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Internet Marketing for Small Business in Kenya

Small business owners in Kenya are currently facing up to big giants with deep pockets. But who said competition in the market place is fair?. It is time to wipe off that wimpy face and get to building your brand on the Internet.

So, what do you need to know?

When small business owners begin the search for ways to grow sales from the Internet, they are often hit with big words that are hard to understand , like:

  • SEO
  • Key Words
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Ranking
  • Traffic …and the list can go on for days!.

But before you close this tab:

Take a deep breath, settle down, this will be the easiest read. I aim to be a simple and as direct as possible. So indulge me for a few minutes. You will be glad you learn a few tricks that will change your business for the better.

Here is what you will learn.

My first goal is to give you an understanding of what web marketing is.
My second one is to give you actionable strategies you can implement and get immediate results.
So lets begin.
Here’s what you will know by the end of this article;

  • Kenyans and social media platforms
  • Social Media best practices
  • Social Media Advertising
  • Why you need to measure effectiveness and ROI
  • Opportunities : Quick wins

It’s not just the internet that’s growing rapidly, there are other important milestones including:

  • More than half the world now uses a smartphone;
  • Almost two-thirds of the world’s population now has a mobile phone;
  • More than half of the world’s web traffic now comes from mobile phones;
  • More than half of all mobile connections around the world are now ‘broadband’;
  • More than one in five of the world’s population shopped online in the past 30 days.

Digital in 2017 Global Overview report from We Are Social and Hootsuite

One of the fastest way to get your business noticed by your prospective clients on the Internet in Kenya is through social media.

#1. Social Media Marketing in Kenya

A lot of Kenyans are on social media, that’s a fact.
Most Kenyans are online on their phones


So what do these internet stats mean for a small business?
We can clearly see that:

More than 7 Million Kenyans are active on social media
Whatsapp and Facebook are the leading platforms, followed by Youtube and Instagram.


It means all small businesses in Kenya need to be relevantly present in these platforms.

Which brings us to the next big point:
#2. Best practice in Social Media marketing in Kenya for small businesses

Social media is meant for being social. Not for selling.I know that might sound like a paradox, but hear me out.
People sign up on social media to connect with their friends, check out new stuff and may be get inspired.
Few people go to social media looking to buy stuff.This means the content you post on your accounts must prompt engagement.Selling is secondary.

The 80/20 principle applies here:

80 percent of your content should be inspiration, only 20% should be about your business/brand.
Here are you quick wins you can apply immediately to your social media content:

Aim to inspire and engage, the sales will happen naturally.

  • Use images that people can connect with – be natural.
  • Brand your images relevantly.
  • Use a social tone – nothing too serious or too selling.
  • Be responsive – No one wants to get a chat response 24 hrs later, do an auto responder if necessary.
  • Tweet: Aim to inspire and engage, the sales will happen naturally. Use images that people can connect with – be natural Brand your images relevantly Use a social tone – nothing too serious or too selling. Be responsive – No one wants to get a chat response 24 hrs later, do an auto responder if necessary
    Here is an example from one on the brands I support.

Branding images for social media
A good social media branded image

Branded Social Media Content

#3. Social Media Advertising in Kenya

Good organic content will always get you in front of the right audience and keep you there. However, there are times you need to reach new audiences . For example when you have a new product or an event , it makes sense to advertise on social media.
So what’s the best way to go about it?

Here are some quick wins on social media advertising for small business in Kenya:

  1. Know the platform to use

We are in Kenya – Remember the stats we began with?. What is the biggest social media platform in Kenya in 2019?. You guessed right, its Whatsapp, followed by Facebook. If you didn’t already know, Facebook own Whatsapp.

This means if you advertise on these two platforms effectively, you are likely to reach the widest possible audience in Kenya on social media today. In a different post, I will explore ways to advertise on both Whatsapp Facebook.

Did you know about Whatsapp business by the way?. Whatsapp launched a business version of the app this year. We will looked at how to use it in another post.

2. Tell stories, always

Tell a story – As humans, we are wired to listen to a story. Trust me, people will click to read a good story even when they know they are being sold something.

Don’t just post a bland selling advert, tell a story about your product.

It is a simple marketing philosophy, always sell the benefit, not the product.

3. Call to action

All ads that convert have an effective call to action. A call to action or CTA, is something that prompts a desired the action. Those colorful click here, or sign up now! must be in the right place.

4 Choose your audience

Carefully select your audience, remember, you are spending your hard earned money on this. So invest it wisely. Very few products need everyone to see it, so if yours is not that product, ensure you choose your audience wisely. Most social media platforms, if not all, give you a variety of ways to segment an audience. Either by location, gender, age, interests etc, pick your most ideal potential clients.

5. Test and adjust

Run a short ad first, may be for a day or two, then review the results and adjust accordingly. If it is working fine, then keep going.
This brings us to the final point on this post for small business in Kenya, how to measure if what you are doing is working.

#6. Why you need to measure effectiveness and ROI

If you know something about me is that I love being effective. You can learn more about how I do it here. There is no point is spending money and time marketing your small business online in Kenya when you can’t measure the results. I believe every investment worth your money has to have a demonstrable, attractive ROI (Return on Investment) to warrant your investment.

I usually cringe when old school marketing managers sign off millions to advertising platforms whose results they can’t measure. Don’t get me wrong, I personally don’t have a problem with TV or print, they have their place. But for a small business in Kenya with a shoe string budget, please, don’t go down that road.

So how do you measure ROI when doing internet marketing for your small business?, it is by interrogating these key metrics;

  • Impressions : The total number of times your ad was served
  • Engagements : This is a measure of different interactions of the ad by those who viewed it like liking, commenting, shares etc.
  • Conversion rate : This is factor of the people who see you advertisement and those who take the desired action. For example , if 500 people see you ad and only 50 take the desired action, then you conversion rate is 50 ÷ 500 * 100 = 10%.
  • Clicks: The number of times your ad was clicked on
  • Click through rate (CTR) : CTR is the number of clicks that your ad receives divided by the number of times your ad is shown: clicks ÷ impressions = CTR. For example, if you had 5 clicks and 100 impressions, then your CTR would be 5%.

So how does understanding these measures help you know if your ad was effective?
The ideal ad should have a high CTR and conversion rate, that is , people taking the desired action. In some cases, all you want are engagements.
I hope this gives you a good idea on how to start marketing your small business on the internet in Kenya today.
If you would like and in depth analysis of your business online strategy, shoot an email to
Leave a comment or a question below and we will get back to you .