Marketing particularly in Africa and for that matter Ghana can be a restless and dynamic business activity. This undoubtedly calls for the use of an effective marketing strategy in order to stay in business and make positive gains in a saturated market environment as we have now.
Globally for a marketing strategy to be effective, it must meet the customers where they are. Figuring this out was once a challenge to entrepreneurs trying to break into the market. However, technology has changed how we interact and made it easier for businesses to find their target audiences and effectively market their brands.
People around the world are turning to the internet for information and Africa hasn’t been left behind. In fact, wide spread access to the internet through mobile phones has resulted in a fundamental shift in how people on the continent interact with businesses and brands. More people are turning to the internet to access information before making a purchasing decision. For instance as at June 2016 Ghana has had a significant internet penetration rate of 29.6% representing 7,958,675 according to the internet world stats website. That obviously is a huge break through and an indication of the potential of the internet as a marketing platform.
Not surprising though many multinationals and large corporations have recognized the power of information technology and are harnessing it to build their brands. Many have managed to increase their market share with marketing strategies that incorporate digital media.
Digital marketing however, isn’t limited to large businesses with unlimited budgets. In fact, small businesses (a lot of which are in Africa) will find that an effective digital marketing strategy will yield great returns without having to invest a whole lot in it.
What you’re missing out on
Many small business owners in Africa mistakenly believe that digital marketing isn’t for them. However, considering that many more people are turning to online sources before making a purchasing decision, you could be missing out on thousands of potential customers by ignoring this channel.
Some may also argue that they would prefer not to sell their products online or simply don’t have the budget to set up an online store. However, online shops aren’t the only way to promote your brand online. The fact is that many people search online for general information on products and services in their local areas. All you need to do is influence their decisions.
Taking it to a new level
There are obviously many benefits associated with digital marketing to African businesses.
Startups and even bigger companies can take their business to the next level by utilizing digital marketing strategies which ultimately have the following benefits:
1. Increase your reach
Promoting your brand on digital platforms will help you increase the reach of your business. You will have the opportunity to reach a larger number of potential customers and not have to spend as much doing so.
Your reach on digital platforms is only limited by your ambition. If you want to target customers within your local area for example, you may opt to limit your reach by using local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies.
2. Increase visibility of your brand
Digital platforms will allow you to increase the visibility of your brand and therefore increase your customer base. Social media platforms especially are a great way to influence customers and drive more traffic to your website. Great design and content can improve your conversion rates and therefore drive up sales.
3. Build lasting relationships
Building a sustainable business is about much more than increasing your reach and number of customers. It is also about building lasting relationships that will ensure a source of revenue for the long term.
Digital media offers various opportunities for businesses to develop long term relationships with their customers. Businesses can continue to engage with customers through email newsletters, social media updates on discounts and sales, blog articles on the latest developments in industry and much more.
If you’re looking for a cost effective way to increase the reach of your brand, digital media is your answer. Your business will spend less to improve sales. There is no other media that offers the same high return on investment.
The writer Steve Kubate Salifu is a Public Relations and Marketing Strategist and a managing partner for B Branding Solutions, a Branding and Digital Marketing Agency in Ghana
You can reach the writer through: