Influencers are just one aspect of KOL marketing, which has sophisticated elements in its management and implementation. If you want to do a successful marketing strategy in the digital era, you cannot just “choose influencers with the most followers”. There are important questions you need to answer before choosing Key Opinion Leaders.
Important Questions before Applying KOL Marketing
Here are several questions to ask yourself before choosing KOLs and planning a strategy:
1. What are the details of your KOL mapping?
KOL mapping aims to connect the influencers’ details with your marketing goals. For example, if your target demography is between 15 and 18 years old, your KOLs must have the right persona, content, and experiences that cater to them. You must also think about other aspects, such as the KOL's target regions and reputation.
2. Do you have a long-term KOL strategy?
A successful marketing campaign requires companies to think about long-term strategies with their KOLs. If you have a growing business, consider continuous plans, such as changing the list of KOLs or recycling your product. You must also consider the KOLs’ networking reach to spread the marketing campaign widely.
Having a KOL management team is a sign that you have a strong, long-term strategy. The management team must have clear job descriptions and standards when dealing with the KOLs.
3. What are your collaboration and financial plans?
KOLs, especially the ones with a wide reach of the network, can make or break your brand. You must be ready with fair and sophisticated collaboration plans. You must be ready to build good communication and a balanced partnership with the KOLs. The KOLs may work for you, but you must also be open to their inputs.
You must also consider the financial plans to maintain a long-term digital marketing strategy. If you plan to partner with KOLs, you must include a discussion about funding in the marketing strategy meeting. You must also think about transparent remunerations and transactions.
4. Do you have measurement and evaluation tools?
Finally, you must measure and evaluate the KOL marketing strategy properly. KOL marketing may include intangible things like relationship impacts and personal feelings. However, having measurement tools help you to maintain good relationships with the right KOL team members.
What are the measurement and evaluation tools? They can be the number of views and responses, such as likes and comments. They can be the response times (and the quality of those responses). You can also plan questionnaires that measure impressions and satisfaction levels. Use digital tools like SEMrush to measure organic keywords, traffics, and other online visibility factors.
Choosing the Right Types of KOL
Once you answer the important questions, start narrowing down your options. Consider who the KOL are offline and online (followers, engagement rate, platforms they use, and the content they create), how relevant they are to your brand, and if they are worth the investment. What kind of KOL should you choose for specific marketing projects? Here are your options:
· The Trendsetter
The Trendsetter is the "social media influencer" type. These people have huge numbers of followers, marketing specific trends and lifestyles, with fields ranging from fashion to beauty and healthy eating. They are very trend-savvy, great options if you want to introduce new products or maximize the campaigns for the existing ones.
· The Expert
The Expert does not always have huge numbers of followers, but they have more targeted and specific content. These people have specific professional backgrounds or skills, which become the main themes of the content. They can consist of illustrators, SEO experts, authors, researchers, and such.
· The Advocate
The Advocate refers to loyal customers that have big potentials for spreading the words about specific products. For example, you can create campaigns that challenge social media followers to make creative photos with your brand hashtags. They later will share the photos with more people. The Advocate is a collection of small "influencers".
· The Blogger
The Blogger combines the characteristics of The Expert and Trendsetter. They have a lot of social media following and touting a certain lifestyle. However, they are also experts in their brands. The content combines creative posts, lifestyle images, and expert content.
· The Celebrity
The Celebrity has a popular personality, with a wide reputation both online and offline. Celebrities are already famous as singers, actors, athletes, and industry leaders outside their social media realms. They are expensive but can create a significant positive impact on brand awareness.
KOL marketing requires you to ask important questions and determine the right type of influencers to partner with. Start assessing your KOL needs and what kind of influencers you must choose to boost your campaigns.