Digital Marketing Services in Kenya

digital marketing in Kenya

Comprehensive Guide: Digital Marketing In Kenya

The dynamics of starting a small business in Kenya are different from other parts of the world. The reason is that it is still a developing country with an unstable economy. A significant number of Kenyans are going online to seek solutions that present a good space for digital marketing.

What Is Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is a process or set of marketing services or products via a digital medium or technology. The most prominent technology for digital marketing is the internet. Digital marketing comprises other technologies such as mobile phones and digital displays.

Statistics Behind the Concepts of Users Online

Has it ever occurred to you that Kenya is the first country in Africa with the most significant number of smartphone penetration? The rise of smartphones has positively transformed digital marketing in Kenya and worldwide. A young population is more adaptive and receptive to new technology than the older generation, which is reluctant to change. The Kenyan population is relatively younger, and the census shows that 75% of the population is less than 30 years of age. This large population of young people explains why the new technology is shaping up and contributing more to the country’s GDP, which is now at 5.7%.

A significant number of consumers access information via smartphones and other smart devices. 83% of Kenyans have unlimited access to the internet through their mobile phones. This statistic is the highest in the African continent and very impressive globally. Smartphone penetration in Kenya is at 91% compared to 80% for the rest of Africa.

As per Google data, there are 13 million active Google users in Kenya. Social media has essentially contributed to the rising number of internet consumers, as it is estimated that there are over 8.3 million Kenyan users on different social media platforms. Also, it is estimated that these users spend more than 3 hours daily on diverse social media platforms such Facebook, Whatsapp and Twitter.

WhatsApp is the top famous social media platform in Kenya, followed by YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. There are 8 million active users on YouTube, 7.1 million on Facebook, 4 million on Instagram and one million on Twitter.

Smartphones are gradually becoming a necessity, and their users’ numbers are expected to skyrocket in Kenya. The digital space in Kenya offers every business owner to reach out to their potential clients directly. Phones offer direct access and are drivers of digital marketing in Kenya and globally. The future of marketing in Kenya is inarguably digital.

Smartphones have revolutionised how users interact with businesses, and in this era of immediacy, they expect to search, buy, browse and engage whenever and wherever they are. Today’s consumers are on the move, and getting to them in their preferred abodes where they spend the most time vastly improves your chance of making an impact.

Techniques Used in Digital Marketing

There are several essential techniques of digital marketing in Kenya that you can use to market your products and services. Since we have figures to support the concept, let’s delve into some techniques. Below is a list of digital marketing strategies that you can utilise in your business. This writing will focus on inbound marketing techniques that have produced significant results, especially in local markets.

Below is a list of 12 digital marketing strategies used worldwide by different brands:

  • Social media marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Influencer marketing
  • SMS marketing
  • Search engine marketing
  • Video marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Social messaging apps advertising (Telegram, Twitter and WhatsApp)
  • Programmatic advertising
  • Paid advertising (PPC)

Six Famous Digital Marketing Strategies in Kenya

Let’s find out some of Kenya’s most popular digital marketing techniques.

1. Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is utilising social media platforms as a medium to market your products and services. This technique is specifically effective in Kenya, considering the popularity of some social media platforms such as YouTube, WhatsApp and Facebook.

Social media marketing is also popularly known as SMM. Any marketing effort you make to drive sales, increase awareness and drive website traffic on social media forums such as Twitter and Facebook are known as social media marketing.

The success of SMM in Kenya depends on the creativity and strategies adopted by your social media manager. Varied social media platforms work for different services and products. SMM has become successful in Kenya because of business start-ups and individuals selling products online. The start-up which does not have a website or any other online presence prefers to start with a social media forum, which has worked for many beginners.  

There has been uproar of Facebook groups that various upcoming entrepreneurs have been using to sell their products and services. These groups, such as Soko Kuu and Soko Huru, have given users a free platform to connect and interact with their customers by posting promotional materials.

 Other groups are created for particular neighbourhoods creating a better conversion community. In a group like Great wall Gardens Residents, users can market products to residents of Great wall Gardens. The same applies to all other neighbourhood groups across the country.

