A key opinion leader earns the respect of their viewers because of their knowledge, and they usually establish a presence in their community both offline and online. Experience also influences target audiences, and people trust KOLs that deliver messages with authority.
Is a Key Opinion Leader an Influencer?
You could call a key opinion leader an influencer if you want because someone in this role does affect how a brand is viewed on social media. They also both made product and service recommendations to online followers. However, KOLs often have a primary profession outside their Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn or other presence, and they typically don’t post as often.
Unlike an influencer, KOLs don’t usually offer advice in exchange for compensation in the way that affiliate marketers or life coaches might do, for instance. Social media is not always an opinion leader’s primary form of communication either, but they still use online marketing tools to manage brands.
An Example of KOL on Social Media
Even though they might not spend as much time online as an Instagram fashion influencer, for example, they still draw an audience. The way doctors, nurses or other medical staff vouch for new medications is one demonstration of how opinion leading works. Promoters perhaps have a product connection via a clinical trial they managed, or they perhaps have experience as a research participant. A company might have hired a KOL to break the news about products from the early testing to advanced development stages. Finally, opinion leaders will be there as the product launch begins.
How to Become a KOL
It requires time and dedication and involves keeping your target audience happy, and it’s not just for the healthcare niche. You could become the voice behind a vehicle brand, or you can verify how well new device apps work. Whatever product or service you represent, your desire to become an opinion leader demands that you have an authentic relationship with the item you recommend. When learning how to become an opinion leader (a.k.a. thought leader), it involves much patience along with some analytics.
Using Online Analytics to Improve Influence
Even though a social media influencer and KOL are two different approaches to brand management, online analytics tools can help you. Data tracking not only offline but online can prepare you to become a leading voice behind a product, service, cause or company. When you learn how to set up analytic tools, the reports generated from using will show you just how influential you are to your target audience.
You personally might not be a key opinion leader. However, NetBase Quid does help you find the KOls that would provide you the best influence for your online space. You can use these tools to access related news, social interactions and demographics posted by top thought leaders you can follow. After some time, you never know. Some of them might start to follow you in return and help you advance your cause.