Global brands have discovered that influencer marketing is the new way to have an edge in the industry.
By Ozinna Anumudu
Before one proceeds to fault a system, or rather express their frustrations within the system – it is only right the system is thoroughly spelled out.
Influencer marketing is the latest form of marketing that has taken global brands by the horns. Every brand is interested in having an edge over the next brand by any means necessary, and influencer marketing is the new way to do so.
An influencer is simply a person with a voice and a large, engaging, and active following. This persona has most likely gained such clout and success via social media channels, blogging, and their various activities. This persona essentially has the undivided attention of their said audience and can inevitably sway consumer behaviors.
Brands have noticed that using such a person has a stronger pull on its consumers than paid advertising because they connect their ideas and messages with people on a personal level, and are thereby more trustworthy.
These personalities now have access to consumers real-time: audiences that many other mediums such a magazine, tv channels, and even celebrities do not have.
Influencer marketing, therefore, is the act of brands engaging their services to market their products and services to their consumers.
The Nigerian influencer market is young, relatively young – in comparison to the western world. However, it would be unfair to claim that it does not exist. Nigerian brands and global brands attempting to enter the market are well aware of this and tend to source out influencers quite easily on social media platforms when they are ready for their campaigns.
In fact: a survey by eMarketer showed that 84% of markets said they would launch at least one influencer campaign within the next twelve months.
The problem with the influencer marketing in Nigeria revolves around one thing: BUDGET. Most times, brands would rather barter with free products and the brand name association instead of parting with monetary value. They are convinced that this will suffice, however, influencers are becoming more value driven and are aware of it.
Brands need to realize that an influencer budget is just as important as an offline marketing budget for the traditional media platforms. Influencers are even known to bring in a quicker ROI than other marketing tools.
I’ve been playing in the influencer space unofficially for about three years and didn’t feel the need to monetize and strategize up until early 2017 when a brand was blatantly trying to take advantage of my platform that I had grown organically and cherished dearly.
This made me treat myself “Ozinna” as a brand. I began creating rate cards and strategically interacted with these companies with my brand’s interest as the foremost factor. This may have lost me clients in the short term but long term, it created structure and brought in more paying brands. This, in turn, built my portfolio of both local and international brands, who then filled my influencer arsenal.
My advice to influencers new in the market or are those in the market uncertain about how to navigate the market:
- Stay Consistent – it’s the only way to show your credibility as a bankable business-oriented person.
- Know Your Worth – understand that there is a mutually beneficial reason as to why the brand reached out to you, and if the terms are not favorable, do not accept it.
- Do Not Lose Your Authenticity – remember that it is a privilege to have the ear of your audience. So, do not go against them by sharing information you do not believe in, or trade their trust for a payoff.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in The Spark Magazine. Find the magazine here to read more articles.