The State of Influencer Marketing

#influencers #influencermarketing

Influencers. The word is bandied around rather handily in the marketing universe. The Kenyan space hasn’t been left behind.

It has grown in leaps and bounds over the last couple of years with a conspicuous and deliberate trend towards a more professional outlook. Brands have become better at using influencers as ambassadors for their campaigns, products and generally for their sentiment.

The numbers tell us of a ready and willing audience online. Kenya has approximately 7 million netizens on Facebook. Instagram comes second with about 3 million people while the tweeps representing Twitter come third with 1.2 million. The platforms have seen growth in day to day usage especially in the era of oversharing.

The internet minute is a great way to look at the sheer volume of content that is created and shared. 481,000 tweets are sent, 973,000 logins on Facebook and 174,000 scrolls on Instagram. That presents a lot of content for the audience to sift through. Loads of cat pictures, trailers and new baby announcements to go through. This explains why brands have become more specific about peering through the clutter and making an impact.

“Influencer marketing” as a search term grew by 325% in 2017. It’s clear that marketing departments are trying to find more bang for their buck. As of 2017 there were just under 13 million influencer sponsored posts on Instagram. Return on investment is the name of the game and we are seeing more people investing on the social pull provided by influencers. In the battle of owned versus earned media, marketers are finding themselves looking to influencers to keep the conversations going.

This growth has fueled niches across the spectrum. Everything from fashion to finance and everything in between. Influencers are becoming better at building their voice and fueling the conversations that come with that voice. As the industry grows the competition becomes more fevered. The rat race means that marketing departments are fighting for reach and the top influencers find themselves constantly speaking for brand after brand.
It’s a daily sacrifice. Where sincerity is sacrificed at the altar of reach. A daily duel. One that the audience sees through. They see through promoted tweets and blogs in the same way that they impatiently wait for the 6 seconds of the YouTube pre-roll.

Finding content that resonates with the target audience is like finding the marketing Holy Grail. And it can only happen when the right brand and content creators find a sweet spot. The ones who get it right aren’t the ones who will have the biggest budgets or the highest reach but the ones who get the right fit. A new age dance that marries technology to creativity.

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