Tanzania: Increased smartphone use bolsters digital adverts

Tanzanian brands have been urged to embrace and adopt digital advertising to reach their target consumers if a sustained growth of commerce is to be achieved.

On average, the Tanzanian user looks at their smartphone more than 200 times in a day, which consists of time spent checking social media feeds to messaging on WhatsApp and e-mails.

Data from Internet World Stats shows that Tanzania recorded 7,590,794 million internet users as of December 2014 translating to 15.3 per cent Tanzanians being consistently online.

With more Tanzanians using smartphones coupled with the ever reducing data prices and increased speeds, the internet is one medium that no brand should ignore.

Squad Digital Managing Director Mr Manish Sardana says that the Generation Y group, 18 - 34 year olds who make approximately 20 per cent of Tanzania’s total population are inseparable from their smartphones, hence brands should develop communication that is mobile friendly.

This generation also thrives in current affairs hence a brand that helps them keep up-to-date will have an upper hand. He added: “Brands have to work harder because this is more complicated than just having a Facebook page or Twitter handle.

At Squad we leverage three pillars of ‘Storytelling’, “Co-Creation of content between the brand and consumers” and “Social Currency - a reward for consumers to participate in the story telling process.”

More than ever, Tanzanian brands have realized this fact and are embracing this channel as they continue to see its value in reaching and engaging with their audiences.

Jamii Forums, Tigo Tanzania and Airtel Tanzania have done this with much success and have all been voted among the top 10 brands in Tanzania in the use of social media by Social Bakers, the leading worldwide authority on social media analytics.

KCB Bank was in February 2015 awarded at the Social Media Africa Awards (SMAA) in Nigeria for the best use of social media by a financial institution in Africa which is a testament that social media is today is the most efficient platform for customer service saving customers valuable time and helping brands save substantial costs on managing customer service.

Digital experts point out that millennials trust recommendations from their peer network more than traditional push marketing strategies which they believe to be a spin. In addition, they review blogs before making a purchase and extremely value authenticity as more important than content.

Digital marketing professionals must therefore create exciting brand content that is inherently shareable by the social media community.

“The world has moved from the era of Unique Selling Proposition to Unique Selling Conversation. Given absolute product similarity, brands that drive exciting conversations end up growing their business better,” concluded Mr Sardana.

A study done by London School of Economics (LSE) says that brands with the most conversations grow 4 times faster than the category average.

These conversations will have to increase tenfold with Tanzanians spend twice as much time online as they spend on television according to IPSOS.

In May, Facebook launched a new feature called Instant Articles that will host nine major news outlets allowing content from these outlets to load faster on desktop and mobile Facebook platforms.

Now more than ever, the world’s largest social network is poised to become the world’s largest news service as well. 

The fact that some of the biggest names in news globally are getting on board with Instant Articles is about going where the readers are and engaging them the way they want. Shouldn’t brands do any better?
Source: Daily News, reported from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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