By: Nikita Phulwani, Founder By Niggi Marketing Management

In today’s fast paced world of digital marketing, using influencers is not an innovative strategy. In fact, if influencers are not a part of your promotional mix, you are doing something wrong. However, the innovation is now in what ways can you use the influencer and their credibility to leverage brands or products. We have seen the classic ads or integration of products in the creators lifestyle, but some brands are taking this partnership up a notch by combining it with other trending marketing techniques. My name is Nikita, and I run an influencer marketing agency in the UAE called By Niggi. We have worked on incredible influencer-driven campaigns since 2018 for Unilever, Sephora, Azadea Group, Daawat Rice and more. Below are a few of my favourite ways in which brands are marketing through influencers

The More Subtle, The Better

Audience today is 10x smarter and able to catch when an influencer is doing ads. Direct marketing via influencers might work in the opposite way for the brand. Consumers today appreciate authenticity and honesty. To leverage the creators credibility in a genuine way, it is so important that the brand seems like a part of their lifestyle in an elusive way. For example, Anas Bukhash of AB Talks is one of the Cartier Ambassadors. Since his partnership with the brand, you see him wearing Cartier watches in all his interviews. What this does is easily build that association not just with him, with his show, the guests who come and the conversations happening. 

Influencers humanise e-commerce brands

By partnering with influencers whose values resonate with those of the brand, companies craft compelling narratives that resonate with consumers on a personal level. For an e-commerce brand or an online aggregator, historically and successfully, you can continuously focus on the process of ordering from the app, or a discount code to generate trial amongst new users and acquire the customer. However, if you look at the recent collaboration between Noon UAE and Khalid Al Ameri – – the brand instantly got a personality and compassion through this partnership and activation. After watching this video, the next time you want to order some food or groceries, you may lean in more to use a Noon (so better brand recall) because you appreciate what the brand did for its employees.

E-Commerce is now Social Commerce

E-Commerce is great, but brands are taking this experience to the next level by making it interactive by combining it with social media. Social Commerce is when you combine the power of e-commerce with the tools on social media. To add a better layer, we see several brands in the region combine this duo with the power of an influencer to amplify the reach and awareness. Platforms like Instagram and Tik Tok allow you to go LIVE and combine it with a shopping experience, wherein, if a dedicated LIVE is arranged for a launch for every consumer, DMs during the LIVE could get a link to purchase the product. In the region, Sephora Middle East did this for one of their beauty launches as I remember attending it. Also, Pantene in the region had done a LIVE shopping experience on Instagram with Karen Wazen, one of the biggest creators in the region, along with Carrefour, who is their customer. Despite these success stories not enough brands are not fully exploring the different tools there are when working with influencers. As social commerce is still highly untapped, I do foresee more brands jumping onto this potent strategy.

Don’t underestimate the power of the Nano

On the other end of the spectrum as an agency, we have also championed and seen incredible success on 100% nano influencer campaigns. One such campaign was for our client Sephora, a beauty retail giant. To raise more awareness of their limited edition Sephora Favs box, we invited nano influencers to partake in a digital activity. The activity required each of them to create a piece of content using the box, and the winner (most engaged post) would be a part of their upcoming fall launch event. It worked wonders, as we received over 100 pieces of quality content. We researched, identified, and on-boarded the influencers in just two weeks, and the campaign secured more than 5.4 million in reach and the box sold out.  This campaign also helped launch the careers of three nano influencers. The first won access to the event and projects from Sephora. The others also won business on the back of the campaign. Nano influencer marketing is an investment of time but does pay off. 

Influencers are more than just marketing conduits; they are catalysts for authentic connection, cultural resonance, and brand loyalty. In this dynamic digital era, brands that harness the power of influencers fully and in innovative ways will unlock new opportunities for storytelling, creativity, and community building, paving the way for sustained success in the digital marketplace.