Social media and influencer marketing have changed the marketing budgets in the private and public sector in the Middle East, according to Meltwater Report 2022. One of the first companies to offer social listening and social media analytics in Arabic and English in the Middle East and globally, Meltwater reveals that over 57 percent of respondents have seen an increase of social media in their organisations due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The report states how social media and influencer marketing trends are on the rise with significant increase in the consumption of digital media among users and businesses, particularly short video formats. Despite a slight decline in 2020, sponsored content recorded a growth of 26.7 per cent in 2021. Additionally, the report shows an increase in sponsored stories by 33 per cent, with influencers creating an average of 16 stories a week, compared to 12 in 2020. It further predicts that both paid and organic social media are expected to increase in 2022, with the Covid-19 pandemic playing a significant role in this development.
As per findings of the report, the most used social media channels in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) and the Americas feature the major platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, and YouTube. It is further understood that more than 30,000 Middle East-based YouTubers have over 10,000 subscribers, with nearly 12 million Snapchat users in the GCC, including 9 million in Saudi Arabia, and 1 million in the UAE. Video content remains among the top trends in 2022, with TikTok at the centre of attention with 31 percent of all participants planning to use TikTok in 2022.
Additionally, it also highlights the importance of tracking and measuring social media performance in order to enhance visibility as well as transparency within organisations to set collective goals and targets. It stated that 17 percent of all participants track revenue from social media channels in terms of Return on Investment (ROI), with 32 percent of respondents emphasising the importance of marketing leads as an important metric to track. The study also shed light on effective tools and metrics such as engagement, website traffic, and followers, which provided insights into the performance of social media channels.
Aside from social media trends in the GCC, the report also emphasised on the rise of influencer marketing – an industry worth USD 10 billion internationally with an annual growth rate of 50 percent – as a perfect example of how social media has transformed traditional marketing. It was also noted that global brands spent a significant part of their advertising budgets on Arab influencers in the last three years, with the trend dominating in industries such as beauty, fashion, entertainment, travel, and tech.
Meltwater’s progressive efforts to shed light on the emergence of social media and influencer marketing also led to a recent workshop in Dubai, on ‘Influencer and Marketing Trends.’ The event was attended by Mike Alnaji, Director of Content Creators, Influencer Marketing and Brand Partnerships, and Kamal Dimachkie, who brings over four decades of experience across the Middle East and North America in marketing, communications, and growth. The workshop provided insights on key information and industry drivers for 2022.
Meltwater is one of the first international companies in the world to offer social listening and social media analytics in Arabic and English, that help companies monitor, understand, and influence the market around them. The Middle East has been a particularly exciting environment to explore in terms of social listening in the context of brand promotion, and the intricate nature of media in the region makes it important to leverage every tool to gain insights and understand the landscape of a brand. Meltwater helps companies achieve this vision with its comprehensive range of tracking, monitoring, and analytics tools, driving growth and profitability for businesses.