The Problem with Influencer Marketing in South Africa

This post is an opinion [commentary] following Lelo (@lelowhatsgood) and Afro (@Afro_M)’s first podcast which you can listen to below.

When the concept and subsequent incorporation of Friends of Brands in late 2014 came about, I had built a strong interest in influencer marketing, thus, my then aim to build a platform that would aggregate social media (and web) personalities who had large followings, high interaction rates and resonated well with their audiences. At the time, only Webfluential existed in South Africa; it was also barely a year old. It still exists, but only as a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and no longer offers agency services, which is the area on which Friends of Brands has pivoted.

Key to Lelo and Afro’s podcast is the saturation of a few individuals who have (in the past 2 years or so) received the lion’s share of the work that brands have put out there. The podcast highlights the following 2 points about these individuals (and possibly others who will follow in their footsteps):

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If You’re Not Gonna Love It, Don’t Invest In It!

If you’re not going to put your time in it, don’t invest in it. Part of our audit process for clients is to look at online assets that they’ve invested in, but aren’t giving much love to. A couple of these don’t really deserve the love, but some actually do. We definitely don’t blame clients for reconsidering their online investments only after investing in them, but ideally, if you’re not going to nurture it into something that provides positive ROI (of whatever manner), then don’t invest in it at all.

The most common example of this is social media. How many social networks does your business have a presence on? In our clients’ case, it’s an average of 4 – the main ones being Facebook, Twitter and some degree Instagram and shockingly in 2017 still is Google Plus.


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5 Major Digital Marketing Trends for 2017: What South Africans and Emerging Marketers Need to Know

This is the first blog post from tihe Friends of Brands team. Without going into much detail of what this platform is all about (you can read about the purpose of the overall blog in the category section), we aim to share our knowledge and insights as thought leaders in our areas of business. With this and other posts, you should be able to gain much understanding about what we do and how our focus areas can help you as a professional, student or business.

  1. Renewed Focus on UX/UI
  2. Bigger Social Media Budgets
  3. Influencer Marketing in South Africa Becomes a Thing
  4. Better Defined Digital and ATL Strategies by Brands
  5. Renewed Relevance of Local Search

Defining Marketing Strategies

I’ll start with my favourite topic, Strategy. My commerce (academic) background sort of dictates that with every project, I (and the team) require an understanding of the overall strategy whose ultimate goals are the things we will work towards.

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