Social media marketing is a powerful digital marketing tool in Kenya, and it takes little effort to get you started.

2. Search Engine Optimisation

Search engine optimisation is popularly known as SEO. It is defined as the process of using various techniques to obtain traffic to your website using search engines organically. Google is the most well-known search engine in Kenya, enjoying more than 96% market share. Other search engines used in Kenya include Yahoo, Bing, and DuckDuck go.

SEO experts have various ways that they can use to improve a ranking of a website. It all begins with identifying keywords with good monthly traffic and laying out an SEO strategy to ensure that your website ranks number one on Google for that specific keyword. With a website ranking, you are assured of a good Percentage of average monthly traffic to your website.

The magnificence of search engine optimisation is that the traffic obtained is relevant and highly targeted. 

Search engine optimisation guarantees a website owner good leads and high conversion rates. However, SEO is a long term strategy, and there is a lot of work and consistency that is needed over time to your website ranking. SEO has also changed as the search engine altered its algorithms to improve the quality of results to the users. Content has unbelievably become an essential part of optimisation. Still, there are other strategies such as link building you will need to look into to boost the ranking of your website.

 3. Email Marketing

It is one of the oldest online marketing techniques that have been successfully used globally. Emails offer an excellent opportunity to reach out to your customers directly through their email accounts. Although, there is a lot of competition regarding email since there are millions of emails sent daily, thus making the competition stiff.

Email marketing is explained as a marketing campaign by transferring information to potential customers through their email addresses.

Most organisations carrying out email marketing in Kenya have not been successful; they had the wrong approach. Email marketing does not entail simply buying a bunch of random email addresses and sending out emails to these contacts.

You need to develop a good email marketing strategy if you want to be successful with email marketing in Kenya. First, you must build a targeted email list. 

An email list is a qualified list of contacts interested in products and services.

You should set objectives and know what you want to achieve with the email campaigns, considering the competition for attention in potential customers’ inboxes; thus, your email campaigns need to stand out from others. Ensure that you plan your emails and follow-ups well not to seem to be spamming your email list.

4. Content Marketing

Content marketing is defined as using non-promotional content such as infographics, videos, blogs etc., to market a product, brand or service. Content marketing is not a novel concept, and there are records of companies using this strategy as early as 1672. The popularity of content marketing had increased since 20 years ago when internet marketing started gaining momentum.

You cannot always advertise to your customers directly with the internet increasingly becoming a social ground. Content marketing provides valuable information about a specific niche that users will find relevant.

For example, if you are into the real estate industry in Kenya, content marketing can come through for you to grow your brand. You can write a blog post on the steps you need to take when buying land in Kenya instead of always asking your audience to land here or a house there; this is essentially what content marketing involves.

A good approach will aid build loyalty among your audience as you authority around your niche. Offer relevant and valuable content to your audience by providing solutions or answers to the questions they might have instead of always selling your products. You become an expert and a go-to brand based on your niche.

The buzz and hype around content marketing in Kenya is justifiable as it is the force behind many other inbound marketing strategies and techniques. Some strategies rely on the content as the driving force, such as search engine optimisation, social media marketing, and other internet marketing methods. Well, as the slogan goes, “content is the king, marketing is the queen.”

5. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a perfect model of earning passive income. It can be defined as using other blogs, websites or any other online property to promote your brand on a commission basis to the owners of these properties. The commission is dependent on the brand and the third party, and it could be in terms of impressions, clicks or purchases.

It takes maximum effort to get your online property to begin making passive income. Several bloggers have built their online properties over time through content generation in Kenya. The more traffic your online content has, the better your chances of making money online by becoming an affiliate.

Affiliate marketing is among the best ways for brands to get customers. Affiliate marketing is stress-free marketing, and you will only have to pay the affiliate for the traffic they bring to your brand. There is less effort in the market, and you pay the affiliate for conversion that you desire from them.

 There are several affiliate marketing systems that you can use to set up an affiliate marketing campaign. Most systems are automated; affiliates register for accounts and generate marketing material with unique codes that track the traffic. Each click from the links can be traced to a specific affiliate. The more traffic you pull, the higher the chances of conversion.

6. Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is making use of celebrities to endorse your services and products. This strategy has been in existence even before inbound marketing techniques such as social media marketing.

In the digital space, influencers are individuals or brands with a massive following in the digital platforms and can use their space to influence followers to purchase. Therefore, influencer marketing uses an online influencer for marketing your products and services. It incorporates both content marketing and social media marketing.

Kenchic was trying to boost their brand through celebrities who were a big deal at the moment. The celebrities, in this case, are influencers. In Kenya, a remarkable campaign called “Kuku about Kenchic” used celebrities like Humphrey Kayange and Inspector Mwala in the advert. Humprey Kayange was a big name in the rugby world, while Inspector Mwala the show had high ratings.,

Carefully tailor your influencer marketing strategy so that you hunt for the right influencers. The choice of influencers to work with depends on your products, services, and budget and brand guidelines. If you are not financially fit, look out for micro-influencers who have a big following but do not dig deeper into your pockets.

Why Should You Invest In Digital Marketing?

The future of marketing in Kenya is undoubtedly digitalised. There are several reasons why you should use digital space for marketing your products and services in Kenya.

The five critical reasons are:

1. The future is digital – statistics show that Kenyans are going online with an internet penetration rate standing at 89.8%. With the recent popularity of smartphones, digital marketing is the future of marketing. Everything can be found online, for instance, an online store where you can go shopping in the comfort of your home just by a click of a button.

2. Numbers do not lie – there is an average of 3.5 million searches daily, some of which are your potential clients. Thus, it’s essential to utilise the opportunity and purpose to reach as many people as possible.

3. It is cheap – if you compare digital marketing with other traditional forms, you will get excellent returns on your investment with digital marketing. With little to no budget, a solid digital marketing campaign can yield a more significant ROI, with the content being viewed by a much larger and more targeted audience. Traditional marketing mediums are often costly and difficult to measure if you think about how everyday consumers interact with content and where they are spending their time. There is very minimum interaction between traditional mediums such as print and radio and potential customers.

4. The world is now an open market – this simply means your reach is unlimited, and you can market to any part of the globe you want. All you need is a Smartphone or computer connected to the internet. With the availability of the internet in most parts of the world, the sky is the limit for reaching a new audience or consumer base. Globally, more than a billion active users on Facebook have a mega potential to grow your business. With digital marketing, the possibility of tapping into the masses and growing your brand awareness is straightforward.

5. It is measurable – you can quickly get statistics on the performance of your campaigns. You can measure up the effectiveness of everything you do. With every campaign you run online via social media, you leave a digital footprint and set it up for analysing. With the availability of digital marketing tools such as Google Analytics, there is a potential to accurately measure your consumers’ origin, what they are engaging with, and at what point they disengage. Data analysis allows you to adjust and redirect your digital activity based on the insights you gain in real-time from your campaigns.

Starter Guide for Digital Marketing in Kenya

Digital space in Kenya and the world is very dynamic. Things change at a first pace online, and a platform or strategy that works for one product may not work for another. For instance, what works and is popular in Kenya might not impact Tanzania or Uganda. Hence, you need to have an adequate understanding of the dynamics in your niche and region. It all commences with trying to understand your target audience.

There is no particular formula or place to start with digital marketing. Begin where you can and work on perfecting your strategies and ultimately understand your marketing online and needs.

In Kenya, Social Media is the best bet, and it is the place you start from since it takes little effort and is manageable in the initial stages. Facebook and Instagram have the most significant following of 11.1 million active users combined.

The website is your ideal place if you desire a more professional approach. You will have to come up with a brand book and guidelines. The next big move will be purchasing a domain and hosting from HostJaer, which are very cheap, and you can get a package of as low as 4000 annually. Also, it will get you a corporate email address for communications. Design an appealing logo and design a website that matches your brand guidelines. The web design cost will depend on the type you want and the scope of work. There are different types of websites and functionalities.

