Influencer marketing in UAE and rise of fake influencers

Influencer-marketing-in-UAE-and-rise-of-fake-influencers
Influencer marketing in UAE and rise of fake influencers
Behlul M
August 14, 2017

‘Influencer marketing’ is widely acknowledged to be the fastest growing marketing segment globally. It has a growth rate of 90% since 2013. Its success is due to the rapid adoption of ad-blocking by consumers and evidence of “banner blindness” in traditional display advertising.

So, Who is an influencer?

An influencer is quite simply someone who carries more credibility over people within a certain network. A social media influencer is someone who wields that credibility through social media. If he/she has an expertise in a certain field and can influence a group of people (50-100+) then it is valid to call them an influencer. This influencer market itself is a billion-dollar industry but UAE influencers get paid the most in terms of endorsement deals and amount paid per post.

UAE consumers are increasingly listening to what local influencers say. Evidence of this comes with a recent survey by the Dubai PR agency BPG Cohn & Wolfe, which found that 71% of UAE residents aged 18 to 40 are happy to take advice from influencers before making a purchase.

Go on to Instagram and every moment you’re on there, you’ll see a lot of dazzling images, filled with beautiful people whose profile you envy. If only influencer marketing was as simple as:

  • Choose someone with a high follower count
  • Get them to put up a post for you
  • Expect great engagement and results

But sadly such steps are easy only on paper. A lot of work goes behind in finding out the right influencer for your brand and being able to differentiate the right one from a fake one.

Alongside hardworking influencers who have been building their following since the beginning, we have also witnessed the rise of several fake accounts. These fake accounts can easily pass off as legitimate influencers. People who do not want to put in the time, effort and creativity that takes to be an influencer, usually just buy followers through several websites through which computer programmed bots follow these accounts and increase a ‘wannabe’ influencer’s follower numbers, superficially boosting their status.

How can this be bad for your brand?

If you can spend AED 500 to post a video on Instagram with 50,000 followers in your niche, that’s a pretty great deal. The only problem is when all or most of those 50,000 followers are fake.

These fake influencers can be harmful to your social marketing efforts. They will charge you a lot and won’t deliver the results you’re looking for and end up harming the real influencers who have worked hard for their following due to the distrust and failed results. They can damage your brand’s reputation and cause your fans and loyal customers to lose trust in your brand.

Hence, choosing the right kind of influencer for your brand is crucial to your influencer marketing strategy, because numbers only show a part of the story.

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