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What is the difference between an influencer and a KOL?

The K.O.L (Key Opinion Leader) appeared in China, a precursor of Marketing Influence. It seems to gradually dethrone the influencer...
#influencermarketing #KOL #influencers
4 min
  • Ford
  • Kelloggs
  • Netflix
  • Pilot
  • Wargaming
  • Vinted

Beauty brands and Influencer Marketing in 2021

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Influence Marketing is exploding and more and more people are dreaming of doing anything to become a successful influencer.

Some even buy likes and/or subscribers. This has not gone unnoticed by consumers and brands who are now suspicious. At the same time, the profile of Key Opinion Leader, which first appeared in China, seems to be gaining momentum in the world of Marketing Influence.

The emergence of false influencers

On the one hand, brands are increasingly using influence marketing, the most profitable acquisition method for them (the ROI is on average $7.65 per $1 invested according to InfluencerMarketingHub);

On the other hand, almost one in two consumers follows influencers for their recommendations. It is therefore quite naturally that we see more and more influencers speaking out on social networks.

However, to emerge, some don’t hesitate to use questionable methods. Their only objective: to succeed in winning contracts with brands. In particular, it is estimated that 1 out of 2 counterfeit accounts are found on Instagram.

In practice, these so-called « influencers » buy likes, subscribers and/or comments. The trap is all the more terrible for brands because they are in fact fictitious acquisitions made by robots.

Instagram reacted quickly; the social network was able to detect accounts that had used third-party services and therefore decided to delete comments and false likes from these accounts. The creation of the blue verified badge also allows brands to identify accounts with a high audience and trust.

Those values of authenticity and trust are more and more expected by the brands, and one new social media platform provides KOLs with high engagement rates due to their trustability : Twitch’s KOLs. Besides, launching influence marketing campaigns on Twitch is more and more impactful and rewarding in term of visibility, brand awareness and engagement for the brands.

Authenticity, the strength of the Key Opinion Leader

The Key Opinion Leader differs from the influencer by its authenticity. He seeks to collaborate only with brands that resemble him and does not give in to any offer of collaboration.

The KOL will take into account several criteria when partnering with a brand, such as the image conveyed and its positioning. He only wants to publish content that makes sense.

It is also not uncommon for KOL to express its opinion by publishing more personal and sometimes even committed content. Unlike the influencer, the KOL has a very clear positioning and a unique identity.

In fact, his community trusts him and KOL plays a real role as a prescriber. Its subscribers are loyal and its engagement rate is much better than a dubious influencer. He is sometimes an expert in a field, such as spirits or permaculture, which enhances his credibility and the confidence of his audience.

How to identify the KOLs?

The study of influencer profiles can be complex and time-consuming if you do it yourself. That’s why internalizing Influence Marketing is a rewarding strategy for many brands. To gain time in efficiency, many brands now use Influence Marketing platforms.

The latter are able, for some, to identify the presence of robots on an account and therefore to know if the latter potentially has recourse to the purchase of likes or subscribers.

Thanks to the power of its database and its data expertise, Kolsquare has been able to implement advanced algorithms to detect false influencers. For each influencer, we indicate the credibility index of its audience, which allows you to address only trusted influencers.

Would you like to set up a Marketing Influence campaign with Key Opinion Leaders? Contact our dedicated experts now.