The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need for KOL Marketing in Singapore

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You’ve heard of micro-influencers, pet influencers and even kid influencers, but what about key opinion leaders (KOL)?

KOL marketing is not a new concept in digital marketing, but it definitely has been on an upward trajectory in multiple regions of the world. It seems like KOLs are the “key to success” in China.

But what about KOL marketing in Singapore? Should it be something local businesses should start looking in to?

The short answer is “yes”.

Before I dive deep into the benefits of KOL marketing in Singapore, let’s take a closer look at what exactly a KOL is.

What is a KOL?

Definition of KOL marketing in Singapore

Have you ever had a teacher you respected so much that she made you go from hating to liking a subject (cough cough math)?

In a nutshell, a KOL is someone who respected by the general public for being an expert on a particular field. Beyond influencing, they educate and share valuable information with their followers.

What is KOL Marketing?

Like influencer marketing, KOL marketing occurs online on social media channels like LinkedIn and even TikTok or Instagram. Types of content include media like vlogs, pictures or just text-only blurbs on these social media channels.

KOL vs Social Media Influencer

At this point, you might be thinking that KOLs are the same as social media influencers.

But guess what? They are not. 

While some might use these 2 terms interchangeably, it is worth noting that they are not synonymous.

It is true that KOLs are a subset of influencers, but what distinguishes a KOL from a regular influencer is the former’s expertise and experience in a distinct field.

Effective KOL marketing doesn’t just involve getting an expert to review your products. On the other hand, these experts need to be able to influence their followers with fact-based truths. They must have the power to change opinions.

It’s fairly easy to gain followers and influence if you are already in the public eye, but KOLs’ expert knowledge gives their followers credible opinions that they can rely on.

Examples of KOLs

To put a (few) face(s) to the name, let’s take a look at some KOLs you might have heard of.

1. Gary Vaynerchuk

VaynerX’s chairman has more than 2 million followers on LinkedIn and updates regularly with thought-provoking content.

2. Neil Patel

If you have googled for digital marketing resources, you must have come across Neil Patel’s resources. A highly respected individual, Neil lives and breathes all things digital.

3. Tan Jian Hao

If you are familiar with Singapore’s YouTube scene, this name shouldn’t be new to you. Jian Hao has established himself as a KOL in entertainment with the largest YouTube channel in the lion city.

Source: JianHao Tan

4. Andrea Cheong

Also known as Drea Chong, the fashion and lifestyle blogger founded her own digital advertising agency. She also received the Fashion Icon of the Year Award in 2015 and also appeared Asia’s Next Top Model (Season 5).

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A recent inkling for black 🤭🤭🤭

A post shared by Andrea Chong (@dreachong) on

Why do Businesses Need KOL Marketing in Singapore?

KOLs seem great and all. But what benefits would KOL marketing in Singapore bring for businesses?

Let’s take a look at 3 HUGE benefits of KOL marketing in Singapore.

1. Helps You Reach Your Target Audience

why KOL marketing in singapore the next big thing

Singapore’s marketing scene extremely saturated, to say the least. If you want to reach a specific target audience on social media, engaging a KOL might do just a trick.

You are better off having a KOL advertise your products to a following that is interested in a particular niche instead of investing tons of money in Google Ads only to have users skip over them.

Like micro-influencers, prospects are more likely to trust a KOL they recognize than a business. It’s all about selected the right KOL with a following that is genuinely interested in what you’re selling.

2. More Affordable than Celebrities

Let’s face it, the cost of living in the lion city is pretty high.

If you are business owner, massive costs aren’t something you’d want to deal with on a daily basis.

Sadly, there are costs associated with marketing.

For instance, did you know hiring world famous talents like Justin Timberlake could cost more than $1 million dollars?

It’s extremely pricey to pay for celebrity endorsements. Thankfully KOLs are more affordable than the former. In the lion city’s competitive business climate, you’d want to keep these costs to a minimum. Exploring KOL marketing in Singapore just that.

If you can boost your ROI at lower costs, why not?

3. Trust-based Storytelling

Remember how I said storytelling is the new advertising? Well, I hate to break it to you but simply telling a story just isn’t going to cut it.

Besides connecting, your stories must create trust.

It might be a bit difficult to do so with a company page or an “About Us” page on your website especially if you are a new business and your thought leaders are not active on social media channels.

Also, trust isn’t something you can measure with metrics.

This is where a KOL comes in.

Trust is the foundation of KOL marketing. When consumers see a KOL praising a product, they will probably share similar perceptions.

How to Choose a KOL

Like all other digital marketing methods like search engine optimization or even Google Ads, KOL marketing can work for any business. But it’s all about how you strategize.

No doubt working with a KOL can definitely bring benefits to your business, but if you want to give your ROI that extra kick, you need to be mindful about who you choose to engage.

For instance, beyond numbers, you also need to check out their following. Ask yourself if their followers are interested in learning more about your products. Check how relevant your KOL is to your target audience.

Finally, like most working adults, KOLs are probably extremely busy people. Have a look at the frequency of their social media updates and how often (or whether) they engage with commenters and other users.