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Ultimate guide to Instagram influencer marketing in Saudi Arabia

Ultimate guide to Instagram influencer marketing in Saudi Arabia

Social media and influencer marketing have proven more important and resilient than ever today. With increased consumption of digital media during quarantine, the demand for digital content is at an all time-high. 

Download a free database of top Saudi influencers to get you started!

UAE KSA Saudi online consumption ramadan covid19

Saudi Arabia online consumption (including social media browsing) increases during COVID19, especially during Ramadan. Source: YouGov

According to a recent YouGov survey, KSA residents reported a surge in online activity during COVID-19, especially during the holy month of Ramadan. This includes socializing online, social media browsing, and watching online content.

KSA residents more likely than UAE to increase online activity during Ramadan, COVID19

Socializing online, social media browseing, and watching online content more likely to increase in KSA and UAE in 2020 compared to last year due to COVID-19. Source: YouGov

If you aren’t already capitalizing on this increased appetite for digital content, now is the time to start.

Get started with this free database of Saudi influencers

So let’s start with the foundations of influencer marketing. By the end of this blog post, you will have answers to all the following questions. Or you can jump straight to the ones you’re interested in by clicking on them below.

What is the meaning of influencer marketing?

Why is Instagram influencer marketing effective?

How can I become an Instagram influencer?

How can I get started with influencer marketing?

Who are the top Saudi Instagram food influencers?

Who are the top Saudi Instagram fitness & health influencers?

Who are the top Saudi Instagram tech & gaming influencers?

Who are the top Saudi Instagram beauty & fashion influencers?

What is influencer marketing?

You might see an influencer in Arabic being referred to as مؤثر or transliterated into إنفلونسر , so you could say that the term or discipline of ‘influencer marketing’ is best translated into “التسويق بالمؤثرين”

In the first 4 months of 2020 alone, the word ‘influencer’ in its English and Arabic variations has been used in online conversations in Saudi Arabia over 85,000 times with an engagement of 173.6K.

إنفلونسر   “التسويق بالمؤثرين” saudi arabia KSA influencers marketing instagram

The term 'influencers' or 'المؤثرين' was mentioned online in Saudi Arabia (KSA) over 85,000 times in 2020. Source: Talkwalker Quick Search.

Many people aren’t aware of exactly what the meaning of influencer marketing is. From an everyday user perspective, it just looks like people with a lot of followers receiving a lot of free products and experiences.

However, behind the scenes there’s a lot of work that goes into building an influencer marketing campaign - both on the influencer’s side and the marketing side as well.

Check out this list of 600+ influencers

First of all, many influencers work very hard on building their own brands and cultivating an organic and engaged online following. They dedicate as much time to it as others do to traditional 9-5 jobs (if not more).

They obsess over fun and creative ways to create content that people will love.

They keep up with the latest social media trends, tips, and tricks.

They spend a lot of time with brands and PR teams to assess whether a proposed brand collaboration fits their own brand and values or not. And they spend even more time with the brands and PR teams they deem a good fit to build meaningful collaborations and make sure they become subject matter experts on the brand.

These are the types of influencers you should be working with.

I want a full list of great Middle East influencers

PR and influencer marketing teams also work very hard on their influencer marketing campaigns. If you want to find out what they do, check out my starter list below.

Why is Instagram influencer marketing effective?

Influencers exist on virtually every social media platform out there.

So why are we focusing on Instagram influencers in Saudi Arabia?

Instagram is the gold standard for the social media platform groups. Influencer Marketing Hub reports that nearly four in five brands (79%) use Instagram for influencer marketing campaigns, compared with Facebook (46%), YouTube (36%), Twitter (24%), and LinkedIn (12%).

Instagram influencer marketing is effective when executed right as consumers tend to trust influencers more than traditional advertising.

According to the latest social media influencers survey released by BPG Group and YouGov, 73% of consumers in Saudi Arabia and the UAE have purchased from a brand or tried a service mentioned by an influencer. Incredible!

Do you trust these influencers?

How can I become an Instagram influencer?

There is no magic formula for becoming an Instagram influencer overnight. However, there are some key rules to follow that will help you along the way.

  • Find a niche
  • There are more so-called influencers today than ever before. So, if you want to join the club, you need to stand out!

    Think about what you can offer that no one else can. Find something you are truly passionate about and then invest a lot of time in specializing within that field. The more specific, the better.

