A recent article in Campaign Middle East revealed the somewhat disappointing – if not unsurprising – fact that 84% of UAE influencers do not disclose branded content or brand partners, and only 44 per cent disclose paid partnerships.
The numbers were taken from a survey conducted by celebrity and digital marketing consultancy Bukhash Brothers, in which they interviewed 100 leading influencers from the UAE to analyse and identify trends and behaviours.
The research showed 84% of influencers do not “disclose in a clear manner any brand integrations or branded content” that is posted. And only 44% use the “paid partnership” tag on Instagram to declare when they’re being paid by brands.
How important is it that influencers are transparent when featuring and recommending products for commercial reasons? Extremely important, is the short answer.
Consumers today are extremely savvy and look for influencers – and brands – that they trust and respect. Another recent survey, by BPG Group and YouGov, found that four out of five respondents in the UAE and KSA had unfollowed social media influencers due to the promotional content they post. Around 73% of respondents said that, even if an influencer didn’t clearly identify paid promotions, it was obvious to them as followers.
In the second part of this blog, we will look at what motivates consumers to follow certain influencers and not others.
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