Influencer marketing in Nigeria

Projected to be worth 21.1b USD globally in 2023, like most developing countries, Influencer Marketing in Nigeria has become a front liner in delivering extensive visibility, business growth and online sales to businesses, compared to other marketing channels.

This marketing style has become so widespread that from political campaigns to business advertising and social media promotions more and more brands are engaging influencers to promote their ideas so they can reach larger audiences.

20-30 years ago, this was not the case. What we had then as influencers were popular mainstream celebrities whose fees were mostly not affordable to small businesses and other smaller brands.

Today, a lot has changed. With the growth in social media and social media influencers, both big and small brands can now afford to partner with well known individuals in promoting their businesses, based on their budget.

While this is a very exciting news to brands, before you dabble into influencer marketing in Nigeria, you must understand some specifics that will get you on the right path. And this is exactly what you’ll learn in this post, starting from the following paragraphs…

Influencer marketing is a sales strategy that leverages brand endorsements, recommendations and the influence of popular personalities with a dedicated number of followers, to promote a brand, product or idea to a specific target audience.

Influencer marketing thrives on the influence and followership of the celebrity involved. For things to work out well, the influencer must not just be very prominent, they must have a dedicated number of engaging audience or followers.

Also, in most cases, the influencer must be able to stir up conversations around the brand, influence the audience to take some form of action regarding the brand or possess the needed goodwill that will automatically impact the brand.

When it comes to digital marketing, influencer marketing in Nigeria is becoming the rave of the moment.

Beyond the growing positive ratings of social media influencers, the industry is experiencing consisting growth, with an increasing number of influencers, creativity and good content.

How to start Influencer marketing in Nigeria
Influencer marketing thrives on the influence and followership of the influencer | Photo by RDNE Stock project

Unlike back-in-the-days, where influencers were mainly patronized by smaller businesses, today, it is very common to see major brands engage influencers both on social media and beyond, to promote their brands.

For example, based on a recent survey, 40% of Nigerian brands will prefer to work with social media influencers over celebrities. This is due to a lot of reasons, including ease of access to influencers, as compared to celebrities.

Again according to a recent report, in 2019; 55.6 percent of brands in Nigeria spent between NGN10 million and NGN50 million on influencer led campaigns.

11 per cent had a budget of over 50 million, while more than 33 per cent of surveyed brands spent less than N10 million on influencer driven campaigns.

And that is not all. Beyond, increasing budgetary spend on influencer marketing, the youthfulness of the Nigerian population and the increasing utilization of the social media space by this demographic is creating an ever increasing opportunity for the rise and rise of influencer marketing in Nigeria.

But the question is, are you ready to key into the Nigerian influencer marketing industry to grow your brand?

Just like it is elsewhere, there are different kinds of influencers in Nigeria. These influencers can be classified based on their reach, followers, target audience and content engagement.

A lot of writers will classify them into 5, 7, 10, 11 kinds of influencers and so on but in this post, I’m going to focus on the 7 major kinds of influencers;

Macro Influencers

Macro influencers are trend setters who have a very strong brand on the social media, dedicated followership and a very engaged audience.

Kim Kardashian - Influencer Marketing
Credits: Kim Kardashian

Outside their popularity online, in some cases these influencers may not be well known for anything popular in the mainstream but, there are instances where macro influencers have a wider reach than mainstream celebrities.

Example of some top macro influencers known globally are; Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian, and in Nigeria we have influencers like Broda Shaggy, Lasisi Elenu, Mr. Macaroni etc.

On platforms like Instagram, these set of influencers can garner up to 10 to 100s of millions of followers and so much more. And they can gain up to 5 million engagements with their social media posts.

As a business, partnering with a macro Influencer might look very promising but that does not mean you’re always going to get a huge returns on your investment when you work with them.

Regardless of whether you recover your ROI or not you’re going to pay up a decent amount of money. So, there’s need to understudy your prospective macro influencer, before engaging them.

Celebrity Influencers

These are mainstream celebrities who are also popular on the social media. They have been the go-to influencers for brands from time immemorial, until recently.

Examples of some top celebrity influencers are Ariana Grande, Christiano Ronaldo, Beyoncé, etc. Usually, they can charge as high as 500,000 USD or more, for one sponsored post.

In Nigeria, we also have the likes of Davido, Wizkid, Yemi Alade etc. as the top rated celebrity influencers on Instagram.

