The emergence of influence in the Middle East

Over the past five years, macro-influence has become increasingly important in the Middle East market. Indeed, following the strong increase in the number of users of social networks such as Instagram or platforms such as YouTube in the region, the phenomenon of macroinfluencers was very quickly monopolized by many brands, in order to increase their notoriety and to get closer to consumers who are not always easy to get.

An emerging market of influence

With a religion at the centre, the influence market in the Middle remained shy for a long time but is now emerging exponentially: Facebook, with 164 million active users per month in the region, has seen its number of users increase by 56 million over the past five years. Saudi Arabia has the highest annual growth of social network users with a rate reaching 32% between January and 2017 and January 2018. And that’s not all! The number of YouTube channels has increased by 160% over the last three years. Social networks are thus becoming an essential communication channel for brands and offer interesting prospects for companies wishing to internationalize.

Governments have tried to regulate this growing market by creating licenses for paid influencers: at a cost of up to $4,000 per year, 1,700 licenses have already been granted. But the process is still a little chaotic. Moreover, the agencies have not yet fully understood this market and only offer influencers financial offers, without really taking an interest in the values they defend. Indeed, some of them cost between $3,000 and $250,000, figures that allow them to be among the most expensive influencers in the world.


Influencers in the Middle East: a real opportunity for brands

According to the fashion magazine L’Officiel, 60% of Internet users in the Middle East use Instagram compared to only 42% in the rest of the world. These 63 million users represent 10% of Instagram’s global community. The influencers present on this social network have thus a significant visibility.

Luxury brands are increasingly interested in Instagram influencers because their traditional clothes are often accompanied by many accessories, whether leather goods or jewellery. Moreover, passionate about cosmetics, they regularly share their beauty tips with their millions of subscribers on YouTube, a platform widely used in the region with more than 200 channels with more than a million subscribers. This is the case of Sadaf Beauty, an Iranian influencer followed by 2.1 million people on Instagram. Number one in the Middle East, Sadaf Beauty is the second most influential beauty blogger in the world, according to Forbes magazine.


A still timid nano-influence

Macro-influence is already very strong in the region, while nano-influence is slowly emerging. This is why Sampleo has decided to seize this opportunity and set up this year to offer brands marketing solutions that use the authenticity and recommendation power of nanoinfluencers to enable them to get closer to their consumers. 

If you want to know more, contact us.

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