Posted by PTL Group
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on Wednesday, 01 June 2016
in Business in China

KOL: Key Opinion Leaders

A new way of communicating with your costumers in China has emerged. Is your company already using this outstanding marketing tool?

Since 2013 KOL’s have been positioning themselves as a reliable and trustworthy way to reach your target audience, however, we must say that KOL’s have reached their maximum success this year turning into a million dollar industry in 2016. With agencies, schools and sponsors surrounding the KOL’s it has become each time harder and more expensive to identify and  get a hold of  a brand advocate, so in an attempt to understand a little bit more this industry, we have come up with a series of questions, that can unveil the myth that surrounds this marketing trend.


1.       Who are they?

KOLs or key opinion leaders are usually experts in their field who have under their influence a large number of followers. They come in different packages and presentations; some of them can be artist or actors but fame is not a prerequisite to become a KOL, some do video blogging while some others will do just regular blogging in social media platforms. The challenge relies on finding the one to fits your brand. 

2.       How does it work?

As social media platforms such as WeChat and Weibo increase their popularity in China, a space for bloggers and writers has also emerged and gained importance among the Chinese netizens.

For years we have heard the marketing term word of mouth, this strategy became popular due to the false premises that brands gave to its customers; brands needed advocates to speak for them. KOL’s is basically word of mouth but in a larger level, it is one person speaking to thousands.  KOL’s are generating results and it’s a trend that it seems to be here to stay, just last week Maybelline, a cosmetic retailer, chose Angela Baby as their new KOL, and during the launch of their campaign announcing the artist’s favorite lip color they managed to sell over 10,000 lipsticks in only 2 hours, getting a KOL is an investment but one that surly pays results.


3.       How do I find them? How do I choose the right one for my brand?

There are different types of KOL, depending on their amount of followers and influence, the more they will charge. Nowadays, there are agencies that will help you find the right KOL for your brand, this grants you the certainty that you are getting the right spokesperson to deliver your message, but more importantly, that what you are paying for is a true KOL, fake KOL’s manipulating the number of their followers has been a problem in the industry for years now and certainly having a middleman helps guaranteeing that you are getting a real one.


4.       Can my brand benefit from KOL’S?

Is that even a question?  Even of you do not use it as your main marketing strategy, someone advocating for your brand in social media platforms, cannot hurt. It is not as expensive as you might think, unless you are going for Angela Baby or another Chinese celebrity and it pays off, so do not wait any longer and connect with legions of online fans!

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