GeoPoll Report: Online Influencers’ Influence In Kenya And Nigeria

The rise of the internet and the global digital revolution over the last decade has given rise to a modern way of marketing known as ‘influencer marketing’

The rise of the internet and the global digital revolution over the last decade has given rise to a modern way of marketing known as ‘influencer marketing’.

An online influencer is an individual who has created an audience or fan base that they are able to influence via online channels such as social media networks. In many cases, influencers profit through promoting products to their audiences, which has now become a multi-billion dollar industry.

Many businesses, from multinational brands to smaller businesses, are now engaging online influencers to push their product and improve brand awareness among target audiences, especially youth consumers.

To understand the impact of influencers on consumers and their role within a full marketing strategy, GeoPoll conducted a dipstick survey through our mobile application in two of Africa’s most active countries online, Kenya and Nigeria, in the last week of July 2020. In this report, we present some of the highlights from the survey findings.

The Most Popular Social Networks In Nigeria And Kenya

As with our similar study in South Africa last year, Facebook stood out as the most popular social network in both Kenya (85%) and Nigeria (78%). There were variations, however, in the second most popular social networks, with YouTube (73%) and Instagram (63%) closing out the top three in Kenya. Instagram came second in Nigeria, followed by both Twitter and YouTube.

Influencer Following

Next, we sought to understand social media users’ influencer following habits. All of the respondents (100%) in Kenya said they follow online influencers, compared 86% of those in 86%, affirming the growth of the stature of influencers.

If you are an influencer in Africa, Facebook is, again, the network to be on as 73% of the respondents said they follow their favorite influencers on the platform, followed by Instagram, which is also owned by Facebook. Twitter (54%) is the third favorite followed by YouTube.

Most Popular Influencer Categories

Most influencers focus on particular niche topics that they then create content around to engage their followers. In our survey, lifestyle, fashion, and technology influencers were found to be the most popular categories of influencers.

Most Effective Influencer Content

Influencers are normally expected to produce their own content in engaging ways, such as video posts, or live chats. Perhaps because consumers are normally looking for detailed information about products before they buy, product reviews were the most influential form of a post in both Kenya and Nigeria (23%). The search for authenticity and connection with the influencers is also evident, with live videos scoring 17% of the total responses.

Influencer Trust

The success of any marketing campaign is driven by the trust and authority placed in the message or messenger by consumers. In influencer marketing, everything rests on if influencers and their reviews or recommendations can be trusted. This trust is the premise for the growth of influencer marketing, as people tend to believe the voices of people they know or like more than the brand owners.

From this GeoPoll survey, we found that 53% of consumers in Kenya and Nigeria said they would believe the word of an influencer over an advertisement from the brand itself.

Most Trusted Types Of Influencers

Looking at the most believable types of influencers, we found that journalists and media personalities (51%) came on top, followed by industry experts (46%) and celebrities such as musicians and actors at 44%. Almost all of the respondents (96%) answered either ‘yes’ or ‘sometimes’ to the question “Do you trust influencer product reviews/recommendations?” placing even more importance on influencer marketing as a product promoting channel.

Influencers’ Influence On Purchase Decisions

Ultimately, the real influence of influencers can be measured by how much they are able to drive real results. The results can be absolute, such as the number of units sold for a business, attendees for an event, or votes for a politician, or relatives, such as an increase in positive awareness and net promoter score for a brand.
While scores of consumers are actively following and listening to influencers, GeoPoll’s survey sought to find out if respondents had ever been influenced to make purchases recommended by influencers. On average, an impressive 69% and 55% in Kenya and Nigeria respectively said they have been directly influenced to make purchase decisions by influencers’ recommendations. A further 32% said influencer reviews had contributed to their purchase decisions to some extent.

Top Influencers In Kenya And Nigeria

So, who are the top influencers in the two countries? We asked the respondents to name their favorite influencers from the top of their memories. We curated all the names provided into a list of the top 15 mentions in each of the countries.
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Influencer% mentions
Njugush The Comedian11%
Eric Omondi10%
Size 87%
Betty Kyalo7%
Robert Alai7%
Jeff Koinange4%
Maxine Wabosha4%
Xtian Dela4%
The Wa Jesus Family4%
Azziad Nasenya4%
Khaligraph Jones3%


With influencer marketing becoming increasingly important in digital marketing strategy, this GeoPoll survey in Kenya and Nigeria sought to understand how the consumer side perceives influencers.

The survey reveals telling insights. Influencers with relevant content continue to have a strong following as they win and retain consumer trust, which ultimately impacts purchasing decisions. Social media influencers who are trusted and followed by consumers still play an important role in affecting their purchasing decisions.

While more research is needed to close the loop, we hope this survey will help both brands and influencers continue growing better relationships with consumers.

About This GeoPoll Survey

GeoPoll offers more mobile-based modes than any other research provider in Africa, Latin America, and Asia, allowing our clients to reach their target audience quickly. Our team is experts in producing actionable insights from around the world and guide you throughout the research process.

We conducted this Dipstick Survey via the Mobile Application Mode by targeting a random sample of 2,615 GeoPoll App users in Kenya and Nigeria. The gender composition was 68% males and 32% females in Kenya and 63% males to 37% females in Nigeria. The age groups leaned towards younger people – 15-24 (28%), 25-34 (57%), and 35+ (15%).

To learn more about the methodology we used in conducting this survey, and learn about our capabilities in different parts of the world, please contact GeoPoll here.

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