A recent survey provides invaluable insights into changing media preferences on the continent.
Advertising has come a long way, but the objective remains the same: reach an audience and appeal to it to procure a product or service. What have evolved continuously are the audience’s tastes and preferences, and the mediums through which brands and organisations can reach them.
To shed more light on consumers’ tastes and the channels they can be reached through, GeoPoll ran a Rapid App survey via the GeoPoll mobile app in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda from 10-15 December 2020. The sample size was 999, composed of random app users between ages 18 and 64. Since the survey was randomly distributed, the results are slightly skewed towards younger, male respondents.
This report summarises the findings on topics such as the most popular media channels, media consumption changes, trust in advertisements, the prevalence of online channels, and the most effective types of advertisements.
Most popular media channels in Africa
GeoPoll’s study found that the internet (social media and other websites) and TV are the most consumed media channels by respondents in this study. Fifty-five percent of the respondents said they access online media channels every day. In contrast, 23% said they watch TV daily. Sixteen percent said radio was their go-to channel, and only 5% said they read newspapers and print media every day.
This differed from country to country and between genders. For example, females in Ghana said they prefer TV (45%) over social media (20%), compared to males (24% for TV and 39% for social media). In Tanzania, on the other hand, females preferred social media (56%) over TV (just 4%), while males were relatively even with 33% picking social media over TV (26%).
To gauge how media preferences are changing, we examined how much more or less of each channel the respondents had consumed in the last 12 months compared to the previous year. A large majority (72%) reported that they are using social media more than they did a year ago. TV also had an upsurge in viewership, as discovered in recent GeoPoll Audience Measurement reports, with 54% saying they are watching more television, which was in direct contrast to print, which over half of the respondents (54%) said they are reading less of compared to the previous year.
Trust levels in advertising
The influence of a media channel depends to a great extent on whether or not its audience can trust it, especially so for advertising. In the survey, we asked the respondents which media channel they trusted advertisements on the most. TV was cited as the most trusted by almost half of the respondents (46%). The internet and radio followed with 30% and 12% trust levels respectively.
Overall, asked about which traditional or modern channels they find more trustworthy, the respondents were split almost evenly, with 43% trusting online advertising over traditional media (41%). Seventeen percent said both are about the same. Eighty-five percent of the respondents have purchased a product or service after coming across an advertisement.
Internet usage and online advertising
Given how popular the internet has grown and how influential it has become in marketing, we asked the respondents about their frequency of use. In a week, a vast majority (80%) said they access the internet every day. Over 65% said they access the internet at least four hours every day, pointing to a growing number of eyeballs on online channels addressable by online advertising. For context, it should be noted that the audience was online-only as the survey was conducted on the GeoPoll App.
Indeed, consumers find online advertisements influential. When we asked, “Do you find online advertisements influential to your purchase decisions?”, 95% said they find them compelling to at least some extent.
Having established the popularity of online channels over other channels, the next question becomes which specific online channel is most popular. As we have found out in other surveys we have conducted across Africa, Facebook was the most popular in all the countries we surveyed, by a large margin, with 45% choosing it as their favourite channel. Overall, YouTube was second with 15%, followed by Twitter at 14%. However, the order varies when we look at the findings by country.
The most effective advertisements
Many factors go into an advertisement. Channel selection, which we have already looked at, is as important as the message, the design and the target audience, among other factors. The GeoPoll survey also sought to know what ad elements are most influential from a selection we provided. The offer (price) was the most crucial element (28%), followed by relevance to the person seeing the advert (24%) and access (convenient availability of the product, at 19%). So if you are an advertiser, it is essential to pay attention to the price and discount being offered, audience targeting options, and how the product will reach the buyers.
Finally, the survey sought to establish the type of adverts that customers find most enjoyable – and advertisers thus need to create most. In a society that craves reality, lifestyle images and videos of real people such as influencers were the most popular, as well as creatively designed banners.
Frankline Mwenda Kibuacha is digital marketing and outreach manager at GeoPoll. He was an accountant who fell in love with the internet and the power it wields. Kibuacha was awed by how the world wide web has changed the world and intrigued by how marketing is becoming progressively easier and more fun, so he became a digital marketer! You can call him your digital accountant.
A large majority (72%) reported that they are using social media more than they did a year ago
If you are an advertiser, it is essential to pay attention to the price and discount being offered, audience targeting options, and how the product will reach the buyers