#YIA2016 trended on social media as the Youth Influencer Awards (YIA) announced South Africa’s top youth influencers. A South African first, the awards recognised youth influencers under 25, with the focus on youth who are creating their own success through influencer marketing, without the support of fame.
Marc Kornberger, director and co-founder at Student Village, says, “Heading into the awards, we found that celebrities have been brands’ go to source for achieving scale and reach, however, influencer marketing in South Africa is still in its infancy compared to other countries.”
He added that Student Village wanted these awards to provide a platform for authentic young influencers to be recognised and give brands a better view of what influencer marketing really is and has the potential to become.
YIA awarded the following categories and winners
Best Male Lifestyle Influencer – Trevor Stuurman;
Best Female Lifestyle Influencer – Tsepang Modisane;
Best Social Media Influencer – Tshepi Vundla;
Best Campus Brand Ambassador – Isaac Mnguni;
Most Influential Visual Artist – Themba Mbuyisa;
Most Influential Vlogger – Moshe Ndiki;
The Socialite – Tshepi Vundla;
The Game Changer – Pap Culture; and
Best Brand Influencer Marketing – Adidas.
Focussed on uplifting South Africa’s young influencers, the celebration of their work hasn’t only ended in awards being presented to them but created an event where they could connect with brands. Several top South African brands were in attendance to witness the awards including Castle Lite, Heineken, Nestle, AB InBev and Standard Bank.
To single out South Africa’s top youth influencers in their respective categories, the judging panel consisting of Musa Kalenga (client partner Facebook Africa), Thithi Nteta (influencer and author of Teeteeiswithme.com) and Asanda Sizani (fashion editor and style curator) reviewed various social authority criteria of each nominee. This included measures like reach, social authority, social affluence, positive impact, and conversation. Kornberger further explained these particular measures’ importance during an influencer marketing insights presentation, delivered at the awards.
Since influencer marketing is already changing the way brands market to the masses, Student Village also put brands in the spotlight with a Best Brand Influencer Marketing category, which was won by Adidas, with other nominees in the category including Sunglasshut, Superbalist, Levis, and Standard Bank.
Kornberger added, “The influencers and brands nominated have set the bar for winners to come and we look forward to seeing how the influencer game evolves until we host our next Youth Influencer Awards.”