79% of Kenyan customers do most of their shopping on the internet ever since the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic. Mastercard’s Survey, is the perfect opportunity that presents itself only if you know how to market your business online.
Having the best product or service does not necessarily guarantee sales, if you cannot get your message to the right people at the right time, you are bound to fail.
As a business owner, you must leverage digital marketing in kenya to effectively reach your target market and you’ll be surprised to know that there are many ways you can do that.
Some of them won’t even cost you a dime. Here are 15 Ways to Get Your Business Noticed Online in Kenya
1: Invest In a Good Website
In online shopping, people aren’t going to spend their money on a website with shoddy images and poorly written product descriptions. Invest in a reputable web developer to help build your website that works cohesively with your website platform of choice.
Make sure they take the time to find professional product images, write some great content, and upload them onto your website in an aesthetic and user-friendly way.
These are some of the great reasons why you need to invest in your website:
Reason#1: To Showcase Your Expertise
Your website is a tool to showcase your industry authority. As such, you need to stay relevant to your market as well as stay authoritative in your industry. It will help you earn the trust of your potential customers while showing your current customers value, and you become a valuable resource to your stakeholders.
- For your website to showcase authority and usefulness, use high-quality authentic photos of your business. Although there is nothing wrong with using stock images, using original business photos shows more originality.
- Ensure that everything on your website works. Clients will be discouraged by broken links, images that don’t load, and forms that don’t function. This will make them leave your site prematurely, and you will fail to achieve your purpose of creating the website.
- Showcase real results, awards, and client testimonials from real clients to help build trust.
- Strive to become a valuable resource to those in the buying process for your industry. You can do this by creating great and helpful content. This content will also help you to optimize your site for search engines.
Reason#2: To Meet Customer Expectations
Customers expect you to have a website. Technology is increasingly becoming part of our lives, and your clients use computers, laptops, and phones daily. They expect you to be technology savvy and make your business available online.
Research has shown that 92% of all online sales comes from mobile phone users. This clearly demonstrates that you need a website that is optimized for mobile.
You ought to be where your customers are. 87% of shoppers begin their purchase process online, and having a functional website will help you bring in new business and keep existing customers coming back.
Reason#3: To Serve Customers Better
Although you can still serve customers without a website, having one will help you serve them better. How? You can add an online hub for all your customer needs and questions that might be related to your business.
- Having a blog that you update frequently will help you have a resource for your customers that will answer their online search questions in-depth and transparently.
- By including a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section, you provide your customers with valuable resources that they can refer to when using your website.
- You can offer free resources and tools to your website visitors to help them ease the buying process. These can include ebooks, newsletters, etc. You can also use it to build a list of leads by collecting their email addresses. Remember to list your contact information very clearly, so that customers can easily reach you.
Reason#4: Your Competitors Have Websites
Every business faces competition, whether it is large or small. Your business is competing for a particular market segment with other businesses.
It goes without saying that if your competitors have websites and you don’t, you are losing business to them. This is because you are not visible.
Reason#5: To Take Control of Your Customer Experience
A website is the only online presence tool that you own fully. Other digital channels like Facebook and Instagram are not yours to own that means All your posts and work are gone if anything happens to these platforms.
It would be best if you had a solid plan on how to market and showcase your business to the world. And while all these digital channels are helpful and needed, your website is the only one that you fully own and are in total control of.
Reason#6: To Access a Wider Market
Your website becomes a powerful tool to attract new customer when you include SEO planning and implementation. SEO will help your website rank high on search engines, leading to high visibility and a load of customers. Once you get the new customers, ensure that they have fantastic interaction with your business.
2: Make Your Website Secure
When you become an online business in kenya, the most important aspect is security. Chances are, you will be using online payment methods to allow people to purchase simply and efficiently.
Since you will be dealing with customer financial information, you need to ensure that your website’s security is excellent.
Take all the right precautions to protect customer data. It is their trust that you want to keep, after all. Even if it pushes the development of other aspects of your website back a bit, you need to ensure that security is at the top of your priority list when dealing with online sales.
Follow these tips to make your website secure.
- Update your website often
To keep your business website secure, it’s essential to keep all your website software updated. Websites that use CMS, such as WordPress need to install all the updates as soon as they are released.
