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The Rise of Influencer Marketing: Last year, we saw a proliferation of  new entrants to the usual aggregator-style blogs. What differed though from the general entertainment focus of many Nigerian blogs, there was a clear lean towards fashion and style – even more interesting was the flagship personal brand approach – websites like Style Vitae and Style Me africa, helped bring fashion enthusiasts and bloggers like Dodos Uvieghara and Ozinna Anumudu to the consciousness of the fashion community.

Coupled with the visual branding tool – Instagram – the influence of celebrities like Toke Makinwa, Noble Igwe and Bonang Matheba and the rise of personal style bloggers and micro-influencers did not go unnoticed. By the end of 2015, entire social media campaigns centred on paid and earned Instagram posts. Brands who were already established created organic spinoff audiences – case in point – Lisa Folawiyo’s 56k strong instagram following, the personal angle, showing snippets of her life has earned her some rabid fans in the 25 and under audience, something that I’m sure will be key in the growth of Lisa Folawiyo Studio brand extensions in the coming decade. Some brands like CLAN, went as far as posting their entire lookbook on their Instagram page before the traditional press release to websites and print press.

To be fair, this trend is one that has actually been prevalent in more developed markets for almost a decade – and even on the continent – Kenya and South Africa are light years ahead of Nigeira, but in Nigeria the emphasis on the second screen and rise of mobile, was key to the growth in influencer marketing as a core part of brand strategy. What was once a possibility is one of the core drivers of brand discovery and is key to the consumer purchase process. We expect this to wax even stronger in 2017.


Video-  Facebook Live, Periscope, Snapchat & Insta Stories: As a fashion & media/technology enthusiast, I keenly follow consumer applications of new tech and how it can specifically be applied in this market – nothing surprised me more than the widespread adoption of instant video.

Don't laugh oh- this is now serious marketing.

Don’t laugh oh- this is now serious marketing.

I admit – I got Snapchat and how it could be used in myriad ways as a brand , from behind the scenes footage to instant consumer connections – I just didn’t think it would apply in this market because, data. The prevailing wisdom was that it wouldn’t ‘take’ because data was simply too expensive for the average Nigerian. It has been very interesting to see how brands have been using the different apps- we particularly enjoy Lady Biba’s Insta story feed and Dapmod’s Snapchat and clever integration of influencer marketing with regular takeovers from bloggers worldwide – growing their audience organically. We are not sure how the  Instagram Stories /Snapchat rivalry will pan out , but I suspect they will co-exist for a while in brand strategy portfolios. And we are making bets on it being a huge part of every brands social strategy next year.

FASHION INTELLIGENCE is powered by ZAZAII. Look out for tips, tricks and ideas for fashion businesses to stay ahead of the curve this year. ZAZAII is a multi-brand retail store specializing in African fashion, lifestyle and beauty brands. They drive discovery for new and emerging brands in the African space. Follow them on Instagram and Twitter @experiencezazaii . For more visit www.zazaii.com

Isoken has been in the business of fashion since 2009 as the Creative Director of Obsidian, and as half of the CEO Duo of leading lifestyle brands ZAZAII and LPM Nigeria. Isoken is  multi-award-winning, multi-hyphenate entrepreneur committed to growing the fashion industry in Nigeria. Followwww.obsidianfashion.com www.lpmnigeria.com . Instagram & Twitter @experiencezazaii @theobsidianway @darified


Written by Isoken Ogiemwonyi