For advertisers, the cost of partnering with celebrity influencers is usually on the high side mostly because they are already well known outside the social media sphere.

But in some cases their popularity may not necessarily translate to results for a brand.

That’s why there’s need to understudy a number of brands working with celebrities and the influence of the celebrities on the brand before partnering with one.

For aspiring influencers; if you’re already a celebrity then it’s easy to covet the title of a celebrity influencer with little work from your own part.

Popularity may not necessarily translate to results for brands| Credits: Beyonce Knowles

As someone aspiring to be an influencer, if you’re not a celebrity, the easy thing to do is to become a celebrity for some purpose. And get the recognition you need.

From there you can work your way towards becoming a well-known celebrity influencer.

Mid-Level Influencers

In some cases, these kinds of influencers may not have as large number of followers like the macro or celebrity influencers but their followers always amount to a very sizeable number of following say between 150-300k followers.

As an advertiser, working with this level of influencers is always more affordable and less cumbersome, compared to the former two I mentioned earlier.

They might charge a very decent amount, especially those ones that are not well established. But as a rule of thumb, you have to watch out for the brands that advertise with them and the level of engagement generated per posts, before engaging these influencers.

Micro Influencers

Micro influencers are usually the beginner level of influencers. They have followers ranging from 1000-10,000 followers and sometimes, with a very high level of engagement.

The advantage of working with micro influencers is not in their reach or the number of followers but in the dedication and the trust they have been able to build with their brand. This is what usually attracts partnerships from brands.

Also, these kind of influencers can be suitable for different kinds of brands especially businesses with a lean budget.

Bloggers and Vloggers

These are another set of influencers, most times with a very wide and diverse audience.

Working with these set of influencers is quite easy because with bloggers for instance, there are tools like alexa among others which can be used to measure a blog’s popularity, ranking, reach and audience.

To get a better ROI, you can use this and other analytic tools to measure a blog’s audience and reach, before engaging them for advertising.

Influencer marketing starts the moment a brand approaches an influencer or a person with a popular followership on the social media to promote their products or brand.

This person in question might not be a celebrity but he/she could be just about anybody, usually someone with a certain number of followers that meets the targeted niche of the brand that wants to get promoted.

After getting approached, the influencer can then decide to promote the brand either for a specified period of time, at a specified fee or in return for a favor.

As it stands today, a lot of Nigerian influencers have turned brand partnerships into full time business. This is because from Instagram to TikTok and YouTube, brands are engaging more influencers to promote their business.

Sometimes, this can be due to the lower fees charged by influencers, when compared to mainstream celebrities and at other times it’s due to their dedicated followership.

Overall, in most cases, this is usually paying off.

Usually, fees charged by Nigerian influencers are not uniform. They are always different, based on certain factors, including the number of followers, engagement, popularity, brand power etc.

Credits: David Adeleke

Popular influencers like Davido Adeleke are able to charge in excess of 120,000 USD per posts while other macro influencers will charge as much as 1,000 to 10,000 USD.

Still, there are the new comers and nano influencers who can still charge as little as 100 USD or less, thus making influencer marketing charges far more diverse and affordable for most businesses, regardless of their financial status.

Businesses engage social media influencers to market their product because these influencers command a good standing in the industry.

Because of the personality and trust they’ve built with their personal brand, people trust them and can make buying decision based on their recommendations.

So, with this in mind, marketers needing to reach their kind of audience can now target these influencers with the hope that if they (influencer) recommend their product or services, it would serve as social proof, expose the brand and will also make it easier for the targeted audience to buy the product.

In as much as influencer marketing is creating results for brands around the world, as an adviser, you can’t really get to partner with all kinds of influencers.

To get the right kind of results for your brand, you need to look out for the following while choosing an influencer to work with;

Your Partnership Outcomes

Find out, what exactly are your expectations; what do you intend to achieve after advertising with this influencer?

Where you don’t have a clear outcome for your influencer partnership, you may not be able to measure the results. And where this happens, you won’t know if you’re running at a loss or not.

I have seen a lot of brands who will prefer to advertise or partner with brands just for partnering sake. Truth is, some partnerships might cause you far more with very little or zero returns on investment.

You have to identify what you want to achieve before choosing an influencer that has potentials to deliver on those outcomes, based on their antecedents.

Followership and Engagement

In as much as followership does not always determine results, in most cases, the first thing to look out for before engaging an influencer is the size of their followers.

