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How brands can effectively use influencer marketing to drive sales

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 22- The Nationwide lock down did not just push work, schools and worship to say the least online, it also brought businesses and advertising to the palm of each hand as more and more citizens began to adopt a remote-based lifestyle, depending heavily on peer influence on social media to make purchases.

For that reason, 2020 and 2021 has seen time spent on social media increase by up to 21 percent of which meant brands should consider meeting their consumer via social media with influencer marketing being a key means for this.

But how does influencer marketing work? 

We sat down with Brian Mogeni the CEO of Wowzi Africa, an Influencer Marketing firm, simply put an ‘Uber’ for Influencer Marketing, to give us tips on how SMEs can effectively use Influencer Marketing to better their brand awareness and increase sales.

How much is the influencer marketing industry worth?

Globally the influencer marketing industry is currently valued at 13.8B USD growing at an annual rate of between 20-30% over the last five years.

How much are companies spending on influencer marketing in Kenya?

Brands in Kenya continue to spend more on influencer marketing, especially due to the efficiens and ROI brought about by leveraging on technologies such as Wowzi. We have seen our campaigns provide up to 10X return especially for telcos, FMCGs and technology brands. These positive results are encouraging brands to spend more on running campaigns via the Wowzi platform. From the white paper that we released in 2020, we noted that from a sample of 400 brands 37% stated they were increasing their influencer marketing spend.

How do we categorize influencers?

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In terms of following, we rank influencers from nano-influencers with as few as 250 followers, micro starting at more than 5000, Macro with ups on 30, 000, Mega at 100, 000 and Meta-Influencers with 500, 000 followers.

 

Basic Medium Plus
Nano 250 – 1,500 1,501 – 3,000 3,001 – 5,000
Micro 5,001 – 12,000 12,001 – 20,000 20,001 – 30,000

 

Macro 30,001- 55,000 55,001 – 80,000 80,001 – 100,000
Mega 100,001 – 220,000 220,001 – 350,000 350,001 – 500,000
Meta 500,001+

 

At Wowzi, we also consider age, gender, profession, locale, quality of content (whether premium or not), interests and personal income level as key factors that account to the success of a marketing campaign and we therefore take to account these details.

How effective is influencer marketing compared to traditional advertising? In terms of impact percentages

Infleuncer marketing forms part of the marketing mix for brands and agencies. As a channel and more specifically, Wowzi as an influencer marketing platform has provided measurable and scalable return on investment for brands. The rule of thumb requires brands to carry out their marketing campaigns across various channels including traditional channels to bring forth results so therefore we see influencer marketing as one of the key marketing channels together with traditional advertising.

Outline how the industry categorises and values influencers according to follower count and area of expertise and the benefits and pitfalls for each type for brands.

The influencer industry in general categorises influencers based on reach as outlined above.

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Before Wowzi influencers only formed celebrities who would fall into the macro and meta categories. But via the technology brands are now able to carry out a campaign using a mix of celebrities, macro, micro and nano influencers which deliver the best overall results together. Overall the higher up the category of influence the more the influencer is usually rewarded, monetary wise. More popular influencers are best for brand awareness and brand affinity whereas nano and micro influencers provide conversion, so the mix of these deliver ultimate success for brands.

Key challenges of influencer marketing?

Tapping into emerging channels – TikTok, WhatApp, Twitch, Telegram and the likes are major players in the Industry but are either too difficult to integrate or too discrete to develop.

Reducing time spent on managing campaigns – Wowzi abstracts away as much complexity in managing campaigns for both celebrity and peer influencer campaigns, letting our clients focus more on production and business management.

Measuring ROI – the race to ROI has become a modern trend in business. The necessity of tangible evidence from social media engagement versus the invested quantity can best be solved by automation and computation through the platform.

How can brands effectively navigate this changing and expanding market to meet campaign goals

Trigger emotional consumer connections through authentic media – The modern consumer doesn’t want plastic, they don’t want staged but rather relatable, original and authentic content.

Incorporate nano- and micro-influencers in addition to celebrity influencers – It’s not always the size of the Influencer but rather the size of the Influence. Although celebrities can convey messages real fast to a dedicated audience, engagement is a field championed by the humble nano-influencer. Wowzi offers all the same services you’d want with Celebrity-centred campaigns decentralised but also and scales it hundreds of influencers on a campaign at the same time, taking care of quality verification for each post.

Build an online community – This is one of the best ways to humanise your brand.Letting your consumers tell their stories does both good to you and them. Listen to them and respond to their feedback.

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How can brands evolve their relationship with influencers?

Fair and Timely Recompense – Wowzi provides this service out of the box by bridging the gap between brand and influencer when it comes to negotiation and automated payments, which can be one heck of an ordeal when dealing with a large number of influencers who need to get paid on time. You don’t have to worry about making payments on time because they are automated through the platform.

Foster Brand loyalty – Give your influencers a reason why they’d want to keep working with you, and not just through incentives; creating a narrative for your brand and a healthy community would attract influencers to collaborate with you as it also looks good on their end.

Avoid Creative Conflict – Giving Influencers space to create and engage their audience as they know how best to work wonders. Don’t constrain your influencers to a single line of thinking to the point of hindering their creative freedom, but also be cautious about how they represent your brand.

How will brand relationships with influencers grow or change in the future?

We see brands relationships with influencers will continue to grow in the future with the new efficiencies through technology. IInfleuncer marketing enables brands to build social communities which are becoming increasingly important in gaining the upper hand in competitive landscapes. Social communities elevate the purchase process from being a simple transaction to a social experience. Driving the narrative that your organisation cares that much about it’s community effectively attracts non-consumers to the party leaving you with the challenge of making conversions considering that human beings don’t make rational purchases based on logic, rather emotion moves them.

Forecast growth of brand spend on influencer marketing

We forecast that brands will continue to spend more on influencer marketing considering the new efficiencies, scalability and locatiosation of campaigns through the Wowzi platform. Brands that before couldn’t scale their campaigns due to limitations of manual process, limited transparency can are now scaling the size, breadth and frequency of their campaigns. SMEs that couldn’t afford influencer marketing can now leverage nano and micro influencers. Wowzi State of Influencer marketing report 2020, we noted that from a sample of 400 brands 37 percent stated they were increasing their influencer marketing spend.

 

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