TOP 4 DIGITAL AREAS YOU CAN REALLY WIN AT IN THE AFRICAN DIGITAL SPACE IN 2019

Every beginning of year you are bombarded with predictions;

“These are going to be the top 10 trends in Avocado eating this year”

“This is what cat’s will be wearing the most this year”

“Bitcoin value to fall to zero”

(maybe one of these is absurd – but hey, here we are in an era where the most important decisions’ for our futures’ are made by leaders who don’t believe in global warming, you know which world leader comes to mind…) but I digress – the purpose of this article is to share local African insights based on our work around the continent.

There’s a lot to say (our social media platforms make it look like all we do is celebrate birthdays, however I promise you, we also work very hard) but let’s keep it short and sweet, so here are 4 areas we would advise you to keep your eye /focus on for digital growth and success this year.

1. VIDEO

Video ain’t going nowhere – research we’ve carried out in Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya involving young people aged between 18-24 reveals the average amount of screen time they get in a day is about 6 hours! With this being an average – you can be sure a lot of this demographic are spending around 10-11 hours a day on their screens..  This is close to 90% on mobile, so don’t get too excited yet Netflix. (Adoption of V.O.D Streaming services is a whole other topic we’d love to get into, but next month!)

Looking at markets like Uganda, Rwanda, Nigeria and Kenya (with Kenya/Nigeria being among the highest adopters,) the idea that data bundles are expensive and therefore video would not be adopted in S.S.A? Absolute bollocks. A caveat though- young Ugandan’s, Kenyan’s or Nigerians are not interested in those boring marketing videos you’re selling, but Bad Black and her creative pronunciation of the word ‘wardrobe’ will go viral, and the latest footage from breakaway media house headed by John Allan Namu covering terrorism in Kenya will be followed no matter how long.

If it’s relevant, if it resonates with our culture and our identity –  you will get the views and it will be shared widely despite the fact that there is a social media tax in Uganda (Ridiculous –  I know.)

Video content will continue to grow exponentially in 2019 and a savvy marketer will be thinking of how to incorporate this into their strategy – as well as how to work alongside prolific content creators, to produce non intrusive content – some examples we are loving are NSSF in Uganda and their partnership with Conan to promote their social security savings app (look at this sick engagement though!)

and Safaricom in Kenya with Njugush

2. INFLUENCER MARKETING

Influencer marketing is an interesting kettle of fish – sometimes smelly, always slippery. Thing is, with influencer marketing, it should always be about quality over quantity and authenticity over quick results. Below is an actual example of influencer marketing gone wrong. 

So what does one do with this area of digital marketing specifically in the African context because it’s only going to keep growing. We’re gonna level with you folks – there’s no shortcut or quick fix measure here. Influencer marketing is like the S.E.O of in-bound marketing, you’ve just gotta build that ship – you can’t buy it ready made. Our recommended strategy here is DO NOT look for someone with 1 million followers that doesn’t give a hoot about your brand, pay them 5,000 dollars and ask them to share random posts about your product with their audience.                                                                                                                                                  We ALL see through this because we know this person has never talked about your product before and is just doing it for the money. Honestly, it’s not a great look for you. What you want to do instead is identify your most loyal customers, the ones that do go out of their way to review you or yes, even complain (it shows they’re using your product – okay?) Get these guys and work on using them as your influencers – have them demo your latest stuff and make them the celebrities and hero’s of your campaign. Is it hard work? Sure. Less glamorous than hiring Kim Kardashian to help you sell your range of bibles for millennials? Yep, but long term will it work out better for you? We’ll bet you our sweet NEW Mac-book Pro’s it is (see what we did there? Influencer marketing for Apple!)

3. SPEND ON ADS

When we look at the African Market and media spending online; there are some rather atrocious things happening here; from a lack of transparency on spend to campaigns that are running with zero optimization, to just getting the basics wrong from campaign set up to targeting. Let’s be clear we’ve made the mistake of not optimizing as well – you learn through mistakes, but there is no excuse to keep on making these mistakes in 2019. This year you want to make sure you are doing TWO THINGS

1: Testing, testing, testing, make sure you are actually getting the best results by running 2-3 campaigns with different artwork/copy so you can gauge which one delivers better for you.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   2: Learn, learn, learn, DAILY – look at the campaigns you are running and ask yourself honestly how are they performing and why aren’t you converting or getting leads? We ran a campaign for a client in S.A a while back and they were getting 0 leads through their site. On investigation, you know what? Turns out their web developer had changed the email address through some update – so it was sending any enquiries to a non existent ‘donotreply’ email address! I mean, we almost went purple thinking of all the spend we’d put to the campaign! Luckily we learnt first-hand how important it is to check in (Manually) with your campaign DAILY and at the 1st sign of a low uptake, unqualified leads etc raise a red flag and try to figure out where the issue lies.

4. EMAIL MARKETING /CRM’s

We’re really rooting for this baby, hey. From automated actions to CLEAN, OPT –IN databases that actually provide real value, we’ve fallen back in love with e-mail marketing because it’s really a very powerful tool that unfortunately, on the continent –  in companies big and small is extremely underutilized.

Let’s also look at the fact that a secondary target here is C.R.M tools that obviously play a big part in one’s e-mail marketing strategy. We’ve engaged with huge M.N.C’s who are paying for powerful C.R.M tools that unfortunately are going woefully underutilized – from salesforce to hub-spot, Zoho to Blu Task(That’s our own C.R.M tool that we developed- shameless self-plugging.) It would be great if we could all spend more time unearthing and understanding the benefits of e-mail marketing for our clients and ourselves this year. We’re all over that and are seeing some really good open rates with good content and this is an area we plan to spend a lot more time on this year as well.

So there you have it – we hope this wasn’t a total waste of your time and that we have given you some insight into the trends we’re seeing in the markets that we’re in.

 

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The author of this article loves digital almost as much as she loves her horses but not as much as she loves her husband, sister and children. (Including her team who she sometimes sees as an extension of her family, much to their dismay.)

 

 

Article authored by Seanice Kacungira – Group C.E.O of Blu Flamingo Digital Africa.