These updates are usually released to correct problems and security flaws in the website software to protect it from hackers and cyber-attacks.
- Use secure passwords
Secure your website with strong passwords to protect your site from hackers and cybercriminals. A secure password is one that is hard to guess, has a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols, and contains a minimum of eight characters.
You can consider using a high-quality password manager to help you generate and securely store your passwords. It will help you generate secure strong passwords without the frustration of trying to remember them.
- Get an SSL Certificate
An SSL certificate adds a layer of security to your website. An SSL certificate makes data transmitted between your website and the webserver encrypted, making it more difficult for hackers to understand.
Google also favours sites with SSL and tends to rank them higher. Many hosting providers now offer a free SSL certificate. But if your website processes sensitive information like credit card details, you need to purchase a more secure SSL certificate which might cost you between KES. 7000 and KES. 20,000.
3: Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
Mobile phones are a regular part of everyday life. Over half of all websites traffic happen via mobile phones. This means that over half of your website visitors view it from a small screen.
Therefore, a mobile-friendly website is no longer optional. If your mobile phone website visitors get a terrible experience while trying to use your website, they will leave, negatively impacting your business.
Google now provides a mobile-friendly testing tool that will help you find out if your website is mobile-friendly. This tool requires you to input your website’s URL into the search box.
You will get a quick answer as to whether your website is mobile-friendly or not. You will also get a screenshot of how your website appears on a mobile phone and recommendations to make it better.
To make your website mobile-friendly, seek help from a professional website designer.
4: Be Active on Social Media
Social Media is a very powerful tool for promoting your business. If you need to get people to visit your website and check out what you can offer them, then get busy on social media.
Your followers are your friends and your potential customers. They are the people you should engage with, share your business information with, and invite to your website.
The kind of content that you post on social media sites will determine the s that your audience will want to take. Will they take action further and visit your website to see your entire content, or will they move on to the next content? Use social media to introduce yourself and what you offer. Ensure that your website is easily accessible.
Build a social media presence
If you do not already have a social media presence, it is time to do so, and it is not a difficult task. To establish your online presence, decide which social networks make the most sense for your business. You don’t need all of them. Create accounts on these platforms and fill out the profiles fully. Try to keep the same usernames across all channels for easier identification by the customer.
- Add your logo as your profile photo and add a cover image.
- Fill in the other sections like store hours, email, phone number, address, and the about section.
- Include your website’s URL address and start building followers by inviting friends, family, employees, and anybody to follow your pages.
- Post regularly on these pages and include fun photos and videos
Include video in your content
Video content is increasingly becoming a valuable resource to businesses. Creating a YouTube account for your business is relatively easy, and so is the posting. Youtube is unique because it is equally a video hosting site, social network, and search engine. The best ideas for YouTube would be how-to videos though you can virtually create any kind of video content.
Pay for social media advertising
All major social networks provide various advertising options you can use to promote your business website. You can decide to use Facebook boosted posts, LinkedIn or Twitter website click ads, and Pinterest promoted pins, among others.
You base your ads on people’s interests and other information that you will be required to provide. You can also use analytics or the information that you already have to target both past and current customers through visual information. These ads direct traffic back to your website.
Set a strict budget to avoid going overboard and ensure that you spend only what you can comfortably afford.
5: Blog for Your Business
Your company blog is as important as your business website. Starting your own blog is a great marketing strategy in this era of a content boom. The key here is to create a high-quality company blog attached to your business and which is part of the larger business website.
Your business blog can be as unique as your business. Depending on your brand and niche, your business blog can be a resource that provides the information that your customers are looking for or a collection of in-depth tutorials. No matter what type of content you publish, your blog can help you create a unique voice for your brand.
Benefits of a company blog
A company blog can be more than just a way to let people know about your latest products and services. Using your company blog can help you improve your brand awareness and increase your leads and conversions.
Running a company blog has the following benefits:
- It will help you drive traffic and awareness to your site by using related keywords. When others share your posts on their websites, you get the opportunity to build more backlinks.
- Improved lead generation. Blogging helps grow your audience, which means you can attract new leads. Companies that blog regularly get more leads than those that don’t.
- Provide value to your customers and readers. By producing high-quality content, you can entertain and inform your audience.
