It has been interesting observing how the face of marketing has transformed over the years, relying more on digital methods. Although the concept of online marketing is not entirely new, we cannot deny that digital marketing has become an integral part of our day-to-day lives, especially as entrepreneurs building sustainable businesses and sharing the impact of our businesses with the world. Digital marketing, therefore, is the use of various forms of digital communication to promote brands and connect them with potential clients on the internet.

There are various types/forms of digital marketing. Some of them include; social media marketing, content marketing, search engine marketing/search engine optimization, display advertising, mobile marketing, email marketing, audio marketing, video marketing, affiliate marketing, and influencer marketing. 

Before now, traditional marketing was in vogue. As a matter of fact, it still is. However, there are differences between traditional marketing and digital marketing. The major difference is in the ability to differentiate target audiences and provide them with personalised and detailed messages to each of these audiences. In addition to showing who the customers of any business are, digital marketing provides an access to reach customers directly.

Digital marketing: What’s the uniqueness?

One of the most phenomenal things about this method of marketing is the prolific nature in which information is disseminated within the shortest possible time. As a matter of fact, your product, service, or unique message has the capacity to sufficiently reach millions of people in a matter of hours, or even minutes. As a result of the effectiveness of this marketing method, digital marketing has appreciated in both demand and value over the years. Africa as a continent is not exempted. A lot of Africans now have a global audience. Only a few years ago, this seemed impossible. However, with tailored digital marketing, an emerging, local artist in a remote village somewhere in Nigeria can now share his or her artistry with people in Europe, Australia, etc. The reality of this is truly fascinating. It has transformed communication and the global operation of firms.

The numbers tell the story

Let’s take a look at social media marketing for instance. Research shows that in January 2021, out of Nigeria’s 208 million population, 187.9 million people had mobile connections and 104.4 million were using the internet. Of this number, 33 million were using social media. The research also showed that between 2020 and 2021, there was a 22% increase in both the numbers of internet and social media users in Nigeria. In Côte D’Ivoire, though the population as at January 2021 was 26.7 million, there were 37.16 million mobile connections in the country; that is about 139.1% of the country’s population. Now, it means that Chinonso – a recent Nigerian graduate who makes handbags out of recyclable waste materials – has the possibility of reaching 3.3 million people if she targets 10% of active social media users in Nigeria. Imagine including hashtags and also promoting posts to audiences in other countries; her market reach will be limitless. That is exactly the prospect digital marketing affords individuals and institutions.

 What informs decisions?

Because there are numerous digital marketing options available on the African continent, it is important to give your target audience a hitch-free experience to ensure they find you, understand your brand message, and convert to paying customers. For starters, it will be a disservice to yourself and your business if there is ambiguity in your digital marketing customer experience as this will force customers to look to your competition who offers a more seamless experience. So, in order to help customers make the best decisions, a retailer must offer all-round quality and convenience to customers. This can be done via a number of methods.

Clarify the value of your product. Oftentimes, Customer A needs a product or service. Now there is a company, Company A, which can provide the needed solution. However, it is not adequately relating that message to the customer. If another company, Company B, can provide a solution to this customer’s need and clearly state the value of this product/service to the customer, making them see that their needs are recognised and understood, and that their product has the full capacity to satisfy this of theirs, then company B has made it much easier and more likely to attract Customer A as a client. Therefore, when applying digital marketing tools in your business, opening the eyes or minds of customers not just to the product or service you offer, but the unique ways it benefits them, positively influences the choices shoppers or customers make regarding taking a bet on your offering.

Also, nothing frustrates a potential buyer more than unnecessary bureaucracies when simply trying to make a purchase. As a marketer applying digital methods, one must understand that constant unsolicited pop-up ads, payment options, long processes, excessive delivery costs, unfriendly purchase and return policies, etc., all add up to what can make or mar a customer’s decision to take advantage of your proposed offering. The more hitch-free or less stressful you make buying your products or services, the more likely your business is to enjoy the patronage of new customers and the return of existing ones. Therefore, as a marketer, ensuring an easy user experience should be a top priority when considering digital marketing options.

Furthermore, feedback sells! One of the fastest and most reliable ways shoppers determine whether or not to purchase a product or service is feedback or testimonials from other people who have used it. In this era of digital marketing, ample customer reviews abound on the internet. These reviews create impressions on the minds of potential shoppers. Therefore it is important to create valuable products or services as well as ensure a great customer experience so that customers can willingly and honestly give good ratings to what you offer. A product or service that has a high rating by customers online is a lot more likely to enjoy purchases by strangers or potential buyers online.

In all this, any business that has neglected the use of digital marketing in reaching its audience and creating brand awareness is at a greater risk of facing considerable loss as that is equivalent to leaving a lot of money on the table. With digital marketing, the options are numerous, the reach is very wide and the cost implications are flexible depending on your budget. Therefore, every entrepreneur must ensure that there are digital marketing plans factored into their company’s marketing strategies.

Kleos Africa, Africa’s foremost consulting platform has digital marketing services that are all-encompassing. With a team of digital marketing consultants who have multiple years of experience in delivering effective marketing strategies for businesses, entrepreneurs can access world-class digital marketing services to drive the growth and reach of their businesses while maintaining budget-friendly rates. So, if searching for a reliable digital marketing service, Kleos Africa has experts who can be the perfect match for your unique needs.