KOL+KOC Part 2: Why Your Brand Needs a Combination Strategy

09 February 2022

You know KOL marketing. But do you know KOC marketing?

For the still uninitiated, KOCs are Key Opinion Consumers. KOCs can be influencers of all sizes, who utilise their product experiences to inform their social circle. KOCs are commonly found across social media platforms and are often a significant component of the marketing strategies of different brands.

For example, in China’s enormous and still growing beauty and skincare market, the average consumer has far more diversified demands for performance, such as detox, whitening, anti-aging, neck care and so on. KOCs help beauty brands capture large swathes of the market. Their authenticity, candour and accessibility to general consumers are favoured by many brands wide and far.

You might ask, “How will KOC marketing affect my brand’s existing KOL campaign?”

Did you know that KOC marketing complements KOL marketing?

Let’s take a look at how a well-implemented KOL+KOC marketing campaign can increase your brand’s exposure and sales.

After receiving and reviewing a product sample delivered by the brand, KOCs will post product reviews and information alongside KOL brand and product endorsements. KOL marketing content is the first touchpoint attracting the attention of social media users, who then research product reviews by KOCs on social media platforms such as Xiaohongshu and Douyin.

Here’s how KOL and KOC marketing content differ.

KOL content helps build brand authority, reputation and status. As experienced content creators, KOLs research a brand thoroughly before putting their weight behind the brand. With their popularity and following, KOLs have a lot to lose by endorsing the wrong brand.

KOC content on the other hand helps to penetrate wider segments of the market. In contrast to KOL content, KOC product reviews are more nuanced and in-depth, conveying the product experience from the perspective of the average user. This degree of authenticity helps KOC content resonate firmly with a wide variety of interested audiences, increasing influence over final purchase decisions.

A combination KOL+KOC marketing strategy is the tried and true way to boost the efficacy of brand campaigns. However, top-tier KOL collaborations are becoming more and more expensive, almost equalling those with second and third-tier celebrities.

Here’s a not-so-secret secret: The right KOC selection enhances the efficacy of one KOL to increase market penetration.

Clinique leveraged KOL+KOC marketing across social media in 2021 to increase awareness of its whitening products. These campaigns helped the brand increase private traffic, multiply brand mentions and reach a wider range of consumers.

Clinique campaign: A cross section of KOL content on Douyin. From left to right: @丁公子 – 12.46M followers; @小助理甜筒 – 6.4M followers; @你的小宇 – 16.3M followers

In total, 718 KOLs and KOCs participated in this campaign. KOCs accounted for 72% of this campaign.

Clinique campaign: A cross section of KOC content on Xiaohongshu

Compared to KOLs, KOCs come in large numbers, cover a wide range of industries and build a rapport with consumers, which help brands reach more consumer segments and increase market penetration. KOCs have more vertical followers and have closer relationships with consumers. KOC content takes the form of personal brand advocacy through a user-first perspective. Value-focused KOC content is key to influencing consumption behaviour and decision-making. With the help of KOC marketing, Clinique’s market penetration and brand mentions increased significantly, and posts of its new products have risen to the top of searches on social content platforms such as Xiaohongshu.

Similarly, OLAY launched its #28天抗糖美白挑战 campaign to boost awareness of its Advanced Light Perfecting Essence.

OLAY campaign: A cross section of KOC content on Xiaohongshu

This campaign accumulated 634 influencers, 84% of which are KOCs. With a total of 907 posts, this campaign generated 419.1k engagements.

OLAY campaign: A cross section of KOL content on Xiaohongshu

So as you can see, KOC marketing works together with KOL marketing to optimise your campaign and boost market penetration. A combination KOL+KOC marketing strategy plays a vital role and has a major influence on brand marketing and promotion. Since 2016, PJdaren’s platform and exclusive KOL+KOC community have helped brands around the world build trust, gather insights and facilitate fruitful collaborations with Chinese influencers. PJdaren’s KOL+KOC community of 4 million+ helps brands launch winning campaigns through comprehensive KOL+KOC marketing strategies.

Pull up WeChat on your mobile and scan the QR code to get the latest on KOC marketing!

About 评价达人 – PJdaren:

Since 2016, PJdaren has helped some of the world’s largest brands build trust, collect insights and drive sales in China by engaging Key Opinion Consumers (KOCs) and Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) through our state-of-the-art influencer marketing platform.

Our software and services connect brands with our over 4 million-strong KOC and KOL community. We facilitate targeted, authentic conversations and content, enabling brands to capture the market with measurable results.