There are approximately 68 million internet users in Nigeria, spending billions of minutes online every day.  The continuous rise of social media; Facebook and Twitter and the expansion of online communities like Nairaland where millions of Nigerians spend time everyday make online marketing even more important. Before the advent of the internet, there was no way your company could have been able to access 68 million people from just one location, it simply was not possible, but today, just with a few clicks and the right strategy you can grab the attention of millions of people.

This fact is further highlighted by the phenomenal emergence of e-commerce in Nigeria. The 2 leading ecommerce websites in the country have brought in nothing less than $250 million in investments into the Nigerian economy in only 3 years. Their success so far has demonstrated that online marketing is indeed crucial for businesses. Yes they are big spenders, but the secret of their success like many other successful online marketers is not only the amount they spend on online advertisement, in fact that is not a secret. There are a number of things they do to be this successful; things that you can do to get similar results even if you do not have as big a marketing budget as them. They are the rules of the online marketing game.


  1. They Create Great Content

    You might have heard the saying “content is king”. This is not entirely true. Not all content is royalty - only great content is king. Companies that succeed in online marketing are constantly churning out great content and information about their product lines and services.

    What is great content? Great content is relevant content, one that engages the audience; that answers the questions consumers ask about your products and services, even before these questions are raised.

    These companies establish their authority and gain the trust of their customers by consistently producing content that is useful, informative and entertaining to consumers over a wide variety of channels. Blog posts like this one you are reading, videos, info-graphics, newsletters, memes, tweets and Facebook posts are the top media of communication; successful online marketers use them all.  

  2. They Actively Build Their Brands

    Branding is what people say about you when you are not in the room. Building a brand, that is easily recognized and known for a particular “attribute and/or proposition” is extremely important. Big corporations and companies allocate millions of Naira yearly, to project their brand to the public, because they understand the over-arching importance of branding.

    Establishing a brand requires a potpourri of actions, but 2 things stand out; time and consistency. You must be patient with the process and you must be consistent. Your messaging must be clear, easy to understand and must address the same sets of emotion for as long as necessary.

    Get your team together and brainstorm on how to creatively package your company’s essence, values, products and services for delivery across all the media and channels listed above.

  3. They Leverage Trends

    Companies that succeed at online marketing understand one vital rule of marketing: Finding out people’s needs and meeting them.

    Approaching online marketing with this mindset is another differentiating factor between companies that fail and those that win big in this space. Companies that do well at online marketing understand the value and potential of trends, and they consciously identify and make the most of them. They create content and innovative programs around social trends even before those trends catch on. Just take a look at all the innovative flurry of marketing and advertisement that accompanied the recent football world cup and government elections in Nigeria. Those were major trend waves and smart online marketers do not miss such opportunities.

    Be Proactive, make a list of upcoming events that will pique the public interest and prepare to get the conversation around it started to the benefit of your brand. The on-going Ramadan Fast is an opportunity for brands to come up with innovative online marketing products that will strike a chord with millions of Muslims across the country, what are you going to do about that?

  4. They Optimize Their Websites

    Companies that are continually successful in their online marketing campaign understand that continuous “great consumer experience” is a pre-requisite for conversion. And as such, they invest massively in optimizing their sites-not only to enable customers find them when searching for their products, but also ensuring that they find it easy to access their websites and procure such items.

    These companies often check to ensure their site loads fast, and that the content on their website is relevant to the ever changing needs of their customers.