Seizing this opportunity, ayoba introduced content marketing to the African market in 2022. The Super App has already seen significant success with its content projects, offering free music streaming, games, videos, editorial channels localised per territory, and chat and call features. This multi-faceted approach culminated in ayoba recently reaching a milestone of 30 million monthly active users. The content marketing project went live in February 2023, featuring campaigns for Mondalez brands like Cadbury's and Chappies, quickly followed by Nedbank (via The Media Shop) and DSTv.
"It's about contextual relevance for brand partners," comments Gillian Ezra, head of content and engagement for ayoba. "We are able to match audiences by their interests, for instance, featuring a food brand in our Food Tips and Tricks Channel – or targeting a male audience interested in rugby through our World Of Rugby Channel. By focusing on interest-based channels (editorial and video) and building in-app traffic drivers around them, like our new Explore page, we are able to achieve excellent results for our brand partners. With our free data offering for MTN users and sustained user engagement, we offer excellent ROI to partners."
The results speak for themselves. The Chappies campaign stands out as the best performing to date, garnering 392k post views, 225k video views and a 4% CTR. Ayoba takes particular pride in outperforming the same material on a popular social media platform, achieving 10x more views.
Cadbury's followed their initial Storytime campaign with a second one, highlighting their Springboks sponsorship, currently running across the sports channels. "Content-based marketing is so important, especially in our digital environment, where the attention economy is still core for brands wanting to connect meaningfully with their consumers," says CherylAnn Sawyer, managing partner, Ogilvy Experience. "Consumers though, are not seeking branded content. They're seeking content that interests them, mostly from peers, on platforms they trust, and those they find and follow that are influential in their world.
"So for brands to make an impact, ayoba offers an immersive experience with quality content that makes branded content appealing and interesting. The social trend of mostly short-form content is shifting, with high engagement results from the past two Mondelez campaigns, because of the overall user experience on ayoba. We can clearly see that great content has positively impacted the engagement on the platform, a win for consumers and a win for brands."
DSTv's campaign to promote Channel O, launched in late June, has also been well-received and seen impressive engagement rates, especially on the ayoba Music SA channel – exceeding 250k video views, 220k post views, 30k likes and a CTR of 7%. Charis Coleman, head of digital content at Multichoice Digital, comments: "Ayoba has been a game-changer for us at Channel O. It's not just an app, but a gateway to a whole new digital audience that aligns seamlessly with our youth-centric market.
"With ayoba, our growth has been nothing short of remarkable, witnessing month-on-month improvements and referrals to both our OTT platform and website. Surprisingly, some of our content, like new show promos and artist interviews, shine even brighter on ayoba than on our Channel O website. This speaks volumes about the direct link ayoba creates between our content and the audience."
Similarly, Nedbank's campaigns performed exceptionally well, leading to further collaborations for their Stokvel and Funeral brands. Ayoba is particularly welcoming of the MoneyEdge campaign, which offers much-needed financial education to the user base.
Ayoba's full-service offering to brand partners includes content creation and optimisation. The platform has also expanded its advertising capabilities by integrating the Google Ad server, enabling display ads in well-trafficked sections of the app and delivering millions of impressions across a highly engaged audience in music, sport, fashion, and many other content verticals.
The platform's reach extends across the African continent, initially focusing on Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Nigeria, and South Africa. Ayoba has since expanded its operations to include new markets such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Senegal, Tanzania, and Togo.
Born out of a partnership with MTN, ayoba is available on all networks and offers complimentary daily data in certain participating territories, amplifying its value proposition. With its current growth trajectory, ayoba is on track to achieve 100 million monthly active users by 2025, in line with MTN's Ambition 2025 strategy.
*VoIP and video calls are not zero-rated for MTN subscribers