Often referred to as the new marketing royalty, the Digital Influencer has transformed the way marketers connect with their consumers. This transformation continues to place content creators at the forefront of brand collaborations, highly credited to creativity, consistency and authenticity. One of the most notable content creators in SA, 21 year-old YouTuber Mihlali Ndamase, continues to demonstrate the power of the digital age, through her ability of monetising her interests, while her almost 400k adoring Instagram fans cheer on her every move.
At such a young age, the beauty enthusiast has collaborated with brands including; MAC Cosmetics, Bobbi Brown, Superbalist, Nyx Cosmetics, Nedbank, Vodacom, Brutal Fruit, TRESemmé, Bata as well as Nivea through a major campaign that includes a TVC, Billboards and print ads. Influencer marketing as a content distribution technique is here to stay and is on an upwards trajectory when it comes to marketers. Mihlali as an early adopter of the content creation movement in SA, through her YouTube channel which boasts over 65k subscribers, is a brand favourite and her channels continue to appeal to more brands and consumers alike.
BELOW WE UNPACK HER MASSIVE BRAND APPEAL:
Many of us probably didn’t know whether we were coming or going at age 21, but what I’m quickly learning about Generation Z is their quick uptake and heightened awareness of “self”. I guess this can be attributed to the highly sophisticated media and digitised environment in which they exist. Because they have unlimited access to information and global platforms, they are able to tap into their interests quicker than their predecessors. Mihlali exemplifies the concept of living a passion-driven life by making money off her interests and doing work she is passionate about.
The biggest misconception about living a passion-driven life is that it won’t require hard work. Of course, fashion and beauty as interests is not rocket science, but using them as a platform to build a credible brand is a skill that requires commitment. A commitment to being a credible content creator, living up to the expectations of your audience, delivering on brand partner expectations and adding a professional touch to your content. A few minutes on her YouTube channel or a quick scroll up her Instagram page will show you how seriously Mihlali takes her brand, without trying too hard. That’s always a win for anyone wishing to appeal to brands.
3. Visual Appeal
The importance of having visually appealing content cannot be stressed enough. While social media has been celebrated for keeping us connected to our mates, and brands to their consumers, many view social media as a visual weapon. Through her social media platforms, Mihlali is able to visually take us on her journey. Whether its going to class, trying on a new foundation, buying her first car or attending various events, her content tells a story about a beautiful girl who is willing to share a part of herself, even on days she wishes she didn’t, with those that love and support her. You need to simply care about what you’re putting out there and how well it is packaged is what brands care for the most.
What often sets content creators/influencers apart is relatability. Brands are choosing to align more with influencers as opposed to celebrities because they help by connecting them to audiences on a more personal level. I’ve been following Mihlali for a while now and I’ve always enjoyed how relatable she is. There is something in the way she engages with her audience and that x-factor is what makes brands believe she can connect them to their desired audiences.
Being consistent on social media is one of the most important things you can do to help build your presence. Mihlali knows her niche and she is serving it to us on a gold-trimmed saucer. We interact with Mihlali because we expect to see her beautiful face, her flawless facebeats, what hair she’s wearing, and her latest fashion faves. We follow her to see the beautiful things she’s inlove with. Anything outside of that would be off brand and confusing to her audience. What is also quite important to note about Mihlali’s approach to her brand is that she is consistent with content, fans know to expect fresh content from the beauty vlogger at least once every week. That consistency comes with a lot of discipline.
Well done Mihlali! Watching you grow your brand over the last few years has been a pleasure.