A Social Media Influencer is a user on social media who has established credibility in a specific industry or a community. A social media influencer has access to a large audience and can persuade others by virtue of their authenticity and reach. He or she is not necessarily a VIP, but a person who can °influence° the community around him-her, and for this reason is highly appreciated by brands. We can also talk nowadays about a proper influencer marketing as a form of marketing in which focus is placed on influential people rather than the target market as a whole. It identifies the individuals that have influence over potential buyers, and orients marketing activities around these influencers.
New research from the Online Project finds that marketers are increasingly turning to cash payments to compensate them and budgets for influencers are likely to go up in 2018. A research based on over 1,000 interviews and surveys with decision makers for brands and Fortune 500 companies in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, found that almost 25 percent of markets spent over $25,000 in influencer marketing initiatives in the last 12 months.
In the UAE it will be mandatory to register for a government-issued license for social media influencers making money from promoting brands and businesses.
On February 28, the National Media Council launched a new electronic media regulation system. Anyone involved in electronic media commercial activities will need to register and have a licence before the end of June.
Penalties for failing to do so include fines up to Dh5,000, verbal or official warning, and/or closure of the website or account.
NMC director general Mansour Ibrahim Al Mansouri said:
The new regulations are part of the Council’s plan to promote and develop an advanced legislative and regulatory environment for the UAE media sector, keeping it up-to-speed with regards to all technological developments that have transformed media in recent times. Today, electronic media has become a highly influential and widespread tool; it is imperative that we enhance its reliability. Digital media is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the Middle East, especially videos, games and e-books. Regulating this sector will attract new global investments, which, in turn, will improve its development and competitiveness.
Ahmad Bashour, general manager of ITP Live, one of the region’s largest social influencer agencies, said
This is great news for the influencer marketing industry here in the UAE, brands, agencies, platforms and professional influencers will only benefit from this positive step.
He said this also shows that the government acknowledges that influencers are now a part of the overall media landscape.
I personally do not think it is going to affect our business or anything like that, it will be a credential. Regulation brings stability; and if there are certain requirements before new influencers get the license, we’ll keep the standard high.
We wish to have a meet-and-greet and see what we need as social media people to be successful, because at the end of the day we are promoting the UAE so there should be a bridge where we can express ideas.