In 2018 Cameroon recorded 35.64% of internet penetrations which amounts to 8,910,000 internet subscribers. Cameroon is one of the fastest-growing markets for digital consumers in Africa, but adoption is uneven among businesses. As digital capabilities improve and connectivity becomes ubiquitous, technology is poised to quickly and completely change nearly every sector of Cameroon’s economy.
Cameroonian consumers have strongly welcomed the digital technologies. So, Cameroon’s companies must follow suit. The current scenario in Cameroon is that: a large number of Professional Services Firms, especially SMEs – Banking, hospitals, hotels, Accounting, Law, HR, Architectural, Consulting, and Engineering Firms – rely heavily on word of mouth marketing (information is spread from one person to another based on recommendation, networking or referrals) as the main source of getting new clients. Most of these referrals come from family members, friends, previous or current clients, and companies that offer professional services have been perceived to follow this marketing route for years.
Even though word of mouth marketing is a great way to bring in Clients for business growth, it has some drawbacks in that it can be time-consuming and restrictive as it limits the firm to a particular circle of influence. Also, since there is no organization to this form of marketing, it is very inconsistent and cannot be used for planning as its success depends on other variables that are mostly out of the control of these firms.
Whatever market your business is operating in, understanding your customers is the key. The growth of internet use in Cameroon is changing the way national firms market themselves. These changes have been fast, and today to reach upmarket and professional audiences, the digital has to be a core part of the strategy companies use to promote their products and services.
Companies offering professional services in Cameroon must develop their clientele, they must have a promotional approach with a slight difference in the way their products and services are marketed. These companies need digital strategist and digital marketing experts to make their products and services available to the right audience at the right time despite the fact that products can be sold on the basis of their own strengths. Then it is easy for a consumer to take a bottle of beer, read the content on the label and accept the commercial advertisement saying that after drinking it will satisfy his thirst. This is not the same for services. A professional service company will have to make education a major part of its marketing strategy to make people understand the challenges they may face and the solutions.
Below, you will find 9 reliable ways could be used to promote professional services in Cameroon using the digital.
9 Reliable Ways to Promote Professional Services in Cameroon using the digital
Aligning Your Digital Strategy With Your Business Strategy: A lot of businesses try to go online in the absence of appropriate guidance. The internet is having an abound of information that is so noisy and this makes it difficult to distinguish good information from bad, Moreover, businesses are cautious in going online in the absence of understanding technology. A good digital strategy will help you convert your business objectives into digital objectives, this digital objective will then help in the digital transformation of your business by aligning your existing business and processes to deliver inorganic growths and help connect your business with the Digital Landscape.
Every company in Cameroon need to adopt the key components of digital strategy though, they depend on your business type and industry:
Online presence: Social media, business directory, and company Website
Digital marketing: SEO, online banner ads, search engine marketing, Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads, guest blogs, newsletters, email marketing, mobile banner ads, and e-books, etc.
Customer interaction: Customer interaction is about anticipating the customer’s intent and giving them access to your business through the means that are best suitable to them – a mobile device, desktop computer, traditional phone call or social media. It should require the least effort from the customer to find the information, service or product they are looking for.
Online security: secure software and payment systems, cloud-based backup systems, staff policies for accessing and storing company data, using digital technologies
Mobile-based solutions: mobile commerce, mobile websites, mobile applications, mobile payment
Efficiencies through technology: Using the right digital technology for the right purpose, be it hardware (computers, smartphones, servers, etc.) or software (email marketing, CRM systems, business management software),
Cloud computing: This simply means storing and accessing data and programs over the internet instead of on your computer’s hard drive
2. Creating Marketing-Friendly Websites to Develop Online Offices
If an individual wants to buy a Toyota car, he just has to go to a point that is not necessarily a Toyota outlet. On the other hand, services are not available at any point of sale. It will be easy for the buyer or customer to buy or perhaps query on your website which is always accessible at any time.
Nowadays, your website is like your identity because it proves the truth of the services you offer and also shows that your business is not a ghost. When you want to sell services to an organization, the organization first visits your site to learn more about you because your site provides information that helps to better understand the nature of the services offered by your company.
