When done right, vlogger and influencer marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach relevant audiences and deliver results, which is why it will continue to spiral into a multibillion dollar industry over the next five to seven years. At the same time gender equity and equal pay for men and women in the workforce is not a fairness issue. It’s a smart business strategy that is essential for companies and individuals in the Middle East to compete globally for scarce and in-demand highly skilled talent necessary to win in the economy of the future. This is what we focus on in the MembersClub in cooperation with knowledge centers, mentors and tutors.
The challenge companies and individuals face is clear and well documented. When we studied 20 major economies around the world in our “Future@Work” research, we uncovered some startling numbers that should serve as a wake-up call for corporate leadership across the world. Bottom-line for us operating mainly in the Mena region, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) a lone already has as much as possible 50 billion US-Dollar in unrecognized economic output at risk if we don’t fill a gap also through the MembersClub of more than 110,000 skilled workers by 2030.
In the Middle East we also have a significant gender equality problem in the workplace that could be easily flipped through the MembersClub into a strategic economic growth opportunity. Today, women are far too under-represented in the workplace as well as at the executive level of companies in the Mena region.
This is where smart institutions like Inventive Ventures through its MembersClub and surroundings, related business concepts that recognize the untapped potential of a huge segment of the workforce in the Middle East can make a major dent in this looming talent gap and better position them through the MembersClub to compete and win in the economy of the future.
Companies need to proactively seek out and attract with smart business concepts top female talent into core business roles that enable them to gain crucial experience that positions them to contribute at higher levels of the organization or entrepreneurship and therefore compete for higher leveraged and higher paying jobs. Next comes broadening the experience, learning and most important professional development opportunities presented to high potential women.
The platform “brandmatch.ae” provides millennials therefore an opportunity to associate with brands as vloggers or influencers to promote these brands in the region of the Middle East. The National Media Council (NMC) in the UAE recently implemented an e-media legislation with three clear tiers for the country’s existing and upcoming influencers who want to continue collaborating with brands:
- Influencers can buy an individual license (15,000 – DHS plus trade license)
- Influencers can buy a partnership license (15,000 – DHS plus trade license)
- Influencers can get registered under an official NMC – approved influencer agency like brandmatch.ae which is currently under the registration process.
With NMC – approved agencies being able to register influencers under their license, brandmatch intends to provide millennials the opportunity through its platform to work on brand collaborations without footing the cost of an individual license, so long as they are registered exclusively with one agency.
While a lot of people are talking about the benefits of influencer and vlogger marketing campaigns, the reality is that it is quite difficult, time-consuming and very manual process. Whether you are an individual, an SME or already a big brand, the same frustrations exist when trying to bring an influencer – led marketing campaign to life. These problems include finding and booking the right influencers, pricing issues, performance-tracking issues and concerns about the actual effectiveness of a campaign that you are investing time and money into.
As anyone with a vested interest in influencer marketing knows, finding genuine influencers is also a real issue in the industry; you have definitely to distinguish between big numbers and real influence. In the meanwhile we are all aware of fake accounts, fake followers and fake engagement – this all exists in today’s social sphere. However, platforms – like brandmatch – are implementing tech – and blockchain solutions that allow for a vigorous vetting process.
There are thousands claiming the influencer status as anyone with a smartphone can try for example to reach YouTube’s audience of 1.9 billion signed-up users. At the same time the size of the YouTube creator economy is hard to estimate. Alphabet, Google’s parent company, does not even break out YouTube’s revenue. But the number of channels making more than 100,000 US-Dollar a year has increased by 40% year on year, according to the company. YouTube revenues to be in the high teens of billions of dollars. Of the 1.7 billion views YouTube received in the first quarter, 84% were for the self-created content of so-called influencers. This growth and scale has created a really wonderful opportunity for creators being able to reach a global audience and build a real business.
Vloggers have been a key part of the YouTube model since its early days. In May 2007, more than two years after the platform was launched, it brought in the rule where creators receive 55% of the revenue their videos generate – which has since expanded to 97 countries.
Now advertising is not the only option – or even the majority of incomes for vloggers. As larger creators started making the most of their money from partnerships with brands. But brands need to understand the data behind the social media masks in order to determine whether or not they have real influence. The audience size, engagement, and audience demographics all need to be analyzed. As such, brandmatch has evolved to facilitate the process through from start to finish. We are following in the NMC’s footsteps when it comes to advocating not only the transparency of paid collaborations but also the transparency of its influencer terms.
The need for influencer marketing solutions stems from the social shift that’s happening. Rather than using one or two macro influencers, there is a trend that brands are investing in the micro influencers, with the assistance of platforms like brandmatch.ae that can assist with the logistics, insights and performance of running such campaigns effectively. In simple terms, a group of micro-influencers can achieve the same or sometimes even better results as a macro-influencer for a lot less money. For a lot of micro-influencers the hardest part is getting noticed. Mathias Bärtl, a professor at Offenburg University of Applied Sciences in Germany, found that the top 3% of YouTube channels received 90% of the site’s views in 2016, up from about two-thirds in 2006, shortly after YouTube started. Therefore, if your children want to become YouTube stars to make millions of dollars you should do them a favor and crush their ambition now.
So far it is evident that brands are waking up to the over-commercialization of macro influencers. They are tapping into the behavioral trends of their consumers who are statistically proven to be much more likely to follow the recommendation made by a micro-influencer.
Overall, it is about targeting your key consumers and ensuring you reach them through the right people and right channels. Working with and enlarging the group of micro influencers especially in the region of the Middle East is not only a move that triggers better ROI (return of investment), it is also a safer option for brands since the micros do not have the celebrity status that can cause a global outcry like for example Logan Paul this year, who created a storm of controversy by showing an apparent suicide victim in one of his videos, who has 18 million subscribers for his channel, more than Adele (17.8 million) or Beyoncé (17.1 million).
We will determine the level of engagement and deliver relevant, quantifiable data for those investing in influencer marketing campaigns, thus taking out key risks for businesses and brands.
Unless the likes of Facebooks, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat disappear, influencer marketing won’t be going anywhere. One example for this is Nash Grier, who became a star on the now defund Vine, a six-second video platform owned by Twitter. In our opinion brands will be required to work with adtech platforms like brandmatch and connect with aligned content creators for compelling campaigns especially in the Middle East that can reach relevant audiences via social media channels.
Influencer marketing is here to stay, so it’s time for us all to become more socially savvy, budget conscious and data driven.
Once Inventive Venture has been able to collect sufficient datas through its platform brandmatch, it will implement tools like artificial intelligence to constantly optimize its influencer marketing strategies to be able to achieve constantly improving results for the brands utilizing the platform.
As the Expo 2020 comes closer and closer for Dubai the platform brandmatch is not only limited to influencer marketing strategies for brands seeking access in the region of the Middle East. Brandmatch is as well a platform which assists international brands and companies to have the right access to exhibition hostesses, catering companies, bar tenders, fit out companies, furniture suppliers as well as electronic devices suppliers up to flyer designers and printing agencies. Brandmatch is the platform which helps and assists brands and companies to match with the right people in the region to professionally represent their company and brands and to provide access to an audience which is interested in their specific brand.