Many brands would kill to have the kind of reach and influence that some of the world’s biggest influencers and brand ambassadors enjoy. That does not exclude the Bonang Matheba brand.
But what can businesses who can’t pay the high fees that big time influencers command, do to enjoy similarly explosive results?
To find out, we take a look at the social media secrets of one of Africa’s biggest influencers and brand ambassadors – Bonang Matheba who is a TV and radio personality, influencer, brand ambassador, and soon to be ‘reality star’ with the launch of her new reality series, Being Bonang.
The 3 R’s
Few local brands use social media better to gain what is a very precious commodity – people’s attention.
What makes ‘Brand Matheba‘ so powerful is that she has essentially achieved the 3 R’s – ‘Relevance, Reach and Resonance’. This is an influencer marketing term used to measure the effectiveness of an individual in engaging a particular market (influencers are ambassadors that typically help champion or endorse a brand or campaign to a targeted audience).
This is why Matheba remains the go-to for brands looking for a celeb face to front their campaigns, including cosmetics giant, Revlon (she is its only ambassador outside the USA). She recently took over from Giselle Bündchen as Brazilian footwear brand Ipanema’s African ambassador.
Matheba is perhaps best known as the face of retail brand, Woolworths’ lingerie line, Distraction, and more recently as a brand ambassador for premium vodka brand, CIROC and cognac brand, Courvoisier.
Achieving the 3 R’s can be very profitable for both the brands (who enjoy substantial ROIs), as well as the influencer. Matheba reportedly earned a seven figure from her first Revlon deal in 2014. And according to Kirsty Sharman, head of global operations at Webfluential.com in an article on Huffington Post, influencers with 500 000 followers, can earn on average $3 000 per Tweet, $3 350 per Facebook post, $5 000 on Instagram, $6 700 for a WordPress blog and as much as $10 050 for a YouTube video.
We take a look at 3 of Matheba’s biggest brand ambassador campaigns and how she illustrates the 3 R’s for each.
1. RELEVANCE – Courvoiser
Relevance, according to a post on Sidebuy, a blogger and retailer data-driven mobile platform, refers to the level of alignment and similarity between the influencer’s values and the brand’s image. Relevance can be either about the content that the influencer creates or the audience that he/she reaches.
Cognac brand Courvoisier in their advertising messagings presents its image as ‘premium’, ‘sophisticated’ and ‘aspirational’. In picking ambassadors for the brand they would be looking for individuals whose public persona they believe reflects these qualities. The campaign is also being fronted by radio personality Tbo Touch and fashion designer David Tlale.
Matheba, echoing the brand’s original message, has described the brand on her own page as “sophisticated and luxurious”.
A post shared by Bonang Matheba (@bonang_m) on
2. REACH – Revlon
Reach refers to the number of followers an influencer has on their social sites. “It is common for brands to want to partner up with influencers and bloggers who have access to a large number of people, however, partnering up with an influencer merely based on the high number of followers does not necessarily guarantee success.”
Matheba has over 4 million followers combined on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, however the brands that she partners with, like Revlon, not only get access to her substantial follower base, but to a specific and highly prized demographic – young, female consumers of fashion and beauty brands.
3. RESONANCE – Ipanema
Resonance refers to the degree of engagement of the influencer’s audience with the content that he/she creates. When the audience reaches the content they can engage with it on different levels.
According to Sidebuy, Resonance is what determines the readers’ level of engagement with the message and whether they would actively amplify the content by sharing it with their own followers.
An example of this is Matheba’s content creation on her pages for the Ipanema brand, which not only feature pictures of her in various campaign materials, but also real life posts of her wearing the brand, like below where she is wearing the sandals while on a holiday in Thailand.
As a result, the brand becomes a part of her lifestyle and her personal story (blurring the lines between advertising and real life), and the audience subsequently feels a genuine connection between her and the brand, and are more willing to engage with it.
A post shared by Bonang Matheba (@bonang_m) on