We have already covered what KOL marketing is and what are its benefits in China. It has been a powerful marketing tool in China for quite a few years already, but recently a shift from KOL to KOC marketing has been noticed and it is supposed to be one of the marketing trends in 2020. More than two-thirds of consumers agree online reviews are highly important for their decision-making process. Considering the impact that reviews can have, it can be beneficial for your brand to work with some KOCs as part of the marketing strategy. This can help to boost brand awareness or launch a new product.

What is a KOC?

KOC, Key Opinion Consumer, are regular consumers who love to share their true product reviews on popular social media. Even though most of KOC don’t have a big fan base, they are the key to let consumers make a buying decision. And that is one of the main differences with celebrity influencers – KOCs typically have no more than a few hundred fans on their social media accounts. However, as everyday shoppers themselves,  they are more relatable to their followers and generally seen as more trusted due to their authentic and reliable content.

Differences between KOLs and KOCs

As mentioned, the main difference between KOL and KOC is in the number of their followers. KOLs have huge fan bases which, however, could mean they do not always have total trust from their audience. Chinese consumers have become more sophisticated and they have a lot of options to avoid traditional marketing. They know KOLs get paid to do reviews and due to also a few cases of influencers scandals, they started craving more content that is not commercially influenced. On the contrary, KOCs are first of all consumers who decide themselves which product they want to try and review. Even though they don’t have a huge fan base, since their expertise is to give reviews, their voices are more credible and readers actually refer to their reviews.

A few steps to kick off your KOC campaign:

  • One way to connect with your audience is by giving them the opportunity to submit reviews. In this way, you will get the chance to interact with your audience and build a community around your brand.
  • After connecting with your audience, you will most likely collect enough reviews to identify who can stand as KOC. Consumers with more reviews and creative social media with some social media fan base would be your ideal KOCs candidates.
  • You can then invite these KOC to discuss your brand and products with the objective of understanding their feedbacks.


How can Brands Take Advantage of KOC Marketing?

  • Brand awareness: KOLs can create new topics about your brand or certain products to set the tone for additional engagement.
  • Spread content: Mid-level KOCs can add to the discussion by providing their reviews and opinions
  • Engage with potential consumers: KOLs and KOCs can then invite their followers to provide their own opinions and reviews. This will potentially improve engagement and can convert passive followers into active consumers.

If would like to learn more about the possibilities of how to expand your business in China through cross-border e-commerce in China, feel free to contact us at info@brand.house.