Digital content is leveling the playing field when it comes to opportunities and connections. The influencer industry continues to transform as consumer behavior and technology evolves. What does this mean for Africa? With the increased global interest to support, invest, and collaborate with the vast spectrum of talent and innovation throughout the continent, this is the time to strategically position all of Africa’s voices. In this video, I share tips on how to develop a digital strategy, focusing on personal brands and businesses based in Africa and interested in tapping into the African market.
As I mentioned in the video, your overall digital strategy should answer the following points:
- What is your story?
- What is your goal?
- Who is your target audience?
- Who is your competition?
- What platforms or channels will you focus on?
Even though there is a lot of material about digital marketing and digital content strategy in the West, not all of it appropriately translates for the African market. Each country in Africa holds different cultural norms, laws, and consumer behavior. Access to internet is also varied. Thus, traditional modes of digital marketing and strategy do not always fulfill expectations on the ground. That is why I decided to break it down here.
As a personal brand, your story is the most important part of your strategy. It answers the question for your potential community as to why they should pay attention to you and trust you. Authenticity is key here. What have you overcome? What are you passionate about? How can you be of service? This does not have to be complicated or astronomically huge. The more vulnerable and intimate your answer is, the more likely it will resonate with the right people. This also does not require pulling heart strings. If I really did not grow up living in a shoe box in my Dad’s garage, I do not need to create a persona of struggle.
As a business, your story is also the most important part of your brand. It provides your potential customers a reason to care about your product and trust you. Authenticity and creativity is key here. Your people are also important. The brand story can encompass the narrative behind how the business began, the problem your product solves, the people who make your product a reality, and the people you want to serve with your product. Give your company a personality.
As a personal brand, you are building a community to take them somewhere. This can evolve over time, but pay attention to the value of your community. Take note of their questions and preferences. Develop a reliable way to communicate with them individually.
As a business, your goal is to make a profit, of course, but also to establish your brand as the expert and preferred choice in your industry. This can be done in a variety of ways. In the video, I speak to advertisements, which need to be clever and not look like an advertisements. Other options include educating your audience, showcasing your employees and customers, plus hosting experiences.
As a personal brand, I feel there are two branches to this. One, create an imaginary person who you think would benefit from your content or service. Second, focus on the lifestyle, mindset, or experience you think your potential audience would be attracted to.
As a business, your audience can be more narrow in terms of who would purchase your product or service. However, a developed online brand expands your potential customer reach.
As a personal brand, this is where market research comes in. Follow and study hashtags and brands to understand what is working and trending. This will lead you to understand where the void is and how you can fill it better.
As a business, expand your market research to see how others in your industry are positioning their brand online. Also study your customers online preferences and behavior.
Platforms or Channels
For both personal brands and businesses, set up an account on every platform that is widely used. This is free and is important to keep your brand professional. Then, take the time to understand how your story and goal translates into each platform. You do not need to be active on all of them, but you do need to be effective on the ones that work for you.
There is such a wide space for this. For example, in Ghana, there is a growing number of creators producing a variety of media. There is so much room for more sponsored content between local businesses and these creators plus strategic positioning to establish these voices as experts in their industries. This also is where aligning the content and strategy with the cultural norms, laws, and consumer behavior for the country is important. For instance, the news about 5 Egyptian women being arrested in Egypt over the videos they posted on TikTok illustrates how important it is to balance all the information you are consuming globally and how to safely position your voice on the ground.
I feel the influencer and brand industry can fill part of the void in market data in Africa. As a voice with an engaged community surrounding your expertise, you can be the liaison between opportunity interest coming from brands and investments in and out of Africa. This is an exciting time.
I hope you found these tips helpful. What else about digital content strategy would you like to learn about? Let me know in the comments.
Also, who is your favorite African influencer or brand? Share with me in the comments.
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