Enter a new era of marketing, with KOC & KOL marketing in China

In China, traditional advertising has taken a backseat to a more powerful, more personal form of marketing—Key Opinion Leader (KOL) and Key Opinion Consumer (KOC) marketing. KOLs & KOCs, or (micro) influencers, have become an essential part of a successful marketing strategy, with their ability to sway public opinion and shape consumer behavior in this rapidly evolving digital landscape.

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    Digital Marketing
    in China

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    SEO
    in China

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    Social Advertising
    in China

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    Marketplace Marketing
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    What is KOC & KOL Marketing?

    KOL and KOC marketing harness the influence of key personalities on social media platforms who have gathered large and engaged followings. KOLs, or Key Opinion Leaders, range from fashion aficionados and tech buffs to food bloggers and fitness gurus, each wielding their unique voice and influence in various niches. They’re often seen as more relatable and trustworthy than traditional celebrities, leading to high engagement rates.

    KOCs, or Key Opinion Consumers, are everyday consumers who have gained a loyal following through their authentic and relatable content. They offer genuine insights and recommendations about products they use, which can significantly impact their followers’ purchasing decisions.

    Why is KOC & KOL Marketing Effective in China?

    Chinese consumers heavily rely on word-of-mouth and peer recommendations. KOLs serve as a modern extension of this cultural characteristic, delivering personalized endorsements that deeply resonate with their followers. KOCs, with their authentic content and organic endorsement of products, build a grassroots connection with potential customers, fostering trust and loyalty.

    Both KOLs and KOCs are master content creators. They understand what captivates their audience and how to weave compelling narratives around products. This delivers promotional content that feels natural and engaging rather than overly commercial or intrusive.

    What is the difference between a KOL and a KOC?

    Navigating the intricate landscape of Chinese digital marketing means understanding the pivotal roles of Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) and Key Opinion Consumers (KOCs). Both hold significant sway over consumer behavior and brand perception, but in distinct ways.

    KOLs are recognized figures with substantial social media followings in specific niches. Their recommendations command a high degree of trust, offering your brand immediate visibility and credibility. However, a successful collaboration with a KOL depends on choosing an influencer whose audience and content align with your brand’s vision and target demographic.

    Contrarily, KOCs are everyday consumers who have gained influence by generating authentic and relatable content. Their appeal lies in their perceived authenticity and unbiased views. Collaborating with KOCs helps your brand foster a grassroots connection, building trust and loyalty with potential customers on a more personal level.

    Understanding and leveraging the unique strengths of both KOLs and KOCs is the key to a robust and effective influencer marketing strategy in China. With the right blend of authority and authenticity, your brand can form meaningful connections, drive engagement, and convert potential customers into loyal brand advocates.

    CHOOSING THE RIGHT KOL OR KOC

    Choosing an ideal KOL or KOC for your brand extends beyond reaching the most followers—it’s about pinpointing the perfect fit. This involves assessing the influencer’s audience demographics, engagement metrics, content relevance, and authenticity in relation to your brand.

    For KOLs, their established authority and niche expertise can provide your brand with visibility and credibility. On the other hand, KOCs, with their authentic content and genuine recommendations, can build deeper, more personal connections with potential customers.

    Our team of experts can assist you in identifying the ideal KOL or KOC who not only aligns with your brand’s values but also truly resonates with your target audience.

    LEVERAGING KOLs AND KOCs ACROSS DIFFERENT PLATFORMS

    Different social media platforms cater to diverse demographics and consumption habits, each offering distinctive opportunities to collaborate with both KOLs and KOCs. Whether it’s Weibo, China’s answer to Twitter, Douyin, the Chinese counterpart of TikTok focusing on short videos, or RED (Xiaohongshu), a fusion of review and shopping platform, you can find and partner with KOLs and KOCs tailored to your brand’s needs.

    KOLs, with their substantial following and authoritative voice, can amplify your brand’s reach and reputation across these platforms. KOCs, meanwhile, through their genuine and relatable content, can provide a more grassroots and authentic form of influence, fostering trust and loyalty among their audience. By harnessing the unique strengths of both KOLs and KOCs, you can create a robust and effective influencer marketing strategy that spans across various social media platforms.

    The social media landscape in China

    China’s social media arena is dominated by platforms such as WeChat, Weibo, Douyin (TikTok), and RED. Each platform offers unique features and user behaviors that necessitate an informed approach to marketing.

    WeChat:

    WeChat is China’s most popular multi-purpose app with over 1 billion monthly active users. Apart from messaging, WeChat supports social media functions, payment services, and Mini Programs (in-app applications). WeChat KOLs usually have a more personal and loyal relationship with their followers, and they share content through WeChat Moments or via their WeChat Official Accounts. Its diverse functions make it suitable for a broad range of marketing activities, including content marketing, customer service, and e-commerce.

    Douyin

    Douyin, known as TikTok outside of China, is a platform for short, creative videos. With over 600 million daily active users, Douyin is popular among younger generations. Its algorithm allows users to discover new content and influencers easily, making it an ideal platform for brands looking to tap into Gen Z’s market. KOLs on Douyin often utilize creative storytelling and humor, engaging their audience with high-energy content. For businesses aiming to promote a more dynamic and creative image, Douyin is an excellent choice.

