By investing in digital marketing in Africa, companies can grow their business while creating jobs and opportunities for those who need it most. How? Every successful business model is based on solving problems – whether that’s through a new product or an innovative service. One might argue that in a region like Africa, which has more than its fair share of problems, there are also endless opportunities for businesses.
Here we take a look at some of the technologies already transforming the African continent and helping people to lift themselves out of poverty. And how your business could become one of them.
Discover business opportunities in the transport sector in Africa
Nairobi-based ‘Little’ is a homegrown Kenyan ride-hailing service that is giving Uber a run for its money. It’s managing to do this because it’s aiming to solve local problems – more than just offering a way to get from A to B. Some of its innovations include:
- Aside from luxury or budget vehicles, Little also offers a boda-boda motorcycle for customers wanting to beat the notorious Nairobi traffic.
- Customers can pay via M-Pesa, a mobile payment solution widely used across East Africa.
- Uniquely for a ride-hailing service, customers don’t even need a smartphone to access the service. Those with more basic mobile phones can hail a ride using a USSD short code via text. The customer’s location is then triangulated using mobile towers.
This is just one example of an African business turning challenges into solutions – and it’s working. Little is already using digital marketing in Africa to expand their offering to Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana and Zambia. With 54 countries and more than 1.2 billion people looking for similar solutions, there is significant room in the African market for related services.
Digital marketing in Africa helps promote internet and telecom companies
Earlier this month, Africa made the tech headlines in a big way with the launch of the Mara X and Mara Z smartphones – the very first entirely made-in-Africa smartphone, with all components produced on the continent. The company’s flagship factory is in Rwanda, with a new factory in KZN, South Africa. The buzz around the phone is an excellent example of the power of digital marketing in Africa.
In many respects, the arrival of the mobile phone has allowed Africa to ‘leapfrog’ the landline stage most developed economies experienced altogether. Indeed, more people on the continent have access to mobile phones than electricity!
Aside from allowing Africans to access the Internet, mobile-money systems like M-Pesa and Mama Money have revolutionized cash transfers across the continent. It is estimated that between 2008 and 2016, M-Pesa alone helped lift 194,000 Kenyan households out of extreme poverty.
Education – online courses and self-study materials
While only a quarter of Africans have Internet access, the continent is showing the fastest connectivity growth of any region in the world. And with greater access to online resources, there is also a growing demand for online courses and educational tools. But companies who introduce online education to Africa must remember that all materials should be available in local languages, since most of the people who require these courses do not speak English.
Global digital education company GetSmarter, which was co-created by South Africans, will be opening a new online high school in 2020 in response to this demand. There are still enormous opportunities to be had in this sector.
Digital marketing in Africa for agriculture and renewable energy
Even in the agricultural sector, companies are embracing digital technologies. Mozambique is experimenting with the use of agricultural drones, and Niger with solar-powered irrigation systems to adapt to the effects of climate change. There’s little doubt that whatever industry your company is in, the opportunity to expand through digital marketing in Africa is there.
Challenges of doing business in Africa
As with any business expansion, language barriers can pose a problem. In Africa, where it’s estimated that 1,500 to 2,000 unique languages are spoken – that challenge is significant!
Even within countries, linguistic diversity tends to be very high. South Africa, for example, is famous for having 11 official languages. And besides official languages, there are millions of people across the African continent that speak only their local languages and dialects.
Many may not speak one of their country’s official languages at all. Tech companies can do a lot to help bridge this divide (and reach these potential clients) simply by having their applications translated into local languages.
And that’s where Poly Digital Marketing can help! As an experienced multilingual marketing agency with an international footprint, we offer translations and localization, SEO, PPC, social media marketing, email marketing and ORM in a diverse range of African languages.
The African market is open for business and brimming over with possibility. With our extensive knowledge of digital marketing in Africa, Poly Digital Marketing will help your company get there. Get in touch today, and let’s start mapping your path into Africa!