If you are a product or service brand with a goal and mission for your brand, you definitely need to know these six marketing strategies that Nigerian brands can employ to compete with foreign brands. There are different types of business/brands; there are the product brands and service brands. Service brands are brands that render services like; salons, hospitality, laundry, travel agencies, etc. Product brands are, however, brands that manufacture products.
I haven’t had much success with collaborating with Nigerian brands as I have with foreign brands in my 4+ years of blogging. Nevertheless, I have learned so much from both local and foreign brands to be able to create this post. I don’t think I’m wrong to posit that foreign brands are pretty much ahead of 80% of Nigerian brands. This is why, even with the numerous Nigerian-owned businesses popping up daily (thanks to the recession), 60% of Nigerian product brands still produce their goods overseas. 95% of them (including the ones who produce locally) buy all their ingredients, tools, equipment, etc. basically items they use for production or render their services, overseas. Hence, constantly making our foreign counterparts richer than us.
The sad part of all these is that there really isn’t much Nigerians can do about some of these issues. However, there is so much we can do to help ourselves as an economy and as individual businesses.
So today, I’m sharing in my own opinion, 6 marketing strategies Nigerian brands can employ to compete with foreign brands. This will make their brands stand out locally & internationally, especially regarding matching up with foreign brands.
6 Marketing Strategies Nigerian Brands Can Employ To Compete With Foreign Brands
1. Invest in online stores:
This is one secret the western world has used for decades before the internet launched in Nigeria. Sadly, not many Nigerian brands have keyed into this. Instead, 80% of Nigerian brands have taken to Instagram as a platform for buying and selling goods. This is good. I know because, how many people can really afford an online store? However, the downside is, what happens if Instagram crashes? Just a little 24-hour glitch on IG and people all over the world panicked as their lives depended on IG: but then, it is the case with many brands.
SUMMARY: Every Nigerian brand, be it service or product brand should invest in having an online store or website that explains what they do. Make it possible for people to shop and request your services online without necessarily going through Instagram. Instagram should be a marketing platform, not your sole selling platform.
2. Invest in Google Ads:
Now that you have an online presence, Google is the most popular search engine in the world; I know there is bing, Yahoo, etc. but statistics have shown that google tops them all. Google is on every android. Each time you use an app, especially the free ones that pop up ADs, those are google ADs working. You have no idea how many people can see your ADs in a day, talk more of a week if you invest in google ADs. Your online store, will also be top when people type in ‘Keywords’ that relate to your product/service, the benefits are many… just do your research.
SUMMARY: Investing in paid ADs (not only on google though) really sets you apart from people using only hashtags and posting every single day on IG and other social media platforms.
3. Invest influencer-marketing:
Influencer marketing has been gotten wrongly in Nigeria. Only a few brands… and from my observation, mostly foreign brands who have opened up a branch or shop in Nigeria who already know the power of influencer marketing use influencers to promote their brands. Who is an influencer? An influencer is someone who has an influence on his/her audience/followers: someone who has the power to influence her audience’s choice of or opinion about a product or service or even a lifestyle. These are people who make a living from using and reviewing products and services and recommending them to an audience. This doesn’t stop here, their audience actually purchases products or uses services of brands based on ‘an influencer’s opinion.
A person who collects money from a brand to post an image/video of your product on a new/entertainment page/social media site or TV is not an influencer. However, if what a brand is looking for is mostly exposure, a site like lindaikeji.com is for generic AD placements, but if you want an individual review of your product or service based on experience, then personal bloggers like myself are what you should be looking for. Niche brands can also work with influencers because most influencers work with brands that fit into their niche.
For instance, in this post, I am wearing a dress produced by and shipped to me by FemmeLuxe, a Uk based online fashion brand. As a result of this collaboration, this post will never be taken down, it can only be modified. Anytime, someone types in Femmeluxe, or any labels I will use on this post, chances are that this post will pop up, and if my SEO game is the bomb, it will even be top of the list on search engines.
An influencer will either take cash payment or products/services as a fee for working with brands, so factor that in when considering working with one. More so, it makes you have an opinion about specific details you want to be pointed out in the course of the collaboration. If you want a free collaboration (where you neither pay nor gift items) don’t expect any favors from them.
SUMMARY: Influencers are; blogger, YouTubers, social media users who create entertaining and educative content that have an influence on their audience. This set of people are different from news and gossip blogs. If you want a positive review of your product or service, influencers are the way to go!
4: Organise/Sponsor Influencer Events:
Still buttressing on the power of using influencers, organizing such influencers comes with numerous benefits. This is because influencers create different kinds of content: bloggers = written, YouTubers = videos, Social Media Influencers (neither blogger nor YouTuber) = photos and short relevant video clips. Now when you organize influencer events, these influencers are DEFINITELY going to create different forms of content about your brand simultaneously within a period of time and most of them will continue to post long after the event because they have those amazing photos from your event. Also, if you additionally include a gift bag with goodies… then definitely there will be the unboxing videos, how-to-use video, before and after videos/images, blog posts with amazing images, etc… it is mind-blowing publicity for that brand.
SUMMARY: You can collaborate with another brand to sponsor or organize an influencer event or just do it solo based on your financial capacity. If you also hear of an influencer invent or get approached by event managers to sponsor one, trust me, it is not a waste of money at all. It is an opportunity to market your brand and you’ve got to take it. Till today, I visit Famous Potatoes because of a blogger event they sponsored.
5. Have a social media page:
Nothing is as annoying as finding an amazing product, but then, you can’t tag them, you can’t link them to any social media page or website… in this 21s century. It is shocking to know that there are brands who don’t have or see the necessity of having an online presence (shockingly this is not limited to Nigerian brands). If you can’t manage one, hire online assistants or social media managers to d it for you. Also, luckily for brands who already employ influencer marketing, influencers alone create enough content for you to use on your page by using Apps like Repost or Regram. Except the brand does not own a phone or is not interested in marketing, having a social media site is one key way to market your brand in the 21st century, even if you can’t afford paid ADs and influencer marketing.
6. Offer Sales/ Discounts/ Promos/Affiliate opportunities:
These are not new, they are strategies that have been in existence for decades, however, in recent years, brands have explored the option of running sales and promos through influencers by giving influencers unique discounts codes that their audience can use. For instance, in my recent collaboration with Beauty Formulas, I have a discount through which my followers/audience can shop, which is “Winniesstyle”. Using influencers to announce your sales, discounts, and promos is the fastest way to reach a targeted audience; this is because is most cases, both influencers and their audiences like the same things.
With these six marketing strategies, I believe that any Nigerian brand can compete with foreign brands in the same niche. I know there are other downsides Nigerian entrepreneurs face such as high taxes, unreliable power supply, insecurity of lives and property, etc. nevertheless, Nigerians still find ways to thrive and adapt. I didn’t mention branding, which is a marketing essential; that is because Nigerian brands have already upped their game in that aspect. they need to explore other aspects of marketing to get the full results they desire for their businesses.
Did I miss any marketing strategy that Nigerian brands can employ to compete with foreign brands?
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