image established by the classic RELX starter kit is almost ruined in this way. It’s OK to control what the influencers talk or say. But it’s impossible to control millions of users online and offline. On the other hand, RELX has some positive reviews which helped its sales.
By using above 10 channels proficiently with enough capital and funds as a promotion fee, any seller is able to achieve great sales amount even when their product is just so so. And the above top list is ranked from high to low, it also sheds some light on why Juul is forbidden to be promoted on social media – too effective!
Summary of RELX approach and process of vape marketing:
- Establish a beautiful website with functions like inquiring, purchasing and affiliate;
2. Reach influencers, press and media for collaboration;
3. Hire agents – Agents may repeat process 1-7 leading sales-fission effect or repeat 1-7 except process 3 because of its small market in its own country;
4. Holding promotional campaigns and activities;
7. Mouth to mouth propaganda
RELX recent news also exposes their online marketing methods and approach, the news is following: