China Influencer Marketing Podcast
China Influencer Marketing Podcast
Lauren Hallanan: Online Influencer and Chinese Social Media Marketer
CIM056: KOC Marketing 101 - What is it? Why is it Important? And How Can You be Leveraging it?
44 minutes Posted Dec 13, 2019 at 4:37 am.
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Show notes

Today we’re talking all about KOCs or key

opinion consumers with my guest, Ray Veras, co-founder of the KOC marketing
platform Pingjia Daren (评价达人). This episode will give you an
overview of the topic: who are KOCs, how are they different than KOLs, why has
KOC marketing become so popular, and what kind of goals and ROI expectations
brands should have when running KOC campaigns.

At the end we also chat a bit about a great

report that Pingjia Daren put out ahead of 11.11 where they surveyed over 6,700
KOCs and Ray shared some of the key findings from the report.

Read the report: 11.11

China female consumers’ shopping plan survey 2019

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Ray’s background:

  • Ray has been involved in KOC
    marketing for 5 years, before the term existed. His professional background was
    in consumer research and back in 2014 was surprised by how few brands were
    using word of mouth (WOM) marketing in China

What are KOCs?

  • KOCs are ordinary everyday
    consumers who enjoy sharing their experiences on social media. Generally, they
    are knowledgeable on certain topics. May only have an audience of several
    hundred to a few thousand followers therefore have a much closer relationship
    with them.
  • He feels one of the biggest
    differences between KOLs and KOCs is that KOC content is generally not
    financially motivated. Most of the time, at least with their collaborations,
    KOCs are just being gifted product and product samples.
  • Very important when gifting
    KOCs that the product fits the KOC’s lifestyle and is relevant, not just
    randomly gifted
  • I asked “Is there a lot of
    churn? Do a lot of KOCs become KOLs?” Yes, this year especially. Now that KOC
    marketing has become popular brands have started paying them and MCNs have been
    scooping them up to see if they can train them to become larger KOLs

What is Pingjia Daren?

  • It is a product recommendation
    community (somewhat similar to Xiaohongshu). Users answer a questionnaire when
    then sign up to share their interests and product preferences, then when there
    is a campaign, PJ Daren will invite a select group of users to receive free
    product. They are then encouraged to review the products on their social
    accounts, brands will indicate preferred platforms.
  • Difficult for brands to do KOC
    marketing without the help of a platform. To engage with thousands of consumers
    at one requires a system, you need tech to track performance.

Why has KOC marketing taken off this

year? Several factors:

  • Chinese consumers are becoming
    more sophisticated, they have a lot of options to avoid traditional
  • Consumer are now very aware
    that KOLs are promoting products because they are being paid to. He feels they
    are craving more content that is not commercially influenced.
  • Social media landscape is
    becoming more fragmented. Consumers have more options. Adds complexity for
    brand side to determine which platforms to leverage. Harder for them to keep
    messages consistent, also platforms each have their own rules and best
  • Consumers’ attention span
    decreasing therefore less attention on marketing campaigns.
  • Last few years seen a decrease
    in performance of KOLs in China yet costs have increased and become unbearable
    for many brands. Also cases of KOLs inflating performance, fraud.

What goals should brands have when

running a KOC campaign?

  • driving advocacy
  • amplifying other campaigns the
    brand may be running at the time
  • lifting incremental sales.
  • Need to think about mid-term
    results, not short term. KOC marketing is about building brand equity.
  • ROI - $1-4 per dollar invested
    in a campaign

Think mid to long term – short terms

successes aren’t what they seem

  • With e-commerce live streaming
    most cases where you hear crazy sales results, the brand is paying for the
    hype, they aren’t making a profit, the products are heavily discounted, tied to
    aggressive commissions, short term burst of exposure, not a long lasting effect
    which is what KOCs produce
  • Great case study of building
    brand equity through KOCs is Perfect Diary. They have been using KOCs, building
    communities, using private traffic for several years and that’s paying off now

Pingjia Daren reports:

  • One that came out ahead of
    11.11, was a survey of over 6,700 Chinese female KOCs, evaluated their purchase
  • Key insight - consumers in 3rd
    tier cities and below are taking the lead with consumption growth in China.
    Willing to spend more than consumers in 1st and 2nd tier
  • Did follow up research – found
    out they have a lower cost of living, which means they have greater disposable
    income. Cost of housing really affecting 1st and 2nd tier
    city consumers.
  • Key drivers of product choice –
    in 1st and 2nd tier cities discounts are a big driver,
    but for 3rd tier cities and below, the impact was much lower, they
    are more focused on value and quality, not paying as much attention as we think
    on cheap products

Guest: Ray Veras



Daren LinkedIn

Ray’s Linkedin


Lauren Hallanan



WeChat: H1212118514

Check out my book: Digital China: Working with Bloggers, Influencers and KOLs

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