The digital scene in Kenya this year looks to be very exciting. Many brands have embraced the reality that is digital marketing, and have chosen to invest more in digital media and technology. Online marketers in Kenya use different techniques and strategies to ensure that they always stay ahead of the competition online. At every particular phase, there are different digital marketing trends that marketers use to ensure success online.
This article seeks to explore what online marketing trends will be popular in 2020 and how marketers will turn the fortunes for their brands this year.
The digital landscape in Kenya is very dynamic and within a short span of time, a lot has been changing. Competition between brands has stiffened across different niches. Success online will therefore be to those who will be on top of their marketing game in 2020.
With all the marketing efforts driving tons of traffic to your website, chances are that 95% to 97% of that traffic will not convert. This does not mean that you are doing anything wrong. However, your content needs to be highly targeted for you to greatly improve your conversion rates.
When it comes to digital marketing, it is important that as a brand, you are aware of what trends are shaping the current market. You cannot over the years employ the same digital marketing tactics and expect your brand to grow online. Some online marketing techniques and strategies become obsolete over time and therefore a successful brand should be able to adapt to changes and trends.
If you want to connect to better with your client and grow your business in Kenya, here are 10 online marketing trends in 2020 you should be aware of:
#1 Focus your Digital Presence
When it comes to digital presence, there many options that a brand may have. With Facebook being the most popular platform in Kenya, many brands have over time invested time and resources in the network to ensure that their presence is noticed there by potential customers.
However, you have a lot more options and there is a need for you to streamline your brand’s presence on these different platforms. Ensure that you are clear on the returns you get from each platform so that you know where exactly to invest your time and resources more.
One thing we always insist to our clients is that these platforms we use to market our brands are simply channels. With inbound marketing, you should use these channels to drive customers to your main online property. In most cases, this is your website.
It is important for the community you grow through different platforms to understand that you are a serious brand. Having a website boost confidence and loyalty towards a brand.
A common mistake with many startups and businesses in Kenya is over-reliance on these channels. For instance, you will find people marketing and closing businesses on Facebook.
Common questions I normally ask the client are:
- What if Facebook shuts down suddenly?
- Does that mean that your brand is out of business?
- Where will your clients get you?
- Will you have to start from scratch?
Therefore, you need to buy a domain and get your website ready. Use different channels to drive traffic to your website, but always strive to do your business through your property. It is an uphill task but worth every dime in the long run.
#2 Digital Bravado
In 2020, you will see brands becoming braver with their digital strategies. Kenyan brands have been competing for attention online with different strategies and some have had a lot of success in the past years.
Nothing unites the Kenyan audience like trends online and we have seen how brands jump in to ensure that they make the most out of these trends.
For instance, you can remember these 5 trends that went viral and some brands were not left out:
- The Githeriman
- The 100bob Wedding
- Baba while you were away…
- #HappyDay Pharell Video
We will see brands getting creative with different types of content to try and capture the attention of the online audience. When it comes to the online community, creativity will always carry the day. The bar has already been set so high and therefore 2020 is going to be very interesting. Only the brave will milk the juice.
Do not be afraid to experiment with new things and join in the trends. However, you also need to be careful with what trends you jump into. Some might negatively affect your reputation.
Ditch your normal boring marketing techniques and try out new and exciting media formats that might spark more visibility for your brand. Try out memes and videos that your audience will actually consume.
#3 Kenyan Brands Becoming more Human
Most brands probably have neat business profiles and probably brand guidelines and you carefully craft your messages out to your clients. A committee must probably sit down and approve the language used in a post etc. Well, this is not going to give you any mileage in 2020.
The audience relates more when information or content has a human aspect to it. Do not be too strict with your guidelines to an extent that the customer feels like they are talking to a robot.
We shall see more brands in Kenya embracing storytelling, which has so far had amazing results in Kenya and across the world. For instance, if you are selling wedding dresses, you can document a customer’s experience with you from the initial point of contact and share their story.
Your audience will believe more of what the customer says about her experience as opposed to what you tell them.
More brands will now take advantage of this and have the customers share their experiences and possibly tag them on these content in the digital space. If you offer a great product or service, this will come effortlessly.
#4 Employee Empowerment
Much like the point above, employees always play a very critical role when it comes to marketing.
Serious Kenyan brands will start investing in their own employees as they are brand ambassadors.
I once headed the digital marketing department in a company. A policy was quickly introduced to force every staff member to share anything the digital department puts up online. This was mandatory and non-negotiable and this was the only instance the staff would be allowed to use social media.
Well, what was the result?
Not a single member of staff shared anything that was put up.
When a company invests in building up the staff members, some of these things would not even require a policy. It will come naturally. Serious Kenyan brands will invest in their staff, build their personal brands and educate them on different aspects of the digital world and trends.
Companies cannot completely control the kind of content that their staff put up on their personal profiles. However, training and sensitization call help the staff align their online behavior and activities to the company’s expectations.
#5 Kenyan Brands will get more Conversational
In line with humanizing the brand, we will see more Kenya brands getting conversational online.
It is already mentioned that there is need to come up with creative and engaging content that your audience will consume. Well, most people forget the engagement bit of content. Create meaningful conversations with your audience online and this will help you boost your credibility and trust.
It is very important that you get serious and consistent with your content. You should have a content calendar that you religiously follow to ensure that you keep the conversation going with your audience.
