One marketing channel that is proving to be more and more effective is the use of social media influencers in the Middle East. These are people who have amassed large followings for whatever reason, who engage their content and are willing to trust the products they endorse. This can be anyone from an actor, makeup artist or models, it doesn’t really matter, just as long as the follower count is high, and more importantly, real.
In 2017, there were over 1.5 million influencer marketing posts on Instagram alone. By clinging with an influencer, you will often pay them a flat fee to post about your product or service, or even offer them a commission based on sales made in their name. Essentially, this isn’t that different from buying an ad; you just have a captive audience with an element of quality word-of-mouth thrown in.
Some post can include subverting messaging where the influencer tries to organically mention your product or service in a way relevant to their posting style, and others will be more blatant. The primary reason this works, however, is the authenticity and credibility these people have with their followers.
Influencer marketing in the Middle East
Considering the fact that you will find one of the longest populations, and lots of millennials, in the world, in The Middle East, influencer marketing seems like a no-brainer. The influence of social media on young Middle Easterners is significant, and a captive audience this big cannot be ignored by any decent marketing strategist.
A few years ago 25 million people used Instagram in the Middle East with Saudi Arabia laying claim to the most users, along with this has come a lot of region-specific social media influencers who speak directly to this audience. Perpetual have listed some of the most popular social media influencers in the Middle East right now for those considering this very lucrative form of marketing, but be warned, the higher the follower count, the higher the price tag per post.
The who’s who
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
With around 6.7 million followers the Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed knows how to use his Instagram. His lavish lifestyle is on display with surprisingly exceptional photography skills to boot. He can often be seen traveling to remote locations and taking part in extreme sports like skydiving, and snowboarding, while spending a fair bit of time with exotic animals.
He lives an adventurous life and even chucks in some poetry every now and then for which he is published. An entertaining Instagram if ever there was one.
Dallas Al Doub
Instagram is not the only channel where follower numbers are important. Fashion and make-up blogger Dalal Al Doub has around 2.4 million followers on the channel, but also over 657,000 subscribers on Youtube where her views push 31,760,000.
This self-made star started blogging in 2012 just about daily outfits and makeup tips which became extremely popular in the Gulf countries. Now one of the biggest influencers in Kuwait, Dalal’s YouTube channel is big on empowering women with the confidence to become their own stylists and makeup artists, in turn, she has a significant female following.
Njoud Al Shammari
One of the more popular lifestyle bloggers and Youtube sensations from Saudi Arabia is Njoud Al Shammari. With 1.4 million Instagram followers and over 1,642,000 YouTube subscribers, she is currently a considerable influencer based in the UAE.
Her content relates to her personal life, travels and a fair bit of comedy in conjunction with her brothers. She was ranked as one of the most influential female YouTubers in Saudi Arabia due to her engaging content, and she posts a lot of sponsored content for the shampoo company Persil and Starbucks.
Joelle Sardinian is a Lebanese-born TV host who now resides in Dubai; she has 8.8 million Instagram followers and a YouTube audience of over 152,400.
Joelle began as a makeup artist before getting in front of the camera with a popular makeover show that led to her own line of salons, skin and hair products, and plastic surgery clinics. Her beauty empire is one of the largest in the Middle East and now has a reality show based on her family. She is essentially a Middle East Kardashian!
Taim AlFalasi began as a visual communications major who made her own shows in her bedroom called The Taim Show. As one of the first Emirati women to have an internet radio show, her success boomed. Currently, with 2.6 million Instagram followers and over 575,000 YouTube subscribers she maintains the most listened to program across the Arab countries.
Taim Alfalasi posts focus on glamorous travel locations, gourmet food, and luxury clothing as she lives her life of success.
Getting the most out of your marketing strategy
Influencer marketing is a great way to get your products and services to a captive audience. Sure, some of the people in this list may be a little unattainable for smaller businesses, but micro-influencer marketing, which involves people with smaller followings and a cheaper price tag, can also be very effective.
There are other marketing tools on social media to consider as well, however, and all of this can get a little overwhelming. If you are looking for the best marketing strategy based on the intricacies and personality of your business, products, and services, Perpetual can help. Contact us today about a customized marketing strategy that will help get your business in front of the people who will actually be interested in the things you offer. Our team operate out of Bahrain, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait and are experts at helping businesses throughout the Middle East grow.
Make your marketing budget work smarter, not harder, with Perpetual and use all of the modern technologies and tools to your advantage to help bring in more business!