What is KOC? Criteria for Distinguishing Between KOC and KOL

In the age of social networks, marketers cannot ignore the influence of Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs), also known as influencers. These are individuals with a large following, reputation, and expertise in a certain field, capable of creating trends and influencing crowd behavior.

However, not all KOLs are suitable for a business's marketing strategy. Sometimes, cooperating with KOLs can be risky, expensive, and less effective than expected.

Therefore, a new concept has emerged in the online marketing market, known as Key Opinion Consumers (KOCs), also referred to as influential consumers. So, what is KOC and how does it differ from KOL? Let's find out with Recruitery in this article.

What is KOC?

a KOC is doing a livestream

The concept of KOC stands for Key Opinion Consumer, signifying consumers who influence the purchasing decisions of others. KOCs are usually individuals who have experience using products or services from a specific brand and share their reviews, feelings, and experiences on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Zalo, and others.

Most KOCs start with few to no followers, but they play a crucial role in consumer decision-making. If KOLs ensure brand integrity, then KOCs have a responsibility to provide the most honest product reviews possible.

KOCs represent the everyday considerations of consumers regarding a product. Their primary value lies in their relatability and reliability. KOCs are product testers who offer honest opinions and recommendations about various products.

What is the Difference Between KOL and KOC?

difference between koc and kol

Besides understanding the concept of what KOC is, many people tend to confuse KOLs and KOCs. KOLs and KOCs are both influencers in the field of online marketing, but they have some fundamental differences, as follows:

Percentage of Followers

KOLs typically have a very large following, ranging from hundreds of thousands to millions of people. These individuals are widely known and followed by the public, enabling them to disseminate messages quickly to a broad audience. However, not everyone following a KOL is a potential customer for a business.

KOCs usually have a smaller following compared to KOLs, ranging from a few thousand to tens of thousands of people. They are individuals who pique the community's interest in topics related to the business's products or services. KOCs can generate high engagement and more effective conversions among the business's target customers.


KOLs are often well-known personalities with significant influence in specific fields such as entertainment, sports, beauty, travel, and more. They can shape trends and influence crowd behavior. However, KOLs also face various risks related to reputation, quality, and costs when collaborating with businesses.

KOCs are typically regular people with a passion for and interest in specific areas, such as food, technology, health, education, and others. KOCs can establish trust and provide advice to other consumers. KOCs can easily approach and collaborate with businesses.


KOLs often possess highly specialized knowledge in a particular field and can convey information professionally and attractively. They can introduce a business's products or services in a creative and engaging manner. However, KOLs may also be influenced by external factors such as personal opinions, financial interests, or public pressure.

KOCs often possess practical knowledge about a business's products or services and can share their experiences in an honest and practical manner. KOCs can provide detailed and objective evaluations of a business's products or services. Additionally, KOCs can answer questions and address other consumer concerns.

Trust Level

KOLs usually enjoy a high level of trust in the eyes of the public due to their established credibility and reputation in a specific field. They can enhance brand recognition and trust. However, KOLs can lose credibility if they violate ethical principles or engage in fraudulent activities.

KOCs often have a high level of trust among other consumers because they have firsthand experience with the business's products or services. KOCs can increase satisfaction and loyalty toward a business's products or services. They can maintain credibility by continuously providing updates and feedback.

What Are the KOC Evaluation Criteria?

KOC is advertising items through livestream

In addition to understanding the concept of what is KOC is and differentiating it from KOL, selecting suitable KOCs for your business's marketing strategy requires consideration of the following criteria:

Number of Followers

This is a crucial factor for measuring the popularity and influence of a KOC. However, you should not solely focus on this number and overlook the quality of followers. It's essential to determine whether KOC's followers are genuinely interested in and engaged with their content.

Number of Engagements

Another factor to assess the attractiveness and persuasiveness of a KOC is the number of interactions they receive. Analyze whether KOC's articles, videos, stories, and live streams garner numerous likes, comments, shares, and views. Additionally, consider the nature of viewer feedback—whether it is positive or negative and reflects interest and trust.

Number of Conversions

The final factor for measuring the effectiveness of a KOC is whether their content motivates viewers to make purchases. You can employ tools like discount codes, link tracking, landing pages, etc., to track conversion rates.

Steps to Create an Effective KOC Strategy

To formulate an effective KOC strategy, businesses should follow these steps:

Determine the Goals and Audience of the KOC Campaign:

Clearly define the objectives you want to achieve, whether it's increasing brand awareness, boosting website traffic, enhancing conversion rates, or driving sales. Analyze the campaign's target audience, considering factors like age, gender, interests, purchasing behavior, and more to select suitable KOCs.

Search and Select Potential KOCs

Utilize search engines on social networks, video-sharing platforms, forums, blogs, etc., to identify KOCs relevant to your business's products or services. Conduct research in the KOC field and choose individuals with a substantial following, high credibility, content creation skills, and a style that aligns with your brand's image.

Contact and Collaborate with Selected KOCs

Initiate contact with KOCs through email, phone, text messages, or in-person meetings to introduce your business and its products or services. Clearly outline the campaign's objectives, requirements, such as the number of articles, communication channels, campaign duration, collaboration fees, and other relevant terms and conditions.

Deploy Compelling Content

In addition to leveraging the reach of KOCs, provide content that captures viewers' attention. This content can take the form of blog posts, videos, or posts on various social media platforms.

Monitor and Evaluate KOC Campaign Results

Continuously monitor and assess the quality and effectiveness of KOC-generated content. Employ analytics tools to measure key metrics such as views, likes, comments, shares, website visits, and conversions. Compare these results against the campaign's set goals and make necessary adjustments to optimize the KOC campaign.

By following these steps, businesses can develop an effective KOC strategy, accelerate content optimization for search engines, and create a successful marketing plan.
We hope this article of Recruitery has answered a set of questions: what is KOC, what are the differences between KOL and KOC, and what are the criterias for evaluating KOC.