- Communicate news and exciting information. Having your blog can be a smart way to increase transparency about the goings-on in your business and build connections with your users.
- Establish yourself as an authority. If you produce thoughtful and helpful content, you can build your company’s image as an authority in your field, industry, or niche.
What You Should Consider When Creating a Company Blog
Your company blog must be professional and practical. It is a tool that you will use to increase traffic to your website that may lead to new customers. As such, it is crucial to choose the right web hosting solution.
The hosting you choose will prevent your website from experiencing performance issues and keep the website secure.
Remember that your blog will require time, effort, and skill.
Therefore, before you start producing any content, you must ask yourself these questions.
- Who Will Create Content for the Blog?
Writing quality blogs requires solid research and writing skills, so you need to consider carefully whoever will be writing them for your business website.
Are you the one to write the content, or will you assign it to dedicated team members, or will you outsource it to external writers? External writers can be freelancers or independent professional writers.
Ensure that your blog writer can write engaging and informative content regularly and follows a strict schedule. Ensure that your blog does not contain any mistakes and does not go for long without updating.
- How Often Will the Blog Be Updated?
Updating your blog regularly makes it remain consistent and relevant to the clients. For it to be effective, you need to post frequently and update the already existing content from time to time. Don’t let it go for days or weeks without updating it.
If you have a team of internal employees or freelancers working on your content, you can update it daily. But if you have only one person working on your content, you may not be able to.
- What Topics Should the Blog Cover?
Your blog is an extension of your website, and therefore it should talk about your business. You should, however, understand who your content is meant for. For example, will your content be targeted to the established business owners or the budding ones if you are a website developer? Also, consider the focus of your blog. Will you be writing long-form articles or shorter articles? Will your content be informational or instructional?
6: Rank High On Google Search
Ranking high on Google remains one of the best ways to attract traffic to your website. According to online data, the first five organic results on Google attract 67% of all clicks.
The more people you have visiting your website, the higher the opportunity to turn them into customers. Ranking high on Google boosts your brand credibility, which helps to turn potentials into paying customers.
To rank high on search engines, consider these tips:
- Focus on SEO
- Publish relevant authoritative content
There is no substitute for great content, especially when doing SEO. High-quality, authoritative content is the key to your Google rankings.
If you understand your ideal customer and create relevant content for them, you will increase your website traffic and improve the site’s authority and relevance.
Think of what your potential customer may be searching for, then use it to create a targeted keyword phrase. Research the keywords very well and once you have found them, place them correctly.
Ensure that your keyword phrase can be used in the page title, URL, headings, and subheadings. Repeat your keyword phrases several times throughout your page while being authoritative and strategic.
- Update content regularly
Google favors regularly updated content, so ensure that you keep yours fresh. Set a schedule to update your content and do that as often as needed. Write additional content rich with keywords to help boost your search engine ranking.
- Match search intent
Search intent is the purpose of a user. It’s the reason why someone conducts a specific search. After all, everyone who does an online search hopes to find something. Is someone looking for an answer to a question they have? Are they looking to visit a specific website? Or are they looking for something to buy?
Google ranks pages that best fit the search term that someone is using. That’s why you should strive to make your post or page fit the search intent as much as possible.
7: Find Your Target Customers
You cannot have everyone as the target customers for your business. You must be more specific for your business to thrive. You should be very specific about who your customer is, where to find them and what they like to buy.
In the Kenyan market environment, you can get the following different categories of target customers:
- Low-income market
These are people who earn less than KES. 200 per day and are primarily found in slum areas or rural areas. They mostly spend their money on the basics like food, water, clothing, and shelter. You can reach them mainly through radio and door-to-door marketing.
This customer segment like to buy clean water, cheap clothing, cheaper sources of lighting, cheaper food options, sanitary products, etc. Therefore, you can start a business by supplying small solar-powered lanterns or water purifiers. Your products should be low-priced and of high quality.
- Students and unemployed youth market
These are the young, vibrant, and aggressive segment who don’t have much financial power. They mainly survive on student loans and handouts from parents and guardians.
You can target them through social media because this is where they are mostly found.
You can also target them through radio and blogs as they are actively found here. You can market to them through the door-to-door method, but only if they are in community settings like hostels.
