Once you have a new product to sell or services that you offer and you intend letting the world to know about it, the next place you will think of taking this your product and services to, will be the internet. The internet is the world’s largest marketplace. It’s very similar to a real life marketplace, but there is couple of incredibly important differences. In a “real life” marketplace, you do the same thing: you stock other peoples stuff, attracting people from the street through some type of advertising; you try to get them into your market store and sell them stuff. The big difference with internet is that you don’t need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a store, inventory, advertising, rent, employees….name it and still not reach a large population of the world. Your market store in the internet is essentially your website.
Many Nigerians have take their businesses to the internet for sale but the big question is; how of them were able to make returns and profits? If you surf the web now, you will discover that there are hundred and one Nigeria companies that claim to be offering online marketing services. Yes! We have them. If doubt it type, “online marketing companies in Nigeria” in Google and then wait to see the huge results. Yet, many Nigeria Online businesses crumble in the internet. While few are making it huge online, many have abandoned their own online business because of low return. If you ask me why we have this big gap; my answer would be “Poor Online Marketing”
What is online marketing or internet marketing?
The two phrases, online marketing and internet marketing are used interchangeably to mean methods, strategies and tactics like paid search, search engine optimization, email marketing, article marketing, mobile marketing, blog creation, and many more applied to capture the online users (the people browsing the web) and then selling these people stuffs, either affiliate products or your own goods and services. It is a whole lot of strategies that will attract visitors (web searchers) to your websites (online market store) who then purchase the quality products that you offer for sale.
Online marketing of business in Nigeria is the survival of fittest battle especially in this era of internet business jam. Only those who have the right internet marketing information, resources and skills will survive and grow their businesses.
What are the online marketing strategies, tactics or techniques any Nigeria online business owner can apply to grow his business?
Here are the 15 online marketing methods or tactics to grow your online business in Nigeria
Online advertising on search engines– advertising on searching is one major of online marketing method. The most visited search engines on the web are Google, Yahoo or Live search. First, you have to know what search engine you are targeting. Google is #1 search engine and they always display their ads along side with online user search results making it possible for internet searchers to find your advertisement. Their best advertisement program you can enter with search engine is Per-Per-Click (PPC); as the name just implies you only pay when online users clickthrough your ads to find your website. Google offers Adwords keywords planner to help you research the best Keywords that will yield the highest clickthrough rate for your ads. Adsword is an effective Google search engine advertisement tool any Nigeria online business man or woman should use to market his business online
- search engine optimization – these are key strategies, techniques and tactics applied to increase the number of visitors to your website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in search results page of a search engine (SERP) like Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines. The major aim SEO is to boost your website search engine ranking; that is making your website appear among the top search engine result pages whenever internet users search for keywords relevant to your business or websites. I have written extensively on search engine optimization, and the article is, “SEO Nigeria: ultimate search engine optimization Guide. You will actual get everything need to know about search engine optimization.
Use of search engine optimization and advertisement on search engine to increase the visibility of a website or product on search engines are referred to Search Engine Marketing. This is the core of any online marketing
- Affiliate marketing sites – liaising with and adding your business to affiliate marketer’s site is a way of marketing your business online. The affiliate promote your business or product on his her own website and you pay when traffics are send to your website and you made a sale. There some companies who act as middle men between the affiliate and merchant (you who own the business). The best thing is to reach them to include your business for affiliate marketing program. Google adsense is a type affiliate marketing program, AdNation ads, AD:dynamo are all acting as affiliate marketing middle men.
- E-commerce websites-there so many e-commerce website in Nigeria where you can market your business. Like the worlds famous e-commerce website, eBay; Mystore.com shopping site, Buyam.com, kaymu.com etc are all Nigeria e-commerce website, you can register and sale product on site. Adding your business to e-commerce website help reduce the stress of creating website.
- Promotional sites– these sites are used to promote new products and services. Promotion of products increases the sale of those products especial when the sales of such particular of products are going down. Sites like www.teamxclusiveafrica.com, naijaartiste.net are Nigeria promotional music sites. If social media can serve as a promotional site but I will talk about social media later.
