There was nothing but word-of-mouth and ad advertising back in the ancient days of marketing. The ancient days are the days before the online marketplace took control of the retail and wholesale markets. Before the Internet, marketing a product to a specific audience took a lot of print advertising as well as word-of-mouth recommendations.
People influence other people when they have a good experience. And the same is true for bad product or service experiences, especially when that information hits the Internet in some form. One form of word-of-mouth information comes from key opinion leaders (KOL) who have a large Internet following. People like to listen to KOLs. They have an impact on personal buying habits.
A Key Opinion Leader Is A Powerful Tool In Marketing
It’s easy to spot a key opinion leader. Jeff Bezos is a KOL and an influencer. The KOL in Jeff pushes investors to put trust in his company. And the influencer leader in Bezos promotes his products and services. Mr. Bezos is a retail and wholesale expert.
Consumers like to trust experts. But the flip side to Bezos is his quirky personality. And his comments, and business practices turn a lot of people off.
Mr. Bezos is a good example of a KOL. But not all KOLs have to billionaire status to make an impression on people’s buying habits. Celebrities are perfect KOLs for brands. Models influence fashion purchases, but they may not be a key opinion leader in the fashion industry.
People need direction when it comes to sorting out all the brands and non-brands that invade the online retail market looking for a huge return. New Internet brands surface by the hour, so consumers want help getting the most out of the money they spend. KOLs are the most effective marketing tool when they become the face of an established brand or the mouthpiece for a new brand.
People Trust Personal Recommendations According To A Nielson Rating
Ninety-two percent of consumers claim they trust ads less than they trust personal recommendations. Seventy-four percent of consumers believe word of mouth recommendations from a KOL influenced their buying decision. And when it comes to influencing Millennial consumers, KOLs beat traditional ads by a country mile.
Another example of Jeff Bezos’ influencing abilities comes in the form of space travel. He decided to make a space voyage and thousands of people wanted to buy the one seat left on that space flight. Jeff even influenced Richard Branson to announce he would also make a trip to space in July.
Now that Branson, another KOL in Europe as well as around the world, is in the process of bringing his space travel company to the forefront of space exploration, new KOLs will surface in that industry.
High Impact Recommendations Trigger Fifty Times More Purchases
People trust word-of-mouth recommendations because they feel more personal. Before consumers buy the product or service, they want to buy what the KOL offers them in terms of information.
Doctors, dentists, and other professionals qualify as KOLs because they promote their industry expertise. Politicians promote promises and big pharma promotes health, by partnering with dentists and doctors.
Online research shows high impact recommendations can trigger 50 times more sales than a low-impact sales pitch. People want to feel a connection with a key opinion leader in certain markets. A lot of consumers want to build a long-term relationship with KOLs and brands. Online marketing needs a human touch and KOLs filled that need. Listening to key opinion leaders is the norm for brands that want to change their online image as well as increase revenue.