The advent of COVID 19 led to the evolution of the digital space which was brought about by limitation in movement. Companies across the globe were forced to device ways of remaining in business as employees were forced to work remotely. As a result, some of the online platforms that were experiencing less traffic like Zoom, Google Meet and Microsoft Teams become dominant in the information sharing field. This also led to increased network coverage as countries were forced to adopt to the latest internet speed of 5G to remain relevant in the digital space.
From the pandemic, it is evident that the digital marketing sector took precedence when it came to online marketing. It was important for companies to maintain contact with clients and customers who were mostly available online. With this in mind, the provisional stores in many countries like Kenya had to device ways of increasing home deliveries as many people would order for shopping and food items via mobile phones. A window of business opportunities was opened during the COVID-19 pandemic and as such, a company willing to succeed in the current market environment ought to embrace new digital marketing techniques.
What is digital marketing
Digitial marketing is the art of using your social media channels, websites and YouTube to reach and sell to your clients. This new marketing tool has taken shape as many people use internet on day-to-day basis. Here are some methods that market research companies in Africa should use to maximize on digital marketing.
1. Good Web & Responsive mobile sites
The first gateway to successful digital marketing is having good quality platforms that will act as information deck for clients. Marketing firms seeking to expand their digital presence should first develop user-friendly and best performing web and mobile sites for their clients to reach them easily and first. A good and well-designed website will give your clients faster access to information. This is the first investment a company should make in its way to successfully launch a digital marketing strategy. Especially market research firms in Africa should develop compelling websites as the first step towards accessing international markets. A well developed and easily structured website will help your firm to pass the due diligence check from prospective clients.
The era of Internet of Things (IoT) has revealed the power that lies in information sharing. Social media has become an important tool of trade for companies willing to remain in the digital limelight and realize their Return on Investment (ROI). There are many social media channels that need to be carefully selected based on your target group. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and TikTok attract different type of audiences. Maintaining an outstanding social media presence starts with the social media profile across platforms and goes down to the type of posts you upload on your channel. Your social media channel should be well branded with your corporate colours and the information posted should be current and accurate. According to research, companies that post daily on their social media channels have high rates in terms of client conversion and ROI as compared to those who post once in a week. This is because the more content you post on your channels, the more people resonate with it.
During the course of your research, you might have come across the term Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is essential when it comes to how your firm ranks on the internet. However, the advancement of technology has made it difficult for content to rank only through SEO without creating content that stands out with relevant industry keywords. Google has updated its algorithms to detect only critical content that will stand out from millions of pieces of content posted online. It is therefore important that market and research firms in Africa develop compelling and unique content that stands out from the rest in order to rank high on search engines.
Using the right tools in managing the digital platforms is a key to successful marketing campaign. Digital marketing encompasses all the social media accounts including the website that need to run as a unit for you to realize Return on Investment. Managing them at one point and ensuring the content gets out in time should be given priority. Some tools to help you in digital marketing include Hootsuite, Buffer, Tweet deck and Google Analytics among others.
As a market research firm, it is important to know that posting good content without advertising and pushing it into the market might sometime not realize its full potential. Advertising should be essential when targeting prospective clients online. As such, market research firms should develop a budget for digital marketing to realise its impact and Return on Investment. Digital marketing takes different formats which include YouTube Ads and Google Ads. Others are Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter that are charged as PPC (Pay Per Click).
Short informative videos have been described as the ideal form of increasing user engagement on online platforms and the website. 97% of companies using videos as a tool of marketing claim that customers have a better understanding of learning about their products and services by watching videos than reading through long product information. Videos keep customers engaged and feel part of the product or services because of faster understanding and digestion of the information shared.
Experts have put the attention span of people watching videos to less than 2 minutes and marketing videos should communicate the intended message within that time. As a result, market research companies should embrace the use of videos as a form of marketing tool because of high client retention capacity and user engagement.
Although it is still a new venture, the endless gains realized from digital marketing are far more effective compared to the conventional way of marketing. Embracing digital marketing is an effective tool in the current Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and the future is poised to lean towards digital communication as a form of conducting business. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s embrace digital marketing to expand our presence in African markets and beyond.