Influencer marketing has grown to such status in marketing brands and products that fake avatars are being used to fulfill the demand for social media promoters.
But that’s a topic for another story.
Today real influencers are gaining the trust of consumers because of the strategies that these marketers deploy as trust in traditional advertising and media wanes.
The case for Khaled Mazeedi
At just 35, social media influencer and tech entrepreneur Khaled Mazeedi argues that there is one more critical element for social success, and it’s simple, old-fashioned authenticity and charisma.
“It’s difficult for brands (YouTube, TikTok, Instagram) to find the right people to represent them. Social media is filled with people with a large following, but many lack the business acumen, the experience, or the sensitivity to represent a major brand. Those that can set themselves apart through authenticity, however, always bring an edge”, says Mazeedi.
Brands are paying upwards of $10,000 for a sponsored Instagram post and over $20,000 for in-video promotion on YouTube.
A recent report on Business Insider reported that brands are projected to spend up to $15 billion on influencer marketing by 2022.
Influencers like Mazeedi and his household social media brand @Ten have a global reach extending into the Middle East and worked with a number of brands including Lamborghini, Roger Dubious, and Pirelli.
Mazeedi, boasts more than 5.5 million followers on YouTube and Instagram, but his success originated from a string of successful entrepreneurial efforts with a number of businesses including Swipemint, a premium metal credit card company.
Mazeedi applied the same success principles in business to his social influence and claims that people and brands are keen to engage with him because of his unfiltered and authentic content.
“In a region of fakeness, audiences seem to gravitate towards authenticity,” explains Mazeedi.
“Choose your favorite social media platform, and stick to it.”
Mazeedi says has sponsorship deals topping $1million a year from YouTube alone.
CEOs that don’t foresee the importance of social marketing put themselves at a disadvantage, Mazeedi says.
“They are missing out on a huge market segment. As the future of marketing evolves, I am certain that CEOs can’t hide behind their companies and logos. They need to be on the front line, ready for battle.”
The rise of TikTok has thrown up a new breed of influencers across the GCC.
UAE-based influencers are the highest-ranking GCC TikTok influencers as of July 2020, and the top 10 is dominated by Saudi Arabian influencers. The study was conducted by analytics and technology consultancy Anavizio.
According to Fares Ghneim, director at Anavizio, “These new influencers have generated a high fan following and engagement by embracing the format of the platform, with the majority of their content being focused on music, comedy, and dance trends.”
Influencer marketing vs traditional advertising
The following is an excerpt from Jason Falls’ Winfluence: ‘Reframing Influencer Marketing to Ignite Your Brand.’
The largest advertiser in the world Procter & Gamble didn’t spend marketing dollars on mega-influencers with millions of followers. It focused on mid-tier and even smaller influencers with engaged audiences who could persuade those fans to take action.
Procter & Gamble reported a 5% growth in organic sales from its products in fiscal 2019 thanks in part to sales of the Pantene Gold Series.
A survey conducted by Reuters/Ipsos in December 2019 revealed that about 40% of people get most of their news from online and social media showing a trend in consumers’ deteriorating trust in traditional media.
Ipsos’ July 2019 “Trust in the Media” report found 46% of consumers around the world do not have much trust in traditional media, meaning newspapers, magazines, TV, and radio. Further, the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer revealed that 74% of consumers across eight major countries intentionally avoid advertising. 39% said they had found ways to avoid almost all ads.
The Edelman Trust Barometer, a reference for understanding consumer trust also said 63% of people trust influencers’ opinions of products “much more” than what brands say about themselves. And 58% confirmed they had bought a new product in the past 6 months because of an influencer’s recommendation.