Understanding Digital Marketing In Kenya & Why It’s Not Working For You

January 23, 2018

Digital Marketing In Kenya

Social media and web platforms have made us all publishers. Above all, it’s a noisy world we are living in. Today, there are over 3 billion internet users in the world, with 2.9 billion of these being social media users.

Its goes without saying that most Kenyan brands who have heard about digital marketing have already jumped on the band wagon.

And most of them are more than eager to reap maximum benefits of digital marketing in Kenya – to not only reach as many customers as possible but to stand out among other brands.

The reality is, as much as every brand out there wants to go the digital marketing way, a majority of them are yet to understand what digital marketing is all about and most of all how to effectively do digital marketing.

If done right digital marketing has the potential of generating return on investment (ROI) but the question remains, why is it only working for a few?

Here are 5 reasons why digital marketing in Kenya is only working for a few.

1. Most websites are not designed to perform

Creating a website for your brand is one thing, but creating a website that has the potential of performing and generating a solid ROI is another thing.

Since the advent of the internet, most companies have only used websites as a way of marketing their brands.

This means that you will only find sections that only explain the business and what they offer and how to contact them which means that a majority of companies see websites as a must have rather than a necessity.

In short, most companies don’t go beyond what that website can do for them.

Most of the organic searches occur on Google and this means that you have a lot to do that doesn’t rest at just creating a website.

Since Google changed their search engine algorithm to incorporate mobile friendly search results, your website will be easily dropped and will not appear in search engines if it is not responsive.

This means that visitors can easily access your content through computers, tablets and even mobile phones.

This is very important since according to Communications Authority of Kenya, 90% of Kenyans access the internet through mobile phones.

So as you can see, it’s not just about creating a website, it also about ensuring that your website can rank higher than the rest by being responsive.

There is a reason why some websites rank higher on Google searches than the rest, irrespective of SEO, website responsiveness being among the top.

Most companies have not also put into consideration market automation that is very significant if you are to understand who your visitors are and work towards converting that traffic into sales.

Related: How To Leverage SEO To Get More Traffic To Your Website

2. Social Media is treated as only a marketing tool

While social media is a very powerful tool of generating leads, it must be done well.

Facebook now has over 6 million users in Kenya and brands are turning to social media to generate sales.

However, while you may create a very nice social media campaign, why does it end up not working?

What most Kenyan brands forget is the importance of cultivating a relationship with their audience first.

And most of them go straight to paid ads on social media to connect with their audience which is ridiculous and not to mention not a very good long term plan.

Social media marketing works best if your audience can relate to your brand.

The growth of social media has created another generation of social media users- users who can detect from a mile away brands that are trying too much and will keep off.

And with so many brands competing against each other, social media users will follow pages of brands that they trust and find useful.

3. Brands don’t invest in content creation

Remember what we said before about brands creating websites as a must have and only including information about the brand and how to contact them?

Yes this is one of the reasons that digital marketing in Kenya is only working for the select few.

Brands connect with users in every possible way and apart from generating sales, as a consumer I need to find something more than just your services and products when I visit your website.

Those who understand the importance of content generation and content marketing are really reaping the promises of digital marketing in a big way.

When you think about it, when you search on Google, what are you looking for? When you like a page on Facebook what are you looking to find?

Or what do you want when you watch a Video on YouTube? It is content and not advert which is why content creation trumps promotional campaigns.

Then why is it that most Kenya brands think that the only content they are supposed to create is the one they only promote via digital channels.

Even if you are a construction company, there is so much content you can generate around that area.

In short, let your website have more than promotional material.

Content marketing involves creating content that customers find engaging and important and if brands are to win in digital marketing in Kenya, this is what they need to master above everything else.

Related: 5 Content Marketing Trends To Watch Out For In 2018 

4. Use of wrong metrics to measure digital marketing results

It’s shocking to this day that companies still measure digital performance in terms of things like followers, hits, likes, views, fans and more. Using this is no different from going back to the analogue era.

While in the past these mattered, nowadays digital engagement matters most.

Digital engagement is all about creating data driven digital marketing campaigns and being able to follow that up with other metrics other than hits or likes.

In order to make digital marketing work, brands must be able to measure how many qualified leads a campaign generated and how many customers actually purchased your products or services which is what is known as sales conversions.

Anything else is just sappy marketing that is not working for anyone.

You may run a product campaign, get lots of likes on social media but do the likes and follow translate at all to sales leads?

5. Many Marketers don’t understand digital marketing

One of the mistakes that most Kenyan brands are making is leaving digital marketing to a team of people who only understand traditional marketing.

When digital marketing hit, most companies relied on their existing marketing team to run their entire digital marketing campaigns.

Digital marketing is so wide and as a brand if you are to win you may need to bring in a team that actually understands what they need to do.

With the advent of the internet, you realize that digital marketing is the new thing and it’s here to remain.

Unless you master it, you will be left behind wondering what your competitors are doing.

Hire a digital marketing team or outsource one if you must until you can figure out how to do it on your own.

Summing up

And this sums up digital marketing in Kenya and why it’s not working for everyone. As you can see, digital market goes beyond creating a website. It’s in content marketing, social media marketing and audience analysis. If you want to win over your customers, you need to master digital marketing now more than ever.

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