Middle East’s Influencer Marketing domain will hit $1.3-billion valuation in 2023, says report

The report launched by YAAP in conjunction with Khaleej Times says 76.9% marketers consider influencer marketing a top priority for their brand


A Staff Reporter

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Sadia Akhter and Arshad Zaheer at the launch of the report. — Supplied photo
Sadia Akhter and Arshad Zaheer at the launch of the report. — Supplied photo

Published: Mon 8 May 2023, 8:34 PM

The Middle East’s Influencer Marketing domain will reach a valuation of $1.3 billion by 2023, a report has said.

The report titled 'The State of Influencer Marketing in UAE 2023’ was launched by YAAP, a new-age specialised content and influencer marketing company, in conjunction with Khaleej Times. The comprehensive report, a first-of-its-kind deep dive into Middle East’s burgeoning influencer marketing domain, was launched at Khaleej Times’ marketing conclave.

A resounding 76.9 per cent of marketers said that influencer marketing is a top priority for their brand after social media, revealing the growing traction of “influencing” within the branding and advertising industries. While overall influencer marketing budgets have grown considerably in 2023, about 76.5 per cent of marketers have channelled the investments from TV, print, and outdoor to influencers, in a telling revelation about the domain’s prospects.

Interestingly, a whopping 79.3 per cent of respondents felt mid-tier influencers are most important to deliver their brand message, with a majority also underscoring the prominence of socially conscious influencers. The technological imperative found emphasis as 71.8 per cent of marketers expressed they measure the engagement of their influencer marketing campaigns. Broadly, the research hinted at the increasing role of AI in influencer marketing in 2023, with virtual or CGI influencers primed for an uptake.

Launching the report, Sadia Akhter, Partner at YAAP, said the report holds a mirror to the status quo of the domain in the region. “Influencer marketing has gained significant ground in the Middle East, particularly the UAE, necessitating marketers cut across sectoral lines to explore its viability for their businesses. At this juncture marked by heightened interest, lingering hesitancies, and a lack of clarity on potential ROI, our detailed report will be of great consequence, providing much-needed answers and little-known statistics,” Akhter opined.

The research methodology included attaining sector-wide perspectives of CMOs, marketing heads, and digital marketers from leading brands in the region. A few findings reinforced the UAE’s competitive edge globally in influencer marketing and the absorption of supporting technologies.

“Today, influencer marketing is like Facebook was in 2008 — at its nascency compared to its full potential, with early movers gaining a competitive edge and others experiencing a fear of missing out (FOMO). For the marketing industry, it is a tangential moment with influencers beginning to chart a new course. ‘The State of Influencer Marketing in UAE 2023’ report is a reliable guide for those aspiring to venture in that direction with greater clarity and actionable insights,” expressed Arshad Zaheer, senior partner at YAAP.

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