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Branded influencer content partnerships key to marketers’ playbook

With media spend on the global influencer market expected to approach $6 billion this year, a new research report has been released by Snapchat and MCN. 

It revealed how content creators and brand-sponsored content could push the industry even further. 

The study called “Unleashing Influence: A Marketer’s Guide to Influencer Success” explored users’ perceptions and preferences across five countries including Australia, France, Saudi Arabia (KSA), The United States of America (USA), and the United Kingdom (UK).

The inclusive group of participants in the study, from different generations and diverse demographics, shared thoughts on influencers and how they feel about brands sponsoring influencer content on social media.

Rasha El Ghoussaini, Head of Agency, Snap Inc. MENA, said: “Snapchat offers creators a space where they can grow a community and build businesses while being their true genuine selves. Authenticity drives brand trust and consideration and creators at all stages come to Snapchat because they are seeking environments that allow them to build real connections with their communities,” 

“Snapchat is that special place where people stay connected with those who matter the most to them on a daily basis from family to friends and their favourite creators, and we see that with users in the GCC, Snapchat is visited over 45 times a day, making it the most frequently used app throughout the day.”

In KSA, tutorials and restaurant reviews were the top product-related creator content that people watched, unveiling an area of opportunity for local marketers.

Whilst social media users proved to be receptive and actively engaged with influencer content, there was also a clear imperative for brands to use certain criteria to align with the right influencers on the right platforms. 

Trust was the leading criteria. Despite that, 64 per cent of social media users either ‘don’t’ or ‘somewhat’ trust creators, highlighting a need for brands to prioritise the trust factor when choosing creators.

Rami Gholmieh Regional Director of Influencer Marketing at MCN, said: “Authenticity is and will remain the ultimate influencer currency, facilitating long-term and authentic connections between brand and consumer. Integrating Influencer Marketing at the heart of our connected solutions at MCN enables rich, impactful and more engaging campaigns for our clients,” 

Honesty was the #1 trait (78 per cent) that brands could seek from influencers to drive engagement in brand-sponsored content, more than creativity (66 per cent) and charisma or “rizz” (56 per cent). 

In KSA, the top 3 drivers for trusting creators were their ability to portray a realistic life (69 per cent), provide evidence and data (67 per cent) and share personal experiences (65 per cent). Moreover, 89 per cent said transparency about sponsorship increased the likelihood of brand engagement.