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Here’s How To Get Your MENA Influencer Marketing Right

 

Influencer marketing is one of the current buzzwords trending in business, and what a lot of noise it can make. At its most successful it can generate exceptional returns on investment, help elevate the perception of your brand, increase awareness, and measurably contribute to your bottom line. 

But if not approached and applied in the right way, influencer marketing can see you burning through piles of cash with little to no return or, worse, jeopardize your brand and what it stands for.

In January, I went to the 2017 Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie Genève—the premier event showcasing Swiss fine watchmaking held in Switzerland every year. 

The epitome of luxury—in presentation, product, and presence—the event has attracted the crème de la crème of the industry for 27 years. And, as fine watchmaking and the world of luxury evolves, so too does SIHH.

Most prevalent in the past couple of years is the growth in presence—and stature—of the ‘influencer.’

While the watchmaking industry has long enjoyed support and critique from highly-regarded purist watch bloggers, only recently have lifestyle bloggers and influencers also been added to the event’s list of celebrity guests.

This year’s event reached new levels of hype—and questionable approach.   

One brand shipped in so many celebrities from around the world—a new batch every day—that it became almost impossible not to be blasé about the stars that thronged their stand.

Others ran social media activations to generate additional exposure, reaching out to random influencers around the globe to negotiate last-minute posts on Instagram and Twitter in a bid to increase their exposure at all costs, never mind any strategy or long-term approach. 

Overall, the show seemed to take on a frenetic air that seemed neither logical nor necessary but did serve to highlight the misguided approach to influencer marketing. 

There is no question that the right influencers who love and engage with your brand—and have a following that matches your target customer audience—are gold, to be nurtured, treasured and indulged as best you can.

The right influencers establish credibility with every social media post or engagement with your stakeholders, whether collectors, consumers or the media.

If you want your influencer marketing to influence the right people for the right reason, these three elements should be considered.

First and foremost, research. Take the time to learn about the influencer beyond their social media profile and follower numbers. Understand their passions and interests, their motivations, their tone of voice and what other brands are associated with them. 

Be sure that their followers are the audience you want to reach. And be sure that your brand is one that would be of equal appeal to them—remember this is a two-way street!

Secondly, commit to it. Long-term partnerships with influencers lead to greater value and reward than hit and run activations. Influencer marketing is all about relationship—yours with the influencer, theirs with your brand, and their audience on behalf of your brand. Be in it for the long haul and the returns will be even greater than you expect.

Third, invest. Recognize the value of the right influencers for your brand and reward them. This includes payment, exclusive opportunities, and additional exposure for them through your channels. Consider what benefits you can offer the influencer, not only what benefits they can deliver to you. 

Done right, influencer marketing can create customers who create customers—and that’s precisely the kind of influence any business would want to have!

 

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