what is the best bet for your strategy? – WAU

The consumer is increasingly demanding, and gaining their trust is not such a simple task. One way to give credibility to your ads and campaigns is to use the services of a key opinion leader or a digital influencer. Each has its characteristics, and it is important to know them to know which is the most efficient option for your company.

People who occupy a management position within Marketing need to find ways to better invest the resources available to the sector, right?

In practice, this means making the right decisions, choosing the most appropriate strategies for the company to achieve the objectives defined during planning.

One of these definitions may be related to the doubt between investing in Key Opinion Leader (also known as opinion makers) or digital influencers to enhance the reach of your Digital Marketing actions.

After all, in the age of digital transformation, every choice can make a big difference in the final result.

So, how about better understanding what is the ideal bet between these two options for the success of your strategy? Next, we’ll cover:

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What is the importance of digital presence for companies?

Before delving into the characteristics of Key Opinion Leaders and influencers, in addition to the differences between the two professionals, it is essential to understand the importance of your brand being relevant in digital scenarios.

Without a presence on these platforms, the trend is that your company will not be seen as a reference in the market.

Thus, it is essential to invest in strategies to promote your brand and ensure that it becomes an authority within the segment in which it operates.

Not for nothing, techniques like Content Marketing are used by more than 67% of the companies heard by Content Trends 2019, and the goal of 72.5% of them with the adoption of this strategy is brand recognition.

Another very common form of publicity and promotion of the brand in the digital scenario are social networks, used by 96.2% of users who are on the internet, according to Social Media Trends 2019.

The report also shows that just over half of the companies interviewed believe that the most important benefit of this strategy is brand awareness.

In other words, most companies adopt different methods with one main objective in common: to strengthen the digital presence of their brands.

However, in addition to these two examples that we cite, there are numerous ways to do this work. One of them, which proves to be very efficient, is to use the reach and presence of a Key Opinion Leader or a digital influencer.

What is a Key Opinion Leader?

The term Key Opinion Leader (KOL) – which can be translated as an opinion maker – may even sound unusual to you. However, probably a professional in this field has already impacted on some decision you made.

Whether to buy a product, to hire a service or even to know more about the reputation of a brand or product, KOL has already impacted your opinion.

But in practice, what does this acronym mean? Nothing that your translation does not already indicate: a reference on a certain topic or segment, that is, an opinion maker.

Using this recognition from a certain audience to establish himself as an authority on the topic, this professional usually evaluates and recommends – or not – the purchase of a product, for example.

Therefore, based on their experience on a subject and the recognition and presence they present within a certain niche, the objective is to help consumers find a neutral, impartial and grounded response to what they are looking for.

That is, guide the public from their own experiences with a company and / or product.

Although this professional has gained even more recognition on digital platforms, this function has been used for a long time by consumers to collect more information about something they are interested in.

Companies quickly realized that the opinion of any reference on the subject can influence consumers’ decisions.

A professional who is often used to recommend products is the dentist. Colgate, for example, always uses these professionals in its commercials, and for a long time the phrase “the No. 1 brand recommended by dentists” was part of its advertising pieces.

The objective is clear: to influence the consumer’s decision with the opinion of who is a reference in the matter.

colgate advertisement

However, when companies take these opinion makers to their ads, bias can be questioned and not always taken seriously by consumers.

A Nielsen study shows that 92% of consumers trust the recommendation made by a Key Opinion Leader – more naturally – than an advertisement or advertisement.

Who can be an opinion maker?

In practice, anyone with resourcefulness and experience on a given subject can become an opinion maker.

However, not everyone has the necessary skills to captivate the audience and gain their trust. Teachers, journalists, television presenters, actors, in short, anyone who dominates and is a reference in a subject can become a KOL.

Athletes are also an example of Key Opinion Leaders, and the case of American basketball player LeBron James reflects well what a KOL is.

Like any famous person, he has a contract with certain companies to promote his products. However, some manage to make better use of this service.

The player is a poster boy for a brand of sports supplements and, being known as an athlete who takes care of his body and food, your opinion can generate a greater influence on consumers.

It is also important to understand that a Key Opinion Leader does not need to limit its impact to matters related to the purchase of a product or service.

LeBron James addressed police violence against blacks in the United States by wearing a shirt with the words “I Can’t Breathe” (I can’t breathe), the last sentence of an American murdered by police officers.

LeBron James
Photo: Frank Franklin II / AP

What are the benefits of having this professional?

According to an IBOPE survey, more than 47% of users look for information about the product and / or service they are interested in before finalizing their purchase.

Thus, evaluations are an important factor that directly impact the decision process. And that is precisely the main benefit of having a Key Opinion Leader.

But it is not just any evaluation that will make a difference. To corroborate this idea, a study by McKinsey & Company shows that people have 50 times more likely to finalize a transaction when hearing information from someone who has experience and relevance in the subject than some rating on a website from a person they don’t know.

Therefore, in practice, the main benefit of having the help of an opinion maker in your Marketing strategies is credibility.

