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Rise of influencer marketing, brand endorsement deals in Nigerian tech startups

“People do not buy goods (brands) and services. They buy relations, stories, and magic” – Seth Godin.

In a time when the average customer is flooded with many marketing activities, both online and offline, understanding the power of influence to drive your marketing has become pivotal in building brands in the 21st-century era.

The top Influencer & brand endorsement deals in Nigeria have mostly been enjoyed by the FMCG & Telco brands who have the deep pockets required to sign A-list celebrities with a large social currency that can help sway consumers to the brand’s side. With the rise of fintech in Nigeria, their growth in valuation and huge capital raises they too have been able to afford some big names to endorse the brand and influence more consumers.

A 2021 U.S report by Civic Science found that 14% of 18 to 24 years old had bought something within the last six months due to a blogger or influencer’s recommendation, this transcends beyond just the United States. The influencer marketing trend is a worldwide phenomenon and smart brands are already reaping the benefits of such influencer collaborations.  

So how would you categorise the social media influencers you intend to use? For social proof, you should look at their follower’s numbers.

Your influencer marketing strategy should determine your choice of influencers based on their followership size and relevance to brand.

From experience and keen observation of the influencer marketing industry,  there are 2 popular reasons why a tech start-up should consider influencer marketing to drive business goals.

Awareness: You just launched your product, a new feature, a new partnership, an event or what have you, influencers will get people in the know. Counting on their reach, relevance, and resonance to deliver your message to a broad audience.
Target marketing: When you understand who and where your customers are and where their interests lie then use influencers that appeal to those specific interests / niche who have built quality relationship with their followers who fit the profile of your customers. For example, a tech product targeted at women or fit mums would best collaborate with an influencer in the fitness space who helps women lose weight and advise on meal preps.

For a tech start-up that wants to adopt an influencer marketing strategy, there are 3 key components to consider when choosing your influencer(s).

Reach: This is the number of customers or people your brand could potentially reach through the influencer’s community base. While trying to attain the best, it makes sense to have a combination of all types of influencers but this would be subject to the available budget.

Relevance: An influencer with relevance would share content that is relevant to your brand and industry. For a tech start-up, the influencer/ambassador needs to have a personality close to that of the brand or the story they are trying to tell along with an audience that is like the type of customers the business wants to target.

Resonance: This is the outcome of both reach and resonance, it is the potential level of engagement an influencer can create with an audience using your brand’s message and offerings.

Let’s look at some influencer marketing campaigns by Nigerian tech start-ups in recent times.

#TheQuidaxCall campaign by Quidax (a digital assets exchange that enables buying and selling of cryptocurrency) carefully selected celebrity influencers in all 4 categories (nano, macro, micro & mega) to drive awareness and reach for their product launch. Quidax leveraged the influence of Don Jazzy to grow their brand while using his reputation of being popular for doing ‘give aways’ to drive new account openings.
Some stats from their Twitter campaigns:

Quidax billboards of Don Jazzy, seen in Lagos.


#ChipperXBurna campaign by Chipper Cash (the borderless payment gateway to send and receive money) announced Grammy winner Burna Boy as an ambassador last year, suffice to say that you can bank on the execution of how they’ve leveraged Burna Boy in getting the necessary reach and attention, to ultimately drive acquisitions for Chipper.

Some stats from their Twitter campaigns: