Social media influencers in the Middle East region are generating some of the highest fees in the world. Since the rise of social media, the way businesses are run and promoted is changing rapidly.
Are marketing strategies, which focuses on the billions of users of online networking websites the key to success? Whatever the answer might be, these developments have given birth to a new multi-billion-dollar industry – influencer marketing, in which popular online figures are paid to promote products and services within their social media world.
In the Middle East alone, there is close to 170 million active Facebook users. Latest reports suggest that there are more than 200 YouTube channels in the region that have over a million subscribers. Around 30,000 Middle East-based YouTubers have more than 10,000 followers.
Social media influencers come in various shapes and sizes and across all genres. The ones with millions of followers on their respective social network – considered celebrities in their own right, with real, very passionate fans.
Dubai based Huda Kattan, an Iraqi American makeup artists and millionaire business woman, was determined to be the world’s highest paid social influencer in the first ever Instagram Rich List. She boasts 20.5 million followers and charges $18,000 per post.
However she still has a long way to go to compete with the heavy weights of social media. Entrepreneur Kylie Jenner makes an estimated $1 million per sponsored post on her Instagram. This makes her the highest paid celebrity influencer on the social media platform, according to the 2018 Instagram Rich List compiled by Hopper HQ, an automated Instagram scheduler. Jenner is followed by singer Selena Gomez, who gets $800,000 per sponsored post and star soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo, who earns $750,000.
Meanwhile the micro-influencers have about 10,000 to 100,000 followers. Their networking is increasingly being used to promote businesses, particularly by startups and low-budget players. Interestingly, experts suggest that this category of influencers have more potential for bringing in business as most of their followers are unique and know them personally. Again, the trust level and engagement in one-to-one contact is considered to be higher.
Together, these and other up-and-coming stars contribute to the $1 billion influencer market, which is expected to double in value by the end of the year.