Given South Africa's massive social challenges of youth unemployment reaching an all-time high of 64.40% in 2021, there is an even greater responsibility for brands to look at ways of creating employment opportunities in 2022 by upskilling consumers to generate income from the new opportunities that have risen with the new world order of the 4th digital revolution. Nivea's brand manager, Sinenhlanhla Njapha, believes that more campaigns like a pilot project Nivea launched in 2020 must be aggressively adopted by brands and businesses going forward because 'doing good, is good for business'.
2021/22 Masterclass Influencer Panelists with Sinenhlanhla Njapha.
Left to right: Mpoomy Ledwaba, Lungile Thabethe, Sinenhlanhla Mambi, Sinenhlanhla Njapha, Nadia Jaftha, Pamela Mtanga
Our unemployment rate coupled with insights gained from a comprehensive trend forecast on digital content entrepreneurship, was the catalyst that sparked our commitment to investing in an initiative that looked to uplift, care for, and empower women by helping them launch a career in the digital space as an influencer. Taking advantage of the digital space is so important, especially considering the global shift and expedited growth of the online community – particularly as a result of the pandemic. According to the Deloittes Commerce Acceleration Study, over the next five years, e-commerce revenues are expected to grow by a CAGR of more than 9% and with a 37% e-commerce penetration in South Africa. Furthermore, approximately 22 million consumers shopped online in 2020, of which this number is expected to grow by 44% to 32 million users by 2024.
The engagement we experienced in the past two years just from our Nivea Skinfluencers Search campaign reflects this exciting growth and hunger in the online space. The Skinfluencers total website page views over the specific periods when the campaigns were launched for 2020 and 2021 equated to just under 1,600,000 views and time spent engaging on the site averaged around two minutes per viewer. So, through this campaign that aimed to do good we not only successfully upskilled ten South African women directly and thousands more through the knowledge and skill sharing via our online masterclass and monthly newsletters. The winners receive mentorship with seasoned experts and tools to boost their content development and ultimately help create viable careers for them as influencers; we also benefitted as a business through the massive interest and engagement we received over the past two years with record numbers reached.
In marketing circles, it’s no secret that there is a profound influence on sentiment and consumer mindset when an influencer who believes in a product and brand advocates for them with authenticity to their following and audience. From a business perspective, we were able to enhance our reputation as one of the leading skincare brands in the world through these alternative ‘marketing agents’ (in other words, our Skinfluencers) who lent their creativity and audience to the brand. Through this exercise we also recognised the important role we were playing for the industry in paving the way for quality skincare and beauty content by South African influencers and then empowerment of women in Africa to tell their unique stories to the world.
Through the different personalities that captured the attention of their different audiences we were able to diversify our content and reach, thereby amplifying our key messaging and the voices of those we serve at large. I’m not convinced these same results and engagement could have been achieved if we invested the same amount of spend utilising just traditional media channels.
I truly believe that it’s not only the responsibility, but to the benefit of all brands in South Africa going into 2022 to evaluate their marketing strategies with an important emphasis being place on investing in meaningful initiatives for the mutual benefit of both the brand and consumer. We have well-informed consumers who are conscious and emotionally attached to the brands they choose and will support brands that are authentic and adding value to their lives. My experience with the Nivea Skinfluencer Search tells me how much appetite there is and demand for the kind of platforms where businesses do good and in return are rewarded with businesses doing well and ultimately helping revive a struggling economy with potential job creation opportunities.