Key Opinion Consumer (KOC) is the latest form of influencers in China, who are experts in testing and reviewing products. Their content is highly reliable which is why the followers will actually refer to this important role in the decision-making process, regardless of the relatively small audience size.

Due to the rising influence of KOC in China, global marketers are motivated to test this model and adjust their social media strategy accordingly. WeChat is a well-known all-in-one app with functions that go beyond daily communication. Users can purchase daily goods, order a taxi, or even attend an online class through WeChat. In China, the predominant practise is to centralize all daily needs into one app. 

There are also more and more apps that combine social media with e-commerce and encourages users to review goods and share their opinions with others. If netizens in China want to learn more about a certain product or explore new ones, LRB is their first go-to app. KOCs from LRB are viewed as credible sources since these are ordinary people who, albeit having a limited amount of followers, genuinely want to try and test a product. LRB’s algorithm helps as well since it ranks posts according to quality, and displays them first in the main feed. Hence, further motivating LRB users to share their reviews.

Although this practice is still relatively uncommon in places outside of China, with Instagram’s new Checkout function that essentially combines social media and e-commerce, we believe that western social media is inclining towards the Chinese approach. 

Differences between Key Opinion Consumer (KOC) and Key Opinion Consumer (KOL)

  • Level of initiative

Brands proactively approach a KOL and provide them cash or product incentives for promoting their products and services. While KOC is first of all a consumer, hence they initiate the process of trying and reviewing products that interest them. 

  • Audience size

KOLs are categorized by the number of followers, such as Micro-influencers (5,000 – 1K) and Celebrities (millions). On the contrary, audience size is not a critical criterion for KOCs, in fact, they most likely have fewer followers than KOLs.

  • Authenticity

KOC has more credibility among readers as product testing and reviewing is their expertise. In comparison, followers of KOLs are aware of the paid collaborations between brands and influencers, hence the authenticity is not as strong as KOC. 

4 Steps to Initiate KOC Marketing Campaigns

1. Capture

We suggest linking your social network profiles to your website to help integrate with social media. In this way, you will be able to capture social media information about website visitors, such as the type of content they publish. As a result, turning these users into future KOCs. 

Giving your audience a chance to submit reviews also helps to connect with your audience. You will be able to interact with the audience and also build a brand community.

2. Qualify

You will probably have enough reviews from your audience and thus able to identify potential KOCs. However, be mindful that the KOC will remain trustworthy when writing the review, and might share a negative yet constructive comment. KOC is actually your business Active Client plus Relevant Audience Size with Creative Social media Content.

3. Invite and Listen

After identifying the high-quality, try to organize a focus group to collaboratively share the latest news about coming products. This will be resourceful for the growth of your company. Meanwhile, invite the KOCs and digest their feedback to help improve your products. 

4. Activate

Among the feedback collected from the KOCs, we suggest shortlisting the most valuable comments for your brand. Thus, further optimizing your marketing plan by activating new KOCs to review the latest products. Among the feedback collected from the KOCs, we suggest shortlisting the most valuable comments for your brand. Thus, further optimizing your marketing plan by activating new KOCs to review the latest products.