The world is on an uneven rebound from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic while others are still reeling from the dark clouds of global political and economic unrest.
The resources of many countries are stretched, and governments are having to engineer the growth of their economies under austere and excruciatingly challenging circumstances.
These have invariably spawned a unique set of challenges for businesses and individuals who are desirous of advancing themselves in every way possible. Digital Marketing offers a veritable path to all such individuals and businesses seeking to expand their reach, engage with a broader audience, increase brand awareness, and ultimately grow their businesses in the most cost-effective manner.
Data from the National Communications Authority indicate that the number of connected mobile phones is approximately 140% of the Ghanaian population – with the figure growing at an average of about 8% per annum.
Again, according to various reports, Ghana’s Internet penetration rate averages around 60% – with a significant number accessing the Internet via mobile phones and tablets. Estimates from DATAREPORTAL also reveal that there are approximately 11 million users of various social media platforms in Ghana, with the figure growing at an average minimum of about 35% per year.
Search engines like Google and Bing have also become an overwhelmingly frequent starting point for consumers who are actively searching for products and services. These realities make online visibility imperative for businesses and individuals if they are to feature in the sights of the ballooning number of customers who are moving online and take advantage of the vast opportunities for growth these trends present. I discuss below a few of these opportunities:
What Is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is the act of promoting products and services through digital channels, such as social media, SEO, email, and mobile apps. Any form of marketing that involves electronic devices is considered digital marketing.
It can be done online and offline; in fact, both kinds are important for a well-rounded digital marketing strategy.
Do you want to learn more about digital marketing? This guide will cover everything you need to know to get familiar with digital marketing.
Why Digital Marketing Matters
Some Years back, many companies spent hundreds of millions of dollars on billboard advertising.
Today, most companies have moved to online marketing.
That’s because Google and Facebook generate more revenue than any traditional media company. After all, they control more eyeballs. That’s why digital marketing matters; it’s where the attention is.
The reason why billboards, like the ones above, will die, is because the future of driving will look like this:
E-mail marketing is a form of direct marketing, and it is a powerful and inexpensive tool for acquiring, engaging, managing, and retaining customers.
It is estimated that over 90% of customers check their emails daily, and it is said to be one of the highest-converting digital marketing tools.
It is a key avenue for building trust, credibility, and connection with a tribe and community of people who will over time become deeply acquainted with your business and what it offers.
E-mail newsletters, for example, allow you to keep your customers up to date about your operations and also share information that adds value to your customers.
In addition to any announcements or updates on products and services, newsletters should include engaging and beneficial content; such as ‘how-to’ articles and thought-leadership pieces on matters of concern pertaining to your audience.
A key success factor in e-mail marketing is generating credible and expansive mailing lists which are appropriately segmented to enable the dissemination of relevant content to different demographic groups.
One of the surest ways of generating and growing a credible and responsive mailing list is by the use of a lead magnet.
A lead magnet is something you offer for free in exchange for an email address. These include mini e-books, free trials or samples, a free quote or consultation or a free webinar, etc.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is the use of websites and social media platforms to promote or advertise a good or service.
An estimated 11 million Ghanaians are active users of various social media platforms, with the notable ones being Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
One of the fundamental advantages of social media marketing is connectivity and the ability to intimately engage with your customers in real time. It is also cost-effective, with ads costing a minimum of US$1 per day.
Most social media platforms also have the functionality of allowing ads to be customized for specific audiences; whether for particular age groups, genders, regions, or occupations.
While there may be a risk of encountering online provocateurs, the use of social media in promoting products and creating brand awareness is almost indispensable.
Social media requires consistency in the generation and posting of well-designed graphics and careful copywriting of promotional material that inspires action. Additionally, the use of social media management platforms like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Buffer, etc.
improves efficiency by allowing you to manage multiple social media accounts in one place, schedule posts in advance, monitor the level of engagement with your posts, study market trends, and draw data-driven suggestions regarding the best times of the day to post.
Further, businesses can also seek collaborations with influencers whose audience characteristics sync well with your current customers or target audiences; or use influencers whose brand personalities align with the company’s brand archetype.
Content marketing involves the consistent creation and publication of relevant content that enables you to reach, attract, engage and convert new customers.
Good content aligns with a typical customer journey, identifies their needs and questions, and proactively addresses them.
Content marketing strategies include the use of blogs, vlogs, podcasts, social-media content, and just about anything your target audiences would find informative, entertaining, and beneficial.
Blogs are a platform meant for posting incisive and well-researched articles and opinion pieces that invariably demonstrate knowledge and expertise in your core business. Vlogs are short but engaging videos that dilate an issue or offer vital information customers would find relevant.
For example, financial institutions could consistently put out content regarding savings, investing, and long-term wealth creation; mortgage companies would put out content on how to get started or succeed in real estate; a hospital should put out material on nutrition, healthy eating, fitness, etc.
All promotions sent and received via mobile phones in the form of text messaging, WhatsApp messaging, downloadable apps, and mobile websites are considered mobile marketing. Ghana’s connected mobile lines are estimated to be about 140% of the total population.
Additionally, the WhatsApp messaging service is used by about 90% of all Internet users in Ghana. According to gs.statcounter.com, the percentage of global web traffic from mobile phones is over 60%; with most web-based and e-commerce companies reporting an increase in sales after designing mobile-friendly websites.
With the active collaboration of telecommunication companies and other service providers, businesses can deliver promotional material and other relevant content directly to mobile phones of the different classes and categories of their customers and target audiences.
The recipients of such messages are often segmented in accordance with the key demographics of age: gender, income, level of education, occupation, etc. – and messages are uniquely tailored to the specific needs of each of these groups.
Affiliate Marketing programs are a type of performance-based marketing strategy that rewards allied businesses that bring customers into your business through their own marketing efforts.
E-commerce businesses can allow their products to get listed and promoted on other platforms and pay commissions on each successful sale. Banks and Financial Institutions can collaborate with key e-commerce platforms to promote the use of their debit and credit cards at a commission, creating a win-win situation for both entities.
Digital Marketing has the capacity to help businesses radically expand their scope of operations, break new frontiers and experience the fastest, most cost-efficient growth possible. It is therefore imperative that businesses look to wholly or progressively implement these strategies to enable them better adapt to the fast-changing consumer narrative.
Search Engine Optimisation
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) refers to a collection of techniques or strategies used to improve a website or blog to enhance its quality and visibility, or get the pages of the website to rank higher in search engines (e.g., Google, Bing, etc.) when people search for products and services.
Organic and paid search results are the two types of results that appear after each search in any search engine. Organic search results are the unpaid portions of the search engine results, and these are determined by the website content’s relevance to what is being searched.
A website’s organic ranking costs no money, but it requires time and effort to achieve that ranking. Paid searches on the other hand are advertisements that appear at the top of the web page for specific keywords chosen by the advertiser and charged for every person that clicks on the link to your website.
While both methods are effective in generating results, organic rankings offer more consistent and long-lasting results. Paid searches on the other hand are often used in targeted specific audiences for limited time periods. They are considered less credible in the long term, and there is a greater likelihood of a slump in traffic flow to the website if pay-per-click is stopped. It is a little more expensive but best for site owners needing immediate results.