K.O.Ls: The what, who, where of influencers in Hong Kong

What is a K.O.L?

What sets a KOL apart from your regular influencer is not their follower size nor their curated aesthetics, but a specific niche and targeted audience. Where an influencer may bask in the loose parameters of the ‘lifestyle’ thematic, KOLs narrow in one a particular area of expertise. For instance, they dedicate their attention to sustainable fashion or handmade jewellery.

Why are they so popular?

In a world oversaturated with consumer goods and pretty marketing schemes, it is difficult for us to differentiate between what is average, what is simply marketed well, and what is actually worth investing in. It is also challenging to find our footing when trends change faster than the wind; who knows what the next fad will be?

How to leverage influencers for your brand

So how exactly can KOLs help with your marketing strategies? Here are some key roles they play in helping you maximize your audience and connect the brand to the consumer.

Examples of KOLS in Hong Kong

Like most Asian cities, Hong Kong has experienced a movement towards everything digital — and marketers have been quick to hop aboard the online content trend. The influencer market bloomed overnight, although it is only recently that companies have learnt to leverage KOLs in their branding campaigns.

Lily Wong

Dabbling in everything lifestyle, Lily Wong first emerged as an influencer who shared photos of food, travel, fashion and beauty. Like most top KOLs in Hong Kong, she started out on social media with no particular intention of becoming an influencer; it was simply a means of sharing her life experiences.

Alvin Chan

Model, photographer and influencer in one, Alvin Chan is an example of when a passion project attracts a following. Initially reposting portfolio and work shots from his modelling job, then creating a separate space for his photography, Alvin started getting recognition as a creative.

Moanna Shum

Having started out with sharing food pics on Facebook then Instagram, Moanna has long since become a lifestyle KOL that features travels, fashion and brand collaborations. Her Instagram feed is a collage of bright and vibrant photos of what she eats, whenever she enjoyed a unique experience, is travelling or posing in a stylish outfit.

Noel Li

Minimalistic and chic, Noel Li’s Instagram feed is immensely attractive for those who want to pull of an effortlessly lavish lifestyle. Keeping it realistic and down-to-earth, Noel decorates his feed with snapshots of his life, as he is also a KOL who works as an influencer outside of his day job.

Things to consider before choosing a KOL

Of course, it is important to choose the right KOL for your brand. Consider the following questions when researching:

- Are they really KOLs?

Remember that KOLs are a step beyond influencers! While any creative individual could muster up a following that gift them will millions of “likes” on aesthetic posts, you want a leading figure whose followers engage in their content by trying the featured products or experiences.

- Do their demographics of followers overlap with your target audience?

Make sure to choose a KOL with a relevant following. Your goal is to lure in a crowd of regular customers by engaging with those who are interested in what you’re selling.

- What exactly is their expertise?

Depending on what you are hiring the KOL for, they need to be able to deliver. If they are best at generating sales, hire them for product placement. If you’re looking for a consult, find a KOL who can present you with relevant insider knowledge and have clear marketing directives. Content creators aren’t the same as marketing professionals, so make sure they can meet your brand objectives.

- What can they do for you that you can’t do for yourself?

Working with a KOL might take more time and costs than you are ready for; they aren’t miracle workers guaranteed to rake in sales with a single post either. They are there to boost your marketing efforts, but they aren’t the entirety of your campaign. Consider what is it they can give you that you aren’t already doing for yourself.

On a mission to make meaningful interactions online. I know a thing or two about digital marketing. https://aronfrost.com/ Go Go Go.

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