Do you know you can have your customer create content for you? I have seen a couple of my friends on LinkedIn taking up a digital marketing course from an institution. On completion, they shared their certificates on their pages and guess who shows up in the comment section? The same institution.
You can also have your customers generate content and in turn engage them online in a conversation. This is another simple yet powerful way to put your brand out there.
#6 Influencer Marketing
Last year Akothee must have had a substantial number of his followers use Peptang and fly Silverstone (before the brand’s reputation was adversely affected by the mechanical mishaps). Even without the exact figures, you can tell that this could easily be one of the most successful influencer marketing campaigns last year.
So, what is influencer marketing you ask?
This can simply be defined as simply using a personality with influence, especially on your target market, to endorse your product or service. Companies normally partner with people with influence in a particular niche to reach their target market.
More Kenyan brands will start investing in influencers in Kenya. However, it is important that you carefully choose your influencer to ensure that you get a return on your investment.
Prices vary with different influencers in Kenya. Some are very expensive and you might not get the impact that you expected with your product or service. That is the reason why you might have better chances with micro-influencers who have a decent following and are more in sync with their audience.
View this post on Instagram
We shall be back like we never left , give us time to reorganize our house ,in every test ,there is a testimony, when I listen to the stories of the billionaires , at one point, they had to stop,and start afresh , all the challenges are ment to be a learning lessons, not a punishment, embrace change ,accept the present ,focus on the future SilverstoneAir is bae. We shall be back 💪sorry for any inconvenience caused once again 💪💪💪💪@silverstoneairservices #thebluewing I miss you 💪💪💪❤❤❤❤
The key to influencer marketing is to partner with the right influencers. It will help your brand grow faster and you will get great results.
#7 Measurement and Optimization
Data driven marketing ensures that your marketing is smart and informed by numbers. Other than jumping on trends, brands will now leverage on numbers to measure efficiency and success.
The beauty with online marketing is that you can measure different aspects of campaigns and strategies to a great extent. These measurements can be used to inform future decisions and marketing plans.
With measurement and optimization, it becomes easy to actually know what type of content works best for your audience. You can know the right time to target your audience. The numbers will help you invest more on what works and less on the other stuff.
With competing brands measuring and optimizing campaigns, competition will become stiffer in 2020. Kenyan marketers are becoming smarter. Your marketing needs to be bold and highly optimized for you to rise above your competition in the market.
#8 Video Content
The audience is becoming more and more visual. That is why applications like TikTok have become an instant hit in the market.
BTW, is your brand on TikTok?
Video content has increasingly become popular and we shall see many marketing experts in Kenya investing more on videos. We have seen engagement in YouTube increase by 34% in 2019.
With the internet in Kenya becoming cheaper and easily accessible, video content is becoming very popular. This is true across the world.
We will see brands coming up with short but engaging video content that can be shared in different platforms. Instagram Stories and Facebook Stories have become very popular with these short videos. To capture the attention of your audience and spark engagement, you need to be very creative and entertaining.
#9 Marketing Automation
In this age of technology, we all love it when we can automate a lot of what we do. Well, without negating the fact that we need to humanize our brands, there is some level of automation that is required with marketing. The audience will love it when some processes are simple and direct.
For instance, when a user lands on your website and subscribes, you may ensure that the process is simple and fully automated. Maybe upon a successful registration, you may want to send them a freebie you had promised.
Avoid spamming your audience and always ensure that you share very good quality content. Make it easy for them to opt out whenever they feel like. If the content is good, it is less likely that they will unsubscribe.
With the rise of bots and machine learning, there so much that marketers can take advantage of when it comes to automation. You can use chatbots, automate your newsletter. Choose what it is you want to automate but ensure you do not lose the human aspect of your brand.
#10 Invest in Communities
Old but Gold. Building communities for your brand will still be very relevant in 2020 and Kenyan brands will constantly invest in growing communities for their brands.
While it is important to have a presence on all platforms, it is important to choose one that works best for your brand and invest more in this. Building a community and having influence over your audience will help you grow your brand faster.
Other Marketing Trends in the World in 2020
Across the world, there are other trends that will definitely shape up 2020. These might not be true for Kenya but they are worth checking into. Some Kenyan marketers have started trying out these trends that will shape the internet marketing world.
- Voice Search – Fueled by home devices such as Alexa, voice search has become very popular with a huge percentage of users searching for products or services through such like devices.
- Podcasting – Podcasts have gained popularity and marketers try to incorporate this in their content. More viewers choose to listen in on information as opposed to reading long articles. You can actually multitask. For instance, you can listen to a podcast while driving to work.
- Vanity Metrics – Over the past years, we have seen how brands get crazy with metrics such as likes or retweets to the extent that they would even invest in fake likes and followers to boost credibility. Social Networks have started testing out life without these metrics. Brands will have to find alternative and meaningful ways of measuring success.
- Visual Search – Many search engines have the image search option and more users are landing on websites through these images. Image optimization is a commonly ignored factor that might cost you a few customers in 2020.
There are many more online marketing trends that might come up as the year goes by. Online Marketing is mostly content driven and creating diverse, interactive and engaging content will help your brand stand out in 2020.
Try and make your brand memorable through creative and interactive content online. Try an audience-first approach in every digital strategy that you try out this year.
What online marketing trends in Kenya in 2020 have we left out? Share in the comment section below and let us get the conversation going.