Looking at The Smaller Picture: Micro-Influencers in The Gulf

In the Gulf region, in particularly in Bahrain, one of the most popular social media marketing avenues for businesses to take nowadays is influencer collaborations. Some influencers have upwards of a million followers, but increasingly in 2018, micro-influencers, with far smaller audiences, are becoming the real game-changers.

So, what are the benefits to micro-influencer collaborations? Extensive, but here are the top three.

1.     Credibility Means Higher Engagement

Since you’re reaching out to clients via people they already follow and whose opinion they trust, your message will be more credible. A micro-influencer has the added bonus of higher engagement rates (up to 60% higher than traditional influencers)[1], especially as they’re often more invested in their craft and so their recommendations trustworthy.

Bahrain-based tech geek and influencer Ali Fareed was just a film and video game enthusiast who shared his reviews with fans before he began giving shout-outs to VOX Cinemas and the IGN Convention. His fans interact with him and share their own thoughts, fostering an engaged online community that takes his recommendations for movies seriously.

2.     Cost-Effective Is Long-Term Effective

Smaller followings mean lower fees, but this doesn’t mean less worthwhile results. If you’re able to factor micro-influencer marketing into your budget, you can create ongoing campaigns to build up your brand image organically[2].

This is also where you have to remember to be specific and realistic in your deliverables, so the micro-influencer you’re working with is clear on what their role is as an ambassador.

3.     It’s Not a Push, It’s a Gentle Nudge

Where traditional marketing strategies always run the risk of frustrating consumers, micro-influencers can circumvent ad blockers and clichéd promotions. Multiple studies have shown that consumers rely on influencer recommendations almost as much as their friends.[3]

Food blogs such as Farah Abu Maizar (@everylittlecrumb on Instagram) are a great example of this. By posting shots of new foodie joints in Bahrain, with relevant hashtags and links, she encourages her community to try the same places. As a result, the outlets see not only increased numbers of customers, but also more engaged online communities.

 

Although there are notable advantages to this type of social media marketing everywhere, micro-influencer strategies are even more effective in Bahrain due to the smaller, but highly connected community. The market for small businesses is growing, so budget-friendly and local advertising is not only affordable, but infinitely more impactful.

It is important to approach collaborations with micro-influencers in a goal-oriented way so as to maximize their efficiency.[4] Be specific about your expectations and desired results, gather analytic feedback, know which medium works best for you, and curate an engaged community through targeted influence.

That means being aware of your audience and communicating their needs with your partners to empower them and your future customers.

 

[1] https://medium.com/swlh/why-micro-influencer-marketing-is-the-game-in-2018-fdeda0993c36

[2] https://shanebarker.com/blog/biggest-benefits-social-influencer-marketing/

[3] https://blog.twitter.com/marketing/en_us/a/2016/new-research-the-value-of-influencers-on-twitter.html

[4] http://startupbahrain.com/newsfeatures/hiring-bahraini-social-media-influencer-stop-8-things-know-first/