by Shukuru Amos
With COVID 19 continuing to affect our everyday lives, digital marketing has never been more important to businesses than now. Businesses that didn’t have a digital presence of any kind are the ones losing the most during this pandemic.
It is obvious now that there is no way to go but take your business online.
It is important to invest in online marketing efforts to promote and grow your business. Most of your customers are online. Those who are not will hear about you from those who are online (social media is a good driver of word of mouth referral).
Now without further ado, we have gathered six ways you can give your business online presence. Let’s dive in.
- Through Social Media
This is the most preferred option. Social media is a good driver of word of mouth marketing. It helps you to connect with customers and build relationships. It only takes a few minutes to set up a profile for your business online.
Most social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn have features to create company profiles. It is important to note that social media channels vary in terms of content type and users. This will help you with planning a social media marketing strategy for your business.
A good social media profile must include relevant keywords and hashtags as well as a Call to Action.
- Google My Business (and other listing directories)
Google My Business is an ideal tool for local businesses. It is a free tool that allows your business to be listed on maps and create a profile. Google will show your business to people searching for services related to yours. For maximum visibility, make sure to encourage your customers to leave reviews on your profile.
There are also plenty of other local and international directories offering business listings. It is easy to find them in your location. For example, try to search a key phrase related to your business or any business and pay attention to search results. Youll see websites with a list of companies offering such kind of service.
- Create a website
This is the most obvious way to take your business online. It acts as your digital home or office where customers can visit and learn more about you. Creating a website is not that hard, thanks to free information. But the hard part is making it an effective marketing tool that brings leads to and converts visitors into subscribers or buying customers.
And the good thing is that creating a website is cheap these days. You can even do it on yourself through the help of free tutorials online. But if you too busy to create a website by yourself, we can help you create a corporate website that’s fully SEO optimized. Click here to get started.
- Online classifieds platforms
These are platforms that connect sellers and buyers. You can use these platforms to post classifieds advertisements for your product and drive sales. One advantage of these platforms is that they already have an audience of people visiting to look for something to buy. In Tanzania, Kupatana and Zoom Tanzania are good examples.
- Using influencers
These are people with big followers on social media. They can help you reach an audience of their followers. For this to work, your business must be online first so that an influencer can direct people to you by tagging, mentioning, or sharing a link.
- Through Email
Emails marketing is good for building trust and brand loyalty and the good thing is that everyone has an email account. To do this, you need to collect email contacts of your customers (such as through signup forms)so you can engage them through newsletters or other important updates such as new products and offers.
Taking your business online is easier. However, getting awareness and recognition takes time. You need to learn the best practices of navigating different digital communication channels to grow your business.
One quick method for you to get noticed is to use paid advertisements through Facebook Ads or Google Ads. This is a quick way to jump in front of your customers in minutes!
by Shukuru Amos
Jumia closes down business in Tanzania.
As of November 27, Jumia announced to have made a difficult decision to cease its operations in Tanzania.
The Africa’s e-commerce giant has just decided to pull out from the 23 million internet users in the country. A statement from the company revealed that the retailer has decided to focus on operations in other countries where they can bring the best value and help Jumia thrive.
Business Insider reported that Jumia’s decisions have come at a time where the company is suffering terrible losses.
Does this suggest the difficulty in doing online business in the country?
Or it’s just Jumia’s failed business model? Because it is reported that the retailer has also closed down business in Cameroon.
We would say both. Yes, Tanzania is a difficult place for a business to go digital but also Jumia’s failed business strategy may be the reason.
Here are the reasons why;
Despite the growing number of internet users in Tanzania, the majority of them are not well equipped with online experience. Especially when it comes to shopping online.
It is hard to go digital in a community where people can barely tell the difference between Sign In and Sign Up. We are still keeping up with digital literacy in bongo!
We have talked to some of our friends and they admitted that they would rather visit the shop instead of buying online even when the shop provides free delivery services. They feel uncomfortable with filling forms and payment methods.
On the other hand, Jumia hasn’t really earned the human connection here. We doubt if they have any moving story to tell.
As we all know, big brands like Nike don’t pitch about their services or products, they just tell stories that unite people. This is something Jumia didn’t do quite well. They failed to humanize the brand. The Instagram account for Jumia in Tanzania is full of promotional content. We believe it could not cost them much to post testimonial videos from people who have bought products from the platform. Or featuring stories from vendors benefiting with selling on Jumia – just being creative.