A website can reach a large target audience than a personal network and to add to that, a website is always open 24/7 and even when your business is closed, during holidays and weekends you have the possibility to market your services.
For more information on the importance of a website, read this article.
3. Using Content Marketing to Educate Potential Customers
The tendency shows that the purpose of people being online is to educate, entertain and engage. With the primary objective to educate.
Content marketing consists of research reports, articles, videos, white papers, infographics and more that are the educational material that must be created and shared about the difficulties that your target audience encounters and that your services seek to solve. Your content may not be able to specifically promote the services, but it can establish your business in your area of expertise and help your customers understand the problem.
When content marketing is well designed and consistent, it improves online visibility, strengthens the brand as an expert in the field, and helps improve the ranking of your website.
4. The engagement of potential customers through social networks
Nowadays, more and more people are actively present on social networks and it has become the most popular customer service point. With social networks, you can hear what people are saying about your services and you can also use it as engagement tools to contact prospects.
Thanks to social networks, consumers are constantly in touch with you and it allows you to manage their concerns more easily. The evaluation of services offered must see what interests your prospects more and compare to those you offer to be able to update you and know exactly the services you will offer because there are several social media platforms.
If the use of social media is well supported by companies, this will increase their online visibility because the content shared on social media is presented in search engine results.
5. Increased online visibility with search engine optimization.
Nowadays the search engine plays a big role since it is the first point of contact when looking for a product or service. Many more people use Google and other search engines such as Bing to educate themselves, get suggestions and information to make buying decisions. It is at this precise moment that companies have to make great use of SEO for marketing.
By using SEO, you optimize your website so that search engines find it and index it. We must always add keywords and appropriate expressions.
6. Use targeted email marketing to reach out to prospects
Targeted email marketing has been proven to be one of the best marketing tactics for professional services thanks to several research studies conducted to date. There are two ways to reach the target audience through email marketing:
Web Analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis, and presentation of data from the Internet used to optimize a website, mobile site or application. It is a set of analyzes to study precisely the behavior and habits of visitors to websites and mobile applications. Web Analytics (or Digital Analytics) is today one of the key elements of digital marketing and site optimization, especially e-commerce.
The web analytics allows in particular:
– To measure the profitability of an Internet presence (excluding commercial sites)
– To analyze the performance of the site though, in particular, the conversion process
– To detect problems of ergonomics/usability
– To measure and possibly qualify the audience
– To identify the sources of visits
– Measure the efficiency and profitability of the various marketing channels used
– Perform ergonomic and marketing tests
Web analytics is based on data collected by Google Analytics measurement and analytics solutions. Web analytics has become a real business within important sites or specialized service providers.
Graphic design has a big role to play in the modern competitive business environment. Businesses need the services of graphic designers to create impressive marketing materials. These materials include brochures, business cards, websites, leaflets, stationeries and so on.
An impressive and memorable logo is a basic requirement for any business to build a brand identity. Similarly, businesses need the services of graphic designers to create unique mobile apps and social media pages for business promotion. We can say that graphic design has become a part of doing business in physical and virtual markets.
A reason for businesses increasingly demanding more graphic design items is the need for effective communication with the audience. Since more and more businesses are entering markets, it is generating more competition. To deal with the competition, graphic designs have become essential to draw the attention of potential customers towards businesses. There is an increasing need felt by entrepreneurs to communicate a message to the target audience effectively.
Well planned and impeccably executed Search Engine Marketing grows brands while shrinking their marketing costs. Search Engine Marketing is an umbrella term for a range of paid advertising strategies that can bring in more customers, get more leads and sales and improve your return on advertising spend. With Search Engine Marketing, you grow your business while keeping their ROI high and their cost per customer low.
Cameroon companies should make use the 9 principles listed above – they are scalable, more focused, adorable and measurable. They work without stops and can be integrated with other marketing activities.
The principles and techniques cited are very good methods to promote businesses in Cameroon with the digital and they should not be neglected as it affects a target audience interested in the services that a company offers. This turns them into potential customers, which is necessary for the growth of Cameroon companies.
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