Today’s websites are created by tracking different metrics, user behaviour and activities. For instance, Media and entertainment websites should not be dull. Keeping the main characteristics in mind is essential for these industries. Your website should reflect them with an up-to-date design that can strengthen your online presence if executed perfectly.

They serve as basic guidelines when creating a platform and deploying the practices and features those deliver the best results. Thus the type of website and functionalities will define the scope of work and inform the price of the website.

Types of websites include:

  • Entertainment website
  • Portfolio website
  • E-commerce website
  • Business website
  • Listing website
  • Portal
  • Educational website
  • Nonprofit website
  • Blog/magazine website

All these webs have different functionalities; thus, start with what you want. You can start with the basic concept and upgrade when the need arises. A one-page website can cost ten thousand Kenyan shillings. E-commerce and web portal are the most expensive, and you have to 150000 to a million according to the scope of work.

Once your website is done, set up your social media accounts, lay out your strategy, and brand your social media according to your brand guidelines. You must ensure uniformity across all platforms, such as descriptions and information.

You can start to grow your following organically. Get a social media manager or digital marketing company to help you manage your platforms. The digital marketing strategy you choose must be in alignment with content. Thus ensure excellent content to market your brand.

You can explore other long term strategies such as SEO and email marketing. SEO is one of the excellent strategies you can use though it requires months of consistency to reap maximum benefits. If you have an email list, you can work on your campaign strategies to target your prospects. You can also hire an SEO guru to boost your ranking on search engines.

Top 5 Types of Content Used In Digital Marketing

The choice of content depends on current trends and your brand preference. Try as much as you can to vary your content and build on one your audience loves. These types of content include:

  • Infographics
  • Videos
  • Blogs
  • EBooks
  • Case studies and white papers

Others include:

  • Presentations
  • Podcasts
  • Newsletters
  • Social experiments
  • Guest blogging and collaborations
  • Checklist
  • Curations
  • Templates
  • Forums
  • Quotes
  • Press releases
  • Online surveys
  • Contests
  • Interviews
  • Q & A sessions
  • Client testimonials and reviews

Tools for Digital Marketing 

Using digital marketing tools can make your work easier. They are used to achieve different needs in marketing. Some tools will help you generate some content while others will help in analysis, and others with a distribution of the content since doing everything manually can be tedious. There are various tools used for different strategies. Some of the tools are free, and others come at a cost.

5 Free Marketing Tools

Below are some of the top free marketing tools that you can use for diverse purposes:

  • Google Analytics – gathers valuable information about traffic to your website.
  • Google search console – monitors site performance in terms of SEO.
  • Hootsuite – social media automation
  • Canvas – it creates engaging graphical content
  • MailChimp – build an email list and email campaigns

You can try these tools when starting with your digital marketing campaigns. More requirements will rise as you proceed with your strategy. You can look into other digital marketing tools, which are premium. Make sure to first try out a tool before investing in it. Find out what online users are saying and assess it to solve your challenges.

Conclusion

Adopting digital marketing in Kenya is cheap and straightforward since all you need is the internet. If your business is not online, you lose many clients that could boost your revenue. With digital marketing, you can start where you can and refine your strategy as you continue.

 It is recommended to gather statistics on everything you do to measure the effectiveness of every strategy you are using. Do not get afraid to experiment from time to time as you learn what type of content your potential customers consume. Learn from your competitor’s wins and mistakes and constantly better your campaigns online. Manage your brand’s reputation, follow every mention, and learn about everything everyone says about your brand.

In this era, digital marketing is a concept all businesses can adopt and embrace. The lack of a digital marketing strategy makes you miss out on chances to generate networking and build solid relationships with your current customer base.

Additionally, encourage reviews and testimonials. Capitalise on getting feedback from your clients to improve your products and services. Make digital marketing your best decision and invest in it fully. Use social media, blogs and forums to create a place where you can interact with consumers, allowing them to express opinions, comments, likes and dislikes and businesses the opportunity to react and respond. As a digital marketing beginner, you can take advantage of free digital marketing tools such as canvas, Google analytics and Hoot suite.

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