Twitter Announces Product Drops For Merchants| This Month in Digital Marketing

Welcome to our monthly review of major happenings in the digital space. Here are a few significant updates that might interest you;

  • Twitter Announces Product Drops For Merchants

Twitter has just released a new feature called Product Drops. This feature allows brands to notify their followers when they launch a new product. It is the first of its kind for a social media platform. When a merchant tweets about an upcoming launch, followers will get to see a “Remind me” button at the bottom of the tweet. If they are interested in the product, they will simply tap that button to be reminded of the launch day. On the launch day, they will receive a notification in the app 15 minutes before, and at the time of the drop. Clicking the notification will bring them to the merchant’s website where they can shop for the product. For more information, click here

  • Google May 2022 Core Update Is Finished Rolling Out

Google has confirmed that the May 2022 core update has finished rolling out. This is a big update and it rolled out quickly for many queries the data providers track. It was scheduled a lot better for retailers. It includes some of the early chatter, ranking charts and social shares from some SEOs. Now, users can find plenty of examples of SEOs sharing charts from their clients mostly showing winners but also showing losers. For more information, click here. 

  • Google Expands Verification Requirement For Finance Ads

Google is now expanding its verification program for finance ads, which will require advertisers in more countries to prove they are authorized to promote financial services. The new verification adds an extra layer of protection against financial fraud, helping to ensure that people aren’t scammed when they click on search ads. This program was first launched in the UK in September 2021 and has reportedly led to a noticeable decline in ads promoting fraudulent services. Following the success, Google is now expanding it to additional countries starting with Australia, Singapore, and Taiwan. For more information, click here

  • Instagram Adds New Option to Pin Posts on Your Profile

Instagram has officially launched its new feature to pin posts on your profile, providing another option to control your IG profile display. Now, you pin up to three posts (photos or Reels) to remain at the top of your profile grid. Starting today, the feature will be available globally to all users. For more information, click here. 

  • Yoast SEO Premium Now Offers IndexNow

Yoast SEO has finally adopted IndexNow and some users can’t be more excited. IndexNow provides a method for website owners to instantly inform search engines about the latest content changes on their website. It is a simple ping protocol so that search engines know that a URL and its content has been added, updated, or deleted, allowing search engines to reflect this change in their search results quickly. Yoast explained that IndexNow features fit into their view of a sustainable crawling and indexing solution, so now is the time to implement it with a new integration in Yoast SEO. This is now available in the premium version of Yoast SEO version 19.2. For more information about this update, click here.

  • Instagram Opens Reels API Access to Third-Party Platforms

Meta has announced that it’s launching its Reels API for external use. This API access enables platforms like Hootsuite to provide cross-platform posting and analytics capacity within a single dashboard, and soon, Instagram Reels will also be available as an option in these tools.

The new API will support content scheduling, insights, moderation, hashtag search and more within the Reels element. This is great news for brands and social media managers as the added capacity to manage their Reels content within a broader social media management tool will make it much easier to add Reels into their social content mix. There’s no official date on when these new processes will be available, but Instagram says that the rollout of the new Reels API will begin with 25% of Instagram user accounts today, before becoming fully accessible by July 6th.  For more information about this update, click here.

  • LinkedIn Expands Streamlined ‘Boost’ Ad Option to LinkedIn Events

LinkedIn is expanding its streamlined ‘Boost’ ad option. Now, users can amplify their LinkedIn event listings via the Boost process in the app. This feature was initially launched last year, providing a simple, quick way to amplify organic posts in the app. Similar to the like Facebook’s Boost process, the feature aims to simplify ad spend, helping marketers capitalize on early traction to expand their messaging. For more information, click here

  • Google Maps Adds New Store Location Feature, Locator Plus, Reserve with Google Integration, New Analytics and More

Google Maps Platform has just launched some new features. This is to help businesses add more profound integration with its Google Maps Platform APIs and streamline some of their integrations with Google Maps. The new features are listed below:

  • Reserve With Google Embed Feature: Google is now allowing businesses to use the Reserve with Google feature on their own sites or portals. Google added new APIs to allow users to embed the Reserve with Google on their website and maps. 
  • Store Locator Embed Feature: Google also rolled out a way to manage and publish store locator using the Google Maps platform. This feature will allow users to quickly update and roll out their store locator” on their website. In the Locator Plus solution, users can capture the location of every single store they want to show within one map.
  • Google Locator Plus: The new Locator Plus feature allows businesses easily import business details from your Google Business Profile. The details include hours, contact information, photos, service options, and more.
  • Google Store Locator Analytics: This analytics dashboard will help users better understand the impact of their implementation and generate insights from data. It shows you how well a website visitor is engaging with a store locator.

These new tools can be useful for large and small businesses to manage their local presence not just on Google but also on their own website. For more information about this update, click here.

  • Clubhouse Tests Private Rooms, New Reactions as it Seeks to Maintain Relevance

Clubhouse is now testing private groups as a means to enable more intimate interaction in the app. This is due to the fact that the app is struggling to maintain relevance. According to reports, Clubhouse saw 3.8 million new installs globally between January 1st and May 31st this year, compared to 19 million installs during the same period in 2021, an 80% year-over-year decline. Clubhouse is also trying new in-app tools and features, including Reactions within Rooms and other response options. For more information about this update, click here.

  • Snapchat Officially Launches its New ‘Snapchat+’ Subscription Program

Snapchat has just launched its new Snapchat+ subscription service, which will enable users to pay a monthly fee in order to gain access to exclusive in-app features like custom app icons, new profile badges, data insights, display tools and more. The new subscription program for $3.99/month will include:

  • Access to exclusive Snapchat icons
  • A new profile badge to show that you’re a Snapchat+ user
  • New data insights, including the capacity to see your friends’ location history (over the last 24 hours) and info on who’s rewatched your Story
  • The capacity to pin a user in the app as ‘your #1 best friend’

Snapchat+ will first be available to users in the US, Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Snapchat says that it will look to further expand access over time. For more information about this update, click here.

Thank you for reading. See you next month for more news and interesting reads in the digital space. 

Meta Announces Research To Create Human-Level AI | This Month in Digital Marketing

Welcome to our monthly review of major happenings in the digital space. Here are a few significant updates that might interest you;

  • Google Ads API v10.1 is now available

Google has just released version 10.1 of the Google Ads API, after releasing the previous version 10.0 just three months ago. The new 10.1 version brings support for discover campaigns, campaign groups, local service campaigns and more. Here is a list of what is new in version 10.1:

For more information about this update, click here.

  • Google lets users limit three more types of ads on YouTube and GDN

Google is giving users the option to see three types of ads less often: Pregnancy and parenting, dating and weight loss. The company announced a global expansion of user controls that were introduced in 2020, which limited alcohol and gambling ads. Before now, users could only limit alcohol and gambling ads on YouTube but with today’s announcement, users can now also limit these ads also on Display Ads. Users can also choose to limit the three new ad categories on both YouTube and Display Ads. Given the sensitive nature of these categories, there may be additional restrictions, depending on your country. For more information, click here

  • Meta Announces Research To Create Human-Level AI

Facebook parent company Meta has announced they are launching a long-term research project to build a next-generation AI that can learn and process speech and text in the same way the human brain does. To create this, Meta is partnering with a neuroimaging company, NeuroSpin, which images the human brain and with a software company Inria, to study how the human brain processes speech and text and then compare that with how AI language models. The Meta research teams are using thousands of scans of human brain activity to see which regions of the brain are activated during tasks. For more information, click here

  • Twitter Board Agrees to $44 Billion Sale to Elon Musk

Following a Board meeting on Sunday, within which Twitter re-assessed Elon Musk’s $44 billion dollar offer to purchase the company, Twitter has now confirmed that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Elon Musk. Musk’s plan is to take Twitter private once he acquires the company. This is to reduce Twitter’s reliance on ads, thereby enabling it to be more open to free speech. For more information, click here

  • Google Ads Implements 3-Strike Policy Rule

Google Ads is updating its violation policies for accounts with a new three-strike rule that is being implemented in June 2022. To be clear, strikes are not issued for every policy. The policies that will have the strike system enabled are: Compensated sexual acts, mail-order brides, clickbait, misleading ad design, bail bond services, call Directories, forwarding services, credit repair services, binary options and personal loans. For the certain policies involved in the enforcement, your Google Ads account will get a maximum of three strikes. Google mentioned that with each strike applied, the penalties will progressively increase.

