Internet is a boon for all the budding African entrepreneurs and businessmen. Ever since the internet penetrated into the African markets, majority of the continent’s economies witnessed a rise in their economic and business development.
The Internet has connected Africa to the world and there are various technological advancements happening in various sectors.
Online business is prospering and Africans are embracing this aspect of business gleefully. Jumia, one of the leading e-commerce websites in Africa is the ideal epitome of growth and prosperity. Trade and marketing analysts were skeptical about its growth, but Jumia proved them wrong, by not only rapidly increasing its sale, but also by expanding its network to other African countries as well.
With internet connectivity consistently increasing, the future of online business seems to be a prosperous one.
The essential ingredients
There are various means of establishing a business online, but what about the ways to make it a huge success? The digital era provides you with endless opportunities to grow your business. The bliss of digitization has made it easy to reach customers and audiences. However, staying at the top is still an ongoing battle.
When it comes to having an online presence, the rule is quite simple. If you are listed amidst the top players, then you have a fair chance of a getting good share of business and an increased conversion rate. If you are nowhere near the top positions, then you might struggle to generate traffic to your website.
According to the digital marketing experts, one needs strategies such as search engine optimization (SEO), social media optimization (SMO), search engine marketing (SEM), social media marketing (SMM) to become a top player in business in the online world. Choosing one out of them could be a complex exercise. Let’s discuss these strategies first, before arriving at a conclusion.
SEO- Search engine optimization is an organic search. It is all about improving the ranking of your website in search engines, search results pages, through the help of relevant keywords that describe the nature and the objective of your business.
These keywords are placed in the content of your website’s webpage. The ranking is improved by optimizing the website in accordance with the SEO techniques. It includes adding relevant keywords in the Title, Meta tags, Content and Meta Description, frequently updating a website and increasing the speed at which it loads on a desktop and mobile device.
SMO- Social media optimization simply means developing your business profile on the social media channels. Creating a page on social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. would provide you an opportunity to promote your business to the masses.
SEM- Search engine marketing is a premium concept, wherein you get paid traffic to your website. This paid traffic could be gained through the platforms such as Google, AdWords, Yahoo!, Microsoft adCenter and Search Marketing. You can create your own ads to get the website traffic.
SMM- Social media marketing is another premium concept of promoting your business on social media channels. You can run paid campaigns about your business to get visitors to your business page and website. You could even make use of paid ads to steal the spot.
What to choose?
SEO is a slow, but proven process. It may take months, even years to derive the results, but these results are long-lasting. SEM gives you instant results, but maybe for shorter durations. Same is applicable for SMO and SMM. SMO is a slow and steady process where strategies are crafted to stimulate growth, whereas SMM provides you with instant results through paid campaigns.
Choosing either of them depends solely upon your business needs and your budget. If you have a small-scale business and you can’t afford to shell out huge amounts on promotional activities, then SEO should be your first resort. If you can afford to spare out some extra bucks, then hands down SEM is unbeatable.
The ideal strategy should be to use SEO and SMO at the time of inception and then switch over to the premium players SEM and SMM, once you start receiving some pecuniary returns.
These are some of the means to promote your business online and could prove to be a great help for you if you are looking to establish your business online in Africa. Influenced by the technologically advanced countries, the behavior of African consumers is changing. People prefer to search and shop for their needs online.
With the help of these competitive strategies, one could indubitably stride in the competitive African business ecosystem. Take the risk and invest in taking your business on the digital platform. After all, the risk is what a successful entrepreneur lives for!