Welcome to the Meeting Customers Online series. It is a tour where we discuss how to use digital marketing for business in Nigeria. We examine views from Nigerian business owners, their audience, and the digital space itself. How do Nigerian Businesses use Digital Marketing? What views inform their usage of the digital marketing space? Is digital marketing an effective channel for modern marketing in Nigeria? Is it truly profitable?
Let’s answer the ultimate question “Why Does Every Nigerian Business Want to Sell Online?” As is our tradition, we have sampled opinions on how to use digital marketing for business from business owners themselves. We’ve also compiled them with our analysis.
Why Does Every Nigerian Business Want to Sell Online?
- Market reach & share
Sola Guru, is the CEO of The Guru Solutions, a branding enterprise that also operates Gurudemy Online, a digital academy for people aspiring to learn new skills. He believes a reasonable portion of his target audience is online. Also, competitors are beginning to crowd the online space and using digital marketing. It’s only necessary that his business catches on quickly. For Guru, “The world has moved to a digital age. Virtually everyone is on the internet today…when you weigh it with offline options, digital marketing appears to be a more affordable marketing option for my business.”
- Convenience and Flexibility
For a crop of business owners, digital marketing goes beyond just selling online. Some business people are actually full-time employees running portfolio careers, a side hustle, or a side income machine. Usually, they need a system that will manage the time factor. For these individuals, keeping a regular job is key and must not conflict with their business in the background.
The good thing is newer social media features and digital marketing tools allow businesses set autoresponse messages for visiting customers. Customers can initiate meaningful chats in the absence of business owners.
This luxury also continues on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp where products can be finely displayed in a catalogue for customers to see. One can create a wholesome business environment that caters for both products and customers.
For Stella, the CEO, Empress Resource Centre an bookstore that’s also resident on social media, social media gives her the time balance. She is able to pursue a professional life outside her business while selling books and educational resources to customers on her Instagram. On the efficiency digital marketing brings, she adds that “I pursue a professional career full-time. Digital marketing and social media help me master, and build all I need before going big.”
- Customer Engagement
Marketo gives an interesting meaning to “engagement.” They say it’s the use of well-thought-out content to establish meaningful interactions with people over time.
Metrics like post likes, comments, and shares are still sought-after items in today’s social media culture. Yet, they scantily mean tangible things for business owners if they don’t impact sales and brand growth.
In Vitesse Networks, a Nigerian internet and ICT service company, digital marketing goes beyond marketing but also customer intelligence. It impacts their customer relationship culture. According to the representative of Vitesse Network Deji Ogunyemi, “The digital marketing medium helps us interact with our customers and learn what they are exactly looking for while reaching a Nigerian and also global audience.”
4. Customer & Market Intelligence
While one may see search engines and social media as primary tools for seeking and sharing information, they offer richer insights and a suite of business tools on customer behavior for business owners.
Questions like “What are my customers looking for?” “Where are they?” “What are my competitors doing?” are easily answered through digital marketing tools. Interestingly, Google is one platform that has created a keyword planner tool. The tool helps digital marketers measure how many people are really looking up a keyword. Search phrases like “Agege Bread in Lagos”, “Software developer in Abuja” “Best restaurants in Aba” are serious keywords that can influence brand awareness for businesses that use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Search Engine Marketing (SEM).
5. Business Visibility
Many search engines & social media communities are shaping their platforms to be friendlier to business owners. Facebook now has its Facebook Business. So do Google, Twitter, and Linkedin. Besides, they collect an abundant wealth of user information which become useful for digital marketers. Many of their tools are intelligent enough to help you understand what people are looking for and what your business should be doing.
E.g LIKE creating relevant products that actually solve current problems or what people really need. OR ensuring people are able to see your products and services when they search “keywords” on them. Google also allows you to create ads based on these keywords so you pop up once people coming searching for such things (SEO & SEM).
Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even Google already make it easier to create and target posts to audience segments in different regions. This is an introduction to our series. You’re welcome.
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