Word of mouth is the most powerful marketing technique in history. Happy customers tell their families and friends about their wonderful experiences with your business. This will certainly result in a rise in your sales. Today, brands can scale such a power to reach more potential customers, that is, through partnering with influencers and key opinion leaders (KOL). Most modern consumers buy products and services upon the recommendation of experts or user testimonials. According to a digital marketing speaker Hong Kong, a thin line divides an influencer and a KOL. Influencer marketing is more popular among social media platforms. Yet KOL marketing has more power.
WHAT IS A KEY OPINION LEADER (KOL)?
A key opinion leader (KOL) is a person or an organization with a prominent and strong social status within a community. They are seen as true experts or trusted entities in a certain industry or niche. Some good examples of KOLs are celebrities, columnists, and political figures who became famous because of significant achievements they have accomplished.
KOLs have the unique ability to influence people and win their trust. People listen and value their opinions when making important decisions. In most cases, KOL comes up with actionable tips and original ideas to help others – individuals, entrepreneurs, businesses – achieve their goals. Brands and marketers alike may want to partner with KOLs to nurture the growth of a business.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN INFLUENCER AND KOL?
Most marketers and social media agency Hong Kong partner with an influencer to boost conversion and sales. An influencer is someone with the power to influence buying decisions because of their authority, knowledge, position, and relationship with the audience. In a general sense, KOLs can also be considered influencers. However, not all influencers are KOLs. Key opinion leaders are trusted because of the expertise they have gained through long-time experiences and professional training. They seldom operate in social media as they concentrate more on honing their skills. Influencers, on the other hand, work in reverse. They make most of their income on social media. Their credibility is not based on their expertise. Instead, they are dependent on the content they share and the persona they project. A video marketing agency Hong Kong mentions that the best influencers are vloggers and YouTubers.
SOME TOP KEY OPINION LEADERS
Here are some top key opinion leaders that a brand might want to partner with or most people may want to follow.
- Arianna Huffington is a Greek American author and commentator. She has established her writing career by publishing 15 books on politics and journalism. She became a KOL and thought leader upon creating The Huffington Post. It is a popular website that offers liberal commentary and news.
- David Rowan became popular as a leading authority in the technology industry. He founded WIRED UK, a bi-monthly online magazine that reports the effects of science and technology in the modern world. As an innovative tech leader, he gets to experience the latest devices, gadgets, and software.
- Marie Forleo is a life coach, philanthropist, and TV host. She coaches clients online with bartending, dancing, and fitness skills. She was one of the first Nike Elite Dance Athletes. As a motivational speaker, Marie devotes herself to helping creative people unlock their true potentials.
- Seth Godin is the godfather of modern marketing. He was an author, blogger, and marketing speaker. Seth has published 19 bestsellers in 35 languages, 7500 blog posts, and has delivered speeches to more than 3,000,000 people globally.
- Tim Ferris became popular for his book, “The 4-Hour Work Week.” It is a New York Times bestseller about how to reward yourself while working and enjoy a larger life even before retirement. He was a notable angel investor venturing in Evernote, Shopify, and StumbleUpon. He also imparts his wisdom among start-up founders to help them grow their businesses.
THE POWER OF KOL MARKETING
KOL Marketing has proven to be a very powerful strategy to boost conversion and loyalty among brands. It helps a brand reach a targeted audience based on an industry or niche. KOL has established experts and provides high-impact recommendations of products and services. Such a type of recommendation is 50x more likely to trigger a purchase. A long-term relationship with a KOL also gives brands a human touch to marketing. KOL marketing was seen as more authentic and honest with thought leaders personally endorsing quality products and services. KOL marketing is also a cheaper and faster way to boost sales than traditional advertising. Modern consumers trust word-of-mouth from experts and thought leaders 10x more than paid media. They have an average ROI of $6.50 for every dollar spent.
Key Opinion Leaders are here to stay and so does KOL marketing. By choosing the right KOL for a brand, companies can achieve their marketing goals in different ways.