Digital advertising for African start-ups

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Almost 40% of Africa’s population has access to the internet, which is slightly lower than the global average of almost 60%. While this demonstrates that Africa is slightly behind the rest of the world in terms of technological advancement, their percentage of online users still equates to millions of people. Plus, with continual improvements in modern technology in Africa, the figure of internet users is rising. This means that online advertising is becoming a more desirable opportunity for start-up businesses as it’s a great way to target large and desired audiences. It’s for that reason, that while businesses still opt for traditional forms of advertising and television adverts, newer digital forms of advertising are seeing a rise in Africa.

How online digital advertising has increased potential for start-ups

One African start-up business, Andela, intended to disrupt the engineering industry via emerging online markets back in 2014. The Nigerian start-up business functions online, and its core service is the offering of an online talent community for companies and engineers alike. Diversifying away from the traditional paper job applications and interviews, Andela provided ease of access for users across the country where they can join a community of talent, with the aim of being recognised by businesses. Being an online-only company, their target audience, naturally, was found online. Hence, the need for online advertising.

While Andela is a good example of an African start-up business that strayed away from the norm and began to utilise emerging markets; namely, online platforms, plenty of others have followed in their footsteps. Hence, over the past decade, online advertising has been on the rise in Africa. Though, since it isn’t as established when compared to its western neighbours, it means there are more opportunities for start-up businesses to benefit from, as they can take advantage of the gaps in the online business industry. As an emerging market in Africa, the online space is ready and waiting for advertisements to be used, from social media platforms to online publishers like Euro Africa News, which already hosts spaces for digital adverts.

What to look out for when implementing a digital advertisement strategy

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While the online space presents an exciting and promising opportunity in Africa where start-up businesses can target new customers and larger amounts of people, it also comes with increased risk. As African publishers are increasingly sought out for advertisement partnerships, it’s essential that they maximise the potential for their business partner.

Unfortunately, the online space is inundated with harmful advertisements, from pop-up ads to auto redirects. Each of these two can deflect attention away from a start-up business’s advertisement and actually cause harm to the online user via a misleading message. Luckily, publishers can invest in software like Geoedge, which protects both the publisher’s on-site reputation and the business’s product or service, by preventing harmful ads from landing on site. It’s for that reason that, while Africa’s digital advertising is on the rise, so should their online safeguarding measures, which are beneficial to all parties involved – the user, the business, and the publisher.

All in all, it’s clear that the opportunity for digital advertising in Africa is promising, so long as all parties involved are prepared to do their part in delivering advertisements online safely and thus, effectively.