By Solomon Muleyi
The twitter newsfeed has, for the past two weeks, been awash with tweets stripping a twitter influencer. The lady in question got a gig to influence for a car brand and while at it, made very futile, and utterly uncoordinated attempts to sing praise for the car brand.
The brand in question was dragged for what they termed as having chosen a person who clearly had no experience driving a car, and was in no position to issue verdicts about the same. The influencer Marketing campaign was called out as ineffective marketing.
So much so that many marketing critiques were quick to argue that the brand was supposed to pick a car enthusiast, mechanic, or someone in the automotive or similar space.
But in my opinion, the mistake came way earlier than the point at which they picked the influencers. It is a mistake that has been made by many brands so far. They assume a one shoe fits all for strategy and blow thousands of dollars.
Influencer marketing has become a popular form of marketing in recent years, with businesses of all sizes using it to reach new audiences and promote their products or services. However, the world of influencer marketing can be complex and confusing for those who are new to it. In this article, i’ll provide a guide to influencer marketing that will make your Influencer Marketing in Uganda successful.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a type of marketing that involves collaborating with individuals who have a large social media following and a significant online presence. T
hese individuals, also known as influencers, are typically experts in their respective fields, and they use their influence to promote products or services to their followers. Influencer marketing is designed to leverage the trust and authority that influencers have built with their audience to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to a website, and boost sales.
Why influencer marketing in Uganda is unique
To understand the uniqueness of influencer marketing in Uganda, or Africa in general, you need to understand the concept of nano influencers, micro and macro influencers.
Nano influencers have the lowest numbers of followers, usually between 1,000 to 3,000. But their content is very relatable and has the highest percentage of engagement.
They are everyday people, like you or me. Then micro influencers are also smaller influencers, with a higher following than Nano, which is usually between 3,000 to as much as 10,000 or 100,000.
Macro influencers vary in numbers, but are usually heavy on followership. Most are usually celebrities. This means that depending on your objectives, you can choose from any of the above.
This model is, unfortunately, not enough when you are dealing with Ugandan influencers. First, because there is a substantial number of Facebook, twitter and instagram influencers whose followers and engagement is bot-induced. And yet they feature 80% of the lists for many of the brands.
Secondly, because organizations don’t do due diligence on the individuals (ability to create content, engagement sentiments, engagement levels etc) being hired to work on their brand as long as they have the numbers.
The third reason is obvious, a vice that has crossed over from politics; which is that many people have realized how lucrative the Influencer Marketing Industry, so they’ve started hiring relatives and friends for every gig without paying attention to their individual content creation abilities.
The other more universal vice is that Influencer Marketing has been adopted in Uganda, but because of the low results, many companies haven’t allocated ‘enabling’ budgets for the execution of a comprehensive and effective Influencer Marketing Strategy.
Best practices for Ugandan influencer marketing
Define your goals
Identify your goals for the campaign, whether it is to increase brand awareness, drive sales, or generate leads. This will determine the type of influencers you need, in which quantity, target audience, geographical location among other factors. Expecting an Influencer Marketing campaign to deliver on more than 3 fronts is rather reckless, and might lead to the waste of budget. It’s best to pick 2 more objectives or one over and above Awareness.
Talk to an influencer marketing agency
There are Influencer Marketing agencies that have executed many influencer Marketing campaigns in Uganda, and have therefore made all of the mistakes there is to make. Take for instance, Adris Digital Africa, (a PR and Digital agency) is reputed for having executed many successful influencer marketing campaigns. Choosing an agency in the caliber of Adris Digital Africa will put you in position to establish a great strategy. This essentially helps you identify your target audience: understand it, and it helps you use your goals to determine which influencers you choose and consequently, what you need from them. Agencies in the caliber of Adris Digital Africa often dictate every post that goes up, by creating all of the content whether in video or text format.
Budgets are a crucial element when determining whether or not an Influencer Marketing campaign will be effective or not. Nano influencers are billed at a professional rate of between ugx 500,000 to ugx 1,000,000, while Micro influencers range from ugx 1,000,000 to ugx 5,000,000. While Macro Influencers earn a professional rate of between ugx 5,000,000 to as much as ugx50,000,000. This is before agency management fees. The trick here is to stop treating Influencer Marketing as a side bar budget, and allocate substantial budgets so that companies are able to fully harness its power.
It’s important to monitor the results of your influencer marketing campaigns to determine their effectiveness. This can be done by tracking engagement rates, website traffic, and sales.
Influencer marketing can be an effective way to reach new audiences and promote your brand. By following best practices, such as choosing the right influencers, being transparent, choosing the right agency and setting clear goals, you can use influencer marketing to achieve your marketing objectives. As with any marketing strategy, it’s essential to monitor results and adjust your approach as needed to ensure that you are achieving the desired outcomes.
Solomon Muleyi is a public relations expert.