Introducing a new piece of technology into the European market can be difficult. It is part of our duty at Exportia to address the problems that come with bringing breakthrough technology produced by small and medium-sized businesses into the European market. In our experience, it is workable to lobby and change a local set of rules. We’ve done it several times with the support of Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs), also known as influencers.
Here are five key points to help you build a European network of Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs):
- What is your Goal with KOLs?
- What is a Key Opinion Leader?
- How to Identify your KOL?
- What can a KOL do for you?
- What to Offer to a KOL?
What is your Goal with KOLs?
The most difficult aspect of entering the European market is establishing credibility, particularly with enterprises or organisations such as hospitals or government institutions. With the help of key opinion leaders, it helps your business to connect with your target market.
Once you’ve identified the key opinion leaders with whom you wish to collaborate, you’ll need a simple approach to monitoring the performance of your KOL initiatives. There are several methods for tracking your KPIs and ROI, but it all comes down to what your goals are.
Are you attempting to increase brand awareness? Or perhaps generate more sales?
Setting up a goal with your KOLs allows both of you to monitor the progress of your marketing efforts. We perceive marketing via a key opinion leader to be more genuine. Because who would advocate a substandard product or service? That would certainly harm KOL’s reputation.
What is a Key Opinion Leader?
They are individuals or organisations with such high social standing that we consider their suggestions and opinions when making crucial decisions. In the medical field, professors and physicians who publish on their areas of expertise are fairly prevalent. A medical expert who publishes a report explaining the advantages of a medical device will interest a medical device company.
People trust key opinion leaders, which helps to attract truly interested customers. A well-known character gives the impression that others know them personally and that their opinions may be trusted.
How to Identify your KOL?
The number of key opinion leaders is increasing because of social media, and contacting them has grown simpler. It is critical to select the correct individual or organisation to collaborate with to ensure that the intended audience notices and reacts to their content. I made a list of questions to help you identify the best KOL for your business.
- Who does not buy your product directly but can recommend it?
- Who buys your product and can encourage their peers to buy it?
- Who can dictate that your customers should buy your product?
- Who has authority in your field?
- Who can assess the quality of your product and issue advice?
- Who is part of a commission or an organisation that is publishing guidelines or recommendations about your product?
Discovering the goals of the collaboration and identifying what needs to be monitored can help you find the correct key opinion leader.
What can a KOL do for you?
Key opinion leaders may help small businesses sell in a variety of ways. KOLs’ suggestions and views hold a lot of weight because we acknowledge them as experts. Any endorsements from them will lend credibility to your business. Here are a few things that KOL can do to help your business grow in the European market:
- They can validate your product’s technological capability.
- Your answer is one option they propose.
- They write articles regarding the advantages of your product.
- They include your product in their offering.
- They share their experience with your products on social media.
- They provide presentations about your product to their colleagues at conventions.
- They become a reference customer.
- They can advocate for a regulatory change that would help your technology enter the market
After all, a customer will be more inclined to believe someone with professional credentials and business expertise than a sales person.
What to Offer to a KOL?
If you wish to work with KOLs, make sure that you have something to offer that will benefit them too. Remember, this is a collaboration between your business and KOLs. It should benefit both of you from this project. And here are some things you can do for your key opinion leaders:
- You solve a problem for them.
- You give them exposure.
- You give them freebies.
- You support one of their projects.
- You promote what they do.
- You recommend them.
- You introduce them to companies/persons they want to connect with.
All key opinion leaders are well known in their respective communities, and their perspectives are regarded and respected. They are legitimate specialists, and they are trusted as real people, rather than public characters representing corporations.
Want to know more about how to effectively market your business in the European market? Get your FREE copy of “The 4 Steps to Generate Your First Million Euros in Sales” book here: https://www.exportia.com.au/export-business-europe/
You can also create an initial Export Readiness Diagnostic within 20 minutes here: http://diagnostic.exportia.com.au/7pillar/ It will show you a report summarising if your business is ready and includes a personalised to-do list for your next step.
Contact me to schedule a 45-minute debriefing session with me once you have your report.