Lara Saleh on Influencer Marketing to Get More Personalized and Immersive for Dubai’s Diverse Audience

Archana Mishra
Content Manager
August 30, 2023
min read
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When it comes to influencer marketing in Dubai, things have really shifted gears. Marketers have moved from those occasional celebrity partnerships to a much smarter and strategic game plan. This new approach blends in micro-influencers, hones in on specific audiences, and gets a boost from data-driven strategies.

Lara Saleh, PR, influencers and social media manager for  Maison 21G, a perfume manufacturing company, explains about Dubai’s influencer marketing landscape.  From sharing the challenges to giving a peek into  the future where influencer marketing is heading towards a data-driven strategy, with a mix of  AI-generated content and augmented reality magic to the mix.

Let us find out more about it.

In the bustling shopping landscape of Dubai, where international brands hold court, let's dive into the role that influencer marketing takes on. How has this role evolved over the years in this dynamic city?

Influencer marketing in Dubai has progressed from infrequent celebrity collaborations to a highly organized and strategic approach combining micro-influencers, niche audiences, and data-driven initiatives. In order to use influencers’ credibility and reach in a more natural and focused way, brands are increasingly putting more of an emphasis on their authenticity, engagement, and long-term connections with them. Regulations and transparency standards have also been put in place to guarantee ethical actions in influencer marketing.

It's intriguing to see how influencer marketing factors in Dubai. But Due to inflation, consumers prioritized necessities over luxury products last year. Still, reports suggest the luxury sector remained robust. How does influencer marketing support the growth of luxury and necessities?

Influencer marketing plays a dual role in supporting the growth of both the luxury and necessities sectors in the UAE, even during times of inflation. For the luxury sector, influencers can showcase aspirational lifestyles and endorse high-end products, maintaining brand desirability among affluent consumers. In the necessities sector, influencers can highlight the value and utility of essential products, aiding consumers in making informed purchasing decisions during cost-conscious times. By effectively targeting their audiences, influencers contribute to sustaining demand and adapting consumer behavior in both market segments.

When brands launch influencer marketing campaigns in Dubai, what are the typical challenges they frequently encounter?

When implementing influencer marketing campaigns, brands in Dubai face a number of common challenges, such as navigating cultural sensitivities, adhering to strict regulatory guidelines, choosing suitable influencers, establishing the right balance between authenticity and marketing, accurately measuring ROI, controlling budgets, maintaining content control, negotiating terms, building sustainable relationships, addressing a saturated market, ensuring audience authenticity, localizing activations and content, and adapting to evolving trends. In order to engage Dubai’s diverse and competitive audience while maintaining brand integrity and campaign objectives, successful campaigns must carefully take into account these variables.

Given the widespread popularity of TikTok and Instagram in Dubai, what approach would be most effective in utilizing these two platforms?

Marketers can optimize their influencer marketing efforts on TikTok and Instagram by tailoring their strategies to each platform’s unique characteristics. On TikTok, focusing on creative, short-form video content that aligns with trending challenges and themes can foster virality and engagement. Leveraging user-generated content and collaborating with micro-influencers can enhance authenticity. On Instagram, a mix of photo and video content can be used, including Stories, Reels, and IGTV. Utilizing influencers with a strong following and high engagement rate within specific niches can target well-defined audiences effectively. Across both platforms, maintaining transparency, authenticity, and relevance to the platform’s user base is paramount for successful influencer marketing campaigns.

In the UAE, customers are increasingly drawn to companies that provide personalized shopping journeys. How does influencer marketing empower brands to deliver such tailored experiences?

Influencer marketing allows brands to provide a personalized purchasing experience by leveraging influencers' relatability and connection with their followers. Influencers share authentic stories and testimonials about products, demonstrating how they fit into their own lives. This relatable content helps consumers envision the product’s relevance to their own needs and preferences. Additionally, influencers can address specific questions, concerns, and feedback, creating a dialogue that tailors the purchasing process to individual customers. This personalized approach enhances trust, engagement, and the overall shopping experience, leading to more informed and satisfying buying decisions.

How are influencers in Dubai maintaining trust and authenticity?

Overall, maintaining trust and authenticity in Dubai’s influencer landscape involves a combination of transparency, genuine engagement, relatability, and a commitment to delivering valuable and truthful content to their followers. Instead of just promoting products, influencers in Dubai often share personal experiences and stories related to the products they endorse. This narrative approach connects on a more emotional level with their followers. Also, encouraging followers to share their experiences with endorsed products generates authentic content that reinforces the influencer’s credibility. Influencers who consistently uphold their personal values and beliefs, even in their collaborations, demonstrate legitimacy to their audience.

Any brand(s) that come to mind when you think, “what a great way to market to consumers”?

Nike frequently comes to mind when discussing creative and successful consumer marketing methods. Nike has often shown that it has a thorough understanding of its target market and the capacity to emotionally connect with customers. For instance, their “Just Do It” has become recognizable, motivating people to exceed their expectations and adopt a positive outlook. Nike encourages inclusivity and diversity in its advertising, featuring real-life events and tales that speak to a variety of people. Nike also uses a variety of venues, including as social media, influencer alliances, and experiential marketing, to develop a unified and engaging brand narrative that captivates and inspires customers.

Additionally, GoPro, the well-known manufacturer of action cameras, has successfully capitalized on user-generated video to drive its marketing success. By enabling explorers, athletes, and regular people to use GoPro cameras to record and share their exhilarating experiences, the company has built a community-driven ecosystem that highlights the adaptability and robustness of its products. GoPro’s marketing strategy efficiently taps into consumer desires to capture and share their adventures by focusing on the thrill and authenticity of real-life moments. This approach not only showcases the potential of GoPro cameras but also promotes solidarity among users, converting them into ardent brand advocates.

What does the future of influencer marketing in Dubai  look like to you?

Influencer marketing in the UAE is expected to go in the direction of more targeted and data-driven tactics, with a focus on specialized micro-influencers, AI-driven content, and augmented reality experiences. While e-commerce integration and long-term partnerships between companies and influencers will deepen customer involvement, collaborations will focus sustainability and ethical ideals. Transparency and cultural relevance will continue to be crucial, and prospective legislative changes could further alter the environment. Influencer marketing will develop into a more personalized, immersive, and genuine channel for marketers to connect with the varied and discerning UAE audience as technology improves.

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