KOL: Guide for Business

Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs): Guide for Business

What are Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs)?

KOLs are marketers or brand managers that have the ability to influence and shape the opinions of consumers. KOLs can be organizations, brands, or individuals who have a strong status on social media that their recommendations and opinions are taken into consideration when making crucial decisions. One example of KOL are the Business leaders like Jeff Bezos, Ratan Tata, Barack Obama, and Elon Musk which are also considered opinion leaders because their decisions affect the individuals and the company’s decisions, sometimes globally.


All KOLs have prominent status in their own communities. They are seen as experts in their field and are trusted as real individuals, not just public figures representing companies.





Key Opinion Leader (KOL) in Asia


In China, Chinese Influencers are known as KOLs they have a much stronger influencer than in any other country. They have the ability to generate millions of followers who trust their recommendations and actively engage with the content they share. Chinese KOLs can ask from $1000 to $1,000,000 for one single post.


Since Instagram and Facebook are banned in China, Chinese KOLs use platforms like WeChat (It also known as the advanced version of WhatsApp) and Weibo (Chinese Twitter), Douban (social networking service), and Douyin (known as TikTok) to share the content and communicate with their followers. Also, Tmall an e-commerce platform is now getting ready to use KOLs at a new level. 




Source: Dragon Social



The good news is that one doesn’t have to be Chinese to be an Influencer in China. Many people who are curious about Chinese food and their culture or those who are famous abroad can find their opportunity to become an influencer in China.


For example, Kimberly Noel Kardashian West, an American star personality, socialite, model, actress, businesswoman, and social media icon did a Livestream with a Chinese top KOL named Viya Huang. Through this interaction, she not only managed to get 13 million viewers to mark her collaboration with the cross-border e-commerce platform Tmall Global but also sold out her stock of perfume “KKW”. 


livestream with kim kardashian and viya huang


Difference between an Influencer and the Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs):-

The opinions differ when it comes to differentiating Influencers and Key Opinion Leaders are not the same.


The concept of “Influencers” was first developed from social media platforms, where few percentages of people have a great no. of followers, and people used to engage with them through the content they shared on social media and trusted what they said. This concept later got famous as “Influencer Marketing” and was seen as great means to promote the brand offering through word-of-mouth. 


An influencer is an individual who collaborates with brands and earns by promoting their products and services on social media. They share a variety of content to engage their audience and help brands to increase brand awareness. The common people on social media like them and therefore they trust these influencers to their fullest, which helps the brands to grow naturally by word-of-mouth publicity.


On the other hand, the professional experience and the knowledge of the Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) make them trusted and respected. While Influencers engage with average consumers through social media, KOLs don’t operate on social media neither they promote any products or services related to their professions in exchange for money. Whereas they engage with other Key Opinion Leaders in their industry to collaborate with brands in exchange for a service. For example, Rafa Nadal with KIA, or George Clooney with Nespresso…


KOLs make a great impact within their communities and their industries, their credibility impacts purchasing decisions and set trends. Key Opinion Leaders are the inspiration of the influencers because an influencer loves their niche, but a KOL lives it.


Sometimes brands can help Influencers to turn into Key Opinion Leaders.



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KOL Marketing 2021 

Knowledge and experience in the respective fields are crucial factors when it comes to considering product recommendations. Since people trust the Key Opinion Leaders, they help to get people who are genuinely interested in your brand offerings. 


KOLs can mainly help brands by their branding actions, therefore all of the benefits are associated with the brand and not a product. Your brand can stand out by the way these KOLs transmit their credibilities.


Though KOLs don’t operate on social media, they have the power to influence purchasing decisions like an influencer. Therefore, KOL marketing can be effective and more powerful as long as it’s done right. It can help to strengthen your brand’s image by identifying your brand with values and confidence you are laying the foundations for success with future marketing actions.


KOL marketing metrics


Collaborating with a Key Opinion Leader:


It’s important to find the right Key Opinion Leader to work with to make sure that the desired audience recognizes and engages with the content and your brand.


The collaboration with KOLs should also be based on their niche area of influence and not on the number of followers they have. The right key opinion leader can be identified based on your marketing goals and by defining the KPIs. The brands need to think about which kind of collaboration with a KOL can bring the desired results. Which type of content do you need images, videos, or texts? what is the target audience you want to reach? do we want the person to act in a TV commercial or in your own event?


In influencer marketing the price of collaboration of rises in the line with the popularity. Working with influencers is typically inexpensive when compared to collaborating with KOLs to get your products/ services much larger visibility.



How to identify the KOLs?

There are more than 10+ million influencers on social media and therefore looking for the right profiles which match your needs manually can be complex and time-consuming. Hence, to gain time inefficiency, many brands now use Influence Marketing platforms.


These platforms make your job convenient and easy to manage. You can look at the overview data of each profile like the number of followers, the average engagement rate, the average number of likes on a post, and more information.  


Influence4You is one of the Influencer Marketing platforms which gives you more detailed information like detecting the false influencers and the number of fake followers an influencer has. Our platform offers access to statistics and data over 100M profiles of influencers all around the world.


The influencer’s performance



Would you like to set up a Marketing Influence campaign with Key Opinion Leaders? Contact our dedicated experts now.