KOL Marketing and Why You Need to Use It
In every niche there are influencers with significant numbers of social media followers that pay attention to their opinions. Connecting with these KOL’s is an excellent way (KOL marketing) for Hong Kong SME businesses to reach their target audience.
KOL marketing may be an unknown territory for some SME businesses, but those who utilize it as a part of their marketing toolkit often reap the benefits of additional sales. Some companies hesitate for fear of initial costs and little reward, and because they have heard too many scary stories about things going wrong.
There are several misguided fears about KOL marketing, don’t be fooled by these myths:
- KOL marketing is expensive
- KOL marketing is only effective for big companies and well known brands
- KOL’s only work with already well known companies
- KOL marketing is a one-time campaign option.
But the fact of the matter is that none of these misconceptions are true. Even if you don’t have a big budget to work with, SME businesses can utilize KOL marketing to get good results. According to BlogLovin, 84% of KOL’s charge under $250 per Instagram post and 97% charge under $500.
And you can’t argue with the benefits. Social Media Today states that 63% of the generation Z population prefers marketing from real people over traditional celebrities. They also state that 34% of millennials depend on social media to help guide their purchasing decisions.
They main point here is that on social media, key opinion leaders walk the line between real person and celebrity. They have the attention of countless followers, but do not fall under the celebrity title, so their views are more trusted by their audience. Because of the already established trust, people will believe them when they praise your product online.
But the benefits don’t stop there. Current stats show that 71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on a reference they saw on social media. You may already be utilizing more traditional social media ads, but if they aren’t working, KOL marketing is your next step.
So How Do You Know if KOL Marketing is Right For You?
- You are finding that your current social media-marketing budget isn’t yielding great results – then it’s time to give it a try.
- Your competitors are doing well on social media, but you aren’t – if you’re competitor is doing well, that means social media is an effective tool for your target audience. The issue is with your social media strategies. A KOL marketing strategy can be up to 11 times more effective that the old fashioned digital marketing approaches. If you are able to identify the right KOL’s, it will give you the competitive edge you need.
- You want to grow your social media followings, or the growth you were experiencing in the past has plateaued – Finding the right KOL’s will help you connect with new audiences. Word of mouth is still an effective tool, and KOL recommendations are today’s best way to get the word out.
Benefits of Key Opinion Leader Marketing for SME Businesses
- Get In The Game
Social media is a powerful marketing tool to increase sales both on and offline. This is especially true for millennials and generation z. In the same way that affiliates drive viewers to a product website to increase sales, KOL’s get there followers to seek out your products. Followers look up to key opinion leaders, so when a KOL supports your brand, they will also become loyal to you.
If you still aren’t convinced, consider the fashion KOL that helped Gymshark flourish from $0 to $1.5 Million in just two years. They did this by seeking out fashion KOL’s on social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube. Gymshark provided free clothing, and the KOL’s wore and endorsed them. With several thousand followers each, Gymshark gained a huge following in a short amount of time by gaining customers who otherwise wouldn’t have even known about their product.
Scentbird is another example. Their monthly revenue grew to $75K because of KOL marketing. It all started with just one YouTube KOL with over 150,000 followers. After giving a positive YouTube review, they made 100 sales in just two days. Because of the enormous success of their first KOL marketing attempt they started utilizing KOL marketing as their main strategy from that point on.
So if you are selling on social media, the proof is clear, KOL marketing can boost your sales. As more people are directed to your website, sales will increase. That being said, ROI tracking can pose a challenge for some businesses. So you may want to invest in a comprehensive tool to manage this. Grin or Buzzsumo are great options for SME businesses that could use a little extra support.
- Increase Brand Awareness
KOL’s that have a large audience can help you connect with people that you wouldn’t have reached with traditional ads. This is especially effective if you’ve chosen the right KOL for your niche market. Have KOL’s tag your brand so that their followers are referred to your social media pages helping you grow your followership. They can also be effective for promotional events like contests and giveaways. This translates to a direct upsurge in sales and conversions. For even more of a boost, as them to encourage followers to tag friends to extend a post’s reach even further.
Cottonelle is a great example of using KOL marketing for brand awareness. They partnered with 30 parenting and lifestyle KOL’s who created their own personal narratives about Cottonelle products. In total, 700 pieces of content were posted with a reach of about 6 million people resulting in 23,000 clicks, likes, shares and comments. Proving the power of the key opinion leader when seeking to get your brand in the public eye.
- Grow Customer Database
It’s common knowledge that customer sign-ups is an important way to keep in touch with your customers down the road. But did you know that KOL’s can help make this happen? The KOL parks interest in your product and the list that would have taken you months to develop is established in just a few short weeks; taking a mammoth task and essentially having someone else do the heavy lifting. This is a huge boon for businesses that are just getting started and don’t have the staff to gather a list from more traditional means.
It is clear that using Key Opinion Leaders as part of your social media marketing strategy will help your business grow. They will increase brand awareness, help garner loyalty and build trust. But deciding to utilize KOL marketing is just the first step; take the time to choose the right person to reach the audience you are targeting and to optimize your ROI.
We’d love to know how KOL marketing has helped your business. What obstacles have you encountered? Have you reaped the benefits? Tell us about it in the comments section below.
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