On the 14th of June, digital influencers and experts from across the world converged at the State of Influence event hosted by MediaCom and indaHash in Sandton, Johannesburg. The event saw these experts in their field share, share their insights and predictions for the future of the influencer marketing to a captivated audience.
The hosts indaHash and MediaCom are both major role players in this space. indaHash connects brands with their global network of 250, 000 digital influencers, who have a combined reach of over half a billion followers. Using an international platform that is fully automated, indaHashhas has changed the process of collaboration between brands and digital influencers. In its short lifespan, having only opened in 2016, indaHash has already worked on more than 200 campaigns for some of the world’s biggest brands, such as Coca-Cola, P&G, McDonald’s, and L’Oreal.
The award-winning MediaCom, however, is one of the largest content and media agencies worldwide, this is evident by the fact that they employ 7,000 people in 125 offices across 100 countries. Their global client roster includes Dell, P&G, Shell and Universal. MediaCom is “The Content + Connections Agency” and acts on the behalf of their clients to leverage their brands’ entire system of communications across paid, owned and earned channels to change their clients business outcomes.
The two companies came together through a strategic digital partner in 20016 which helped indaHash enter the South African market.
After an entertaining ice-breaking exercise, the event kicked off with Joanna Pawluk, the Chief Growth Officer (CGO) at indaHash. She broke down how much the publishing spaced has changed with the invention of social media. In today’s market, any person who is able to leverage the use of these new platforms can become publishers in their own right and this thus allows them to “Influence” the market. Pawluk also unpacked how her company uses these influencers to help get brands across to their desired consumer.
Next was Nicola Cooper, a Senior Trends Researcher & Analyst, who highlighted the latest trends in SA digital marketing. She spoke of the impact of micro-influencers, people with 4000-100 000 followers, and how their extra engagement makes them important to brands. As Africa is mainly made up of these micro-influencers companies will need to leverage them going forward to ensure brand strength among Generation Z.
The third speaker was Uno De Wall, MD & Founder at 5TUDIO and 10and5.com, he unpacked the landscape which is the creative economy of South Africa. The economy makes up 3% of the South African GDP, injecting R90 billion. He was followed by Nicholas Argyros, Owner at INJOZI Digital Design, AUDIO MILITIA and Audio Boutique. Argyros spoke about his companies omni-channel AI Solution, GOTBOT, and how chatbot systems using common apps such as Facebook Messenger could revolutionise the retail industry.
The final speaker was Federico Dedeu, Head of MediaCom Beyond Advertising South Africa who spoke of the social media epidemic which has seen the rise of digital influencers as trusted sources over mainstream media. The event was then wrapped up by Ashish Williams, CEO of MediaCom and Joanna Pawluk of indaHash. The State of influence gave all in attendance a great insight into an ever evolving industry.
By Dean Workman