Nigeria, the world’s most populous black nation with more than 180 million people, 50% of which are young people below 35 years, prides itself as Africa’s largest economy. With a gross domestic product value of $480 billion and a growth potential strong enough to make it one of the world’s 25 biggest economies by 2030. Nigeria’s population is expected to surpass that of the US by 2050 (United Nations), implying that one in every six Africans would be Nigerian.
Impressive numbers you would say. However, a big question on the minds of stakeholder is how much of Nigeria’s 182 million population are online and what percentage of Nigeria’s burgeoning market can be accessed online? As the world continues to adopt online media with about 3.6 billion currently accessing the internet (Internet Live Stats), many stakeholders and observers alike are keen on finding answers to these questions.
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) puts Nigeria’s internet users at 91.8 million (December 2016); that’s 47.9% of the total population. While there are still more people offline, it only shows that there is room for growth. As it currently stands there are more Nigerians online than Germans and Britons.
Wondering where most of Nigeria’s internet users live? We got you covered. A 2016 telecoms sector data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that the top 5 Nigerian states in terms of internet penetration are Lagos (12, 957, 617 Internet users), Ogun (5, 639, 465), Oyo (4, 951, 984), Kano (4, 457, 262) and FCT Abuja (4, 359, 372 users).
Mobile penetration in Nigeria is on an upward swing.
Between 2011 and 2016, the number of smartphone users jumped from 4 million users to 15.5 million (Internet Live Stats). While there is a clear disparity between these numbers and that of eMarketer which claimed that Nigeria had 23.1 million smartphones in 2015 with a projection for that number to rise to 34 million in 2018, the growth potential for smartphone penetration cannot be denied as clearly shown by Africa Infotech Consulting (AIC) which revealed that smartphone penetration increased by about 30%, while features phones command an appreciable 70% penetration in 2016.
In addition, Nigeria is the world’s most “mobilized” country with 76% of internet traffic coming through mobile and Nigerians spend an average of 232 minutes daily consuming media on mobile devices than on TV (131 minutes). Desktop traffic decreased from 57% in 2011 to 18% in 2015, while mobile traffic took a leap from 42% to 79% within the same period according to a recent report.
It is therefore not surprising that brands, online platforms and content producers are fast adopting the mobile-first mentality in serving their audience. For instance, NET.ng, one of Nigeria’s most popular lifestyle and entertainment blog just recently launched a mobile TV network.
From simple popular blogs like thenet.ng to very interactive forums like Nairaland and high traffic news websites like Vanguard, the various online platforms in Nigeria cater to the broad spectrum of the Nigerian digital audience.
While there are many low to moderate traffic blogs and websites, there also exists a number of high traffic platforms like these 50 most visited sites that give us a clue into the interests and behavior of Nigerians online.
These online platforms are mainly used by Nigerians in different ways including creating and distributing content, connecting with friends and loved ones, research and more. They are also used by brands to engage with their audience and grow their businesses.
Content and Content Creators
Content is the currency of the internet. With cheaper internet connection, inexpensive smartphones, an increasingly internet savvy population and great content, Nigeria’s youthful population are fast defining themselves as content juggernauts.
While we may not yet have a Pewdiepie, we have some of the continent’s biggest bloggers, video content creators, and comics who distribute their amazing content across different platforms, especially on social media.
Today, Nigeria boasts of names and platforms like Linda Ikeji, Noble Igwe (360nobs), Uche Eze (Bellanaija.com), Mola Ogundele (notjustok.com), Star.ng, theNet.ng, Sisi Yemmie, Tosin Ajibade (Olorisupergal), Makinde Azeez (naijaloaded.com), Seyi Taylor (Zikoko), Craze Clown, Maraji, Kraks TV, Mark Angel Comedy, Instablog9ja, Arole Comics and many fantastic others too numerous to mention.
In like manner, as content quality continues to see a steady improvement, distribution and amplification are also becoming more developed. For instance, the fortuitous Olajumoke Orisaguna social media sensation, while being a normal everyday Lagos hustle life story, became viral because of the effectiveness of the distribution and amplification of the story. BHM Group, a frontline Nigerian PR agency, provided a more in-depth analysis of the Olajumoke story in their Concept of Virality report.
Nigerian brands are also trying not to be outdone by these individual content producers by creating good content of their own. Some of these brands that have distinguished themselves include GTBank, UBA, Access bank, who regularly churn out branded content.
In terms of content types, online video content is the new normal and Nigerians are fast catching up. According to a recent report, about half of total video views in Nigeria come from people aged 25 – 34, and Nigerians also watch more online videos in the evenings than at any other time of the day.
If you ever consider investing some of your marketing budget in influencer marketing, you sure can get impressive results by using the services of Nigeria’s online influencers, all of whom have built an impressive online and offline following. Besides musicians, actors, football stars and bloggers, Nigeria’s social media influencers are also defining the space.
In fact, there are a number of Nigerian agencies like ID Africa for instance, who help brands to significantly improve marketing ROI through content an and inbound marketing, plus influencer marketing and digital advocacy, which go beyond beyond the traditional approach of digital media buying and planning to focusing more on engagement and storytelling.
With a single tweet, Instagram post or even a 5-minute Youtube product review, these influencers can open a floodgate of sales for your business, not to mention the brand equity and public goodwill that comes with associating your brand with the right influencer.
Some of Nigeria’s social media influencers include Craze Clown, Ebuka Akara, KingWole, Arole, and all Instagram content creators, Youtubers, Twitter and Facebook influencers.
Social Media Usage
Nigerians are some of the most social media savvy people on Earth. As at 2016, there were up to 16 million registered Facebook users in Nigeria (8.6% of Nigeria’s total population), while more than 7.2 million Nigerians use the social network daily.
According to a 2014 poll, 45% of Nigeria’s mobile users use Whatsapp. In addition, a 2011 report by Portland says Nigeria is the third most active African country on Twitter. While there are no official figures just yet, it is safe to infer that millions of Nigerians use Twitter, Instagram, Telegram, Wechat and other social media platforms.
Nigerians use social media platforms to keep in touch with friends and loved ones, get behind causes they care about, make buying decisions and also do business. Social media platforms are used by content creators and businesses to not just distribute their content, but also engage with their audience directly.
Are Nigerians buying online? Yes.
According to a study carried out by Ipsos on behalf of Paypal, 60% of Nigeria’s internet users claim to have shopped online with many of them using their mobile phones for these purchases.
How do Nigerians make their buying decisions? They often research a product or service before making a purchase. In addition, Criteo reports that more Nigerians shop online using desktop PCs than mobile, especially on weekdays.
With more Nigerians living online, it makes more sense for businesses to go where their audiences are. The internet revolution has led to a proliferation of digital agencies and also forced traditional marketing agencies to include digital marketing and social media management as part of their bouquet of services.
Smart businesses in Nigeria are committing more of their marketing spend to digital channels to complement their offline marketing. This is according to Nigeria PR Report 2016, a research publication from BHM Research & Intelligence and Brentt Consulting, which recorded 25% of agencies in Nigeria as having earned an average annual income of N175million between 2015 and 2017.
Indeed, the Nigerian online market holds a huge promise for smart investors, brands, marketers and content producers. As the country continues to experience an increase in broadband internet penetration, mobile usage, smartphone penetration as well as opportunities for monetization of content, the Nigerian online market and blogosphere will certainly continue to blossom.