It has been said that a business that does not advertise is a closed business.
Or why else would you open a store and not put in the work required to attract the set of people who will make the business profitable – customers?
Technological advancement in recent times has led to a serious shift in consumer behavior, making it very important to integrate a well thought out digital strategy as you seek to thrive in today’s marketplace.
There are a couple of online advertising platforms in Nigeria, and in this article, we will quickly seek to answer the question “where do you advertise your business online? and a bit of how to advertise your business online in Nigeria.”
Let us start with…
1. WhatsApp Status –
This is one of the most underutilized places when it comes to advertising your business online. A lot of people use their smartphones to communicate on WhatsApp and as a result, it becomes easy to reach them on the platform.
How does it work?
Simply take pictures of the product you have for sale, post a compelling but short write up on your status and attach the images on there. People from your contacts will see this and anyone who is interested will reach out to you.
However, it is important to state that there is a major downside to using this platform to promote your business; You have limited reach since only those with your mobile number and those you have their mobile number will see the update.
2. Register Your Business Profile on Google.
When you register your business freely on Google, your business Profile would appear when people search on Google business related to yours, yours included.
This way your business, and what you do is online for people to stumble upon.
When you decide to register your business on Google, you’ll be asked to fill in your business name, and then some other vital information.
To register your business on google, click here
Here are a few of its advantages:
- It’s Free.
- It can help your customers get your physical location.
- You can display certain things about your business that are useful to your customers. Things such as your description, hours of operation, a call button and photos.
- You can have reviews and ratings. This helps build trust for as many that search out and find your business.
- Gain insights about your customers through the Google insight tab available and also be able to use the Google analytics tool to understand the traffic to your sites.
There are a couple of disadvantages to only using this as a means of advertising, and the most striking is that…
You really don’t have control of your audience coming in, In a way, it’s similar to a billboard. All you do is hope that as a viewer sees it, he’ll be interested enough to engage with you.
Not to worry, the next option gives you a wider reach.
3. Classified Sites –
This is one of the easiest options when it comes to advertising your business online. Classified sites are platforms created to allow business owners to list their products for people to come and see them. The platforms give you room to display your contact details and interested individuals can reach out to you.
Consider these platforms as an exhibition – many of the people who come here are basically window shopping, they would stop by your stand and see what you have and if the offer is good enough, they’ll reach out you.
And the process is really simple, signup and upload details (picture, description etc) of your products.
But there’s a major downside to using this system. It is that you have no control over it.
Other businesses have their products posted here as well so you will basically be fighting for attention with hundred similar businesses who will probably be selling the same product cheaper than you.
So while this is a good place to start especially since it is free, you should consider the other options as they will serve you better both in exposure and control.
And if you are in the business of services…this would be a difficult approach to take.
4. Sponsored Post on Blogs
This shouldn’t be new to to you. You must have seen some posts on some top blogs where there is a direct sales attempt by another business to use the traffic that the blog have to sell their product.
Such a business would pay the blog owner an agreed price for the content to be posted on the site.
This can be a successful to advertise but still limited.
Limited in the sense that :
- The business owner must be sure that the traffic to the blog is relevant for the kind of service or product he/she sells.
- There is no way to track how successful this means of online marketing really is. A business might get sales from this process, but the overall cost might be detrimental the business. Successful advertising should be measurable.
5. Social Media
(Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc) – As at June 2018, over 25,000,000 Nigerians above the age of 18 use the most popular Social media website of all – Facebook.
What does this suggest to you?
This strategy works for any kind of business, whether you sell product or services .
Or if business is built to be of service to other businesses.
The truth is that…
If you are not advertising on social media you are leaving too much money on the table!
And I don’t mean posting your products on your timeline until all your friends get tired of you…or spamming all the groups you belong to until they remove you, No!
I also don’t mean simply having social media handles on these platforms, and making posts on them, hoping that someone will miraculously see them.
Although having a handle is a good start, as it will be the channel that’ll you’ll use to advertise on these platforms.
Using social media as a marketing channel (I’ll focus on Facebook now) allows you to target your prospects by…
- Demographics(Age range, marital status, e..t.c ).
- Geography(their location)
Among many other things, This helps you show your advertising campaigns to only those who are interested in seeing them.
Think about that, if you want to sell a book on building a business, you can easily set up your Ads to target only those who are interested in entrepreneurship…
Who are within a certain age range, and or live in one particular city where you know they are more likely to respond to your Ad positively, say Lagos.
You could also with certain tools made available to you target people who have visited your website. (This could also be a particular page or a combination of pages on your website).
Have you ever searched for something on Jumia, and then you see their ads targeting you all around?
This is what we call re-targeting, and is a possibility for any business that wants to try it out.
Here are specific reasons why you need to be start using Facebook Ads to advertise your business.
- It is, by far, the quickest and most reliable way to advertise your business on the internet.
- You have control of who sees your adverts. This means that you can target people likely to be interested in what you’re selling, be it a service or a product.
- There are unique ways to target your audience, this helps save you time and the money you’ll have spent looking for new sets of audiences for new ads.
- You are in charge of the traffic coming to our site. So rather than wait and hope that someone stumbles on your site through a google search, you can attract them in.
- You’ll pay far less for marketing on Facebook in comparison to the results you’ll get from using them. This price is no way compared to using traditional marketing channels that are extremely expensive..
- Everything is measurable. You can analyse as much as anything to help you find out what is working and what isn’t. You can go as far as know who checked your site, your service page or whatever, where they stopped. This helps you re-strategize for better results.
So how do you get started with that?
- Step 1. Go to business.facebook.com and create a business account.
- Step 2. Connect your Facebook page to your ad account or create a new Facebook page (if you don’t already have one)
- Step 3. Create an Ad account to use for your promotions.
- Step 4. Connect a payment method to your ad account.
- Step 5. Create your ads.
While the technical parts of setting up your social media advertising campaign are simple…
It is important for you to understand the science behind running successful Ad campaigns, otherwise, you will be giving Facebook money without seeing any returns on investment.
If you are serious about promoting your business, then you should be investing in Social Media Marketing especially by running Ads on Facebook…For me, This is the best way to advertise in Nigeria.
I hope you have found new ways on how to promote your business online in Nigeria. Feel free to share with in the comment session any questions you have and I’ll reply as quickly as I can.
Alexander Ubaka is the Founder and CEO of Topsocialbrand.com, A digital media company aimed at helping small businesses to succeed online. With the goal of getting these businesses better-targeted leads, increased brand awareness, and maximal use of every available digital for the growth of the business.
Connect with Alexander on LinkedIn