This market segment like to buy phones, data bundles, Phones, data bundles, fancy wear, watches, beverages, snacks, fast foods, beauty products, and cheap electronics. Therefore, you can start businesses like beauty and cosmetic shops that offer affordable services.
A photocopy business, combined with a barbershop or a gaming facility, would also be a sure bet in targeting this market.
Be careful about pricing and quality as these people have a lot of time to make a comparison before buying.
- Gender-specific market
The male and female gender have very different preferences, and you can choose to focus on a particular gender. This will help you penetrate a very competitive market.
The female gender makes most of the household decisions. If you sell things like washing products, cooking oil, foodstuff, and beauty products, you can target them. If you sell something like land, cars, construction items, shaving creams, and electronics, you should focus on the male gender.
You can also choose to be ultra-gender specific. You can focus on female kids aged less than ten years or retiree mothers, and so forth. You can focus your business on shaving creams, wellness supplements, gym wear, and electronics.
- Middle-class market
This is the fastest-growing market segment in Kenya. These are the people who spend anywhere between KES. 24,000 and KES. 200,000 per month.
The Middle-class is a massive market with a lot of decision-making power and, therefore, a significant segment to target.
They are precise about quality and like to be associated with popular or growing brands. The typical middle-class Kenyan spends at least three hours a day on a computer, meaning you can reach them through online promotions like Google and Facebook ads. They are also active radio listeners as they listen to them to and from work.
The middle class like to buy fancy and luxurious things like fast food, electronics, and average-priced cars. On top of their lists are things like mobile phones, furniture, affordable coffee, electronic accessories, alcoholic drinks, domestic holidays, etc.
You can start the business by importing fancy electronics and jewelry. You can also set up a wedding planner consultancy or a limo hire business for this market.
8: Find Your Unique Selling Point
To be a successful online seller, find your unique selling point. Whatever industry you are in, thousands of other businesses are doing exactly what you’re doing.
Some of these businesses have been selling online for years and have accumulated customers that you do not have as a business that is just starting.
So, how do you compete? Analyze your competitors and discover what they don’t have that you do.
A unique selling point (USP) is a short sentence or two of what makes your business better than your competitors and why customers should buy from you.
- A USP could be the lowest price,
- highest quality,
- latest delivery,
- a unique location,
- or the most innovative products or services.
9: Start Email Marketing
As a small business, you’re bound to have to watch your marketing budget more closely as compared to big companies like Safaricom.
Implementing email marketing in your business is an inexpensive and effective way to bring in customers and create a lasting impression.
It would be best if you had a list of people you know are interested in your product to be successful in email marketing.
Here’s how to get started with email marketing for new businesses.
- Pick The Right Email Tool
There are plenty of email tools, some of which are free and others paid. Mailchimp, for example, is a great free tool you can start with. Look for an easily customizable tool with templates that can be personalized and branded with your marketing palette. The tool you choose should integrate with your social media platforms and other customer relationship management tools.
- Build Your List Of Email Addresses
Building an email list takes time and is not something you can do overnight. To make an email list, you can use strategies like
- Creating a personalized CTA (call-to-action) for each blog or landing page.
- Create a pop-up or slide-in for each page of your site.
- Create a timed pop-up survey.
- Enticing content upgrades
- Fully or partially gated content
- Squeeze pages
- Loyalty and referral programs
- Discounts and deals
- Exclusive notifications
- Social Media
Convert readers into customers, all while sticking to a budget.
- Solve your audience’s problems
- Know your audience’s pain point
- Create content based on your customer’s pain points.
- Content should align with your buying circle
- Make your content scannable
- Add a call to action
- Remove unnecessary distractions from your posts
- Add testimonials
10: Start Branding Your Business
A brand is the total of all the things you use to differentiate your company and gain the attention of a specific target market. It helps your customers identify your company at a glance
This includes your website design, logo, brand colors, business cards, tone of voice, company mission, values, and more.
- Brand colors:Your brand colors are all the various shades you’ll use on all of your branded assets, including your website, emails, and product packaging. Colors can have a psychological impact on customers. For instance, red is bold and passionate, while blue is trustworthy and relaxing.
- Fonts:Like your brand colors, your chosen fonts can significantly impact how your customers see your brand. Sans-serif fonts are often more modern and friendly, while serif fonts are traditional and authoritative.
