Key opinion leaders are critical to identify when dissecting what consumers want in a given industry. These KOLs are experts in their profession, and they have consumers’ ears – and oftentimes their hearts too, which is why brands should be paying attention.
Using consumer intelligence, we’ll pull back the curtain to sneak a peek at which key opinion leaders to pay attention to, including:
- Five KOLs that make their presence known in the space
- Celebrities with a cause
- Key opinion leaders challenging social norms
- Women KOLs to keep on your radar
And here are some key KOL facts to keep in mind as we go:
- 86% of consumers crave authenticity, something a KOL can effectively communicate for your brand.
- KOLs can help brands target their ideal audience or niche.
- Studies show women hold more sway as a celebrity spokesperson.
Five Key Opinion Leaders to Watch – and Why:
Post 2020 consumers want real content; 86% say they crave authenticity when deciding which companies to support. So, what is “authenticity” – and how can you offer it? It’s that genuine quality key opinion leaders have in their given space, and it’s what gives these KOLs the power to present brands with honesty. They’re your brands ‘authenticity bridge’ in a sense. And our first KOL is a great example of the power of authenticity in action.
Lin-Manuel Miranda brought his own authentic approach to Ron Chernow’s Hamilton in the wildly popular Broadway production. And he learned how to actively engage his Twitter followers, turning them into mini-marketers for his brand.
Social media listening reveals fans’ positive emotions and helping them get through a most difficult year.
Lin-Manuel’s Hamilton made a real difference in the lives of people stuck inside, as 2020 trudged on. In a year of disappointment, this KOL made an impact. Here are 4 more doing the same:
Will Smith – Actor, musician and thought leader. He’s open about what he has learned and shares experiences with an authenticity that touches viewers along with his family on their popular Red Table Talk show. He invites his subscribers to join in his journey via YouTube.
Dwayne Johnson – Also an actor, but also a health and fitness guru and relatable conqueror of obstacles. His friendly, positive spin on life and big heart are a hit with fans. Movies pay him to act – and to promote on his Instagram as he’s built an immense and loyal following.
Anna Kendrick – She’s an actress who has been busy battling away the 2020 blues with honesty and championing social justice. Known for her relatability as well (see a trend here?), she comes across like followers’ long lost best friend – and sometimes she is:
Ariana Grande – This singer, actress and songwriter is billed as one of the top live singers in the world, with her Netflix documentary, Excuse Me, I Love You, sending fans into overdrive and streaming subscriptions undoubtedly surge.
And there are so many more Entertainment KOLs to choose from, so we’ve selected 20 more that will be sure to get some masterful marketing ideas brewing . . .
Sustainability, Social Justice and Doing Good
Conversations on equality, social justice, and sustainability are on the rise. We would need to explore each separately for a true consumer intelligence demonstration, so here we’re focusing on part of the trifecta: sustainability.
We’ve organized our sustainability search into bars ordered by segment size.
Sustainable Development Goals snags first place, and then Fashion Industry is in fourth – a testament to how important this subject has become. And we also see a unique term Greenwashing found throughout categories, highlighted below. Essentially, it’s a deceptive marketing spin used to persuade the public that a company’s products or practices are environmentally friendly. One will want to set alerts in their social media listening tool for that term to head off a crisis!
And then demographics tell us who is posting about greenwashing and other issues connected to sustainability. It’s no big surprise that our biggest contributors to the conversation are younger millennials between 25-34, as 87% of them believe that companies should address urgent social and environmental issues.
Understanding demographics are helpful in determining if a brand is connected with its target audience. KOL’s can be a key ingredient in this effort, as the right KOL will connect deeply with this audience. Let’s see a few!
- Emma Watson, actress and activist, is taking a stand when it comes to sustainability within fashion – and outside of it.
- America Ferrera – Actress and activist on voting and changing the conversation around social issues.
- Reese Witherspoon – Actress. Created her own company, Hello Sunshine, promoting minority representation in Hollywood.
- Orlando Bloom & Katy Perry, are putting childrens’ needs at the forefront, both serving as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors.
- Kim Kardashian – More than a pretty face, she has focused on prison reform and in helping prisoners get sentences reduced.
- Jennifer Anniston – Actress and member of Hollywood elite. This powerful woman has donated $500,000 to Doctors Without Borders, not to mention her ongoing philanthropic work for St. Jude’s.
- Gabrielle Union – Actress and activist against racism and sexism.
2020 could be described as “in your face,” and so could our next KOL – Harry Styles. He’s been challenging the idea of gender identity with his gender fluid style. And social media listening provides top terms by sentiment attributed to this dazzling star. It’s a lot of love.
Consumer intelligence in Quid Social illustrates this topic’s magnitude. Each colorful cluster represents a subject within the conversation of gender. The clusters are interconnected and divided by percentage. For example, Harry Styles takes up 2.4% and No Gender Roles has 8.8% of the conversation pie.
Selecting the cluster, No Gender Roles reveals this post supporting gender fluid language, and the number of retweets suggests it’s a popular thought:
Working outside of social norms is making moves towards the mainstream, winning consumer love. From devil may care attitudes to challenging messages – these next KOLs are pushing boundaries:
- Justin Bieber – American singer with a massive global fan following.
- Miley Cyrus – American singer-songwriter, actress, and record producer.
- Kevin Hart – American actor, stand-up comedian, and producer.
- Eminen – American rapper, record producer, and actor and one of the most-controversial artists of the 21st century.
- Rihanna – Named one of the top celebrity influencers of beauty and fashion
The world is changing, and brands need to adapt, having the right KOL can help you do this – and women are quickly becoming a popular choice for this.
A study published in Business Insider on women’s leadership found that women’s overall effectiveness is higher than men as they are better heard by their peers as a celebrity spokesperson. And they’re also more popular in their field. Maybe this is one reason Happy Dance partnered with Kristen Bell to promote their product.
Kristen Bell is a Broadway veteran, actress, and mom. And she’s also a funny woman. She uses her platform to show hope and foster love and kindness. And she’s a shining example of the ‘Jack of all trades’ women are today.
Consumer intelligence turns on the light for conversation around women’s roles and empowerment. Exploring the timeline shows a shift in focus over time. Earlier in December, Women and Innovation was central but closer to January Women in Government and Strong Female Role became a focus point:
Sentiment is found throughout these bars. For example, on the left is a positive post about what it means to have influence as a woman, whereas on the right it’s argued that what some women are labeling as empowerment, is simply just another Instagram post designed to get likes. It’s all powerful engagement that any brand could benefit from when handled appropriately.
This latter post is critical because it calls for authenticity and follow through which is synonymous with brands hitting the mark today. Social media listening can help you with that.
Here are KOL’s hitting the nail on the head:
- Jennifer Garner – Actress, creative and funny mother and woman, reminding us it’s okay to be silly.
- Cristy Teigen – Model. Shares her struggles with mental health, her strong political opinions, and her family life with honesty and humor.
- Lizzo – She is inspirational, redefining what sexy is, and honest about the pressures of society on women.
- Ellen DeGeneres – She’s had her struggles, but she has pushed through and shown that you can rise above.
And that’s what it all comes down to for these celebrities and their followers – perseverance They’ve all managed to stay in the limelight for a good bit of time – long enough to generate significant and loyal followings. These fans have followed these entertainers through whatever struggles or causes and feel emotionally connected. That’s powerful. Your brand needs some of that.
Key Opinion Leaders can boost your brand’s connection with consumers and create a likewise long-term relationship. Being able to identify the right one to partner with though is critical. Reach out for a demo and let consumer intelligence be your guide!