How OneFi successfully promoted its Paylater app on Facebook

As more and more Nigerian youths are showing interest in entrepreneurship, the need for access to loan has become even more necessary. However, funding remains a major challenge and startups in Nigeria. The cumbersome process for acquiring bank loans has been a major turn off for a lot of MSMEs, fortunately one organization has found a way to help millions of budding entrepreneurs across the country.

When OneFi, a finance and short-term loan company founded by the Dozie brothers, Chijoke and Ngozi, launched in 2012; it recognized that it had a glaring opportunity to communicate with, and do business with entrepreneurs and other would-be customers with far fewer strenuous requirements than all the documentations and collaterals required by traditional banks.

In 2016, OneFi launched Paylater, an Android mobile app that allows anyone across Nigeria to access short-term loans within minutes. The app saw significant growth in app downloads and loan disbursements and currently has over 1 million downloads on the Google Play Store.

To achieve this, the management of OneFi opted to use multiple Facebook products to help drive app installs, including slideshow, carousel and video ads. The carousel ad format – a versatile single unit capable of hosting up to 10 different images or videos – effectively introduced audiences to the typical user journey experienced on Paylatet, while video and slideshow ads were the most eye-catching and efficient way to demonstrate the app’s finer points and functionality.

OneFi therefore refined its ad creative after looking at information provided by Facebook Analytics and app events, which can help businesses understand users of its app. With this insight, OneFi could then build new Custom Audiences and lookalike audiences to be sure that its ads were being shown to the right people – namely, those who were likely to be interested in the brand and who were looking for credit and loans.

“After the first few months of using Facebook to promote the app, we noticed that some of its ads weren’t attracting the same interaction and engagement that they had at the beginning of the campaign. After approaching Facebook Creative Shop for advice, OneFi focused on more dynamic imagery and, when possible, video ads with a strong “thumb-stopping” introduction to immediately capture attention,” Chijioke Dozie, the CEO of OneFi said.

Taking inspiration from the company’s West African roots, he said, OneFi showed models wearing traditional West African dress as they used the app, focusing on the emotions that the app could inspire.

These images were used to create new ads that reflected the typical customer journey with the app, from the initial download to loan application to receiving funds instantly in a bank account. This creative resulted in OneFi’s best conversion figures to date: daily loans increased four fold in about five months.

“We are excited to use Facebook to fuel our regional expansion. Knowing we can reach an audience in different countries with practically no additional effort or cost is extremely empowering.” Dozie added.

Speaking on their success, Henry Uku, who is in charge of Growth and Marketing at OneFi stated that through high-impact, Facebook ads underpinned by powerful insights and analytics, the company increased the number of loans it administered each day.

Between May and August 2017, Uku revealed that the campaign achieved nine times increase in loans administered per day over nine months, about 15 times increase in monthly downloads over nine months while 80 percent of users who installed the app via Facebook ads and are approved for a loan were retained by applying for subsequentloans.

“Prior to starting campaigns, we disbursed about 200 loans per day. We’ve been able to grow that 10 times within less than a year using Facebook” Uku stated.


Written by NaijaRoko

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