On your account’s first and second strikes, your account will be put on a temporary hold. The first strike will get a 3-day temporary hold, the second strike will get a 7-day temporary hold and on the third strike, the account will be suspended. The strikes will be on an individual account level, not a Manager account level. For more information, click here

  • WooCommerce Partners with Pinterest

Pinterest has partnered with WooCommerce to allow merchants to create shoppable pins. The goal is to make it easier for merchants to build audiences and drive sales. This integration will connect more than 3 million WooCommerce sellers with 400 million monthly Pinterest users. With just a few clicks from their WordPress Dashboard Plugins page, merchants who want to start using Pinterest for WooCommerce in their online shops can add the extension. Once it is activated, it uploads the entire product catalogue to Pinterest. The extension also includes shopping features like tag deployment and logs customer interactions so merchants can track best-sellers and most saved items.

This move is the latest expansion of Pinterest’s commerce features, which included similar integration with Shopify in April 2021. For more information, click here.

  • Instagram Expands Live Testing of 90 Second Reels

Some Instagram users are now seeing the option to create Reels of up to a minute and a half long, giving an extra 30 seconds on top of the current 60-second limit. Instagram started testing longer Reels in February, with various users seeing the option appear in the app ever since. This expansion is only in testing, with no official plan for a broader expansion just yet. Instagram hasn’t shared any info about this next stage, but that seems like it will be a big change for the app. For more information, click here.

  • LinkedIn Adds New Profile Links and Newsletter Promotion Options

LinkedIn is introducing an option to showcase a link on a user profile, along with new analytics tools for group posts, a video trimming feature on mobile, and new newsletter display options. With a showcase link, users can now add in a website link that will be displayed below a user name and description. In addition to this, LinkedIn also added new analytics for group posts, which enable users to view engagement data for their group shares from their posts. There is also a new video trimming option in the mobile app, providing another way to customize and improve video content on the platform. Finally, LinkedIn users will now be able to share their newsletter links in the ‘Featured’ section of their profile, which will include a ‘Subscribe’ button, providing another way to attract sign-ups. For more information about these updates, click here. 

Thank you for reading. See you next month for more news and interesting reads in the digital space. 


Instagram Launches Automated Captions for Feed Videos | This Month in Digital Marketing

Welcome to our monthly review of major happenings in the digital space. Here are a few significant updates that might interest you;

  • Google Rolls Out Search Ads 360 Integration For Google Analytics 4

Google has just launched Search Ads 360 integration for Google Analytics 4 (GA4). This enables advertisers to see sessions, users and conversions within the context of dimensions such as source, campaign, medium and default channel grouping. Users will also be able to see cross-channel attribution data in their Model comparison and Conversion paths reports. For more information about the update, click here

  • Google’s Free Hotel Booking Links Arrive on Search and Maps

In March 2021, Google started offering free listings within Google Hotel search. Now, the company is adding support for free hotel booking links on the Search results page and Google Maps. When a user clicks on these links, they’ll be taken to the hotel’s (or online travel platform’s) site where they can complete the booking. For more information about the update, click here. 

  • Cloudflare Announces Free Web Application Firewall

Cloudflare is now offering a free Web Application Firewall (WAF) to subscribers on the free plan. The WAF will provide access to the WAF user interface which comes with a ruleset that can be used to block known threats automatically. The managed ruleset has been tested against the Cloudflare network and it allows users to activate their firewall and begin enjoying the benefits of a firewall right away. For more information about the update, click here

  • Instagram Launches New Moderator Option for IG Live Streams

Instagram is introducing a new option to manage live broadcasts in the app, with a new live-stream moderator feature. This will enable users to assign a moderator within a stream giving the mod the capacity to report comments, remove viewers from a stream and turn off comments for a specific viewer. For more information about the update, click here

  • TikTok Launches Search Ads in Beta for Selected Partners

TikTok has just launched beta testing for ads in search results. This is to provide TikTok creators with another way to reach their audience via the search terms that they use. Now, TikTok advertisers can target searchers looking for specific terms, which is a great way to reach people with higher purchase intent and interest. In addition to this, TikTok will also provide advertisers with a listing of the search terms that drove clicks on their campaigns, adding another potential targeting element for ads on the platform. For more information, click here. 

