If you think living the life of a KOL is glamorous, think again.
No one could have predicted the term “influencer” or “KOL” would pop out in the oven years ago. In the current state we’re in, it seems like the buzzword is no longer just a buzzword. Influencer marketing has truly become a part of how brands connect with their audiences. Yes, the rise of influencers paved way for them to build their following and boost ROI.
With all the high quality photos being uploaded by social media influencers (KOL), followers can’t help but aspire to live their life. Majority of people think that they’re living the “perfect” life. But the truth is that they’re not. Here’s why:
On creating content and meeting deadlines
Just like being a cabin crew, a model, or a celebrity – people only see the facade. They think these jobs are glamorous because the business requires those people to “look good”. The same goes for influencers.
Let’s begin by saying KOLs are also “brands”. Yes, before they have the opportunity to work for brands, they need to market themselves first. They need to think of things that would make them stand out from the others (niche, voice, image). One doesn’t just become an “influencer” overnight. Well, it may apply to those who have connections. But for people who started at the bottom, they can attest to the fact that it’s not an easy job.
From pre-production to post-production, they can be considered experts at content creation. At most times, they photograph themselves. But on other days, they also ask help from their friends or family members to get the “perfect shot”. It may sound simple, but honestly, it’s not. Let’s not forget: majority of KOLs have day-time jobs so finding the balance can be pretty hard.
Behind the glamour, behind their visually-pleasing contents are days of conceptualization, planning and hardwork. And that’s something that brands should keep in mind.
On sounding “authentic”
Sounding “authentic” is probably one of the many struggles of KOLs. The audience are smart enough to know if the people they’re following are sincere with what they’re posting. Again, this is like the make or break moment for both KOLs and brands.
Let’s admit it: it’s a business. You have to do everything to get more audience to your side. So we can’t really claim that a KOL can be “authentic” enough for a brand and for the audience.
So how does one influencer sound convincing enough without sounding fake? Additionally, how do we measure the authenticity of KOLs? By their creative expression. Yes, there are a lot of KOLs with thousands to millions of followers. But majority of them are not engaging enough to boost sales for brands. Whereas for KOLs that have lesser followers, some of them are good at telling stories through photos and captions – something that brands can consider working with.
Authenticity is probably the “it” factor that we all are looking for in KOLs. The good thing about today’s influencers? They’re believable enough to get the attention and affect the buying decisions of consumers. Through their creativity and mastery at marketing, brands will surely enjoy the rewards!
On staying as a KOL despite the competition
Influencer marketing is like a world where KOLs are living. It’s a competitive world, to be exact. Not a lot of KOLs are getting the same chance as the others. Majority of brands care more about the number of followers over engagement. There’s nothing wrong with that, as getting mega influencers could be a good tactic for one-off big time marketing.
But for longevity, it’s also okay to consider working with micro to mid-tier influencers. They may not be as famous as celebrities, but in their own circle, they’re influential enough to boost your brand. This is one of the reasons why small influencers are still in the business despite the competition – they know that they can sell more and they’re good for reaching new customers.
In addition to that: majority of these KOLs are joining influencer marketing platforms to further have the opportunity to work with upcoming to big brands around the world!
The business of Influencer Marketing is more than just brand promotions. It’s all about building relationships with different kinds of people, and learning how to grow and succeed together.
For aspiring KOLs, go ahead and start now. It’s a wonderful business to be in. Be committed enough in your craft.
For brands who are having a hard time looking for influencers to work with, it may be better to work with and influencer marketing platform. (No more managing and negotiating with KOLs 1-by-1 as they make things easier for you!)