Digital Marketing in Zimbabwe.
The major question occupying the minds of most Zimbabwean business leaders today is, “Should we start budgeting for Digital Marketing?” Digital Marketing in Zimbabwe is fast gaining popularity I strongly believe that this trend is authentic and won’t end any soon.
Today, I want to help you answer that question by highlighting some of the best reasons why Digital Marketing should be your first, if not only method of Marketing.
Before I start, I think it’s important that I first give a brief introduction of what Digital Marketing is. Digital Marketing is the art of using Digital Media and Digital platforms to reach and interact with both your existing and potential customers online.
For a more definitive introduction on Digital Marketing, you can click here.
Now to the important stuff. The major reason why many business leaders are ignoring Digital Marketing despite the clear evidence that it’s the future is the nurture of some of these platforms particularly with regards to Social Media.
One scroll down Instagram’s feed would make you question the feasibility of it as a Marketing channel despite the fact that there are now 500 000 Zimbabweans using the platform, a number that keeps on growing.
It’s true, I agree, Zimbabweans on Social Media are really a playful lot but there are brands which are returning impressive ROI’s from these platforms. They have managed to seamlessly blend in and offer value for their clients in a unique way. Ask Steward Bank, they will tell you.
Apart from Social Media, there are a lot of other methods to Market yourself digitally that many Marketers and business leaders in Zimbabwe are not aware of.
Some of these methods include, Google AdWords, Inbound Marketing, SEO, Blogging and Online Directories.
Why Digital Marketing in Zimbabwe?
This is supposed to be the first reason why you should start budgeting for Digital Marketing and undisputedly the most important reason why you should. Study the chart based Infographic below.
Zimbabwe vs Worldwide Internet Penetration Rates. Data from Internet Research Stats.
One thing about me is that I like to be work with stats based data, I hate assumptions. If you are observant, the first thing you should have noted from the infographic above is that Zimbabwe’s internet penetration rate is now greater than the internet penetration rate of the entire world combined.
With now over 5.2 million Zimbabweans online, it’s undeniable that you can spread your message far and wide through online means than you ever could via traditional media. And you could do this with a fraction of the traditional media budget.
More, Zimbabweans are getting connected online every day and this number is not going to decrease any soon.
The advantage of the internet is that it is an attention monger, so by marketing online, you have the potential to communicate your message to an audience that is actively paying attention to what you are saying. Isn’t that just nice.
So, if you only need one reason to convince you why you should have a Digital Marketing budget, this is enough; More Zimbabweans are accessing the internet every day and this number is not going to decrease any sooner. So, if you want your business to be relevant in the next three to ten years, go Digital Today.
Reasons why you should budget for Digital Marketing.
1. Highly Measurable
If there is one thing about Digital Marketing that’s just amazing, it is its high measurability.
In Online Marketing, when it comes to results, there are no assumptions, you get it all. From the number of people who saw your ad, to their gender, age, interest and more importantly, how they reacted after seeing your ad, the information is right at your fingertips. See picture below.
Unlike from traditional methods of marketing where you are kept in the dark about how your ad performed but still pay the full price. In Digital Marketing, the performance of your ad largely determines your costs, making you pay for results. You don’t waste money.
2. The Ability to target
Sometimes, the thin line between failure and success when it comes to Marketing is who you do it to. You can make a great ad and show it to an irrelevant audience throwing all your efforts into the drain.The thin line between failure and success in Marketing is who you market to. Click To Tweet
In Digital Marketing, that thin line is greatly diminished. You can choose who you want to see your ad, when you want them to see it and on what device. The targeting options are many and vast. Consider the illustration below.
You have a company that sells fancy handbags that are largely appealing to women between the ages of 23-30. To market your handbags via traditional media, you’d have to rent out billboard space for maybe $50 a day for 30 days, incurring a total cost of $1 500.
The only problem with this is that your efforts might be a waste because while your ad might be very big and very visible, only 10% of the total audience might be relevant and by the time they settle to be able to contact your company, a large fraction of them might have forgotten your contact details.
But if you market online, maybe via Facebook (See the picture below!). You could actually target your ad to Women between the ages of 25-30, and link your ad back to your site where you give the customer the option to either place an order or contact you. Cool huh? The picture below illustrate some of the methods you can use for Facebook targeting.
3. Very Very Cheap
Online Marketing is the cheapest method of Marketing. We can even downgrade cheap to free. Yes, in Digital Marketing, you can invest an amount as small as $1 and get 1 000% return.
Why is it cheap? The first reason why online marketing is cheap is the fact that it gives you the opportunity to pay based on Ad Performance. You pay based on the results generated.
Platforms like Google and Facebook use a CPC based method of advertising. If you just made a new Facebook page and maybe you want to acquire new or potential clients by generating likes on the page. You can create a targeted campaign to get new likes or the page and pay something like $0.10 per like.
So, for each targeted fan who is interested in your product, you pay an amount as little $0.10. For the $1 500 you could have used to rent billboard space for one month, you could have acquired 15 000 targeted fans which means at least 9 000 new customers.
The same logic applies for Google AdWords, Google’s Advertising platform. If you’ve ever seen Ads whilst browsing the Herald or Newsday website, those are the typical AdWords ads. And these are very cheap to publish.
Sites like The Herald get almost 70 000 viewers a month and Google AdWords can give you access to all those people.
To talk free now. Digital Marketing can be done for free through SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or Inbound Marketing. These methods take time but they are the most effective when it comes to Online Marketing.
Their effectiveness arises from the fact that they target highly active customers who are already searching for what you offer. I wrote a complete introduction to SEO, you can find it here.
4. Engaging with your Customers in real time
The most important thing to any business is customer feedback. No matter how great your offering might seem in your sight, it doesn’t mean anything unless the market validates it.
What most people don’t understand is that the market is not some fancy place in neverland. Your market are your customers and digital platforms afford you the opportunity to engage with your customers/market in real time.
How do you engage with them? Through live chat on your site or Direct Messages on Social Media. Whatever the means, the most important thing is that you directly engage with them in real time.
The recipe for Social Media is directly engaging with your customers in real time. Click To Tweet
In the modern Online World, brands are no longer brands. If you approach customer engagement online from the perspective of a brand, you will lose. That’s why, I’ve emphasized that customer engagement should be in real time.
When a customer inquiries on a topic, be quick to reply and no delays, that’s what real time engagement means. And remember, your competitor is just a search away.
I’ve listed only five reasons why you should start budgeting for Digital Marketing. There are many more reasons on top of these and as the Digital landscape in Zimbabwe continues to shift, more reasons will continue to arise.
Digital Marketing is the future of Marketing and the future is now.Digital Marketing is the future of Marketing and the future is now. Click To Tweet