With someone who understands the subject and has an influence on a specific target audience, the tendency is that the message transmitted is much more effective than in a simple ad, for example.

After all, would you rely more on an unknown evaluation on Google or on the word of someone who is proven to understand the subject?

For this reason, it is important to have this professional to give credibility to your communication actions and gain, in fact, the confidence of the potential consumer of your brand.

What steps to follow to find an opinion maker for your brand?

The first step in finding an opinion maker who can be helpful in strengthening your brand is to understand the desires and demands of your persona.

That is, better understand what it seeks, what are its objectives and what are its references in a particular segment, for example. Thus, it is possible to identify voices within your market that would be relevant to impact the consumer.

Do you work with an e-commerce for tickets and travel packages? So, look for a professional who has knowledge about the subject – be the owner of a well-known blog that tells the stories of your travels, or be a presenter of a program of the kind.

There is no point in counting on the services of a professional who is not part of your niche.

After all, the goal of this strategy is to build credibility for your ads and campaigns, and this will only be possible if the public recognizes that this Key Opinion Leader is, in fact, relevant to impact its decision.

Remember: this professional needs to have enough knowledge and experience on a specific topic, and it is not necessary for him to be as well known beyond his niche.

Searching for podcasts and channels on YouTube that are relevant and talk about your market is a very efficient way. Another way may be to seek specialists consulted in reports and articles on certain subjects.

What is a digital influencer?

Now that you know what a Key Opinion Leader is, how about understanding the characteristics of another professional who may have a strong relevance on your audience?

In practice, digital influencers are content producers who use different online channels – especially on social networks – to influence the behavior of users who follow their pages.

They are people with many followers, that is, users who want to know about their routines and, among other things, their recommendations for the services or products they use.

It is not necessary to be an expert on a subject, since your reputation is not built exactly by your specific knowledge on a topic, but because it is relevant to many people.

The main benefit of using the work of a digital influencer is to enhance the reach of your strategies.

After all, they are people with many followers and who end up promoting your product and / or service to a large audience. That is, for those who want to communicate with many consumers at once, an influencer is the most suitable option.

In addition to this potentialized reach, studies show that digital influencers generate some influence on their followers.

A QualiBest survey shows that these professionals are the second most used source during the decision-making process, behind only indications from friends and relatives.

Thus, for those who want to speak to a large audience and still manage to make their communication actions more efficient and accurate, digital influencers can be an interesting path.

How to ignore, for example, the 35 million followers on Instagram or the 37 million subscribers on Whindersson Nunes’ YouTube channel?

Instagram Whindersson Nunes
youtube from Whindersson Nunes

Therefore, these digital platforms become a deep channel for presenting your brand to millions of users and potential consumers.

Regardless of your market segment, someone within that huge following will be interested in your brand – something closer to Mass Marketing, for example.

What are the differences between Key Opinion Leaders and digital influencers?

Although they are often confused – since Key Opinion Leaders also influence consumer behavior – these two concepts are quite different in essence. The main reason for differentiating themselves is the fact that opinion makers are experts and references on a specific subject.

The focus of this professional is not to impact the behavior and decision making of users, it is just the use of their knowledge to provide more accurate information for those interested in a certain subject or product. Meanwhile, digital influencers live off this work, and the goal is to influence others on their social media.

In short, opinion makers modify users’ thinking based on knowledge and experiences on a topic, gaining credibility in the market.

Influencers do the same, but thanks to the reach and impact they have on their followers in their decision-making processes.

What are the ideal situations for each of these professionals?

For efficient managers, an important job is knowing how to identify which strategies generate the best return for the business, right?

So, now that you know what a Key Opinion Leader and a digital influencer is, how about better understanding which situation is the ideal one to count on the services of one or the other?

We have separated some tips for you!

Do you want to present your brand or product?

Did you create a new product or is your company looking to reach a wider audience? So, a digital influencer is the most suitable professional.

The idea is not to impact a specific niche, but rather a larger audience. Therefore, investing in the many followers of those who produce content on different online channels is the ideal solution.

Want a more specific product?

When what your company seeks to impact is a more specific audience, the opinion maker will generate more results. With the Key Opinion Leader’s credibility and authority, it is much easier to enter a closed segment and succeed.

Therefore, the more closed and specific your audience is, the better to look for who is a reference within that area.

Want more quantity?

If your goal is to attract more looks to your brand, the digital influencer is the most suitable, since his followers are many and loyal.

It might be good, for example, for gain more relevance on your pages on social networks or strengthen your Brand Awareness, after all, more people will know your brand, product or service.

Want more quality?

With opinion makers you gain in quality. That is, instead of attracting a large number of users who are not necessarily interested in buying your product and / or service, you will get impact who is most likely to become a customer.

In practice, it is a way to qualify this work of attraction, acting directly with your niche.

Now that you know what a Key Opinion Leader is, its main characteristics and how to use it in your Marketing strategies, how about going a little deeper into the role of digital influencers?

Download our material and find out how to use them in favor of your business and how to identify the best options on the market!