One of the biggest paradox when it comes to content strategy in Nigeria and most parts of Africa, is that non entertainment content is increasingly selling far less than entertainment based content.
Have you ever asked yourself why this is so?
Well, I did some research and here I’m going to tell you why…
What is Content Strategy?
Content strategy is the process that guides the planning, creation and delivery of content, in order to create a specific outcome.
Without an effective content strategy, it is very possible to spend your best effort and resources to create and share content without getting your returns on investment.
Now, what makes digital strategy peculiar in Africa is that unlike other regions, in Africa, the target audience, demographics and audience’s needs are very unique.
So, to create an effective content strategy in any part of Africa, you have to put this point of difference into perspectives. You have to understand the peculiarity of the Content Marketing Industry in Africa and then key into it to drive your goals, as part of your strategy.
The Escapism Angle to Content in Africa
Escapism is the desire to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities and the problems of everyday life, by seeking entertainment or engaging in a form of fantasy.
One notable thing about content marketing in Nigeria and Africa generally is that an increasing number of Africa’s youthful population are gradually using content marketing as a means of escaping the realities of every day life.
Take for example, a large number of social media and internet users in Nigeria are increasingly using digital content as a means of escapism thus driving the rise in humor marketing, comedy skits and comic content.
While this is not just happening in Africa alone, it is one of the most notable digital marketing trends in Africa in recent years and paying attention to this trend is very important if you plan to create a successful content ,marketing strategy in Africa.
Why Escapism Thrives in Content Marketing
One major motive for a decent number of content consumers in Nigerian and African market is to a large extent, to “escape reality” by seeking entertainment.
And for this reason they tend to ignore lots of content that does not offer this escape, regardless of how good they are.
In Nigeria in particular, when you feel disillusioned, tired or bored, it’s very common to have someone tell you “Get online and watch comedy skits and you will be fine”.
Believes like this and more have influenced the use of digital content in Africa, giving rise to the growth in comedy skit makers, getting the skit makers themselves, from ordinary people to social media influencers and then to celebrities with high end endorsements and even movie roles.
Using the Humor Marketing Strategy
To thrive in the African Content Marketing Space, you need to understand the use of Humor Marketing as part of your content strategy especially when it comes to digital advertising.
The reason for this is not far fetched. In Nigeria and most parts of Africa, your average content consumer is going to be more inclined to pay attention to content with a touch of humor or a good deal of entertainment.
This is why in Nigeria, an average content consumer will prefer a comedy show over a Ted Talk event, regardless of the supposed benefit derived from the later. Same reason why reality shows like BBnaija and others will thrive over others with supposedly more educational content.
Normally, this is not supposed to be so. But based on studies, a lot of socio economic, cultural factors and the daily realities of life sometimes contributes to putting pressure on a good number of the target audience, leading them to seek for whatever form of escapism they could afford.
And most times, these escape gets centered around entertainment that could manifest itself in contents like comedy, comic skits and so on.
With this reality, as a brand, using humor marketing as part of your content strategy for an African audience will lead you to creating content your audience can connect with.
Best Platform for Content Marketing in Africa
Africa’s population is very young. And for this reason, a large number of content consumers in Africa are the Gen Z, Millenials and to some extent, the baby boomers.
Compared to Europe and the Americas where this target population is spread broadly across the top social media platforms, in Africa, there’s a slight difference.
So, before choosing the best platform for your content, you have to understand where the majority of Africans are gathered online. After that, you also need to bear in mind the most popular content form shared on this platform, be it video, text, pictures or audio.
Going back to the popular platforms, the most popular social media platform for African users is Facebook. Going by recent statistics, Facebook controls over 70 percent of the African Social Media Audience.
It also top the charts in leading African countries like Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Egypt etc. But interestingly, one of the top trending content forms in Africa right now are short videos.
This statistics single handedly should make make Facebook your go to platform for content marketing in Africa. But there’s a twist to it.
Most Popular Content Form for Content Marketing
Recently, one of the most popular content forms for content consumers in Africa is short videos.
With the widespread availability of smartphones and increasingly affordable data, more content users in Africa are gradually paying more attention to video content.
The growth of short videos in African content marketing landscape goes to underscore the gradual adoption of video sharing platforms like YouTube, Tiktok, Instagram etc. And the good thing is, your video content can be shard across these platforms, including Facebook itself.
So, while trying to capture an African audience, keep in mind that you can start with Facebook but, you don’t necessarily have to use only text content or image based content, as part of your content strategy. Use a good deal of video content as well.
Creating an Effective Content Strategy in Africa
To create an effective content strategy in Africa, you need to know what works for an African Audience.
In my years as a digital strategist, one of the major questions I’ve had from Authors, Content creators, Advertisers etc usually bothers on getting more visibility for their content.
And this is usually my undiluted answer…
Whether you’re creating an ad, writing a book or script, creating a musical lyrics or writing your next blog post… The best content idea you have is not as important as the content your audience wants to buy (or consume as the case may be).
To a large extent, your audience are the ones you aim to please.
And in terms of creating exceptional value that matters, your content strategy should revolve around content that matters to your audience.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re already an expert in the American or European content market for instance…
Or you already have this one million dollar content idea..
If you really want to penetrate the African market digitally, you need to know the kind of content that will work for your audience in the African market. And then align your content strategy accordingly.
What can you do?
Now, I want to get a bit personal.
In Africa, unless you’re already a very successful creative, successful content strategy is not centered around you the creator, as compared to your audience.
So, that idea about creating the kind of content you’re passionate about alone does not really fit in here.
Or put differently, doing this might not get you the success your content deserves in good time.
This is why you have the so-called “trash content” selling very fast compared to other content with supposedly better value.
So, do you want to create a content strategy that delivers the success your content deserves?
The short answer is, change your audience.
And here’s the longer answer …
Instead of working on creating content that’s just about your passion, find a way to package and present that same passion to your audience in a way that appeals to them.
Content strategy is a very important aspect of content marketing.
When it comes to creating content that drives traffic and attracts sales, your content strategy is at the corner stone of your success and frankly speaking, all serious creatives have a content strategy that guides their content creation effort.
Whether you’re creating content for your personal or business brand you need to consider your target audience and what matters to them as you work on creating your content strategy.
So there you have the most important questions to consider while setting up a content strategy in Africa.
Before you get over to hit your keypad for that great content idea, be sure you have this in mind.
Want to learn more? Attend our Content Marketing College and get to learn the bolts and nuts of content marketing right here.
Now over to you! What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to creating content strategy for an African audience? Let’s hear you.