    RED

    RED, also known as Xiaohongshu or “Little Red Book,” is a unique mix of social media and e-commerce. It’s a review and recommendation-based platform where users share shopping experiences and lifestyle tips. With its female-dominated user base, RED is a popular platform for beauty, fashion, and lifestyle KOLs. The authentic, user-generated content style is very appealing to Chinese consumers who rely heavily on peer reviews and recommendations when making a purchase decision.

    Weibo

    Weibo is often referred to as China’s answer to Twitter. With over 500 million monthly active users, Weibo offers a powerful platform for KOL marketing. It’s particularly effective for sharing long-form content, allowing KOLs to discuss products or services in depth, share stories, and engage in conversations with their followers. Its broad user base makes it an excellent choice for targeting diverse demographics, and its hashtag system helps increase content visibility.

    Got some questions about KOL marketing in China?

    What is KOL marketing?

    KOL marketing, also known as Key Opinion Leader marketing, is a strategy where brands collaborate with influential individuals who have a strong following and expertise in a specific field. These individuals, known as Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs), help promote products or services to their followers through various online platforms, such as social media, blogs, or YouTube channels. KOL marketing is commonly used to increase brand awareness, reach a larger audience, and enhance credibility.

    What is KOC marketing?

    KOC marketing, or Key Opinion Consumer marketing, is a strategy that focuses on leveraging the influence of everyday consumers who have a strong following or expertise in a particular niche. Unlike KOLs, KOCs are regular consumers who have built a loyal and engaged audience through their own content creation or social media activities. Brands collaborate with these KOCs to promote their products or services, as they have a more relatable and authentic connection with their audience. KOC marketing aims to tap into the power of word-of-mouth marketing and peer recommendations.

    How do KOLs and KOCs differ?

    While both KOLs and KOCs have influence over their audience, there are some key differences between the two. KOLs are often industry experts or celebrities who have a significant following and are well-known within their field. They are typically engaged in long-term partnerships with brands and have established themselves as authorities in their respective industries. On the other hand, KOCs are everyday consumers who have gained a strong following and influence through their organic content creation or social media activities. They are often seen as more relatable and trustworthy by their audience.

    How effective is KOL marketing?

    KOL marketing can be highly effective in reaching and engaging target audiences. According to a survey by Influencer Marketing Hub, 92% of marketers believe that KOL marketing is an effective strategy. KOLs have the ability to create authentic and engaging content that resonates with their followers, leading to higher brand awareness, increased engagement, and improved conversion rates. However, the effectiveness of KOL marketing can vary depending on various factors such as the suitability of the KOL for the brand, the authenticity of the collaboration, and the relevance of the content to the target audience.

    How effective is KOC marketing?

    KOC marketing has gained popularity due to its perceived authenticity and relatability. According to a survey by Bazaarvoice, 84% of consumers trust product recommendations from friends, family, and peers more than other forms of advertising. This highlights the potential effectiveness of KOC marketing in leveraging the power of word-of-mouth and peer recommendations. KOCs have a direct connection with their audience, and their recommendations are often seen as more genuine and trustworthy. However, it is important for brands to carefully select KOCs that align with their target audience and maintain the authenticity of the collaboration.

    How do I find the right KOL or KOC for my brand?

    Finding the right KOL or KOC for your brand requires careful research and consideration. Here are some steps to help you identify suitable influencers: 1. Define your target audience: Understand your target audience's demographics, interests, and preferences. 2. Research relevant platforms: Identify the social media platforms or online communities where your target audience is most active. 3. Explore hashtags and keywords: Search for hashtags and keywords related to your industry or niche to find influencers who are already discussing relevant topics. 4. Analyze engagement and reach: Look for influencers with high engagement rates (likes, comments, shares) and a significant number of followers. 5. Assess content quality and alignment: Evaluate the quality of their content, authenticity, and relevance to your brand values and target audience. 6. Review their past collaborations: Examine their previous partnerships and assess their effectiveness and authenticity. 7. Reach out and negotiate: Once you have identified potential influencers, reach out to discuss collaboration opportunities and negotiate terms.

    Are there any regulations or guidelines for KOL and KOC marketing?

    Different countries have their own regulations and guidelines regarding KOL and KOC marketing. For example: - In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires influencers to disclose their relationships with brands, ensuring transparency and preventing deceptive practices. - In China, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) introduced regulations in 2017 requiring influencers to clearly label promotional content and disclose any relationships with brands. - In the European Union, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) imposes rules on data privacy and consent, which may impact how influencers collect and use personal data. It is essential for brands and influencers to familiarize themselves with the regulations and guidelines in their respective countries and ensure compliance to maintain trust and transparency in influencer marketing activities.

    Ready to start scaling your business internationally?

    We’re ready to start growing your business across borders, are you? Let’s get started with some info about your challenge!

      First name *

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