Find out, how large is their followership, can it drive the kind of results you want? If there’s a way, find out, what was the expected and real outcome for other brands that worked with the influencer?

Afterwards, you need to consider the level of engagement generated from posts made by the influencer.

On the social media, it’s still possible to buy a number of bots, inactive or fake followers from some platforms, just to boost followership. You don’t need this fake metrics.

If an influencer has that kind of audience, the followership may not do any difference to your brand. So, you want to be very sure about this before getting started.

You can learn how to spot fake followers in this post by sprout social

Your Target Audience

So, who are you trying to reach with the brand?

There’s need to clearly identify your target audience alongside your advertising outcomes.

When you know your target audience it becomes easier to scrutinize the possible influencers with that kind of audience and then settle for the one you feel is more capable of generating your desired results.

Influencer’s Audience reach

How many people can you actually get to reach if you partner with the influencer?

It is crucial to find out the potential reach you stand to gain from a particular influencer.

If you notice that partnering with an influencer will not get you a wider reach or something close to your targeted reach then there might be no need to go ahead with such influencer.

Relevance of the Influencer’s Audience

Although it’s possible to advertise your brand to any kind of audience, in some cases this does not work for all kinds of influencers.

In fact, almost in all cases, this will mostly work well only with mega influencers. Because they have a very large and diverse audience.

For other kinds of influencers, you need to understand the relevance of their audience to your brand or niche before you get to partner with them.

Failure to do this might lead to creating a partnership that will not yield your expected outcomes because your target audience is not interested in the brand or product.

It is very important to work with influencers that have an audience that’s relevant to your brand or products.

Your Budget

It is possible to get some free exposures from influencers with a very little audience but, influencers with a wider audience will always request to be paid.

To a large extent, your budget will determine the influencer you can afford but, notwithstanding your your budget, you need to watch out for the best fit.

Choose and settle only with an influencer that has a relevant audience, pedigree and can deliver based on your budget.

Based on a recent report, over 70 percent of Nigerian brands will prefer to use Instagram for Influencer Marketing thus making it the top social media platform for influencer marketing in Nigeria.

Closely followed by Instagram are Facebook, YouTube and Twitter each accounting for 46%, 36% and 24% respectively.

Curiously, at 12%, LinkedIn comes at a distant fifth position, thus making it one of the least used platforms for influencer marketing.

Looking at this report, it would seem like Instagram is the biggest platform with the largest ROI on influencer marketing in Nigeria.

But, when it comes to influencer marketing, platforms are not used based on their popularity in terms of subscribers instead, a number of factors comes into play.

For example, to make a decent ROI while running a campaign around social and political issues, one of the top platforms you want to use for your influencer marketing campaign is Twitter.

But on the other hand if you’re talking about fashion then you’ll definitely go for Instagram.

So naturally, you’ll have to put all of this into consideration before choosing a social media platform for your influencer marketing campaign.

Final Words

As you can see, influencer marketing in Nigeria is gradually becoming a toast of digital marketing in this part of the world.

Nigerian Influencers are increasingly helping brands both large and small, to achieve their outcomes. And as a brand looking for influencers, there’s so much to gain if you work with the right influencer.

But, before you can make those gains, you need to be able to choose the right influencer for your brand.

To create an effective Influencer Marketing Campaign, there’s need to have clear outcomes for your partnership effort, understand your target audience and know the kind of influencer that can deliver your expected results.

So, there you have a comprehensive guide to influencer marketing in Nigeria. And of course at, we are open to negotiate for beneficial partnerships with brands across the world. And you can always contact us up for all your brand partnerships and promotions.

Now, it’s over to you. What’s most challenging to you when it comes to choosing an influencer?

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Victor Winners

Victor Winners

A Nigerian trained Law graduate and British LL.M candidate, using his widespread experience in tech, law and innovation, to evolve cutting edge and growth driven solutions for brands and businesses in Africa and beyond. As a Law-trained tech expert, Victor brings in over 7 years experience working in the Digital Marketing, SEO, Web Development, Online Publishing, Social Media and Legaltech sectors, to create result driven content and innovative solutions to brands and businesses. Named as one of the top 50 Web Design Influencers Globally, Victor Winners started one of Africa's most widely read blogs on Digital Marketing and Strategy. With this platform, he has impacted the lives of over 2 million readers spanning more than 135 countries in 8+ years

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