The rule of thumb for running business in 2020 is not about advertising and branding, it is about focusing on building a great customer experience. -Tanzlite
It is so unfortunate that digital platforms which are meant to connect businesses with customers can also work against them. Building trust with your customer goes beyond promotional content, it is about creating content that build trust with your customer.
Are you facing any familiar challenges with running your business in the digital world? Let’s have a conversation.
by Shukuru Amos
All you need to keep up with today’s digital world is a smartphone and a laptop. And good English of course. If you are like me (I hate being left out in this fast-changing world), you’d probably have learned a few digital skills by now. The world is becoming digital. And so should you.
Here’s a random list of things you can do to make sense of the digital world. Perhaps even develop a career and earn a living out of it. Thanks to distance learning, you can even enroll in an institution remotely.
You can do web designing
Thanks to automation tools like WordPress, now everyone can become a web designer with zero coding skills. I created this very website using no coding at all. However, if you are looking to establish yourself as a web designer, you’ll need to learn at least basic coding skills like HTML and CSS. You can create your own blog and start earning from it by placing ads, selling e-books, or writing sponsored articles on it.
Social media marketing
Ever heard of a job called social media manager or social media handler? You’ll excel in this field if you are passionate about social media and have good communication skills. Companies get on social media platforms to engage and build relationships with their customers as well as getting new ones.
Managers are also aware of how overwhelming it is to run a business and keep an eye on online conversations. They need someone to do this. You can be the one. You can also use social media to promote your own service or products.
If you are like me, (I hate the learning curve of photoshop) Canva is there for you. It is a simplified graphic designing platform for everyone to use. Thanks to Melanie Perkins for bringing graphic design to everyone. I do lots of designing for my digital agency using Canva.
What is the largest search engine next to Google? Is it Yahoo? Or Bing? The answer is YouTube. People spend a lot of time watching videos online. Many companies need to be exactly where their people are. If you’re good at making videos then you are the most wanted person in the job market.
Content Writing and Copywriting
Everyone can write but not everyone can write for a company’s reputation. Especially online reputation. Companies are looking for someone who can create content that’s not only about their products and services but content that builds trust in their audience. Are you good at storytelling? You could be the next content writer to be hired.
How about Influencer Marketing?
People are now becoming brands and brands are trying to be people. Managers are looking for credible third parties to push their brand’s awareness to people. If you have a bigger following on social media and have the ability to engage them, you can approach big businesses and brands and offer to help them reach a bigger audience (your audience). Think of Idris Sultani and Uber in Tanzania. Your online visibility is a goldmine! Start digging.
Job searching and networking
If you can’t use the internet for learning new skills, you can use it to land your next dream job.
The truth is, some of us will not rely on family connections. We will have to build ourselves from scratch. If you are like me, who grew up in the village where the only connection my parents could give is to introduce me to a fellow farmer, then you have no choice than to invest in your online presence. There are professional platforms like LinkedIn where you can showcase your skills and connect with hiring managers.
Every rising sun presents an urgent need for new and relevant skills. Schools give us organized education but the internet gives us everything. With the increased access to free information, you can learn just about anything online. I have honed my skills in digital marketing and writing by reading articles and taking courses online. The world needs those who are comfortable with learning new skills every day —lifelong learners.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
As managers are launching their businesses online, the struggle becomes how to be visible on top of search engine results. Every business online wants more traffic, more leads, and more sales. However, this is not something that can be achieved easily. It requires a dedicated digital strategy. If you happen to be good at these skills, everyone is looking for you.
You can learn Web Analytics
Today’s world is about data. Data is the most valuable commodity just like it used to be with factories during the industrial revolution. Many companies have a website, they have social media accounts and they run ads. But they don’t monitor their online efforts.
They don’t know what is working and what isn’t. They have no ideas about what people do when they visit their sites. If you’re good at analyzing data, you can help businesses make data-driven decisions or implement these skills on your own online platforms.
Just like social media, email is a great way for businesses to engage with their customers. Today’s email marketing is built on people who have opted to receive information about your services through email. It starts with the subscription button. Then what happens after that can grow or kill your business. This is why people who know what they are doing are highly needed. Think you can do it? Go for it.
Paid Per Click Ads – PPC
Sometimes as a business, you just need to get in front of your customers online real quick. Well, you need to pay for that. Paying isn’t the hard part though, but creating a great display advertisement can be very challenging. Now, whether you want to implement PPC on your own online campaigns or use it as a service to offer to others, you can start by learning it online.
The opportunities in the digital world are endless. I just shared a few of them. These opportunities are not limited to coders only. There is a place for everyone in technology. You just need to find out where your interests are.