Although relatively new, fintech has become a hit with Africa’s mobile-first population. While traditional financial services institutions have been unable to adequately serve large parts of the African population, a new wave of app-based services have enabled an increasing number of Africans to access financial services that facilitate experiences they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to have.
The need for contactless operations to limit the spread of COVID-19 has also contributed to the growth of fintech in Sub-Saharan Africa, with more than 20% growth in the sector in 2020. The ongoing pandemic has made people more reluctant to mingle in crowds and this has led many to explore other options for accessing and managing their money than the usually crowded brick-and-mortar bank branches However, with competition for customers always high in growth sectors, fintechs in Africa arguably have to work harder than most other sectors to acquire users. Here are some of the most effective customer acquisition strategies and some top tips on how African fintechs can retain their hard earned marketbase.
Acquiring fintech customers
Acquiring new customers in any market can be challenging so having a solid acquisition strategy is a critical first step in your marketing campaign. Like many other parts of the world, social media offers businesses in Africa a platform for acquiring users. Africa has some of the highest number of active users on social media, enabling mobile app marketers to define and target new and existing customers using a number of tools.
The effectiveness of social media in user acquisition is hard to dispute but many businesses are often unable to ascertain which platform offers the most value for money. Every platform will say it delivers excellent results but in the absence of independent analytics, it can be difficult to know what really works and what doesn’t. Metrics like Cost Per Impression (CPM) and Cost Per Action (CPA) can provide a lot of clarity and help businesses make informed decisions on where to invest their resources. CPM enables you to put a monetary value on the number of times your content appears while CPA puts a value on actions taken as a direct result of seeing your content. An action could be a purchase, a newsletter sign up, or download.
Cost Per Impression (CPM) is a relatively low cost strategy and can be significantly less costly than traditional marketing channels such as television and out of home advertising. Cost-Per-Action campaigns are also relatively low-risk and can drive more sales from your app because payment only has to be made when a specific and meaningful action takes place.
Making the most of owned media
Another cost-effective way of acquiring new app users is to take advantage of owned channels that you’re already using to communicate with customers and prospects, such as owned social media, email lists, or your website. These channels can be used to display engaging, personalised content, encouraging users to download your app, for example offering a discount, free trial, or a new product feature specific to the app.
When a user clicks on the banner, they will either be taken directly to the app if they already have it installed, or to the relevant app store. Crucially, when the user opens the app, they will be taken straight to the content they were originally interested in, for example the discount page, instead of having to navigate from the homepage themselves. This small but significant touch can have a huge impact on the overall customer experience and ensure that the users journey from first seeing the advert to opening the app is seamless and personalised.
Measuring the impact of your financial product marketing
Finally, it’s important to have effective measurement and attribution tools in place so you can identify where your installs are coming from, understand what content resonates with specific user groups, and where you should be investing more of your marketing efforts. You’ll also be able to get a clear view of the customer journey, so you can see whether users, for example, click through to your website, but don’t download your app. Or if they install the app but either don’t use it or uninstall it. Having this data-driven knowledge can make the difference in how successful your user acquisition efforts are.
With more and more financial services offered via mobile across the continent, fintech is projected to continue to grow across Africa over the next few years. A number of factors such as the ongoing global pandemic and opportunities to access finance for consumers and businesses have been key drivers for the sector’s recent growth and these drivers aren’t going to change anytime soon. With innovation abounding in the space, competition for customers will be strong. Having an effective way to understand how well your user acquisition efforts are actually working and which parts may need improvement will put fintechs in a stronger position to fulfil their ambitions of delivering life-changing financial services to as many Africans as possible.
Daniel Junowicz is the Managing Director of LATAM & Africa at AppsFlyer, the global leader in mobile attribution. Prior to joining AppsFlyer Daniel worked in the manufacturing sector in China for over six years. In 2014, Daniel brought his passion to AppsFlyer as the first employee on the Chinese team.
Holding a double BA in Business Administration and Far Eastern Studies, Daniel is also fluent in Hebrew, Spanish, Chinese and Portuguese. Currently, as the managing director in LATAM and Africa, Daniel works to bring his knowledge on digital marketing and innovation to provide a holistic view of the mobile landscape in LATAM, Africa and more.