- Imagery:What images, illustrations, and pictures do you use on your products, website, and advertisements? Once you have the various elements you need to build your brand image, create a set of visual guidelines to help inform your team and any designers you work with.
- Packaging:How will your customers identify a parcel you have to send to them? How will they differentiate it from the rest of the parcels?
11: Make Customer Service a PRIORITY!
Customer service is crucial to any business. If a business has no customers who are interested in buying its products or services, then it goes without saying that such a firm would have to be closed down.
Here are some practical tips which will help you improve your customer service right away.
- Respond to your Customers
Nothing discourages a customer than trying to reach a sales representative or customer care agent and failing to do so repeatedly. But this happens so many times with most businesses trying to automate everything.
However, customers will need to connect with a human being and get their concerns addressed in some cases.
Ensure that your business has someone in charge of the phone, email, WhatsApp, or whatever your customers contact you through.
- Provide Individualized Customer Care
If your customer contacts you after getting frustrated about something, apologize and show them due respect.
It is also best to set things right to ensure that you do not lose your customer. Things like giving a refund or a substitute product are some examples that go a long way in making customers happy.
Ask for customer feedback as they tend to feel more valued this way.
Make follow-ups with your customers to get their feedback. This will help you know if your customer was pleased with their shopping experience. If the experience was negative, you need to act accordingly.
Excellent after-sales service is vital. Supporting them after making a purchase can make a big difference in your company’s reputation and in the possibility of retaining customers.
- Emphasize Customer Empathy
Customers are emotional, and to some extent, all their exchanges with your business are emotional. You, therefore, need to show empathy to your customers.
You can do this by valuing their suggestions and making sure that they listen to their needs and opinions.
You need to understand how to act to reduce tension and anger if the customer is not satisfied.
- Use Efficient Customer Care Tools
Efficient customer care tools help customers to contact you quickly. Avoid making your customers wait for long hours before a response by putting systems that increase efficiency and facilitate customer interaction.
Frequently asked questions, online support, WhatsApp, and self-help options are some excellent examples.
- First point of contact should be final
Avoid bureaucratic systems where the customer has to repeat his problem or question to more than one person. The first point of contact should be the final one.
The customer will be satisfied with the support he was given by the employee who answered his call. This calls for properly trained employees.
12: Stay Updated on Digital Marketing Trends
Keeping up with digital marketing trends amid fast changes in the industry can be tricky. Each year, we witness new and unexpected digital trends that lay the foundations for the future of marketing.
It’s essential to keep up with these online trends to keep your business visible:
- DIY videos
- Tell a story
- Focus on your audience
- Privacy, transparency, and trust-building
- Content segmentation
- Conversational marketing and quality interactions
13: Use More Technology in Your Business
Taking advantage of business software can help boost your company’s productivity, innovation capacity, and profits.
- You can start by going paperless and adopting Online Invoicing software like Zoho books.
- Also, consider using CRM to manage customer data and relationships.
14: Consistently Promote Your Business Online
For most people, the search engine is a go-to resource for whatever question life brings. Curious about a product? Looking for local to-dos? Or maybe you just really need to know how tall a celebrity is. This tells you that you need to promote your business so that potential customers can find you when searching the internet.
The various ways in which you can promote your business include:
- Implementing SEO
- Creating a business blog
- Creating a website
- Creating a Google My Business profile
- Sharing your content
- Running Google Ads
- Creating listings on major directories
15: Track Your Business Online Performance
Without measuring success, you will never know you have it. It is vital to measure metrics like conversion rate, click-through rates, average time on your website, page views, and the number of visits as a business owner.
This will give your business rich information about customer behavior, what’s working and what’s missing.
Make Use of Google Analytics to track customer data
Google Analytics is free to set up and easy to use. All you need is to sign up for an account and add a small snippet of tracking code to every page.
Google Analytics acquires user data from each website visitor through page tags.
Google Analytics helps you to learn about the demographics of your site visitors, including their geographic location and language, how people engage with your site, the bounce rate, how people arrive on your page, conversion rates, and even Google tracking attribution models to help you better understand the success of different parts of your buyer’s journey.
Final Thoughts on How to Get Your Business Noticed Online in Kenya
Businesses are now leaning towards the digital world. You must keep tabs on the latest technologies and trends to succeed in the online business world.