While wishing you a happy New Year, you must forget that the year has commenced as you celebrate. If you believe last year was fast, this year may be faster.
As many Nigerians continue to get on the Internet, some of the online behaviours we were used to in the past years will have to change. This is because the online community characters are fast changing. While a lot of brands wasted much time before going digital, a lot more will join this year. This means the digital experience will be more interesting.
I spent the last quarter of the year putting finishing touches to my book which is set to be released this quarter. It focuses on strategies, tools and techniques brands and businesses use in engaging digital customers. Many businesses have laid the foundation to ensure that social and digital marketing landscape becomes more interesting this year. The book is in line with the new changes some companies are employing.
In two previous editions of this column, I discussed trends to expect in the year. However, in starting the New Year, I will like to highlight how top Nigerian brands will leverage digital marketing tools, techniques and channels.
Employee social engagement
Companies that are restricting the use of social media in their offices will wane. This is because employees are powerful social media advocates, once they are treated right. Some tools that serve as social networks in the marketplace will gain a ground this year, just as companies and businesses will count more on their employees to increase their influence.
For businesses who have long sought ways to measure the effectiveness of marketing activities, there are already some forms of help. Such companies will increase the use of analytics to measure performance. A lot more will be demanded of professionals and start-up companies. More complex web metrics are important for growing a business. Spending money on online projects and efforts is good. But listening to what your customers are saying is better. Do you know what to measure based on your online activities? Analytics will save some companies from wasting marketing budget; they will help some firms to save their brands.
Apart from videos, content marketing is worming its way into the African digital space with an average person adopting it. Since some financial brands have created and experimented with several online communities, a lot of budget will go to this area. The evolution of corporate blogs, apps, forums and communities will witness strong adoption this year. A lot more, in terms of value, will be demanded of these tools this year.
Videos deserve to be separated from other aspects of content marketing. As Nigerians continue to encourage content producers by consuming, sharing and allowing online contents to dominate conversations, brands will respond more to these this year.
Financial brands are already leading the way by developing their content which is designed to engage their target audience and enhance customer relationships.
Not only will musicians and artistes enjoy endorsements, bloggers and online personalities will also enjoy huge patronage as well. As many people continue to build their brands online, many businesses will look forward to working with several people in reaching their audience.
Yes, it reads glocal-isation. In the age of growing cross-border marketing, global trade brands must ensure that they remain relevant to the international market while staying in touch with local customers at the same time. As Nigerians continue to embrace home-made products and services, the need to remain in touch with local market, trends and culture cannot be overemphasised. More and more brands will tap into Nigerian music, arts and culture this year.
While many brands are already practising this, it will gain more attention the year. Business will adopt an ‘always-there-approach’ to marketing by ensuring that they are part of online conversations rather than always going there to pitch their products.
This speaks of the ability of brands to interact with potential customers across various platforms with a consistent message. Irrespective of the medium, customers should be able to interact with brands across platforms. Whether in a print ad, a retail location, a website, a promotional event, a products package or even word of mouth, the message should remain consistent. In the most simplistic term, omni-channel marketing is providing a seamless brand experience to a customer irrespective of the medium.