The UAE was quick to respond to the growing impact of influencers in the country, when the National Media Council introduced the UAE influencer licence for those who make money from their posts. The licence is similar to the Dubai media licence which magazines and newspapers acquire from the authorities.
However, more regulations shouldn’t be too far behind, following the findings that 84% of UAE influencers do not disclose branded content or partners, in a survey conducted by celebrity and digital marketing consultancy Bukhash Brothers.
A separate study – The 2019 Social Media Influencers Survey, conducted by BPG Group and YouGov – threw into stark relief the fact that four out of five consumers will unfollow influencers based on their promotional content.
It’s all too clear that transparency is crucial if influencers want to maintain an authentic relationship with their following.
Influencers who respect their following can carry a lot of weight for brands: 73% of the Social Media Influencers Survey’s respondents have purchased from a brand, or tried a service mentioned by an influencer.
Perhaps the most important finding – and one that comes as no surprise to PR practitioners – is that 70% of respondents follow an influencer based on the quality and type of content they produce. Developing content that attracts and speaks to consumers will always top superficial posts based on commercial decisions.
Sarah Longbottom is Director of Strategy & Planning at Cicero & Bernay Public Relations, an independent PR agency headquartered in Dubai offering new-age public relations consultancy to the UAE and across the MENA region. | www.cbpr.me