The Booming Age of Key Opinion Leaders


Creativity values a lot - Citizens in Hong Kong were amazed by the Submission of IPO draft prospectus by mother company of 10O-Most in late July. Key Opinion Leaders are no longer introverted netizens of Online forums, but now business gurus who generate significant impacts to the digital World and community.

Key Opinion Leaders (KOL) are usually defined as well-known active social media individuals or Organisations that have the power to influence public Opinions and deliver the media messages to Ordinary media users.

In late July, a few days after the annual Book Exhibition in Hong Kong, the mother company of renowned local KOL, 1OOMost (1OO毛), "Most Kwai Chung Limited' submitted an application of IPO draft prospectus to HKEX. The document disclosed the information on the financials and business background of the company. It was reported that "Most Kwai Chung Limited” recorded a revenue of 95 million HKD and profit of 36 million HKD in the previous financial year.

The announcement went viral online and offline in Hong Kong Society. However, why key opinion leaders could excel and fly successfully under the increasingly competitive environment of social media? In the draft prospectus, it was mentioned by Most Kwai Chung Limited that "Our brand is attributable to the creativity and sense of humour of our executive Directors, our deep understanding of visitors and followers taste and Our creative design and production”.

We shall return to the history of KOL to understand more. The idea of Key Opinion Leader was originated in 1940s by communications theorist Paul Lazarsfeld, he established a concept that people could change their views and preferences more because of trusted figures in their networks than because of Some more conventional forces such as advertising.

The concept was first applied to the field of medicine in the mid 5OS. The term was used to describe senior doctors who help drug companies to boost Sales of new drugs. The influential doctors in their professions were paid by pharmaceutical firms to do advertisement, sharing and promotions to their patients. The concept was later elaborated into online social networking sites and modern marketing.

Key Opinion Leaders are not friends of everyone that critics on them can be found. For instance, some of them are criticized for spreading low-quality content such as gossips of pop stars, demonstrating Vulgar jokes and acts, Or plagiarizing from Sources found On the Internet. Although criticism can sometimes be found, the KOLS are penetrating effectively into the mass crowds of Society. Some business professionals assess their models of Operation and come into conclusion that most of them are result-oriented and objective-based. It is also evident that Some of the KOLS tries to draw attention from the general public into Social issues and phenomenon by more Superficial and straightforward approaches.

There are also some trends that KOLS are becoming more professional and gradually offer Public Relations (PR) Strategies to many companies. For instance, 10O-Most collaborated with an international bank, as well as a former TV Programme Host, Kenneth Chan, to co-produce a comeback version of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire” in order to promote the Priority Banking of the bank.

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