Shams Talks reviews challenges and opportunities for Influencer Marketing in the UAE
Posted on 2022 Sep,06

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 In the relationship dynamic between influencers and brands it is key to allow content creators to deliver messages in their own creative ways, said social media marketing experts at the latest edition of the Shams Talks series organised by Sharjah Media City on Wednesday.

Sharjah Media City (Shams) hosted the edition of the Shams Talks initiative discussing the investment value of influencer marketing. Experts and influencers in the field joined the discussion moderated by Pulse 95 Radio presenter, Aisha Al Mazmi.

“When you give content creators and influencers rigid guidelines and ask them to deliver things expecting millions of views, it just doesn’t work, it’s a waste of your money and their time,” said Ali Ozbay, Regional Director of Marketing and Communications, Rixos Hotels.

“In my experience we got better content and more views when we gave the creators and influencers their creative space. It comes down to if you know it better, then you do it,” he added.

Emirati content creator and media personality Shurouq Lashkri Alblooshi echoed these statements. She said that the biggest challenge she faces while working with brands is expectations.

“Clients would want the moon but pay for the bus,” she said. “Growing and knowing what you’re giving as an influencer is very important.

“In a digitalised world, it is very important to be unique and differentiate yourself and your online presence from others. Companies seek influencers who offer an advantage others don’t. Mastering the art of making your social media profile stand out opens new doors for collaborations and offers more exposure.”

Ozbay also stated that creativity should be left to the influencers and content creators. “The brand needs to do its research and due diligence and provide a clear brief and the  execution should be left to the creators.”

Hadi Hajjar, Co-Founder of Hu Management, said: “Influencer marketing has shaped the industry in a very proactive and effective way by bridging the gap and interacting directly with the audience and allowing interactivity; that’s only if it’s done in the proper way and using the right KPIs.”

“Influencer Marketing has gone from being a fad to a necessity,” said Joey Tawil, Chief Operating Officer of OMNES Media.

“Brands' audiences believe them more than they believe the brand. But influencers can help their followers believe in your brand. It is important to remember that influencers do not exist on their own, they need a channel to reach their audience, otherwise, they are celebrities who make claims as opposed to being opinion leaders who inspire change,” he said. “Having brands and influencers at the same table is simply good business.”

Alyazya Alghufli from the Sharjah Government Media Bureau said that the Emirate of Sharjah accords highest significance to the media image of the Emirate of Sharjah, especially in the sphere of social media communication.

“As social media is of huge importance in communicating information quickly and for the largest possible segment, the Sharjah Government Media Bureau is sponsoring this aspect in order to unify the media message and enhance the media perception of the Emirate.”

Alghufli stated that the Sharjah Government Media Bureau holds a large database of social media influencers and oversees government and semi-government engagements to ensure the right influencer is tied up with the right project.

“We give a lot of care and diligence in ensuring that our government and semi- government organisations tie up with the right profiles through our internal committee,” she said.

“The process is online, takes up to 48 hours and is one of the quickest government services available for those requesting a social media influencer in Sharjah — and it is provided exclusively by Sharjah Government Media Bureau”.

The panel discussion series, Shams Talks, is an interactive digital initiative that aims to tackle various relevant issues and topics to advance the media sector and educate industry entrepreneurs and professionals. The series also allows them to benefit from international best practices and success stories to grow their ventures.The initiative allows young talents to bring their ideas to the table and debate media- related topics, among other sectors. It aims to create a constructive and engaging media environment, which, in turn, resonates with Shams’ mission to empower entrepreneurs and strengthen the media’s role as part of the economic system in the Emirate of Sharjah and the UAE. The first session of the series examined User- Generated Content and its Effect on Brands and the second session discussed Grow Your Business On TikTok.