What Drives Social Media Influencers To Engage With Brands

Following two surveys by BPG Orange that analyzed brand’s and consumer’s perception of social media influencers, BPG Orange has turned the spotlight on influencers to understand what drives them to engage with brands in the UAE.

The third part of the influencer survey revealed that majority of influencers (67%) were inspired to become social media personalities to make an impact and drive real change in consumer behavior and attitude in the UAE. Only 16 percent of respondents cited that they became influencers to grow their online popularity and a mere 11 per cent said they did it for financial gain.

“I didn’t plan to become a social media influencer — it just happened by itself. As the organic following started to grow, I felt compelled to be able to make a positive impact and inspire people to make healthier, informed and more self-confident changes. It should never be about ego, popularity or financial gain,” commented one of the respondents.

When it comes to the most powerful platforms to engage with consumers, a majority (70%) ranked Instagram as the most important platform, followed by blogs (57%) and YouTube (20%). This was followed by Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

A majority of respondents indicated they worked with between one to three brands per month across ambassadorships, product reviews and service trials and sponsored content. Product reviews and serviced trials were the most popular method of brand engagement, followed by sponsored content.

This throws up a very important question — do influencers disclose sponsored content to their audiences? An overwhelming 70 percent of respondents said they chose to disclose this to their audience through hashtags or disclaimer statements.

Influencers revealed in the survey they also face challenges in their collaboration with brands. Insufficient financial compensation topped the list of challenges followed by tight timelines and overly restrictive content guidelines.

“The most surprising finding from this survey was the challenge influencers face in regards to financial compensations as we have witnessed an increase in client budgets to accommodate influencer marketing campaigns. According to our previous influencers survey, 43 percent of brands indicated that they had spent anywhere from between USD 1000-10,000 per social media influencer campaign in the UAE,” said Taghreed Oraibi, BPG Orange PR Director.

When it comes to compensation, a majority (76%) of influencers said that they accepted payment through free products or experiences, while 66 percent said they charged per post or video.

A large number of respondents (94%) said they charged between 1,000-5,000 USD per post, while a minority (5%) said they charged between 5,000-10,000 USD per post. They also offered an explanation for the hefty price tag — including the time invested in creating the content, money invested in content production, personal expenses during the partnership and money spent in promoting or boosting posts.

The most significant metric of success for influencers is the number of comments and interactions (85%), impressions (72%) and re-engagement from brands on additional assignments (71%).

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