Not that long ago, the notion that anyone would need a secondary source of income, outside of their nine-to-five job, would have seemed strange. However, today many view a side hustle as essential, as a way of supplementing their income or a strive to secure future financial independence. Unsurprisingly, the concept has taken off in Africa, with more than a third (37%) of young people on the continent having some kind of side hustle.
Considering the ever-increasing inflation rates and energy prices starting to bite for most Africans, rather than being something that you ought to do, side hustles will instead become a necessity. That’s especially true in Ghana, where inflation rates hit 37.2% in September last year.
But, building a viable side hustle – whether you’re selling thrifted outfits, 3D-printed keyrings, or your services as a writer – isn’t just about realising you need more money and applying your skills to the problem, the key is being able to effectively promote your offerings. Thus, with more and more Africans gaining access to the internet, coupled with falling connectivity costs allowing them to spend more time online, digital marketing is undoubtedly the most effective and affordable way to succeed.
Ghana’s growing market
As a long-standing technology leader in Africa, Ghana is laying major ground when it comes to internet access and connectivity. In January this year, there were approximately 23.05 million internet users in Ghana, an increase of 438,000 on the year before. If growth in the coming years reflects anything like those levels, then ensuring that your side hustle has an online presence should be a no-brainer. Not only will this enable you to reach the 68.2% of Ghanaian users online, but it also ensures that you’re ready and waiting for the remainder who will come online in the near future. Not even to mention the potential to market internationally.
However, understanding the need for your side hustle to be online and knowing what its online presence should look like are two different things. Where, for example, should you promote your side hustle? And how much should you look to spend?
On both fronts, social media is hard to beat. Statistics show that large portions of the Ghanaian population are online, with Meta, Snapchat and Twitter leading the way. But there are still other worthwhile platforms to explore. Spotify, for instance, quickly established a large and growing presence since it officially entered the Ghanaian market in 2021.
All these platforms also feature innovative advertising products, helping to ensure you reach the right people for your product or service, at the right time, and with the right messaging.
Finding the right partner
Of course, it’s not always easy to translate what you know (and, for that matter, don’t know) about your customers into digital advertising. Fortunately, the right media buying partner can be incredibly helpful here. A good media buying partner will ensure you are using the right formats, on the right platforms, for your side hustle.
Not to mention, the perfect partner will also assure that advertising doesn’t have to cost the Earth either. They will want to grow with you, so they will ensure you are clued up, understanding that you can start advertising with relatively small amounts, and keep costs to a predefined frame. Many partners additionally offer ‘trial’ budgets, at lower minimum costs, to allow new advertisers to give it a go and see if they gain value from it.
Going with a media-buying partner that has a strong track record will therefore go a long way, ensuring that any money spent on promotion is an investment, rather than an out and expense.
From side hustle to sustainability and beyond
Having a side hustle is, undoubtedly, important and in the near future, it might even become a necessity. But, for you to take your side hustle from initial idea to a sustainable money spinner, and one day perhaps your eventual main source of income, then you must appropriately market it. The best way of doing that is unarguable to go digital and preferably with a media buying partner that has your best interests at heart.
By Regional Sales Manager, West Africa, Ad Dynamo by Aleph