If your most loyal customers tell their friends and family about your business, you’ll almost certainly see a rise in sales. But what if you could scale the power of word-of-mouth khổng lồ reach even more potential customers?

Enter KOLs: key opinion leaders. Working with KOLs gives you access to a targeted audience of customers — & encourages them to trust your brand.

Bạn đang xem: Getting the most out of key opinion leader relationships

Keep reading to lớn learn:

What is a KOL?What are the benefits of KOL marketing?KOLs vs. Influencers: What’s the difference?How lớn find the best key opinion leaders for your brand

What is a KOL?

A key opinion leader (KOL), sometimes called an influencer, is a member of a community whose expert advice is respected by others in their field. Key opinion leaders are authorities on a specific topic; they usually have a targeted audience specific to their niche.

Brands collaborate with KOLs to:

Reach more people in a target marketGain credibility through word-of-mouth sale from a trusted expert

Millennials are 115% more influenced by word of mouth than traditional advertising. Click lớn Tweet

What do key opinion leaders do?

Key opinion leaders have day jobs in their area of expertise; unlike influencers, they don’t make a living by influencing. They are trustworthy experts in their field because of their professional achievements và knowledge — not their follower count.

KOLs can include:

Doctors và dentistsPoliticiansAcademicsProfessional advisorsDesigners

KOL marketing is most common in these industries, where a brand’s success can depend on expert endorsement:

HealthcarePharmaLife sciencesMedical devicesClinical trials

Have you ever noticed pharma-branded swag or even ads at your doctor’s office? Pharmaceutical companies partner with doctors and dentists as KOLs. These industry experts help conduct clinical trials and market new drugs for pharmaceutical companies.

This is Karry’s post on Weibo. Tapping into Karry’s fanbase led lớn crazy-high engagement — over 50,000 comments & over 530,000 likes

The unlikely pairing drove wild amounts of interest. Stephen Hawking was one of the world’s top experts in the field of physics (a KOL), and Karry Wang’s starpower makes people hang on to lớn his every word (an influencer).

The “Next Idea” campaign became the #1 trending topic on Weibo that day, with:

30 million views2 million shares49,000 commentsOver 500,000 likesTencent “Next Idea” went from trăng tròn to over 52,000 followers on Weibo

The campaign drove sky-high levels of awareness và interest — & cost way less than traditional advertising. By choosing the right KOLs and social truyền thông platform, Tencent saw results in 24 hours that traditional advertising can take months to achieve.

Conclusion: How to lớn find KOLs

Now you know why you need lớn tap into the power of KOL marketing — but how vị you find key opinion leaders to lớn partner with?

Since KOLs influence the influencers, figure out who the influencers in your industry look up to. Who vì the influencers in your industry follow on Twitter & Instagram? Who headlines industry events?

You can also:

Search popular industry hashtags on InstagramSearch relevant từ khoá on YouTubeRead industry news to lớn see who truyền thông features as experts in the field

You can also use tools designed to lớn help you find digital influencers and opinion leaders in your field. For example, tools like BuzzSumo and Rand Fishkin’s SparkToro let you reach your target audience where they already engage online:

Podcasts & YouTube channels they subscribe toBlogs và websites they read regularlyAccounts they follow on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram

SparkToro lets you sort influencer accounts by engagement & reach — not just follower count or brand image. This helps you find people whose posts and articles get clicks & shares, meaning more qualified eyes on your brand.

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Find the right KOLs, build credibility, và reach your target audience with these tips. Then watch word-of-mouth sale boost sales & brand awareness for your company.