Is the Influencers 'Influenza' Damaging Online Ads in These GCC Countries?!

Published March 4th, 2020 - 11:32 GMT
Is the Influencers Influenza Damaging Online Ads in These GCC Countries?
More and more companies are preferring to hire internet people with a considerable number of followers to boost their marketing efforts. (Ramy Khoury/Al Bawaba)

The growing number of internet influencers may be angering many people around the world. Yet, their success and popularity seem to be a great asset to brands looking to promote their products and services in the GCC.

The Digital 2020 report published by DataReportal most recently, highlighted several important figures in relevance to e-commerce and online marketing in the Middle East, revealing exceptionally high numbers of Internet and social media users.

The report detailed Internet use in the world, with the UAE and Kuwait ranking first in terms of social media access; reaching up to 99% of the population in the country. Saudi Arabia came in 11th place worldwide.

Unexpectedly, the report pointed out that e-commerce rates in Saudi Arabia and the UAE were less than the world average and that users in these countries are less likely to click on online ads. The only difference is that only 48% of KSA's users can be targeted by Facebook ads, while 95% of Internet users in the UAE have been targeted using those ads.

Interesting enough, it seems like consumers in these countries seem to have more confidence in social media influencers when it comes to their shopping tendencies, preferring to follow people who promote different products to exploring online ads pushed through many websites.

These figures may be explained by the popularity of social media influencers in GCC countries and their role in promoting numerous services and products.


In 2018, Gulf News reported that UAE-based influencers charge between $1,000 and $10,000 per post or video, while world-class celebrities cost advertising companies millions of dollars per ad. 

Additionally, about 67% of the UAE-based influencers surveyed by Gulf News said they accepted free products or services instead of money payments.

More and more companies are preferring to hire influencers with a considerable number of followers to boost their marketing efforts, as influencers' highest rates are still much lower than those demanded by celebrities, making them a better marketing option. Maybe the shoppers, do like to trust the good old human touch over machine intelligence in some areas after all!


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