- Information sites– information sites are big websites that gathers information about specific products, services or websites. Information site can give information about a nation, state, or locality. Alexa.com site is an information site; it gives information on how well a site is doing in the web…the traffics, where the visitors are coming from, the number of pages visited, bounce rate etc. Website informer also does the same the thing. Those who want know about the performance of your site can visit alexa site or website informer and if you do not include your website in such site, they wouldn’t be know and rate your site’s performance on the web. Onlinenigeria.com, motherlandnigeria.com etc are all Nigeria information portal site where can find useful information about Nigeria. If you have a website with a product to sell, search information site on that product and include your site in those websites
- Inclusion on Nigeria online Business directories-adding your business to Nigeria online business directories is one good way of online marketing of your business. Most online Nigeria business directories may just require a free registration while some may require you to pay little amount of money before submission of your business to their sites. There are many Nigeria online business directories today; cyclex.com.ng, Koboguide.com, Nigeria-nigeria.com, connectnigeria.com, yellownigeria.com, etc is all Nigeria business online business directories where you can submit your business to for online users to reach you easily.
Article marketing-Article marketing Article marketing is means of advertising whereby business write short articles about describing themselves.
Internet article marketing is used to promote the author’s expertise of their market, products or services via online article directories. Those Article directories with good web page ranks receive a lot of site visitors and are considered authority sites by search engines, leading to high visitors. These directories in turns give PageRank to the author’s website as the author website receives banklinks from the article site and in addition send traffic to author’s website. Articles and article directories attract search engines because of their quality content.
The major aim of article marketing is to get search engine traffic to the article so that the author can strengthen their authority and influence within their field, while also leveraging that traffic for their own website(s). The key to article marketing is that the author should be providing valuable articles, not just promoting their website, products or services. Some article directories sites are ehow.com, examiner.com, hubpages.com, squidoo.com, ezinearticles.com, etc.
- Blog creation marketing– creating and setup blog site for your business is the fastest means of increasing your search engine visibility. This is because most blogging platforms are search engine friendly. Search engines easily index blog pages than website pages. The blog is an interactive site. So, with your blog you can easily know who your website visitors are. You can direct you blog visitors to website who then purchase your product if they are of high value. There are some blogging platforms you can use to setup your blog; the best among them is the wordpress blogging platform.
- Email marketing– You may have heard of email marketing repeatedly in internet, marketing workshops, and marketing strategy meetings. Email marketing occurs when an organization sends a commercial message to a group of people by use of electronic email. Email marketing is usually used to build customer relationship, trust and brands. Email marketing is highly efficient way to stay connected or close with your clients while also promoting your business. The best way of harvesting your customer email address is to build squeeze page or through offering email subscription form. Once you are getting traffic to your site, you’ll be able to get people to subscribe to your email list. Once they’re on your list you can follow them up with emails and promotions to build a relationship with them.
- Social media marketing– Social media marketing refers to the act and science of getting website traffic or brand awareness through social media websites like facebook, twitter, Google+ , Instagram, pinterest, Digg, youTube etc. With focus on content which help to draw the attention of the targeted audience, the eventual aim is to make it a subject of discussion in the social networking platforms. And if your business is not on any of the social platform then you are missing out on a great opportunity to build lasting relationship with your customers by send out your latest information to them free of charge.
- Mobile marketing-with outgrowing number of people surfing the web by use mobile device, mobile marketing have imperatively become a must online marketing method. Mobile marketing is marketing on or with mobile device, such as tablets, phones and smartphone. The good time about mobile marketing is that it provides customers with time and location sensitive, personalized information that promotes goods, services and ideas. With the advent of bulk SMS, mobile marketing have relating become very simple and easiest means of marketing. Message sent via SMS are read within few second to minutes.
- Link directories– including you website to link directories is means of marketing your business. Online users find your sites, your business through those links when they those directories. You website pagerank is also boosted by those links and this increases the chances of your websites visibility on search engines.
- Marketing membership sites– these are group of marketing company site that offer membership for those who wish to be part of them. They will help to promote your business as their member. Though, to become a member you may need to register with some certain low amount of money and attend their meetings and workshops.
- Special directories– special directories are specific product and services directory. They only accept and promote specific product and service
In conclusion, why many businesses Nigeria fail online today is as result of poor online marketing. For those who want to be an online market in Nigeria they should know that;
online marketing is a skill. Just like any skill, it takes hard work and effort to learn the skills. You can always improve on what you know.