I have for a while been pondering on why a lot of Nigerian businessmen raise objections to marketing their products and services online even when there is clearly a market that can be reached by that medium. The funny thing about it all is that internet marketing is inexpensive and can serve longer and more useful functions than conventional media of advertising especially radio, television and print media. A number of businesses however have come to realize the power of internet marketing and are hence embracing it as part of their overall market strategy.
Some of the preconceived notions about internet marketing are that it favours big brands especially those of multinational companies and financial institutions who serve a global market including tourists and business travellers. Hence one expects telecommunications companies, banks, insurance companies, hotels and a host of other businesses with international clients to be active participants of internet marketing.
However, reality shows that things are not quite that way as a number of first time customers can also be attracted via the internet especially from a company’s website what with the use of search engine friendly techniques like SEO and so on. With these businesses can market their products and services inexpensively. The Nigerian internet community is estimated at over 1,200,000 that is a very large internet presence from which serious businesses can market to.
Some of the different ways you can market your products and services inexpensively include;
1. Internet forums
Internet forums provide one with the functionality of real life social interactions. Getting to measure the pulse of your customers by viewing and sampling their opinions from online is practically the same thing as reaching out to them in real life the only difference is that there are fewer in number than what obtains in real life. In Nigeria the most popular internet forum is nairaland.com its hosts many segments ranging from real estate to autos to vacancies and so on. Businesses can market themselves using threads to start topics affecting their niche.
With a blog you can leverage on the power of SEO to rank your dedicated pages high on google’s or yahoo’s first or second result pages for certain keywords relating to your niche. You could also use the power of networking with your blogs to promote your products and services.
3. Classified listings
Like craigslist, nairalist.com a sister site of nairaland.com is a suitable means of advertising mostly vacancies and special services.
4. Article marketing
Writing promotional articles that provide useful information to customers on article directories is another inexpensive way to market your product and service. The added benefit comes from the fact that at the end of each article you submit you have a link that points to your website or blog thus attracting your niche.
5. Corporate website
A company’s corporate website can also be an inexpensive means of advertising
products and services. With announcements made about product changes and features among other useful information you can make a suitable presence online with your website especially if it has been optimized for search engines.
The most popular wiki in the world is en.wikipedia.org. A wiki is a social networking site that allows visitors edit its contents. With wikis you can start or contribute to topics that discuss important issues affecting your niche
7. Social media and networking sites
Social networking sites like linkedln, facebook, myspace and twitter are also suitable means of carrying out affordable advertising. You could join existing networks or create one of your own and from them project the key benefits of your product, service or other area of your business.
Do you have any thing you wish to contribute? Say it here as a comment;