How to market my business online in South Africa

Small to medium size businesses in South Africa are constantly worrying about the same thing.

How can I tell more people about my product or service?

Not so long ago it was easy, you would just run a newspaper ad (or magazine ad focusing on your line of business) advertisement, put yourself in the Yellow pages for a year or print some flyers and get them distributed. But...it’s not easy anymore. I (and many people like me) don’t buy newspapers or magazines anymore, we read most of our stuff online. It’s actually been a couple of months since I watched TV the last time.

People spend more time on social media sites nowadays than reading printed media. Research firm eMarketer estimates that mobile ad spending will climb 83% this year to nearly $18 billion, surpassing newspaper and radio. The first iphone was launched in June 2007, and the ipad in April 2010, Since then numerous other kind of smartphones and tablets has been launched, changing the way how consumers read and find information. Also, with this, changing the way how YOU should reach YOUR customers. Smartphones and tablets this year will draw more money from advertisers than the centuries-old newspaper industry or the nearly century-old radio sector.

The bottomline is. Consumers don’t care about the traditional form of marketing that much anymore. How often do you look through a magazine’s or newspapers advertisements or watch TV ads? To decide how to market your business is actually easy, you must go where the trend is going, go where your customers are.

These are some of the top marketing strategies you can use to market your business:

  • Social media (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn etc)
  • Articles on your website
  • eNewsletters
  • Videos
  • Google Adwords, Facebook ads, Twitter ads

Social media advertising for the small to medium sized business in South Africa

  • Don’t just jump in and start spending time on the first social media network that you open today. See what suits you best. If I was an interior decorator I would have given preference to a social media site like Pinterest for instance. Divide your time between social media sites, don’t just stick with one, but see what works best for you.
  • Images are important on social media today. 136 000 images are uploaded to Facebook every MINUTE. In Google+ you won’t easily find a post without an image.
  • Keep your posts on Social media short and get to the point very quickly, People are overloaded with info nowadays, they haven’t got time to spend reading long posts.
  • The same applies to having a conversation with a group of people than putting a post on a social media site. If you talk about yourself all the time and how good you are people will soon find you boring.
  • The other advantage of spending time on social media is that people are constantly made aware of your business name and logo, and that means that they become more familiar with your business.
  • Social media will play an even bigger role in SEO in the future, People will rather buy a product if their friends talk positively about it as well. Google started, and continue to pour in a lot of time and effort in their own social media network. Google+. Think about that one for a while.

Advertise your business by writing articles on your website

  • Write informative topical and interesting to read articles on your website and illustrate it liberally with photos or infographics.
  • Nobody likes old news, I don’t even want to buy tomorrow’s newspaper, the news are already old by then. Same with your website. If you haven’t got regular fresh and interesting content for people to read don’t be surprised if they don’t come back. Yet, in South Africa many businesses websites are a few years old already and never gets updated.
  • Make sure your website is mobile friendly. According to Forbes “87% of connected devices sales by 2017 will be tablets and smartphones.”48% of the people that view a website that’s not mobile friendly think that that business doesn’t care.
  • In March 2013 people spend most of their digital life on a computer, 53% time on computer vs 47% on mobile. In 2014 mobile devices take up 60% of our time.

Market your business by sending out email Newsletters

  • People won’t necessary visit your website regularly. Think about having a section on your website where people can sign up for a weekly newsletter.
  • Harvest new customers email addresses and send emails to old customers asking them to sign up for your weekly newsletters.
  • Make sure the information that you send to them in the newsletter is interesting and topical...or they will unsubscribe very quickly.
  • Keeping in touch with old customers and getting referral leads from them that way can save you A LOT of advertising money down the line trying to attract new customers.

Marketing your business with Videos

  • People like watching videos, it is more interesting than reading something and it often explains something better as more of your senses are involved.
  • Videos of your product or services that you offer is also a better idea than only writing about it as people can see you, your product and what you do.
  • If your customer like the video he or she will of course also be able to share it via social media where other people will be able to see it as well.

Marketing your business with Google Adwords, Facebook ads, Twitter ads

  • Where do people search for something nowadays? I bet you it’s mostly Google. Yet...
  • 75% of users don’t scroll to page two on Google when they search for something. Are you on page 1? Chances are you’re not. And that is where Google Adwords come in very handy. With the right company managing your adwords campaign you can be on Google’s first page...INSTANTLY! You can read more about Google Adwords here.
  • I spend quite a lot of money on Google adwords per month, I can assure you it definitely works.
  • Of course Facebook and Twitter is also a good place to advertise your business. You can read more about Facebook advertising here.

Of course this is just a very basic idea of what you can do to market your business online, and chances are you haven’t got the time for it (or you might not have the knowledge) And that is where we come in. Give us a call or email us, we would like to sit down with you and discuss with you how you can market your business online.