There is no getting away from influencers … if anything their impact in channelling a brand’s communication has only gained in stature. So says a new survey issued by BPG Cohn & Wolfe, which interviewed more than 100 in-house marketing and communication consultants as well as brand managers in various industries.
Almost half of those polled already work with social media influencers in the region to market their brand. This in turn represents a “significant shift from traditional advertising methods”.
Budgets for social media marketing is also on the up and up, with 43 per cent of brands indicating that they had spent anywhere from between $1,000-$10,000 per social media influencer campaign in the UAE.
And 34 per cent indicated that they would spend anywhere between $10,000 and $50,000 on a single influencer led campaign. The majority of marketeers, 63 per cent, said that they believe the fees requested by social media influencers are reasonable.
A majority of brand owners believe influencer marketing enabled them to tap into the digital community and more effectively reach their target audience. They also believe it generated a “good” marketing return on investment.
“Almost half of all brands, 45 per cent, said they have appointed agencies to manage social media influencers, while 63 per cent use an influencer directory to source influencers’ contacts and manage the engagement themselves,” said Taghreed Oraibi, BPG Cohn & Wolfe PR Director — Consumer Practice. “It shows that the market is definitely getting more sophisticated and focused on using digital platforms for customer engagement and conversations.”
Participating brands also identified some of the key attributes they looked for in influencers. Topping the list at 39 per cent was that the influencer must be a popular person in the community and have a large following and appealing content.”
But there also challenge to surmount. Chief among them was in “finding relevant influencers”, which was what 55 per cent of respondents said. This was followed by “negotiating terms and conditions” at 41 per cent, and “communicating during an assignment” at 39 per cent.
Also, there remain gaps between what influencers expect and marketers deciding what is in it for them. A majority of influencers expect to be compensated based on the number of deliverables (posts, images, videos, etc), rather than the “success of a campaign” through actual and measurable results (driving up sales, website visits, etc.).
Only six per cent of marketeers said that they compensated influencers based on such results or cost per acquisition (CPA).
Openness and transparency are also emerging a grey area as 63 per cent of brands say they “occasionally” request social media influencers to publish a disclaimer or reveal that their content is sponsored. However 24 per cent never require it and 12 per cent find it necessary to add a disclaimer through a statement or the use of hashtags such as #Ad or #sponsored.