How to strengthen your social presence with Digital Opinion Leaders?


The life sciences industry has a longstanding history of collaborating with Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) to tap into their expertise, effectively raising awareness about novel products, treatments, and critical matters. However, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the norm, resulting in significant conferences either getting cancelled or transitioning to virtual platforms. Consequently, KOLs, who are typically active participants in these events, found themselves unable to interact with fellow medical professionals, researchers, and industry figures in an accustomed manner due to these unexpected changes. This situation led to a new category of influential figures, Digital Opinion Leaders (DOLs).
DOLs leverage the power of social media, blogs, vlogs, podcasts, and online forums to amplify their influence. With the ability to span multiple channels, DOLs have revolutionized how opinions are formed and shared. Recognizing this shift, pharmaceutical companies can harness insights from KOLs and DOLs to navigate emerging communication platforms and avenues effectively.

Introduction to DOLs

New opportunities for Social Presence

DOLs encompass individuals or entities with a substantial online presence capable of shaping opinions, behaviours, and decisions through their engagement on digital platforms. The choice of digital channels for outreach varies based on the DOL's niche, target audience, and content preferences. Some primary channels include: 

  • Social Media: Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn to reach a vast audience and engage in real-time conversations via small packets of information or live streaming. 
  • Podcasts: DOLs can host or participate in podcasts to discuss topics, share insights, and interact with listeners.
  • Blogs: Personal or niche-specific blogs enable DOLs to share their expertise, opinions, and recommendations in written form.
  • Other channels: Webinars, online communities, and publications on digital platforms provide opportunities for interaction within like-minded communities.

KOLs vs DOLs

KOLs and DOLs wield influence in their unique ways. However, there are some critical differences between the two:

Established and known leaders, published authors, investigators, and clinicians.
Informal clinicians and practitioners, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, pharmacists, patient advocates, payers, and administrators
Seniority, expertise, and reputation
Online followers count, community engagement, and respect from peers
Geographical limitations when reaching out to their niche audiences with specific interests
Global audience without geographical limitations
Limited connections with their audience during live events or Q&A sessions
Frequently engage with their audience in real-time through comments, replies, live streaming, and other interactive features.
Content Format
Traditional formats include interviews, articles, press releases, and television appearances.
Various digital content formats, including videos, infographics, memes, and user-generated content
Media presence
Use traditional channels, media (TV, radio, newspapers), public speaking events, conferences, and in-person interactions.
Operate digitally and leverage online platforms such as social media, blogs, vlogs, podcasts, and webinars.
Acknowledged and appointed by the medical affairs team
Independent brands with distinct points of view and unique voices

How to engage with the best possible DOLs?

Evalueserve offers a strategic approach to engaging with the most suitable DOLs for your business needs. Utilizing the following prioritization metrics, Evalueserve helps identify the most impactful DOLs: 

  • Topic relevance: Analyze the alignment between a potential DOL’s expertise and the specific topics or trends in which a business or organization is interested. 
  • Engagement metrics: Measure the engagement metrics of potential DOLs, including the number of followers, likes, shares, comments, and retweets they receive on their content. High engagement is often a sign of influence.
  • Social media presence: Recognizing the existence of DOLs across various digital channels   
  • Content analysis: Analyze the content created by individuals to assess the depth of their knowledge, the relevance of their insights, and the engagement they receive from their audience. 
  • Network analysis: Map out the network of connections and relationships among individuals in a specific field. DOLs frequently establish connections with other influential figures, researchers, and professionals, which network analysis can identify.

Evalueserve is leveraging Insightloupe for a Digital Opinion Leader Research solution. Options below are the ways we could help you:

  • Scout and identify DOLs in your therapy area or technology 
  • Benchmark all the DOLs to identify those that fit your needs
  • Monitor and measure the impact of DOLs over a specific period

With Insightloupe, companies can efficiently identify DOLs and optimize their engagement efforts. Incorporating DOLs into your strategy empowers your company to maximize engagement and unlock success in an ever-evolving landscape shaped by consumer preferences and technological advancements.

Talk to One of Our Experts

Get in touch today to find out about how Evalueserve can help you improve your processes, making you better, faster and more efficient.  

Rani Holani
Senior Consultant Posts

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