Mobile advertising is catching up in Africa

There are a few countries globally that have long been on the mobile marketing watch list. Africa is one of them. Now, it’s been revealed that mobile subscriptions in the country hit 557 million in summer this year. That’s an increase of 180 million phone users over five years.

The figures come from Issue 4 2016 of the Strategic Marketing Africa magazine, which also predicts that growth is to continue and reach another 168 million subscribers by 2020.

Mobile advertising in Africa

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Source: facebook.com/strategicmarketingmag

However, mobile marketing itself has yet to kick off in African countries. A survey recently found that just 52% of respondents were aware mobile ads existed across sub-Saharan nations. Its recall rate in these areas is 6%.

Mobile advertising strategies still prefer to use SMS to reach people on any type of network and without using heavy data, as well as Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) platforms. This lets mobile phones communicate with mobile service provider’s computers and makes money transfers possible.

The report argues that this is why Africa has mostly focused on SMS and USSD campaigns. One such innovative campaign comes from ChiChi, which has rolled out sponsored calls. In return to listening for a 15-second advertisements, people get to call someone for a minute.

A similar campaign from Unilever reached 5,000 calls per hour and attracted 22% of mobile coupons being handed out. A standard banner campaign would achieve just 3%.

According to findings by OperaMediaworks, the top advertisers in Africa include credit card companies, mobile apps and games as well as internet services providers. The mobile ad provider created a list of ad verticals performing among the top 10 for impressions served, CTR and revenue protection.

Ads served in Africa

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Source: operamediaworks.com

It further broke down its Opera Mobile Store traffic by app category to measure for the most downloads and unique visitors. Though South African and Nigerian markets have yet to catch up when it comes to apps, the market is a promising one for future advertisers with game, communication and utility apps showing some of the fastest growth.

App categories

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Source: operamediaworks.com