Digital marketing comprises any marketing activity using technology, such as mobile phones, laptops, and computers. There are many digital marketing strategies you can make use of to market your product and services. This article is meant to help you understand what some of them entails so that you can make an informed choice on which is the best digital platform for you based on your product/service, and preference.

I will explore some options you can use to market your products online.

  • Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization means getting your website or YouTube video on the first page of Google results when a user searches for specific information. Usually, when you want to find information online, you go to your browser and type a group of words, that you hope will return relevant results. Such words look something like this … “how to replace your car battery”, or “property for sale in Mombasa”, or “used cars for sale in Eldoret”. These are referred to as keywords.

So, as a business owner, if you want to get your product website or video displayed on the first page of Google search, you need to tailor your service or product descriptions to match the keywords your potential customers will use. And this includes entering your keywords on the headline, image titles, and descriptions, editing the meta tags such as the title of the Web page, and adding useful relevant information that your client will find useful and helpful.

  • Search Engine Marketing

This is commonly also known as Google Ads, or Google marketing. It involves creating advertisements that will appear at the top of Google Search Results pages, also depending on the keywords the customer has used on the search bar. In the image below, you can identify the Google Ads by those having the word Ad.

Search Engine Marketing - Google Ads

The cost of Google Ads depends on the following 3 main factors:

  1. The cost of the keywords you are targeting. This is also determined by the demand for that product or service, how much advertisers are willing to bid for those keywords, location where the ads will run and general the value of that keyword.
  2. Your budget – how much money do you have to spend on Google marketing
  3. Your marketing objectives. How many do you want to reach, what is your target income.

That being said, in Kenya, you can start with a budget as low as 3 usd per day, which is a fairly humble budget, translating to only Ksh10k per month. The most optimum budget you should consider working with is 10usd per day.

  • Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is the most popular method of marketing. You can have both free and paid social media marketing. It is effective for most types of products and services, and the key to success is consistent, valuable, interesting content. There are many types of social media channels available, such as Linkedin, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and many more. The channel(s) you choose depend on where your audience is found, the type of content, and how familiar you are with the app. There’s lots of content online, and you can also learn how to use these social media channels for business effectively.

Paid social media ads can give you faster results, increase your inquiries and potentially enable you to expand your business rapidly, both geographically and financially. The most common paid social media ads in Kenya are Instagram and Facebook. Some also advertise on Twitter and LinkedIn, though they are more expensive, nevertheless effective, depending on how you craft your message and who you are targeting.

  • Content Marketing

This is where you use content such as blogs, infographics, videos, and text to market your products. This enables you to provide useful information around your product or service and create the need for your potential customers to make that purchase. It also improves your search engine optimization and makes your website interesting to the reader. Start with at least 30 well-written targeted articles/videos. After that you can pace out your articles. If you don’t have the time or interest to write, you can hire content writers, and if you are a big organization, get someone on the payroll for that purpose.

  • Email Marketing

Using emails is a very nice way of reaching your customers and potential buyers with product information, updates, special offers, announcements, and launches. The most efficient (and acceptable) way is to provide an opt-in whereby customers will add their email addresses. These email addresses will be connected to email management software such as Mailchimp, from which you will be able to create email campaigns. At the click of a button, you can send one email to 100s or1000s of email addresses, monitor open and response rates, automate email sending, connect your emails to your social profiles, and much more.

  • Affiliate Marketing

This is where you identify other blogs or websites that have heavy traffic from audiences who can also be your potential customers. You then approach them to market for you at a commission. You will need to set up an affiliate program so that you can give your potential advertisers a link for your product(s) or service(s) which they will place on their websites. This is a great way to engage potential marketers without paying a retainer, because you only pay the commission when a customer has made an actual purchase. You can also upload your products on affiliate merchant websites, which provide networks of affiliates, where other websites get to collect links from those sites to earn extra income.

  • Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing involves marketing using apps like Whatsapp, and Telegram to your potential customers. You can market in groups, send your product links to individuals, or use WhatsApp status to advertise your products. There’s also a Whatsapp for Business app which will enable you to create a catalog of products for your business. It is much easier to use the catalog for marketing especially when your products are picture based. Then you will not have to flood your customers’ phones with photos.

You can also consider SMS marketing, using SMS software, and send branded SMSes to your potential and existing customers. Of importance here is not to bombard your customers’ phones with frequent messages, and also to keep your texts short, to the point, and beneficial to the customer.

Finally, there are Google ads for mobile, which target marketing on mobile apps. When users are using their apps like games, etc, your ads might pop up and they click on your ad and make a purchase.

  • Influencer Marketing

As the name suggests, this is where you use influencers among your target audience to endorse your products and services. It is usually very expensive, depending on who you are approaching. At times, their terms of engagement may be just to use your product, for example, a holiday package (if you are a tour company). The influencer can either mention your product on their social media post, make videos of visits, demos for your products and services, etc.

As you embark on digital marketing, it is important to note that not everyone is your potential customer. Not everyone will be interested in what you have to sell. And not everyone will like what you are posting. In fact, you will face many trolls and haters. Do not be discouraged, consistency is the best way to win the digital marketing game. Use the trolls to your advantage, and in some cases, you can remove the comments that are not useful.