South African fashion influencer Palesa Kgasane (I
South African fashion influencer Palesa Kgasane (Instagram, @palesakgasane)
  • South African fashion influencers can earn between R500 and R10,000 for a single Instagram post, a digital content strategist says.
  • However, as influencing grows in South Africa, brands tend to avoid influencers who are overused and so become seen as inauthentic. 
  • Brands notice influencers by being tagged in posts, trending online or through direct correspondence. 

South African brands pay fashion influencers anything between R500 and R10,000 for a single Instagram post, Clerissa Visser, digital content strategist at Cape Town digital consultancy Platinum Seed, said.

But, Visser warned, as South Africa’s influencer market becomes saturated, brands tend to avoid influencers who have been overused for commercial messages or lose their sense of authenticity. 

Influencers are social media personalities typically with large social media followings who are able to sway followers towards certain brands. 

Influencer marketing, where influencers are paid to promote a brand, is poised to become a $5 to $10 billion industry by 2022. 

Also read: These are the top Instagram influencers in South Africa right now

Chris Viljoen, fashion director at online retailer Superbalist, said South African fashion influencing is on the rise, because people want to admire people they can relate to. 

“Having local influencers to look up to allows us to celebrate each other for once, rather than only celebrating people from other countries which don't necessarily look, talk or act like us,” Viljoen told Business Insider South Africa. 

South African swimmer and influencer Calvyn Justus
South African swimmer and influencer Calvyn Justus (Instagram, @calvynjustus)

He said brands usually partner with influencers who speak to a desired audience, and who are familiar with the brand. 

“If others look to influencers for inspiration, then what influencers wear becomes more important to them than what X brand is telling them to wear.” 

“It's all about trust when it comes to influencers, so if someone they trust is seen wearing something there's a much better chance of those people trusting that brand because of it.” 

Also read: The top 6 South African models earning more than R1 million a year

Platinum Seed’s Visser, who has worked with brands such Rocking the Daisies, Vodacom, and Glenfiddich, said brands usually spot influencers through trending content. 

“We tend to forget that big brands are actually just made up of people, so if you are strategic about how you release your content, such as posting times, tagging, hashtags, then that will obviously get you noticed,” Visser said. 

Fashion Influencer Azola Bam, with over 6,000 followers on Instagram (@azeebam), said she has reached out to brands directly to partner with them.

She said influencers can start earning money with just over a 1,000 Instagram followers. 

“A big trick is to email brand managers, about what your brand is about and what you stand for, there’s always someone watching or willing to listen,” Bam said.