For many people, Africa represents the final frontier when it comes to digital media and digital marketing. While the continent has seen much progress when it comes to connectivity and digital penetration, there is still much work to be made when it comes to digital marketing.
Internet Penetration Still Lacking Despite Impressive Growth
While Africa as a whole as seen its rate of internet penetration jump from 11% to 28.6% in five years, it is still only at 61% of the world average in this particular area. However, some countries have achieved more than the international average, which was unfathomable not too long ago.
And while many countries are still struggling with internet penetration, some countries have huge potential for digital marketing due to their sheer number of internet users. Nigeria counts over 91 million internet users, followed by Egypt at number two and Kenya at number three with 34.8 million and 31.99 million respectively.
Challenges facing Marketing Agencies
Another issue with digital marketing in Africa is the lack of understanding by local businesses about its benefits, especially in markets where internet penetration remains small. Even in bigger markets such as Nigeria, there is still a lack of understanding about how local markets work, and also a shortage of local Digital Marketing agencies. This is why many local businesses are still turning to NYC SEO agencies for their marketing needs.
Lack of Understanding of Local Markets
Another major issue facing digital marketing agencies in the continent is that they tend to see African users in the same way as they see users from other countries. However, the realities of African internet users are very different than those in the US, UK, or Western Europe. For one, a much larger proportion of users accesses the internet from mobile phones solely in Africa, which completely changes the approach businesses need to take when devising marketing campaigns.
And not only do more African users navigate through mobile, they do it from different devices as well. While smartphone devices are well implanted in some markets, many are using what are called “feature phones”. While feature phones originally had little in way of features and were mainly able to only call and send texts, modern feature phones can perform almost the same task as ordinary cell phones. However, feature phones do not all run on Android or IOS, thus they present their own set of challenges and demand a different approach.
What Does the Future Hold?
We can expect new markets to emerge as digital marketing hubs in the next coming years as more devices become connected. We can also expect more native apps to be developed that will open the doors to new opportunities. More businesses should start jumping aboard once they see how viable online marketing can be. However, only time will tell what the future holds for digital marketing as a whole in the continent, but we can expect it to grow as demand and connectivity rates increase.