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Everything There is to Know About Influencing And Influencers in The Pearl

Shawn Davis Kawalya

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The other day was eventful on Twitter, as many individuals voiced their concerns about the Toyota Rumion Influencer campaign, following similar criticisms from Kenyan Twitter users. The campaign aimed to promote the car model and increase its visibility, which is a positive step in marketing.

However, it is important to acknowledge that the use of influencers in digital marketing only gained prominence in Uganda during the COVID-19 pandemic when businesses had to adopt online marketing techniques to reach their customers.

While this trend has been beneficial for some businesses, it is also important to remember those who have lost loved ones to the pandemic. We should keep them in our thoughts and prayers.

Although the digital marketing space in Uganda is often seen as advanced, we still have room to grow in the influencer sector. Many brands believe that influencer marketing is only viable on TikTok and Twitter, which limits opportunities for smaller brands on other platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Snapchat.

John Boitnot once stated that a great influencer for one brand could be a painful fit for another but a little bit of homework can avoid problems.

In Uganda’s digital marketing landscape, brands often prioritize two key factors when hiring influencers: creating brand awareness and generating trends.

Unfortunately, engagement is frequently overlooked as a crucial key performance indicator (KPI). This is because most influencer campaigns are quick fixes, with brands seeking to address various issues using the influencer’s reach.

It’s important to note that many brands, particularly those new to digital marketing, prioritize trend-setting as the primary KPI for influencer campaigns. While brand awareness is still a crucial factor, it often takes a backseat to the more immediate and visible impact of creating a trend.

However, some brands do take a more analytical approach, utilizing UTM codes to track the number of clicks generated by each influencer’s content. This enables them to pay the influencer based on the number of clicks generated, rather than just views or shares.

Interestingly, many brands also turn to Google Ads to drive traffic to their websites, as some Ugandan websites block local Ads. This further highlights the need for more robust tracking mechanisms to evaluate the effectiveness of influencer campaigns.

Influencer marketing has become a key strategy for many brands in Uganda. This is because influencers have the ability to reach new audiences and potentially boost sales. However, it is important to note that brands should not solely focus on an influencer’s number of followers when hiring them.

Research has shown that the engagement rate of an influencer is a crucial factor to consider. In fact, influencers with a smaller following may have a higher engagement rate, which can lead to a more effective campaign. Brands should also consider the influencer’s niche and whether it aligns with their product or service.

Moreover, influencer marketing has proven to be successful in generating revenue. A study by Influencer Marketing Hub found that businesses earn an average of $5.20 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing. This highlights the potential ROI of influencer marketing, making it a valuable investment for brands.

Dr. Davis Founder and CEO and Founder of Rocket Health Uganda argues that there’s a ‘Rule of Thumb on ‘influencers’. He adds that;

For Awareness: Focus on influencers with reach aka numbers in your target audience.

For Engagement: Focus on niche influencers with knowledge, expertise and trusted technical clout in that domain.

For Conversion: Focus on influencers that only get paid by performance data on conversion as well internal teams that can actually close leads.

For a second, focus on the words in BOLD. I hope you see it now…

Racheal Alobo, an Influencer Marketing Coordinator in Uganda, highlights the importance of selecting influencers based on the objectives of a campaign. According to Racheal, brands in Uganda tend to prioritize trends over brand equity, leading to the hiring of influencers solely based on their ability to drive trend-related content without much consideration for other key factors.

This approach can result in brands overlooking the potential consequences of working with influencers who may not align with their values or campaign goals. While follower count is an important consideration, it should not be the only factor taken into account when selecting influencers. Instead, brands should evaluate the influencer’s niche, engagement rate, and alignment with their brand values to ensure the success of the campaign.

When hiring an influencer for a marketing campaign, it is important to keep in mind several key factors. Firstly, while the number of followers an influencer has may seem important, it is more crucial to find an influencer who can seamlessly reach your target audience.

In addition, it is essential to have clear goals and objectives for the campaign, and to clearly state the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you will be tracking. Communication is key, so ensure to brief your chosen influencer with all the necessary information to execute the campaign successfully.

Rather than focusing solely on creating a trend, the aim should be to attract and engage with your audience. Finally, it is crucial to track the progress of the campaign closely and make adjustments as necessary to ensure the best possible results.

Support from Racheal Lakeli Alobo and Victoria Ateenyi.

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Shawn Davis Kawalya

'94 Poetry, Blogging, Volunteer, Critical Thinking, Free lancer, #DigitalMarketing, #ContentCreation.