The Importance of Key Opinion Customer in China

In the era of the rise of social e-commerce, the commercial value and influence of China’s key opinion customers (KOC) have become increasingly prominent. It is one of the forces that cannot be ignored when all destination tourism bureaus formulate marketing policies for the Chinese market. KOC can have the influence to influence consumer decision-making, there is a big reason for the “non-commercial” characteristics.

When it comes to social media marketing in China, most businesses choose to save money and avoid investing a lot of money, especially on channels and platforms that cannot provide clear results in order to obtain higher returns.

KOL is out, KOC is valued

When destination tourism bureaus are marketing to China, they can use active WOM strategies, namely online and offline word-of-mouth marketing (Word to Mouth and Word to Mouse). At the same time, we must focus on delivering user-generated content (UGC). This is not only a better investment, but also more efficient, because once Chinese travelers know that the information is paid for, they will not easily trust the information. Based on this, cooperating with a trusted KOC and abandoning expensive KOLs, you can get better results at lower costs instead.

KOC touches people’s hearts and attracts consumers to actually switch their purchases

KOC is an extension of KOL. In fact, both are influencers in a broad sense. KOC originated from China in about 2019. From Xiaohongshu and Taobao to the rise, they are a group of people who buy a certain product and enthusiastically recommend relatives and friends, and have the ability to sell indirectly.

But compared to KOL, KOC is more closely connected with people around it, just like a net, which can have greater influence in the final decision whether to buy a product or not. For brands, KOL is a wide range of exposure and traffic, allowing more people to see the brand’s marketing strategy. KOC is moving people’s hearts and attracting consumers to actually switch their purchases. Therefore, when a travel destination has a certain brand image and popularity in China, travel products have been on the market for a period of time, and UGC content is available, KOC operations should be added to guide purchases.

However, KOC is generally inferior to KOL in terms of content exquisiteness, and is usually more realistic and closer to life. This is because amateurs operate from the media, and most of them do not have a complete team to do content compilation/retouching, etc., and the traffic is not as high as KOL. At the beginning, it was only a few times to share experience or recommend a certain product. Therefore, to use KOC marketing, it is necessary to dig out some socially influential brand fans, and then maintain good interaction with the other party, and in the future, there will be more in-depth cooperation opportunities, such as early experience and inviting experience sharing.

KOC is not a public figure. It is just a person who “loves shopping” and “loves to share”, and the ethnic group that can influence is more limited to the private circle of friends. However, due to its closer relationship with consumers, KOC is more convincing in its products. Recommendations are highly credible to consumers and can deeply influence other consumers’ consumption decisions.