By Ruoro Kairu
Earlier this week, I was talking to a relative. She’s been thinking of starting a business for the last few years.
Finally, she took the leap and jumped into the entrepreneurial pool.
When talking to other people about the business, they all seemed to ask her one question; ‘what is your digital marketing strategy?’
She found it hard to answer this question as she did not understand what a digital marketing strategy is –leave alone having one.
She wants to know what digital marketing is, and why everyone seems to think it’s important to the success of the company.
What is digital marketing?
Every business today appears to be obsessed with digital marketing. But what is it?
Basically, digital marketing is using platforms and avenues on the internet to market your business.
Some of the popular avenues and platforms used to market businesses include; websites, social media, email, and many others.
Why should you choose digital marketing over conventional forms of marketing?
That’s a valid question. Conventional marketing methods still work. A billboard, brochure or even newspaper ad will still cut it in today’s market.
However, these methods have a limited reach. In a survey published by one of the local dailies, it is estimated less than 10% of Kenyans read newspapers on a daily basis.
In a different report, it is reported over 89% of Kenyans have access to the internet.
When you run these two comparisons, marketing your services on the internet will give you a wider market than doing so on conventional means.
This is not to say you should not market using offline methods.
Why is digital marketing important to your business?
To answer this question, I spoke to a professional digital marketer who has worked with some of the big brands in Kenya –with over eight years’ experience in the field of digital marketing. Here is what she had to say;
1. You get to know and segment your target market
If you market your services on a billboard, it’s hard to target a specific target market. With digital marketing, on the other hand, you’re able to target a specific audience.
For instance, if the product or service you have appeals to the older generations, you can get to target them specifically.
Some platforms can segment the audience down to age, gender, location, and even customized preferences.
2. You’ll build a reputation for yourself
How many times have you looked up a company before purchasing?
In today’s business, before a customer buys anything, they look you up online. If you do not have any online presence, they’ll likely proceed with caution –or not purchase altogether.
To market your services digitally, you must first set up digital platforms. These platforms will act as your presence.
For instance, if you have content you’d like to share, you first need a medium such as a website.
When someone looks up your brand, they’ll see the website.
Reviews and testimonials too, help a prospective customer make up their mind about purchasing your product.
Building a digital strategy begins with being informed on the importance of digital marketing. Learning about digital marketing will help you grow your business and create awareness for your product.
To learn more about digital marketing and its effects on your business, you can also enroll in a digital marketing course.