It’s More Than Connection
How to Create Effective and Meaningful Engagement with Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs)
Influencer relations, both in B2B and B2C, is a strategic approach to developing relationships with influencers in social media who have excellent fit with a brand. In B2B particularly, Key Opinion Leader (KOL), also known as influencer, is an expert whose opinion is valued in a specific industry or area of knowledge, and is listened to by a broader audience. KOLs are individuals who are trusted and respected specifically for this knowledge. Followers turn to them for knowledge, advice, authority, and usually have a deeper understanding and knowledge of an industry themselves.
KOL engagement helps companies to guide new product development, generate data, refine strategy and create relevant, credible and persuasive medical and promotional content. These KOL relations are always based on trust and needs in long-term cooperation from both parties.
At PIABO, we help you:
- define your communications goals
- discover key opinion leaders in your industry for specific issues mapping
- develop and customize a key opinion leader database
- create a brand exclusive dialogue between you and KOLs
- engage KOLs with your brand
- amplify their voices and social profiles for your brand
Identify what we want to achieve
Before starting any KOL engagement, we should identify objectives, as well as a clear understanding of the target audience. A well-orchestrated and objective-driven approach to KOL engagement throughout the product’s lifecycle can be your critical competitive advantage.
Know who we should reach out
We must understand that no KOL can influence everyone, on everything. Each type of key opinion leaders has their own niche communities. For example, a beauty influencer will not have influence over the tech community on Twitter or LinkedIn. It is not only just about the topics but also about the way how community engages and consumes content.
It is extremely important to ensure that you’re engaging with KOLs that are totally relevant to your brand and share the same value, otherwise the partnership will not result in a fruitful outcome. For B2B, besides Linkedin and twitter, we should also think about analyst relations, media/journalists, trade associations, relevant social organizations and communities etc.
Customize how we engage with KOL
There is no one good way to reach out to KOLs. Every relationship and partnership should be customized. A few pointers when engaging:
- determine who in your company will be responsible or main contact for KOLs
- don’t just send a generic email when reaching out, but customize the email genuinely
- reference things that are specific to that KOLs, let them know who you are and what you do
- be transparent, share your goals and ask for advice
To be sure you are engaging with right KOLs for your company, you should read their blogs or reports, and understand the current industry trends and high level issues before proposing an engagement plan.
Build a true partnership with mutual goals
Meaningful engagement leads to relations and values which are hard to measure, and results may be indirect. As with any other kind of non-monetary compensation, the value is highly individual. It’s not about the number of the followers. Those with fewer followers may have a high ROI than those with thousands of follower. We should analyze the quality of followers KOLs have attracted, their high levels of engagement, how their followers interact with the content and what type of content that performs best for further marketing and communications use.
Get in contact with PIABO PR at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how to plan a fruitful Influencer Relations for your brand. We will get back to you shortly.