Not too long ago, Edgar Obare was said to have, quote, “changed the game” on an Africa Digital Leadership webinar.
His affordable IG story ads have made it more convenient and affordable for small local businesses to advertise on his platform (which according to his screenshots, receive over 50,000 views per story). While Edgar, in return, makes some fast and easy cash.
In fact, he makes such fast and easy cash, that others have tried following in his footsteps. Kamene Goro and Seth Gor are some of the influencers who basically “copy-pasted” Edgar’s model and got reprimanded for it. As Joy Kendi said on the Africa Digital Leadership Webinar, “It would depend on the content the influencer creates”, not everybody can pull off an Edgar Obare IG model.
So what would it take as an influencer to make Edgar’s model work for you?
To answer this, I looked at a micro-influencer who took Edgar’s concept and turned it into her own. Yvonne Kendi is an interior design and home styling influencer with just over 7,500 followers on Instagram at the time of writing this article.
She has her own market day every Saturday, where she uses her platform for advertising second-hand furniture items her followers own and would like to sell. She charges Kes 300 for products under Kes 3500, and Kes 500 for products over Kes 3500.
Here are a few observations I’ve made from her market days that you can use as you consider testing out Edgar Obare’s model for yourself.
1. Firstly, gain trust from your followers as a subject matter expert
Yvonne may only have 7500 followers, but she has slowly built a platform and gained her audience’s trust as an expert in interior design. By the time she started her market day, she already had a small but targeted audience who mainly had an interest in home styling and interior design.
2. Ask your followers what THEY want
The only way a market day could work is if your followers want to participate. You can get feedback using Instagram story polls. While making fast and easy cash on Instagram stories may sound great, you need to find out if it would be valuable for your followers.
Before kicking off her market day, Yvonne asked her followers if it was something they wanted to be part of with a small thread of IG story polls and questions before announcing that she would have one every week.
3. Make sure that your ‘ads’ are in line with the content you create
Yvonne is an interior design influencer/consultant, making sense for her to advertise furniture and home accessories. This would be a different case for each influencer.
4. Offer different ‘ad types’
You can provide followers with a choice of sharing either a plain image with the product, a collage or a video. Instagram stories are very visual, the better the creative, the more likely it will sell.
5. Ask people what type of products or businesses they would like to buy from
If most of your followers want to purchase fake house plants, then encourage anyone who sells fake house plants to advertise.
This is something Yvonne does before her Saturday market day, and it helps ensure that advertisers get a return on investment. Again, she does this using Instagram polls and questionnaires.
6. Make sure the pricing for your ads are reasonable
The whole point of this is to help individuals and small businesses. So overcharging would only discourage followers from participating.
Furthermore, there is no guarantee of a return on investment (ROI). Yvonne charges a fair rate of Kes 300 for products under Kes 3500, and Kes 500 for products over Kes 3500.
7. Prove that your ads can result in ROI
Edgar Obare does this by sharing positive reviews from businesses that have advertised on his platform. Showing that placing ads on your IG stories can lead to sales or results will encourage more followers to purchase ad space from you.
As for Yvonne, she usually encourages sellers to communicate if they’ve managed to sell their products using her platform.
Depending on the content you create, you can develop your own version of Edgar Obare’s IG story model with a bit of creativity, and feedback from your followers.