  • Engage with your audience
  • Once you start building your follower base, get to know them.

    Think of different ways to engage your audience to find out more about what they enjoy and how you can keep delivering the kind of content they find valuable.

    Engaging with the audience is key to influencers of all sizes - even celebrities. If you don’t know who your audience is, you will soon lose them.

    If you don’t engage with them in human conversation and interaction, you will lose your credibility. Remember, consumers now trust influencers more than traditional advertising. And that’s for a reason. The human to human connection. Don’t lose it.

  • Plan your content
  • Great content doesn’t appear out of nowhere. It takes a lot of hard work.

    You need to set aside some time to work on ideas and plan how you can best execute them.

    You should also plan your posting times. Experiment with different days and timings of posting to find out what works best for you, your audience, and your region.

    Check out these influencers for inspiration

  • Get comfortable with analytics
  • To find out which type of content works best on your profile and what days and timings yield the best results, you need to closely monitor your analytics.
    Spend some time understanding what each metric means and learning what you can do to improve your performance.
    By taking note of these analytics, you will be able to optimize the content on your profile.

  • Work with brands you genuinely LOVE
  • Following this rule will help you create your best content.

    The more genuine your passion for your niche and for the brands you work with is, the more engagement you will get and the more successful your journey to become an Instagram influencer in Saudi Arabia will be.

    How can I get started with influencer marketing?

    Not interested in becoming an influencer but interested in working with them? I got you.

    If you’re looking to start Instagram influencer marketing, here are some key guidelines to ensure you run successful campaigns.

    1. Identify your strategic goals & KPIs

    You need to be very clear about your business outcome, your target audience, and your key performance indicators in order to find influencers with follower demographics that can help you achieve these targets.

    2. Create a budget plan

    Based on the strategic plan you created in Step 1, you need to allocate a corresponding budget.

    Remember that working with a celebrity or macro influencer (100,000+ followers) will be expensive but can help you unlock high reach. Alternatively, working with micro influencers (10,000-100,000 followers) and nano influencers (1,000-10,000 followers) will cost less per influencer but can yield higher engagement figures and help you tap into more niche audiences. Your strategic goal should dictate which type of influencers to go for.

    Find influencers of all sizes in my free database of 600+ Middle East influencers

    3. Make a wish list of influencers for your campaign

    Using a master database of influencers like this one, start narrowing down your options based on the answers you reached from following the above steps (target audience, KPIs, budget, influencer size). Contact these influencers to ask for their rate cards - helping you gather more data about their followers’ demographic and the budget you would need to work with them.

    4. Vet your influencers

    Before moving forward with an influencer agreement, you need to check that an influencer’s following and engagement is genuine. Unfortunately, some users buy followers in the form of bots who like and comment on posts to inflate their figures.

    5. Due diligence

    Any influencer you work with should be responsible in their partnership choices and not have any conflicts of interest. However, it is also your responsibility to double check that this is the case. In my free Middle East influencer database, I list some of the most recent brand collaborations that Saudi Instagram influencers have had, to help you with due diligence.

    6. Create a contract template

    You should have personalized, airtight agreements with the influencers you work with to make sure you are aligned on the partnership terms and deliverables. Start with a template that covers the below elements and then adapt it per each influencer agreement.

    • Duration of the partnership/campaign
    • Expected compensation

    • Exclusivity

    • Quantity and type of content (Instagram photo post, Instagram carousel, Instagram video, Instagram story, Instagram Live, Instagram Highlight, etc.)

    • Approval rights and processes

    7. Monitor analytics closely

    You need to check analytics before, during, and after any Instagram influencer marketing campaign. Using a social listening tool, you will be able to measure the performance of the campaign based on the number of mentions, engagement rate, potential reach, image and video mentions, and various other metrics. You can then assess which elements of your campaign worked and which ones didn’t, in order to optimize future influencer marketing campaigns.

    Top Instagram food influencers in Saudi Arabia

    According to the BPG Group survey on social media influencers, Instagram topped the list of platforms amongst food influencers.

    Instagram and food are a natural fit. The platform is all about aesthetics and nothing looks better than a mouthwatering plate of food.

    Plus, during the COVID-19 lockdown, many of us have taken to the kitchen to experiment and potentially uncover some hidden culinary talents!

