How Adfire Can Help You With a Successful KOL Campaign

How Adfire Can Help You With a Successful KOL Campaign

Ninety-two percent of consumers2 trust personal recommendations over advertisements (Nielsen, 2012). While these recommendations can come from friends or family, they can also come from another trusted source: Key Opinion Leaders or KOLs.

KOLs are recognized industry experts who can help you reach your media campaign goals. Similar to influencers, they have a curated niche audience that trusts and values their opinions. However, unlike influencers KOLs have significant credibility in their field through their experience, awards, and past and present roles.

Here are a few steps you can take to create a KOL campaign in digital media:

Step 1: Identify your KOLs

Research and identify KOLs in your niche that your target audience respects. Do not pick just any expert. A good KOL must possess more than authority and knowledge; they must also show a good personality, charisma, most importantly, good communication skills. Strong communication skills are essential for a campaign to reach your target audience effectively.

Find a KOL who fits your specific media campaign’s target media and strategy. For example, a good KOL for cardiology would be a well-known cardiologist, who is also experienced in public speaking such as a professor, or an advisor to a related company. While someone who is a professor of pediatrics at a prestigious university, and has received a variety of awards, including the Brett Ratner Award for Outstanding Research in Pediatric Allergy/Immunology, would be a good KOL for pediatric allergy and immunology.

According to H1, a healthcare KOL sourcing company1, there are four main types of KOLs that you need to think about when strategizing for your next campaign:

Types of KOLs

  • Scientific leaders: Experts in a specific scientific area or excel at a specific method or technique. Scientific experts have a clear research focus, a substantial record of publications, and a significant record of speaking engagements at conferences.
  • Clinical leaders: Clinical experts have years of experience overseeing and conducting clinical trials in their therapeutic areas of expertise.
  • Medical or treatment leaders: Medical or treatment leaders have knowledge on how to treat large numbers of patients with a specific disease.
  • Global thought-leaders: Considered thought-leader roles in the medical community nationally or globally due to their achievements. They’re generally accepted in their community as experts and a source of authority.

Step 2: Build relationships with your KOLs

Reach out to your KOLs and build relationships with them. You can build relationships with KOLs through social media, email, or in-person meetings. People are more willing to work with a person or brand with whom they have an established connection.

It is recommended to communicate with the KOL before any significant engagement or event to see if they are a good fit for your brand messaging and company values. Once you understand the KOL’s background, you can refine and custom-tailor your campaign assets to highlight their strengths.

Step 3: Create content with your KOLs

Create content with your KOLs, such as blog posts, videos, or webinars. This will allow your KOLs to share their expertise with a larger audience and grow their reputation while providing you with targeted content to add to your pipeline repertoire.

The content you can produce with your KOL is unlimited, and a collaborative approach is often taken in determining what type of content would be best for your specific campaign. The content type produced greatly depends on the type of KOL and the campaign’s goals. For example, a professor is a good choice for a webinar or a roundtable-type video. They are comfortable teaching topics to a broader audience and can perform well at a Q&A.

Types of content you can make with your KOL can be

  • Videos
    • Webinars/Virtual Events/Roundtables:

This content can be a great way to introduce your audience to the KOL while giving the KOL’s audience a way to engage with someone they respect directly. The content can be either pre-recorded, live, or a mix of both, including a pre-recorded presentation with a live Q&A.

    • Video ads or short snippets that endorse your product or service and why it works for them.
  • Blogs/Written Articles/Thought Pieces:
    • The KOL adds credibility to your site with their niche audience as they see that your brand is something the KOL is willing to advocate for.
    • Guest blogging is one of the best ways to build high-quality backlinks, which can raise your website’s authority score on search engines and organically generate more traffic to your site.

Step 4: Use different channels to promote your KOL partnership

Use a data-driven media strategy to promote your KOLs and their content. Share their work, retweet their Tweets or related content featuring them. Ensure you are using the right platform to reach their audience.

Step 5: Track the KOL’s influence on conversions

It’s fantastic to work with KOLs, but only if their influence impacts your bottom line. Here are a few ways to track their influence and the return on your investment (ROI)I:

Use direct campaign tracking:

  • Examine your website traffic and referral traffic: If selling a product or service, have the KOL tell their audience to use a specific tracking link or discount code. With this code, you can directly associate conversions with your KOL.
  • Use surveys and polls to measure the KOL’s impact on your target audience’s opinions and behaviors. Through a survey, you can measure the strength of the interaction and positive associations the KOL created for your organization.

Indirect campaign tracking:

  • Look at the traffic surrounding the content published
    • Are there any increases in traffic related to the KOL-produced content?
    • What are the bounce rates from this content piece, assuming it has its landing page?
    • What is the time spent on the page? Compare these metrics to your average measurements to see the KOL’s impact on your web traffic.

No single method provides a complete picture of an individual’s or organization’s influence. A combination of the above tracking methods may be needed to get a more accurate picture of the KOL’s influence on your brand.

While tracking a KOL’s impact may be more tricky than a standard digital media campaign, trackability is critical in any campaign to help you understand where the campaign could be optimized and if the campaign had a positive ROI.

Step 6: Ensure your partnership with the KOL is compliant

Ensure your KOL campaign complies with the regulations of the healthcare industry and the country where you are conducting the campaign to avoid legal implications.

It’s important to note that building relationships with KOLs and creating content with them takes time, but it can be well worth it for the increased reach and influence. It’s always a good idea to consult with digital media or healthcare experts to ensure your campaign is effective, compliant, and ethical.

Even if a KOL campaign is not for you, build strong relationships with significant thought leaders. A KOL can offer valuable input about your products and services, build credibility behind your brand, and instruct how to talk to a specific audience with drilled-down messaging.

Adfire Health can help connect you with KOLs custom to your campaign needs and audiences.


  1. Creating a healthier future. H1. (n.d.). Retrieved March 14, 2023, from
  2. Newswire. (2022, July 21). Newswire: Consumer Trust in online, social and mobile advertising grows. Nielsen. Retrieved March 14, 2023, from

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