What is KOL and How Important It Is for A Brand

Key Opinion Leaders (KOL) is a term used to call someone who is an expert in a specific field and is being a role model for that field. Know more about key opinion leader strategy and how important it is for a brand. 

What is KOL? 

A key opinion leader (KOL) is an expert who has great knowledge and experience in a specific field and his or her opinion means a lot to the industry. The role of a KOL is to prove that the brand has a really good product and is approved by the expert. As a result, the presence of a KOL in the brand can attract consumers to trust and buy products from that brand.

In Chinese marketing, the role of KOL has become an irresistible economic phenomenon and great marketing tool for the fastest-growing profitable products. Key opinion leaders -also known as wanghong in Chinese- have an important role as a trusted and quality representation for a product or brand. KOLs also have similar types of marketing, which is for promotion, communication, connection, and consultation to customers or audiences.

You might think of Key Opinion Leaders are the same as internet influencers, but it’s a bit different. In China, the KOL is also an influencer who not only has massive followers on social media, but also has a great and deep understanding about one specific field. 

In Western or typical influencers definition, it is someone with big internet exposures and followers that became a brand ambassador, but they mostly don’t really know about the product well. The marketer hires them just simply because they can influence people to buy the products. 

Yet for KOL, they must be an expert with massive popularity online and offline such as Bill Gates as American business magnate, Jack Ma as Chinese business magnate, and Taylor Swift as an expert musician with many Grammys, they are all considered as KOLs. 

Indeed, KOLs recommendations influence 83% of young consumers in China and the same thing happened for 38% of consumers in America. So, the role of KOL is very strong to influence consumer purchasing decisions, even attract more consumers and expand the business to another level.

Benefits of KOL for A Brand 

If you own a business, you might consider partnering with KOL to increase trustworthiness, traffic, purchases. Following are the benefits of KOL in marketing:

1. High-Impact Recommendations

Research shows that opinion and recommendation from a KOL can increase a purchase 50 times higher. Indeed, customers need recommendation from a figure or an expert they trust to use and buy one product. 

2. Build Customers Trust 

92% of consumers are more likely to trust opinion from KOL instead of advertisement, according to Nielsen. Trust is also the key for building a long term relationship with customers tied up with the products. 

3. Increase The Traffic and Sales 

KOLinfluences the customers purchasing decisions. Based on data, even 115% more millennials are influenced by KOL’s word of mouth. In China marketings, KOL has driven US$4 billion in ecommerce sales in 2018.

4. A Real Influencer 

Instead of partnering with a non-expert influencer, you would rather be in tune with a real KOL. For instance, if you have a clothing business, then hire a famous designer as the key opinion leaders (KOL). 

5. A Strong Marketing Power 

In China, the most used social media are WeChat and Weibo that can be your marketplace to work with relevant KOL. The influencers can also use social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and more as the content marketing idea. The key opinion leaders must have massive loyal fans there for your target market. Indeed, partnering with Key opinion leaders is proved as a strong marketing idea. 

How to Choose the Right KOL for Your Business 

You have known about the key opinion leaders definition, now you must be wondering how to choose the right KOL. There are several things to consider to choose the best KOL as a representative to your brand, that includes: 

1. Relevance 

The first key opinion leader strategy is to find how relevant the KOL figure is for your target market. If you have a cosmetic business, then the most relevant and right choice for KOL is skin specialist or aesthetic medicine dokter.

You need also to consider to choose a representative who has the same mission, vision, and ideas. They must also have experience in promoting the similar products in the industry. It’s the best when the expert has massive followers online and online. 

2. Reach 

The power of KOL influences in the public can effectively help you to reach more and bigger audiences based on your target market. Remember that Key Opinion Leaders is an expert, their opinion about your brand matters and valued the most. The trust and credibility coming from KOLs will always influence wider audiences. In every aspect, a KOL will bring more audience to increase your business reach.

3. Engagement 

Engagement in brand marketing is the interaction between a brand, product, and service with audiences following the and emotional attachment. The role of Key opinion leaders can boost your business engagement, which is marked by the increasing numbers of audiences who view, comment, like, and share the products that are published by KOL on their social media or other platforms.

Therefore, you also have to choose a Key opinion leaders figure with a large number of fans or followers that matches your interest and target market. In turn, the increase in engagement from KOL will also increase sales and traffic.

4. Influence

What are key opinion leaders? The one great expert who can influence audiences to connect and trust your products. It’s much more than regular influencers -celebrities or social media enthusiasts- but KOLs can also give advice and sort of consultation in using the products to the audiences. 

As an audience, you will only want to buy and use products or services that are approved by an expert, right? That’s the magnet of KOL to influence people. 


Key opinion leaders one of many great marketing strategies to help your business to grow. The opinion, advice, and words from KOL matters and are trusted, so it can boost your business traffic, sales, and brand awareness. In China, especially in ecommerce marketing, KOL has crazily driven the sales to the peak.

Indeed, you can consult to a professional digital marketing agency to choose the best KOL figures and strategies for your business. SMEBRO provides you with the best service and offers to help you optimize your website using several approaches such as SEO strategies and complete content marketing ideas.

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