- How to refine your craft as an influencer
- There are 830 000 Facebook users in Botswana
The rise of the digital age has come with advanced marketing strategies that may be more effective and speak directly to a targeted audience. However, influencer marketing, a fresh form of advertising synonymous with the digital era is moving at a snail’s pace in Botswana despite brand managers slowly warming up to the idea as they try to leave no stone unturned in the battle for market share.Barclays Bank of Botswana recently hosted a Content Creators Forum in Gaborone where they brought online content creators from different fields including finance, travel and tourism, agriculture, health, lifestyle and social commentary to share relevant skills needed to upscale and improve their influencer marketing skills.
The forum revealed that “Influencer marketing” is the form of marketing in which focus is placed on influential people such as celebrities in the entertainment or sporting arena, rather than a target market as a whole, on social media. The marketing strategy entails identifying individuals who have influence over potential customers, and orients marketing activities around these influencers.
“We are passionate about sharing skills that will help local content creators refine their craft and take it to the next level. We believe that with the right tools and support, content creators bear the potential to economically support themselves and also create employment,” said Spencer Moreri, Acting Head of Marketing & Corporate Relations at Barclays.
Locally, while influencers have excelled in building platforms and a following that can leverage the attention on societal issues, topics and products, they have persistently struggled to forge partnerships with the relevant brands to advance their mandate to their full potential. According to Ashleig Burton, the head of Social Media at Samsung South Africa, influencers needed to build their brands, find their niche, build their audience, plan their content, adopt blogging tools and have a media kit before approaching brands for a partneship.
“The reality is that to be an authentic and engaging social media influencer, your content needs to be something you can speak about in an intelligent and inspiring way. A content calendar is also important as it holds the details of what content will be produced in a certain amount of time,” Burton said adding that Grammarly, Google Analytics, Canva, Buffer and Bit.ly are some of the top tools for bloggers.
With over 830 000 active Facebook users in Botswana, it’s no surprise that social media receives a constant stream of daily media content, however, with such an intense media wave, users often struggle to reach their ideal audience and generate sufficient engagement, which is an area of concern for brands wishing to collaborate with influencers. Burton also highlighted that 67.6% of marketers consider finding relevant influencers their largest influencer marketing challenge. The social media guru revealed that by working with influencers she has learnt that they are constantly on the look-out for authenticity, creative content and respect among others as their own reputation and community are at risk if they engage with fraudulent influencers.
While influencer marketing is a well-established strategy for many brands’, 86% of them still admit they don’t know how much they should pay their influencers, revealed Burton. Content’s worth is however determined by the number of followers, the amount of engagement their posts generally garner, the fit of the advertisement with their brand and following, number of posts required, where the Ad will be promoted and the amount of effort from the influencer.
“When it comes to social media trends, Instagram rules. Instagram Money Calculator is one tool that allows you to calculate your estimated earnings from your Instagram account, based on your engagement and number of followers and is great as earning potential guideline to influencers,” she advised, adding that influencer marketing is engaging, credible and it works.
The forum was a Masterclass and interactive meet and greet session between the content creators and marketing managers from leading brands and organisations in Botswana. The engagement encouraged mutually beneficial relationships between the two and created an opportunity for them to share industry experiences, challenges and successes.
“We remain committed to continuing to engage with local industries, understanding their needs and helping them achieve their business goals and capabilities. We are proud to support and nurture the growth of the local creative industry, as we believe in building partnerships that have the potential to positively impact our economy,” Moreri concluded.