July 26, 2020

The growth of influencers in Saudi Arabia and the GCC

Manasi Bhaskar
Manasi Bhaskar
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Over the years, the influencer marketing industry in Saudi Arabia and UAE have realized the potential and impact of Influencer Marketing.

As of 2019 globally, more than $6 billion is spent on it, double the budget allocated to it 2 years ago. 

The following is an insight into the categories of influencers in the GCC region, based on followers, content type, and industry.

Influencers in Saudi Arabia based on Followers :

 Micro Influencers 

Those influencers having 1,000-100,000 followers can be categorized as micro influencers. Influencers in GCC within this category are preferred because they have an organic following and a strong relationship with their followers built on trust. Because of this reason, such influencers attract more brands in comparison to others.

Influencer marketing in 2022 is based on reaching niche groups rather than mass audiences – it is more about quality than quantity. Therefore brands are opting to work with micro influencers that have less than 100,000 followers.

Medium Influencers

These influencers have a strong social media presence. At ITCAN, medium influencers can range from 100,000 to 1 Million. They create content and collaborate with brands that most suit their audience’s interest. They are professional creators and are known to produce high-quality content.

Macro Influencers 

They can be described as celebrities or extremely famous figures in other words. ITCAN defines macro influencers as those whose following goes above the 1 Million bar. Although they may not be experts, a  post from them can be a hit and can generate for a brand the attention it needs.

Brands usually opt for micro and medium influencers as they are more authentic, trustworthy, and have a more personalized relationship with their followers.

Influencers in Saudi Arabia based on Social Media Platforms :

Instagram, Snapchat, and Tik Tok Influencers

These influential people use one or more social media platforms as mentioned above to create content and engage with their audience. Often, their posts are sponsored by brands that either collaborate with them independently or outsource influencer marketing services to agencies. These social media influencers are paid a fixed commission for the ad.

Brands in the UAE, KSA, and GCC use influencers to promote their products and raise brand awareness to reach a wider audience. A report mentions that there are 12 million daily Snapchat users in the GCC. This includes 9 million users from Saudi Arabia and 1 million from the UAE. 

E-commerce companies are in great need of social media influencers. These influencers help them create goodwill and ensure their brand gets the recognition it deserves.



Youtube, being one of the most popular videos sharing platforms, is a widely used medium by influencers in the GCC region. An Arabian Business report in 2018 shows that there are currently 200 channels with 1 Million subscribers in the region. One in four subscribers being women.

Influencers in Saudi Arabia based on Industry :

Fashion & Makeup

Fashion and Makeup are some of the most trending industries in the Saudi and GCC influencers industry. As against the norm earlier, a celebrity would endorse a fashion and makeup brand in advertisements, on red carpets, and in shows and movies. The younger audience now relies more on fashion and makeup influencers by interacting with them on social networks to get a more personal response. 

Food & Beverage

The GCC region, especially UAE, is brimming with cuisines from different corners of the world. In such a scenario, food influencers are vocal about their opinions and the customers do listen to them. Major influencers in the F&B industry in the Middle East have helped restaurants drive in the target audience and create a presence in a competitive market.

Travel & Tourism 

Travel and tourism influencers usually focus on a niche i.e. family, luxury, or adventure travel. Travel influencers usually go on to become an integral part of the digital marketing strategy of a travel business. Such influencers get into long term partnerships to be able to produce impactful results for the brand.

Influencers in Saudi Arabia INDUSTRY IS GROWING

Influencer marketing is here to stay as brands continue to make it a part of their content marketing strategy. So what strategies should brands adopt in selecting the right influential personality?


Brands should opt for micro-influencers who have a high engagement rate


Brands should be cautious of “followers” and “like” numbers of influencers as in many cases these can be purchased.


Brands should take into consideration engagement – spending time on reading comments to make sure they are genuine and not a result of participation in comment pods.

Want to identify what influencer marketing strategies work the best for your brand? Collaborate with the best influencers in the region for your brand with ITCAN.

Check out our Influencer Marketing Service that focuses on increasing your brand awareness, driving customer conversion, and increasing your brand value.
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