Faryal Shahid

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How would you compare Influencer Marketing with digital advertising? 

Influencer Marketing is a tactic within the digital advertising landscape. Influencer marketing content can have a variety of objectives. This is due to the engagement factor between the audience and the influencer. A high engagement may not directly lead to sales for a brand but it does allow for other things simultaneously like enhanced brand recall, organic growth and a trusted source’s backing.

Which social platforms do you think will be the most used by influencer marketers in the next 5 years?

Facebook/ LinkedIn/ TikTok

How do you currently find relevant and high-quality influencers for your marketing campaigns?

Using marketplaces such as Ainfluencer.com

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How would you decide which influencers to work with?

Manual audit of their accounts

How should brands use Instagram influencers to grow their business? What is your personal experience with Instagram influencing?

My personal experience with influencers has been focused mainly in the MENA – Middle East and North Africa – region. This region houses expats from all over the world as well as natives. Instagram is used significantly in this region and acts as a key platform for marketing purposes. However, Instagram influencers have been gradually losing credibility over the years here. Most of their content and partnerships seem ‘money motivated’ and so, they have been losing the trust of their audience. In the MENA regions, Instagram influencers have a very powerful tool at their disposal to comment on political and environmental issues and I’d personally like to see them use their platform to advocate for these issues in lieu of uninvolved governments. 

Instagram influencer marketing platform

What are some common tools and strategies to help grow your presence on Instagram? Are you currently using any tools?

While social media trends tend to come and go, Instagram and many of its tools have remained relatively constant. Incorporating hashtags, Instagram Stories or using Instagram Shop are tried and true methods for increasing outreach. You can also use user-friendly apps like Canva or Magisto to quickly create engaging content.

On Instagram, it is not necessarily the vertical that matters but how you connect to your core audience, whatever their interests are. Fashion, Retail and Consumer Goods tend to perform the best on Instagram, purely due to the content’s popularity and visual appeal, but there have been creative content in other verticals that convert equally as well.  

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What advice would you give to a new business that wants to gain and grow its paid sponsorships?

Get as deep into your audience as possible. Dive into their psychographics, segment them as thoroughly as you can and then find an influencer to collaborate with. Most often, we see brands try to get mega-influencers with little-to-no research into their demographics or profile. This does not always convert.

How do you think Influencer Marketing will grow among small businesses in the near future?

Small businesses have the most to gain from influencer marketing. It offers credibility and trust by association and can potentially lead to long-term collaborations between brands and influencers. And, if they turn into macro-influencers during your time together then your long standing partnership can greatly benefit your business. 

How do you currently collaborate with and pay Instagram influencers? Name any tools and strategies that you use.

It is becoming difficult to find quality influencers in an increasingly saturated market. Of course, tools like Klear or Ainfluencer can help with this search. Payment methods for influencers have recently changed in the Middle East and North Africa requiring  them to now be licensed and to have a business bank account. However, some influencers are not yet registered and require payment through either Paypal.