4 Reasons to Invest in KOL Marketing

Key Takeaways

  • Key opinion leaders (KOLs) are your upstream “non-sales force”
  • KOLs shape the industry conversation to influence RFPs in your favor

How do medtech companies grow? Not the way they used to. Just adding sales reps to grow revenue is a formula that simply doesn't work anymore.

That's because sales reps arrive too late in the customer journey. By the time customers are ready to learn about your product from a sales rep, they’ve already surveyed emerging technology, tracked trends, and consulted their peer influencers.

And, when they’ve finally figured out what they want to say in an RFP, all you can do is cross your fingers that your product will match their needs. 

Instead, you could be connecting with your customers long before they write an RFP. You could be shaping their RFP to favor your offering, making your sales reps jobs a whole lot easier.

Here's how:

The non-sales force: key opinion leaders

To connect with customers long before they draft an RFP, you’ll need a 'non-sales force,' or key opinion leaders. KOL marketing programs are popping up across medtech because customers want education, not promotion. And they want it early in their journey.

KOL marketing positions your medtech company not as a vendor but as a known and trusted source of expert insights from respected peers who understand your customers' needs from the inside out. 

When your organization becomes a platform for those respected peers, you can delivertheir insights in the form of engaging short articles, social posts, sponsored events, webinars, and more, drawing the market to your door for the information they need from the sources they want.

KOLs shape your customers' thinking

When KOLs talk about challenges in their space, they could be identifying the problems you uniquely solve. Amplifying their voices means promoting your solution to those problems and shaping the broader industry conversation. You want that conversation – and the RFPs that come your way – to support your solutions. Enter some text...

KOL marketing supports your sales reps and campaigns in four ways:

1. KOL content opens doors

KOL marketing programs also give your sales team what they need to be effective. Armed with non-promotional, high-value content that your customers actually need, your sales team is re-positioned as solution-focused consultants. With these door openers, reps can start conversations and keep them going via the gift of expert insights in the form of links or attached articles or sponsored content authored by KOLs in key media.

By placing KOL content in front of customers at a steady cadence, you keep customers engaged from a distance across a longer sales cycle relies on sharing useful insights-something that matters more to your customers than your product features.

2. Bang for your buck

Like the free expertise your medical affairs or technical support teams provide customers, delivering KOL insights is a service – and a cost-effective one. Content full of KOL insights can be sliced and diced into multiple new assets, from social posts to talking points, keeping the conversation going across channels with efficiency.

Amortizing content across channels does more than spread the word. It also creates digital encounters that help you better track and understand your customers’ journeys. And at every encounter, you create an opportunity for people to share their contact data with you – but only if your content is worth their time.

3. Content worth their time

That’s where a full-funnel KOL program makes all the difference. Industry thought leaders often welcome a widely read platform for their views, even when it is sponsored by a vendor. Yet, that platform cannot promote your products and services. It cannot be a ‘Resources’ tab on your website menu that takes viewers to pages of press releases about you.

Instead, create a product-agnostic platform – a content hub with a social strategy, a newsletter, and sponsored events – where industry leaders can speak their minds. Don’t be afraid of a free-for-all in points of view. Allow healthy debates and invite personal opinions. This is conversation, after all, and the more vigorous the better.

4. Quality matters

Sound simple? Actually, it’s not. A great KOL program requires a great content team who understands how to work with KOLs and how to turn their opinions into effective, pervasive content. 


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