Have you ever purchased a product or service based on what someone you follow on Instagram or Twitter recommended to you? Do you visit blogs to find tips for your new purchases? You were then hit by a KOL.

Influencer marketing is a very powerful sales tool. According to Nielsen , 92% of consumers say they are more likely to trust personal recommendations rather than advertisements.

74% of consumers identify word of mouth as a key element in their purchasing decisions. Word of mouth is 115% more influential than traditional advertising.

If your most loyal customers tell their friends and family about your business, you may see increased sales afterward. But what if you could amplify the power of word of mouth to reach even more potential customers? To do this, you can use a marketing technique called leveraging a Key Opinion Leader.

What Is The “Key Opinion Leader”?

“KOL’s” or “Key Opinion Leaders” are people or organizations who are experts in a specific field.

Through their knowledge, they acquire such a strong social status that their recommendations and opinions are listened to when making Netherlands Email List important decisions. Politicians, columnists, as well as celebrities are good examples of KOL.

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In French, the Key Opinion Leader literally translates to opinion leader

All opinion leaders have an important status in their own community and their opinions are valued and listened to. In a way, they are people considered to be true experts by society.

They are trusted as individuals and not just as public figures representing corporate marketing interests. They often have a great influence, and can reach millions of people with simple advice.

However, there is one essential difference between a thought leader and a marketing influencer.

In modern usage at least, marketing influencers operate online, make themselves known and exert their influence on social media, blogs and YouTube. However, it is not necessary for a thought leader to operate on an online or social platform to be influential. They are simply the people to contact for their area of ​​expertise and not for a marketing campaign.

How are marketing influencers different from key thought leaders?

A marketing influencer can be a thought leader, just like a thought leader can be an influencer. However, the two roles do not need to overlap.

KOLs were around long before influencer marketing on the web became all the rage. Many of them actively avoid the internet because they have little free time to devote to it. Some see social media as a huge waste of time. There is no obligation for KOLs to maintain a social profile or have subscribers. They just need to be recognized for their expertise and influence on a topic.

For example, in many small towns, locals unofficially treat their doctors like a KOL, simply out of respect for their work. If people have any health problems, they immediately turn to their GP for help. If the local newspaper wants to know the effects of a local medical problem, they too will no doubt go to the doctor for advice.

Likewise, many university professors are granted the status of Key Opinion Leader. by virtue of their title. If someone wants advice on the importance of a recently updated scientific fact, they often turn to a local scientist, not a marketing influencer, to get an objective opinion.

Of course, no one is saying that Key Opinion Leaders can’t spend time online and make money with influencer marketing. Many famous people have even followed this path. The best workers in France are clearly Key (s) opinions when it comes to dealing with a culinary subject. They certainly made their name offline, but they quickly became just as popular as an online influencer, all thanks to the notoriety they’ve built in the kitchen business.

Another Key Difference

Another key difference between most thought leaders and influencer marketing is also the geographic extent of their influence. If a person is accepted as a KOL (and they don’t duplicate an online influencer), their fame and recognition towards them is likely limited to a particular area. It could be a small town, a region, and at most a country. However, the internet has no borders. If people recognize you as a marketing influencer, you probably have fans around the world.

An exception to this global differentiation, however, is the major thought leaders who have gained much of their notoriety from television. Just like the internet, TV shows are broadcast all over the world. Thus a person like Cyril Lignac, famous for his pastry competition shows, is known in France, in French-speaking Africa, Switzerland, Belgium and in any other country where his shows are broadcast.

The mainstream media is one of the most common places you come across Key opinions. Opinion leaders are the experts the press calls on when they want a credible quote or commentary on a hot topic. For example, your newscast is likely to address certain KOLs to give credibility and give opinions on a new hot issue. It may be an infectious disease specialist, a specialist in health management, a political expert or a university professor. The main thing is that they have gained a reputation through mastery of a specialized subject.

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