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Influencer marketing in South Africa: 4 reasons it's still effective

Unless you have been living under a rock, influencer marketing is certainly not a new phenomenon in digital marketing. That being said, many businesses and digital marketers still struggle to understand, strategise and execute influencer marketing successfully. In 2020, everyone in the digital world has dabbled in one form of influencer marketing or another and has inevitably reached one of two conclusions: It works, or it doesn't! In South Africa, influencer marketing continues to be hugely effective, and there are many reasons for that.

The truth is that there are plenty of influencer marketing initiatives that fail miserably. Just like anything else in digital marketing, hands-on experience goes a long way in rolling out a successful influencer marketing strategy. Understanding the advantages of working with influencers can also help one define clear goals for their strategy. Despite popular belief, the reach is not a measuring yard for any good influencer marketing strategy.

Influencer marketing in South Africa

Many South African influencer marketing platforms and agencies have come and gone in the last five years - some more successful than others. As South Africa experienced a giant boom in internet culture, we can now boast of plenty of influencers; from niche ones, to local celebrities, entertainers and various online personalities, the scope of influencers in South Africa has exploded.

Separating the wheat from the chaff with regard to influencer marketing in South Africa is just one of the hurdles digital marketers and brands face. Identifying the real influencing is merely one initial step. Let’s look at all the other wins that your business or marketing strategy can gain from working with influencers.

Influencer marketing builds trust

Where many businesses completely miss the mark with digital marketing in general is by continually going after the hard-sell with all the content that they produce. People don’t necessarily trust what you say about yourself, especially when you are trying to build awareness. They are going to take everything you market that you produce yourself with a pinch of salt, and a dash of skepticism.

Building trust can easily start with influencer marketing in South Africa. Most influencers have an audience that trusts them already. If the influencer trusts your business or brand, then chances are the influencers’ audience will follow suit.

Influencer marketing cuts through banner ad blindness

Display ads still have their place in digital marketing, but they’re not nearly as important as they were in the 1990’s. We have become blind, not just to most display ads, but to almost all digital advertisements. We mindlessly scroll past hundreds, if not thousands, of ads on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.

Influencer marketing puts your business where the audience will notice it. The main advantage of digital marketing is that it’s reaching people where their attention already is: social media, or simply the screen of their smartphone. By working with influencers, you can pinpoint your marketing efforts much more effectively than by running an ad on Facebook. Even if that Facebook ad is targeted, it won’t be as targeted as speaking to an influencers’ audience via the influencer.

Influencer marketing can have a positive impact on SEO, especially in South Africa

Nobody with a business that has a website (in 2020, that’s pretty much everyone) can ignore SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Google is still the go-to for the vast majority of internet users when they are doing research or looking for a service or product to buy. When influencers talk about you online, you might get a mention on their website, or even a link to your website. This is something most businesses are trying to achieve, because it massively impacts your SEO.

An effective form of marketing if done right

Influencer marketing is still an effective form of marketing. How the strategy is implemented and executed will dictate the success of your campaign. If you know beforehand exactly what advantages you stand to gain, it will be easier to justify the time and effort that goes into running an effective influencer marketing campaign in South Africa.

If you are looking to focus more on SEO, and successful influencer marketing campaigns, book a session with digital marketing experts, Starbright Solutions.

About the author

Ruan has been working in digital marketing for the past 10 years, specialising in SEO, content marketing and influencer marketing. He cut his teeth n two of SEO's most competitive markets, namely classifieds and online gambling. Some of the SEO strategies that he implemented are still being used by some of Africa's biggest sports betting platforms. He also runs and manages one of South Africa's largest Afrikaans digital publications, gevaaalik.com, where he has the opportunity to put his theory into practice, before deploying his learnings to his client's digital marketing campaigns. Linkedin profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ruansfourie/

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