Influencer marketing has expanded worldwide with the US and Europe creating established protocols and processes for collaboration between brands and influencers. South Africa, still a relative newbie in the realm of influencer marketing, is starting to find its feet with major brands taking on well-known social media personalities in sponsored posts and online campaigns.
So, besides for being a relatively new area of marketing, what makes influencer marketing in South Africa stand apart from other parts of the world?
Local is lekker
While South African’s follow overseas influencers, such as fitness guru Kayla Itsiness for example, their content can often be too distant especially when talking about products not available in South Africa.
This means South African influencers can gain serious traction because they interpret these bigger accounts for our local audience. Localised influencers can work well with both local and international brands as their reach is focused on specific customer bases in South Africa depending on their niche.
Small audiences, bigger reach
The majority of South African influencers are nano influencers, who are defined as having 0-1000 followers. While brands are still set in the mind-set that more followers = more influence this has been found to be false and working with nano influencers could be more effective.
This is because accounts with bigger followings have been seen to have less engagement. Meaning, for the number of followers they have the percentage who interact with their post is smaller than those who interact with nano infleicners.
Research by South African start-up Humanz found that engagement rate is the highest amongst these nano-influencers, at over 10% compared to 2% or less at the top end. In South Africa, they saw that only 1 in 2 followrs are likely to turn into an actual impression, which accounts for this gap between the number of followers an account has an it’s actual reach.
The rainbow instagram nation
South Africans are also patriotic and diverse and having the social media accounts they follow celebrate their country and post relatable South African content garners more support and engagement.
This also opens opportunities for brands to attach themselves to influencers who speak directly to their target audience. So while the generic idea of a fitness brand working with a fitness influencer still applies, in South Africa it is also a unique opportunity to reach hyper localised online communities such as specific language groups and relate to them more authentically through partnerships with these influencers.
On the other hand, brands can also ensure a diverse pool for an influencer campaign because of South Africa’s diverse population and the expansive representation present among the current well-known and nano influencers.
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