An opinion leader is an individual who has the expertise and authority in a certain industry and the trust of the audience. This person is famous and can influence the opinions of consumers.
In this article, we’ll review the role of an opinion leader, characteristics, and examples. We’ll also explore how to become an opinion leader.
What is the role of an opinion leader?
Opinion leaders act as an intermediary between marketers and the target audiences. They obtain information about a certain product, summarize it, and convey it to consumers in a simple way. Thought leaders also update consumers on product news and give some advice on how to use it. They provide the audiences with their personal experience so that consumers can decide whether to purchase a specific product or service.
Now that you know the role of an opinion leader, it’s time to find out the characteristics you should have to become an influencer.
Opinion Leader Characteristics
To become a reliable source of information, opinion leaders should possess several main qualities. They help gain popularity, trust, and recognition. Let’s now review them to understand what people can grow into influencers.
- Knowledge and expertise. These individuals are aware of the pros and cons of the products or services they promote. That’s why before sharing a product with the target audience, opinion leaders spend some time exploring a product and its features. Later, they communicate the value of a certain product through their accounts on social media and other channels.
- Charisma. To make people trust and listen, opinion leaders should possess a sense of charisma. It enables them to influence customers and make them love the narrator. These people are role models that present a type of living everyone wants to have. As a result, customers trust their recommendations and buy products to become similar to influencers.
- Influence. Since these people are role models for many, customers believe and trust them. With the help of authority and expertise, opinion leaders encourage consumers to purchase products they recommend. They have to prove that the products they promote work. For example, if these people recommend skincare, they should have good glowing skin.
- Professionals in handling PR. Brand promoters are professionals in digesting information and communicating it to the target audience in simple language. They are masters in public speaking and can easily win the attention and loyalty of customers.
- Social media presence. Publishing posts and photos, sharing their experience with a product, making stories on social media is the best way for opinion leaders to reach customers. Different platforms allow influencers to share the necessary information and promote it in a friendly manner. Unlike usual accounts, the profiles of thought leaders on social networks contain expert information in a certain industry. They update followers on webinars, conferences, and courses and encourage them to participate.
Now that you know the main characteristics, let’s discuss how to identify key opinion leaders.
How to identify key opinion leaders?
There are two different types of key opinion leaders: traditional and digital. We’ll review the ways to identify each of them.
To identity opinion leaders in the digital world, you need to pay attention to the main metrics: qualitative and quantitative. Finding out appropriate influencers for your brand requires exploring the quantitative aspect. It refers to the number of followers, mentions, shares, and frequency of postings. You’ll also need to explore the qualitative aspect which includes content’s quality and relevance. Define whether the content suits your target audience.
If you aim at identifying traditional key opinion leaders, you need to review speakers at conferences and events related to your industry and top experts in the field. This will help you decide on influencers for your business.
Now that you know the aspects you need to pay attention to, you should also take the actions required to become an opinion leader.
How to become an opinion leader?
To become a favorite of the public, a person should be an expert in the field, have the necessary skills and knowledge. These points are necessary to influence the masses and make them trust your experience and recommendations. In a digital world, it’s easier since your expertise, knowledge, and experience can gain exposure and a huge following.
There are several recommendations you should stick to when considering becoming an opinion leader.
- Select the industry you specialize in. A person can’t be a specialist in all industries at once. However, an individual can possess valuable information in a certain field, have skills, knowledge, and experience. This information and skills might be helpful for people. That’s why you should choose one niche that fits your expertise. You can select marketing, design, education, programming, etc. It’s important to choose an industry you are interested in to keep gaining new knowledge.
- Create content for your online channels. You can grow your audience fast with the help of social media. Create an account with Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube to share useful content with your subscribers.
- Publish content regularly. To keep people engaged, you need to constantly add new content to your channel or account. You should create articles, videos, and photos to attract new people.
- Work with influencers. If you are just starting your channel, consider cooperating with influencers. It can be done in different forms: interview or promotion. This way, you will obtain the necessary experience, new knowledge, and skills while your account will gain trust and credibility.
- Ensure the uniqueness of your materials. Make sure to include unique original content in your articles, blog posts, photos, and videos since it helps establish a positive reputation. Do your best at providing readers with your expert opinion and unique content people would find quality and useful.
Let’s see the examples of some great opinion leaders to grab some inspiration.
Examples of Opinion Leaders
Now we have a lot of personalities who are able to win people’s trust and attention by using their charisma, knowledge, experience, and other characteristics. Let’s review some of the famous opinion leaders to see how they succeeded in reaching a wide audience.
She is a famous business and life coach and a founder of Working Simply, Inc. Carson is a speaker and a best-selling author who focuses on productivity and engagement. Her productivity tips on social media help followers in achieving their goals.
Author, businesswoman, and one of the founders of The Huffington Post are just several achievements of this successful woman. The well-known author wrote 15 books and built a great social media presence. 2.8M of people on Twitter get useful information from her posts and learn something new from this businesswoman.
Congrats, now you know the characteristics of opinion leaders and their roles. Hope that the examples above will inspire you to become an opinion leader in your industry.
Last Updated: 17.09.2021