Negosentro.com | KOL Marketing Can Make Your Brand Stand Out from the Competition | The premise of Key Opinion Leaders (KOL) marketing is relying on a person’s standing and reputation to sell products. KOL marketing can be extremely effective when you hire the right person. But it can backfire when you hire the wrong person or a controversial KOL.
You have to approach KOL marketing carefully and ensure that the KOL you’ve chosen is right for the campaign and your product or services because you’re staking your brand name on the KOLs reputation and image. You have to ensure that a KOL has not done anything in the past, nor is likely to do anything in the future, that would affect your brand’s integrity.
Difference Between KOLs and Influencers
KOLs shouldn’t be confused with influencers. Although they serve roughly the same purpose, they are used to target two different types of markets. With an influencer, you’re targeting a wide section of the public to sell a product. The influencer may not have any idea what your product is about, but it’s their popularity and their ability to influence the choices of the masses that defines their value to your brand.
With KOLs, it’s their reputation and standing in what may be a much smaller community that defines their value. KOLs are generally the choice of brands that want to market specific products to specific industries or fields. The KOL they’ve chosen is a person who is familiar with your product or the same type of products from different manufacturers.
The KOL is well-known within the market that you’re targeting as a respected and admired expert in the industry or field. They’re a person who has integrity and is believable to your target audience.
Another main differences between KOLs and Influencers is that influencers has social media, blogging or Youtube as their full time job which focused on communicating with their audiences. While KOLs work on what they are specialized in such as being a professor or a well known chef which adds more credibility when they talk about the things they have expertise in.
Choosing a KOL
For a brand to bet so heavily on one person to carry the brand name, a lot of research and interviews should be conducted. A brand manager has the right to ask the person all about their past, as well as their honest opinions on the target market, product and its intended industry or field.
You shouldn’t rely on their answers, but research other sources to see if they’ve said or done anything controversial in the past that would negatively affect your brand. Remember, preserving the integrity of the brand is your first responsibility, no matter how you respect the KOL.
The motivation for the KOL to work with your brand may also be different than the influencer. The influencer is peddling their popularity and reach within social media. Their business is their popularity. And their providing of services is strictly a financial transaction.
With KOL marketing, the arrangement can be more nebulous because the KOL is in the same sphere as the product or service they’re helping market. Their reward can run the gamut of both party’s imaginations. It can be strictly monetary, or it can entail donating to a worthy cause that both parties support, sponsorship, mutually beneficial development of the KOL’s idea, or any number of things.
The idea is that when you enter into a KOL marketing arrangement, you’re generally entering into a longer-lasting relationship. And while that can significantly benefit the brand, some care must be taken before anything is signed.