Social Killed the Video Star

By: Varun Tikku – WAVIT Copywriter

The Social Phenomenon 

Influencer marketing is extremely popular in the MENA region for the simple reason that it gets results, a study by YouGov stated that 73% admitted to purchasing a product after an influencer has brought it to their attention. Marketers are well aware of the effect influencers have on their audiences, exemplified by the fact that over half of the marketers in MENA use this technique and 94% believe it has been successful. 

While it is clearly an effective strategy overall, some fine tuning needs to be done to ensure you have the right influencer for the job. You need campaigns that effectively target your audience, to do so you need to identify said audience and find an influencer who already appeals to this group to deliver your message. 

3 Requisite Rs 

  1. Reach 
  2. Relevance 
  3. Relationship 

Many mistakenly believe that reach is the most important metric, believing that if they can get their message out to as many people as possible, it will result in higher KPI. However, in reality this is likely to alienate many of the people who view the campaign, causing reduced interest in the brand you wish to promote. This leads into the topic of relevance; as everybody views content more frequently, nobody wants to watch something that isn’t tailored for them anymore. 

The key to any successful marketing campaign is the relationship your client forms with your audience. Yet, when it comes to influencer marketing, this relationship is completely dependent upon both your relationship with your influencer and more importantly, the influencer’s relationship with their audience. Engagement is by far, the most important metric when choosing your influencer, you need to know their audience demographics, how high their engagement rates are, as well as how relevant they are in relation to your client’s product. 

The Golden Age of Video 

The exponential explosion of social media and VOD platforms led to the death of offline television broadcasting long ago. While some of the older generations still watch offline television, hardly any of the younger generations do. Celebrities hold far less sway over people than they used to, this has been exacerbated by recent events driving people further towards online and short form video. Also, influencers usually live a far less lavish lifestyle than celebrities, which may help the audience to see them and their views as more relatable and authentic.  

While every agency has its own categorization system with several tiers of influencers, we will be focusing on the hidden gems that are micro influencers. Not only do they require less investment, but they also boast an incredible engagement rate that is 7 times higher than the average macro influencer. They have less reach, but their communities are tighter knit so this is more of a benefit than a hinderance, this sense of inclusion they provide makes their audiences feel heard. Gen Z is the most active demographic on social media; hence, micro influencers are a direct line to younger audiences, making them all the more vital for the future. 

While finding the right influencer for your content is vital, the content itself is just as important. Video is the format with the highest engagement rate across all platforms, this content is so prevalent that 75% of millennials watch a video per day and by 2022 it is predicted to account for 82% of all online traffic. 87% of users have expressed interest in branded video content, yet it is high quality content that truly resonates within the audience. To catch the consumers’ eye, your content cannot simply attract new users, your campaign must be insightful enough to generate buzz via word of mouth to motivate existing followers to both aid in promotion and to view your content multiple times. To stand out in the sea of influencer marketing, the onus is on your content to deliver a message that rings true to your audience. 

Play to Your Strengths 

Influencers, especially micro influencers, are an essential tool for any marketer as their ROI is outstanding when the right person is picked for the job. However, this is the most challenging aspect of influencer marketing. As a BPG Cohn & Wolfe Influencer Survey states; 55% of brands’ greatest challenge was trying to find the right fit, followed by 41% having issues with negotiating terms. 

Marketing within MENA, the UAE and Saudi Arabia in particular, is heavily determined by influencers. Globally, brands have been focusing more upon a high local following while selecting influencers, to ensure that their message is delivered to a focused target audience. UAE influencers have an average of 20 – 30% local following, while Saudi influencers’ local following can be above 50 – 60%. These extraordinary figures tell us that there is a gold mine of influencers in these regions who have a direct line to a variety of local demographics that every marketer needs to utilize. 

While the process of finding the perfect foot for your glass slipper is arduous, the reward of finding the one is immeasurable.