Engaging INFLUENCERS or KOLs, for product promotion is, almost always, one of the critical components in marketing strategy by big brands.
TODAY’S GENERATION tend to trust information delivered via social media and, especially, by trustworthy people, much more than the one promoted via traditional channels.
INFLUENCERS are, essentially, individuals or sometimes companies, who are active in social media and enjoy high degree of public trust and credibility.
They could be very effective not only in delivering marketing messages to their audience but also make them feel more genuine.
Numerous studies how that word of mouth is, many times, more effective than advertising. Hence, leveraging KOLs for brand marketing is becoming a way to harness that power.
First off, companies decide which type of KOLs best fits the product being marketed. Celebrities can be an obvious choice for high fashion and cosmetics but may not be suitable for other types of brands. Often, the best way to go is to engage a subject matter expert who specializes in a specific area and has recognized authority in the field. Such experts may not be a household name but can often be many times more effective than a celebrity;
Authenticity is quickly becoming a new buzz word in marketing and it basically means that in order to be effective, a marketing message has to carry high degree of credibility. Increasingly sophisticated consumers tend to distrust standard product endorsements putting more value into trustworthy opinion. One way to achieve that is to encourage KOLs to actually use the product and honestly express their experience;
One of the key definitions of social media KOLs, such as those on Facebook, Youtube or Instagram, is the size of their fan base, or number of people following them. Numbers, however, do not tell the whole story. With the proliferation of fake accounts in social media as well as notorious services that claim to boost one’s number of followers, marketers are forced to look more deeply into the quality of one’s followers.
The key component in KOL’s efficiency is their ability to generate “viral effect” with their messages, as well as keeping followers engaged. Clearly, tweeting a particular message to a large audience without it going further beyond the immediate followers would indicate that the message, or its delivery, wasn’t effective. In such cases, engaging a KOL would unlikely to deliver the expected value. As with the quality of fan base, there are tools and methods to judge the effectiveness of specific KOLs.
We tend to build long lasting relationships with the most effective KOLs which go beyond social media presence. If there is a good fit between KOL’s personality and the brand, such relationship can become brand’s key marketing asset in the long run and can be employed with whatever future online or offline platforms we are going to see in the future;