    Get your free list of 600+ Middle East influencers

    Here’s our selection of the biggest, the best, and the most creative food Instagram influencers in Saudi Arabia.

    More KSA influencers in this downloadable list

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    كيكة التيراميسو: الكيكة: ١٠٠ ج زبدة درجة حرارة الغرفة ١ ك سكر ٢ م ك زيت ٣ بيضات درجة حرارة الغرفة ١ م ص فانيلا ١/٢ ك زبادي درجة حرارة الغرفة ١ ١/٤ ك دقيق ١ ١/٢ م ص بيكنج باودر رشة ملح الكريمة: ١ كوب كريمة خفق ١٨٠ ج جبنة فيلاديلفيا او جبنة ماسكربوني ١/٢ ك سكر ١ م ص فانيلا ١ ك قهوة امريكية محضرة و تبرد قبل الاستخدام الطريقة: نشغل الفرن على درجة ٣٥٠ف او ١٨٠م نضيف الزبدة، السكر، الفانيلا و الزيت و نبدا نخلط المكونات على وسط لمدة ٥ دقائق على سرعة هادئة نضيف بيضة واحدة و نعلي السرعة للوسط و نخلط لمدة دقيقة، نهدي السرعة و نضيف كمان بيضة و نعلي السرعة و نخلط اللين نخلص كل الكمية نخلط الدقيق، الملح و البيكنج باودر نضيف نصف كمية الدقيق و نخلط حتى يتجانس نضيف الزبادي و نخلط نضيف باقي كمية الدقيق و نقلبها بتكنيك التطبيق و نخلط اللين يتجانس ندهن صينية تنفع للتقديم بالزبدة ٩ انش و نضيف الخليط و نخبزها لمدة ٣٠-٣٥ دقيقة نتركها تبرد و نصب عليها القهوة الباردة في زبدية نضيف السكر، الجبنة و الفانيلا، نخلط الى ان يذوب السكر نخفق كريمة الخفق و بعد ما توصل للقوام الثقيل نقلبها مع خليط الجبنة تدريجيا نضيفها فوق الكيكة نضعها في الثلاجة ٤ ساعات و نزينها بالكاكاو قبل التقديم Tiramisu cake: 100 g butter room temp 2 tbsp oil 1 cup sugar 3 eggs room temp 1 tsp vanilla 1/2 cup yogurt room temp 1 1/4 cup flour 1 1/2 tsp baking powder Pinch of salt Cream: 1 cup whipped cream 180 g Philadelphia cheese or mascarpone cheese 1 tsp vanilla 1 cup sugar 1 cup american and brewed coffee, cool down before use Directions: Turn oven to 350 F 180 C In a bowl add butter sugar vanilla and oil and beat on medium for 5 minutes until its fluffy On low add one egg at a time then speed the mixer to medium for 1 minute, add the next egg until all eggs are added mix for 2 min Stir flour, baking powder, salt Add half the amount of flour and mix until combined Add the yogurt and mix just until combined Using a spatula fold the remaining flour gently into the batter Spray 9 in serving pan and bake for 30-35 min Cool before assembling then add the cooled coffee Whip the cream on medium until it reaches hard peaks Mix the cheese with sugar and vanilla until sugar dissolves then gently fold in the cream, add on top of cake Refrigerate 4 hours or over night then decorate with cocoa powder before serving Enjoy

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    Top Instagram fitness & health influencers in Saudi Arabia

    Download a full directory of Middle East influencers per industry

    Now that we have our Saudi food influencers, bloggers, and vloggers covered, let’s burn those calories!

    Here’s our selection of the biggest, the best, and the most creative fitness Instagram influencers in Saudi Arabia.

    Top Instagram tech & gaming influencers in Saudi Arabia

    Here’s our selection of the biggest, the best, and the most creative tech & gaming Instagram influencers in Saudi Arabia.



    Looking for more? Download this free list of 600+ influencers

    Top Instagram beauty & fashion influencers in Saudi Arabia

    And....drumroll please...I leave you with our selection of the biggest, the best, and the most creative beauty and fashion Instagram influencers in Saudi Arabia!

    I hope you enjoyed this taste of the world of Instagram influencers in Saudi Arabia. If you’re looking for more, I have a free directory of more than 600 Middle East influencers across Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook that's only one click away!

    Free list of Middle East influencers on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube