Internet Advertising in African Countries – What’s Next?


The African continent represents a diverse market for digital advertisers and will favor those who know their markets best, including elements like local language and variations in internet download speeds.

Trends in advertising on the internet

Mobile internet marketing will see the biggest growth. Mobile penetration has reached 150 percent in South Africa, a percentage that is expected to increase due to falling prices on smartphones and other mobile devices, with other African markets showing double-digit growth.

Mobile cash – African markets – Kenya in particular – have actually been the world leaders in some technologies such a mobile cash services like Vodafone’s M-Pesa. This trend will only continue to grow in importance, allowing consumers to buy without requiring physical access to funds.

Paid search advertising continues to dominate the digital market, with quarterly growth up 18 percent year-on-year over the market segment that includes Europe, the Middle East and Africa (or EMEA).

Video based content will continue to be the most successful model and African brands are catching onto the wave. More than 50 percent of all South African brands use Youtube as a marketing channel.

Content driven marketing will become more and more important. Today’s consumers expect an engaging experience that focuses on experience rather than simply delivering a marketing message as is the case with traditional advertising models.

Personalized marketing – rather than delivering a generic message, data collection and integration of platforms will allow companies to personalize the message that is delivered to each consumer.

User generated content – the growth of video driven platforms such as Snapchat and Periscope means more and more user generated content. Savvy marketers will see opportunities to integrate their messaging with it to create increased user engagement both in the B2B and B2C sectors.

Meaningful content – the concern over the environment, human rights and other social justice issues is not a passing fad. More and more consumers are looking for content that responds to their concerns and tying advertising messaging to this trend will become more and more important.

The “The Afropolitan Revolution” – the trend recognizes Africa’s burgeoning middle class, currently at about 300 to 500 million people and projected to double by 2030. More and more, successful advertisers will learn how to target this population, weighted in favor of the younger generation who are developing a new urban, cosmopolitan culture that is uniquely African, despite the influx of global content. It’s a generation that is self-aware and responds to a fusion of local and global influences.


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