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Four factors affecting evolution of influencer marketing in SA

In its 2015 trends review of campaigns, Webfluential analysed the data and identified factors that will affect the evolution of influencer marketing in South Africa. This global evolution has firmly taken its place in the South African marketing and advertising landscape, with two thirds of advertisers planning to spend more on native advertising in 2016.

This is because 70% of individuals have expressed their interest in learning about products through content, rather than through traditional advertising. Webfluential data also shows that native advertising, that includes rich media, enjoys conversion rates boosted by up to 60%.

1. Supply vs demand

There are some verticals where the supply of influencers matches the number of campaigns. These consist of platforms along the themes of fashion, parenting, beauty, retail and personal blogging. However, there is a dearth of influencers in the business, finance and motoring arenas.

An oversupply of influencers offering content opportunities around travel, pets, lifestyle and entertainment and music has also been noted, with less interest from marketers in topics such as arts and education, sports, travel and pets.

“There are opportunities to build lucrative influential platforms in underserviced verticals, if you are a content creator,” says Samantha Wright, sales and content manager at Webfluential. “If you are a marketer, you have got the power to pick and choose the influencers you work with in the travel, pets, lifestyle and entertainment, parenting and beauty, retail and personal verticals – so make sure you get good value for your marketing spend.”

2. Long form wins over microblogging

“With the growth in native advertising spend comes a shift in platform of choice and marketers are choosing blogs as the most influential outlets for native advertising that yield great results,” says national sales manager, Hayley Wessels.

The research shows that during 2015:

    • More than 40% of campaigns were seeded to blogs, while Facebook posts were the medium of choice for 26.5% of marketers.

    • Twitter lagged, with just over 18% of marketers opting for sponsored posts, while other platforms, such as Instagram, lagged with just 14% of the pie.

3. Time is money – so do not waste either

“Overexposure and fatigue are real phenomena in influencer marketing and data shows that while only 15% of campaigns lasted for 14 days, it was these campaigns that saw the greatest rate of engagement,” says Myles Brown, head of sales in Cape Town.

He notes that the data shows that one quarter of campaigns run for seven days, and campaigns that run for one day receive the least engagement - although 15% of marketers opt for 24-hour projects.

4. Which weekday works best?

“The numbers show that the best day of the week for social engagement is Thursday, even though the amount of time spent on various sites is the greatest on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Thursdays are usually the sweet spot not only for getting eyes on your content – but also for eliciting action,” says Kirsty Sharman, head of global operations.

Influencer marketing is no longer about gut feel or a spray-and-pray approach - it is about working and using the data provided effectively.


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