Key Opinion Leader (KOL) and Key Opinion Consumer (KOC) are terms used in the marketing industry to refer to individuals who hold significant influence and sway over a specific target audience.
Who are KOLs and KOCs?
KOLs are recognized as experts in their field and who have a significant following on social media platforms. They are able to influence opinions, trends, and purchasing decisions through their recommendations and opinions. KOLs can be celebrities, industry experts, or anyone who has built a strong reputation and has a large following on social media.
They are everyday consumers, whose value is based on their relatability, and trustworthy nature. They are highly engaged and active in social media, and have some followings on their own. KOCs are not necessarily experts in a particular field, but they are considered influential because they have an active network who trust their opinions and recommendations.
Differences & Functions
The primary difference between KOLs and KOCs lies in the size of their followers. KOLs generally have a larger following compared to KOCs. Furthermore, the number of followers of KOLs and KOCs may slightly differ across various social media platforms. We use “KOL” to describe influencers with more than 10,000 followers on Little Red Book in Australia. Meanwhile, KOCs are individuals who share their opinions and experiences and have a following between 1,000 and 10,000 followers on Little Red Book (subject to different categories).
In addition to their follower base, the distinction between KOLs and KOCs arises from their level of expertise and the nature of their influence. KOLs are regarded as knowledgeable specialists in their respective domains, known for their expertise and insightful perspectives. KOCs, on the other hand, are active members of the social media community who share their personal experiences and recommendations, earning the trust of their followers.
KOLs have a more authoritative influence and can shape opinions on specific topics related to their area of expertise, while KOCs have a more general influence and can impact opinions on a wider range of topics. Therefore, KOLs typically focus on one specific niche such as beauty, fitness, food, fashion, education, or travel in their content. In contrast, KOCs have a more mixed range of topics in their content, which is centred on real-life experiences, personal, and engaging. This type of content is authentic and closely tied to the daily lives of consumers, making it relatable and trustworthy.
David Jones LNY Designer Brand Collaborated Content
Also KOLs can generally produce high quality content for brands to repurpose for their own social account as well as paid media campaign. Campaigns with KOL assets generally perform better (high CTR) than brand assets.