There are approximately 113.3 million internet users in Nigeria currently, spending billions of minutes online every day.  The continuous rise of social media; Facebook and Twitter and the expansion of online communities like Nairaland where millions of Nigerians spend time everyday make online marketing even more important. Before the advent of the internet, there was no way your company could have been able to access 113.3 million people from just one location, it simply was not possible, but today, just with a few clicks and the right strategy you can grab the attention of millions of people depending on your business objective.

This fact is further highlighted by the phenomenal emergence of e-commerce in Nigeria. Ecommerce spend in the country is currently estimated at billions of dollars and forecasted by McKinsey to be $8 billion in revenues per annum by 2025 . The success of e-commerce so far has demonstrated that online marketing is indeed crucial for businesses. Yes, Jumia and Konga are big spenders, but the secret of their success like many other successful online business is not only the amount they spend on online advertisement, in fact, that is not a secret. There are a number of things they do to be successful; things that you can do to get similar results even if you do not have as huge a marketing budget as them. They are the rules of the online marketing game. 

 

They Create Great Content

You must have been aware of the popular saying “content is king”. This is not entirely true. Not all content is royalty - only great content is king. Companies that succeed in online marketing are constantly churning out great content and information about their product lines and services. 

What is great content? Great content is relevant content, one that engages the audience; that answers the questions consumers ask about your products and services, even before these questions are raised. 

These companies establish their authority and gain the trust of their customers by consistently producing content that is useful, informative and entertaining to consumers over a wide variety of channels. Blog posts like this one you are reading, videos, info-graphics, newsletters, memes, tweets and Facebook posts are the top media of communication; successful online marketers use them all.  

 

They Actively Build Their Brands

Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO quoted Branding to be “what people say about you when you are not in the room.'' Building a brand, that is easily recognized and known for a particular “attribute and/or proposition” is extremely important. Big corporations and companies allocate millions of Naira yearly, to project their brand to the public because they understand the overarching importance of branding. 

Establishing a brand requires a potpourri of actions, but two things stand out; time and consistency. You must be patient with the process and you must be consistent. Your messaging must be clear, easy to understand and must address the same sets of emotion for as long as necessary.

Get your team together and brainstorm on how to creatively package your company’s essence, values, products and services for delivery across all the media and channels listed above.

 

They Leverage Trends

Companies that succeed in online marketing understand one vital rule of marketing: Finding out people’s needs and meeting them.

Approaching online marketing with this mindset is another differentiating factor between companies that fail and those that win big in this space. Companies that do well at online marketing understand the value and potential of trends, and they consciously identify and make the most of them. They create content and innovative programs around social trends even before those trends catch on. Just take a look at all the innovative flurry of marketing and advertisement that accompanied the recent football world cup and government elections in Nigeria. Those were major trend waves and smart online marketers do not miss such opportunities. 

Be Proactive, make a list of upcoming events that will pique the public interest and prepare to get the conversation around it started to the benefit of your brand. The on-going Ramadan Fast is an opportunity for brands to come up with innovative online marketing products that will strike a chord with millions of Muslims across the country, what are you going to do about that? 

 

They Optimize Their Websites

Companies that are continually successful in their online marketing campaign understand that continuous “great consumer experience” is a prerequisite for conversion. And as such, they invest massively in optimizing their sites-not only to enable customers to find them when searching for their products but also ensuring that they find it easy to access their websites and procure such items.

These companies often check to ensure their site loads fast, and that the content on their website is relevant to the ever-changing needs of their customers.