Digital marketing has become an essential part of any business’ marketing as well as business strategy, especially in our dynamic business landscape where more South Africans have access to mobile devices, the cost of internet access is going down, and mobile TV is on the rise. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of digital marketing for entrepreneurs in South Africa as we kick off 2019, a year that’s filled with a lot of promise.
The Power of Social Media
If you are a small business owner and you have a social media account for your business, you wouldn’t interact with friends in the same way as a person who is using social media for personal reasons. While this isn’t a big issue, it’s important to protect the reputation of your business by always checking what’s happening in your social media environment. According to internetworldstats.com, there were close to 16 million South African Facebook (active) users by the end of 2017- that’s a lot of people, and this is just Facebook. With a good social media strategy, your business can be taking advantage of this huge audience at very low costs.
To top it off, your social media marketing efforts can complement your other traditional campaigns perfectly; you can share your content on social media and monitor your results in real-time. It’s the perfect way to interact with your audience and generate awareness for your brand.
Using social media as a digital marketing platform is just one way you can benefit from online marketing; other effective digital strategies that entrepreneurs find successful include:
Programmatic Advertising on the Google Display network
Search Engine Optimized websites
Search Engine Advertising
So why do you need Digital Marketing in your business?
The world is getting more and more digital by the day as because most digital technologies continue to prove themselves over traditional methods. Below are 5 benefits of digital marketing for entrepreneurs in South Africa.
1. To reach more Customers
When you use digital platforms to market your products, you are sure of having to reach more people for less and effectively getting more customers. South Africa had over 30 million active internet users at the end of December in 2017 who can be accessed for very little with the right digital marketing mix. With the right digital marketing mix, you can easily raise awareness of your products and services, convert leads into sales and sales in loyal customers.
2. To keep Up With the Competition
Being off-line line is as good as being invisible these days as most customer purchases start with a quick online search, Google now received over 40,000 search queries per second worldwide, translating to 3,5 Billion searches per day- imagine missing out on all that action. This gets worse if your competition is well established online and you are not. More and more businesses in South Africa are starting to realise that they need digital marketing to grow their business as much as possible. Make sure that you keep up with the trends and connect with your customers as effectively as possible online.
3. To have a share of the conversation on your business and industry
Whether you like it or not your customers are going to talk about the products or services you, your competition or industry offer. And most of these conversations will not be positive, making it important for your business to have a contemporary, engaging website that clearly states who you are and what you stand for.
This way you can guide the conversation around your business online and also influence customer thought processes positively. A professional website also brings credibility to your business, builds trust and can help you convert leads into sales and sales into loyal customers.
4. Reduce Costs of marketing
Digital marketing is more affordable. Depending on the strategy you use, the costs may vary, but they’re still lower in comparison to other common advertising strategies like print, TV and outdoor. The larger aspect that should be considered in this case is the results. It is quite undeniable that most of the South Africans are using the internet (over 53% fo all South African’s) specifically social media. Therefore, if you have a Facebook page for your company, you’re likely to get more potential customers than someone who has paid a lot of money to have their products advertised on TV.
5. Allows Instant Feedback
Last but not least, digital marketing is well known for its real-time responses to customer queries and high customer engagement as customers can also give you instant feedback positive or negative. With digital marketing technologies like social media, you can turn the conversation into a two-way effort. If the client is dissatisfied with your product or service, he or she will not have to go a long way letting you know.
All you have to do is maintain the etiquette while responding, and yes, solve the problem which can get you extra marks from other customers who are following the conversation.
As you start the year (2019) we highly recommend that you consider using digital marketing to grow your business. The team at Solution Space has years of experience in digital marketing and will be more than happy to help you find your way. Check out our products and services to see what we can do for you and your business.