  • YouTube is Moving into Podcasts

.YouTube is developing a new podcast discovery home within the app. Now, podcasters will be able to feed their audio shows via RSS, with YouTube offering audio ads, analytics, and more to help them showcase their audio offerings. YouTube has not provided any official information about the podcast plans but it did hire a podcast executive to lead its efforts and recently, it’s been offering deals to popular podcasters to film episodes of their shows on the platform. Podcast is just another element that provides more ways for creators to get maximum value from their efforts, all in one place. For more information, click here

  • WhatsApp Announces New Improvements for Audio Recordings in the App

WhatsApp is now looking at new ways to enhance the audio experience on its platform. With over 7 billion voice messages per day, on average on the app, new audio features seem to be a great idea. Here is a list of the new voice message additions:

  • Out of Chat Playback: Listen to a voice message outside of the chat so you can multitask or read and respond to other messages
  • Pause/Resume Recording: When recording a voice message, you can now pause the recording and resume when ready, in case you’re interrupted or need to gather your thoughts
  • Waveform Visualization: Shows a visual representation of the sound on the voice message to help follow the recording
  • Draft Preview: Listen to your voice messages before sending them
  • Remember Playback: If you pause when listening to a voice message, you can pick up where you left off when you return to the chat
  • Fast Playback on Forwarded Messages: Play voice messages at 1.5x or 2x speeds to listen to messages faster on both regular and forwarded messages.

For more information about the update, click here. 

  • Google May Require Double Verification for Some Business Profiles

Google has just updated its document on how to verify your business in Google Business Profiles through more than one verification method. This update was introduced because of the fraudulent business profiles being created using one of the verification methods. Now, some business needs to double verify their profiles. For more information about the update, click here.

  • Instagram Launches Automated Captions for Feed Videos

Instagram is introducing auto-generated captions in Instagram feed videos. Now, users will be able to switch on auto-captions for any Instagram feed post, providing another way to expand their consumption options in the app. Instagram’s auto-captions for feed posts will be available in 17 languages, with more to come soon. For more information about the update, click here

  • TikTok Confirms that 10 Minute Video Uploads are Coming to All Users

TikTok has confirmed that all users will soon be able to upload 10 minute long videos in the app. This is a significant expansion of the current time limits on TikTok and users are already being notified of the update. Longer videos are coming to TikTok, are you excited?  For more information, click here

Thank you for reading. See you next month for more news and interesting reads in the digital space. 

Product Review Mechanism – A Fail Proof Model

Best business advic ever

There are thousands of resources on new product development online and offline. Most recommend the classic (or its variants) development process: Idea Generation, Screening, Concept Development, and Testing, Marketing Strategy Development, Business Analysis, Product Development, Market Testing, And Commercialization. And if well executed, the process is most effective. They all end at commercialization.

But because new product development is not exact science, no amount of preparation and research can predict with absolute certainty that a product will succeed in the market. Which invariably means that some products will bomb (New Coke is always a good example).

How do you know your newly launched product is bombing, why is it bombing? Can it be salvaged and how? Should it be salvaged or shelved?

In other words, you need to do a post-launch review. This is a model I developed for a client. Hope you find it useful:


The product review will be performed on two levels:

  • Performance vs. projection measurement
  • Market feedback


Performance Vs Projection

Compare actual performance with projection as regards: Volume, market share, and revenue

  • Volume: Has the product been able to meet the projected volume of sales within a stipulated time?
  • Market share: Has the product captured the projected market share?
  • Revenue: Has it met its revenue targets?


Data and information sources:

Volume: sales and accounting; Market share: external industry sources; Revenue: accounting; Product Concept Document, PCD


  • 100% +  =Surpass expectations
  • 100% = meet expectations
  • 75-99% = good
  • 50-74% = fair
  • 40-50% = poor
  • Below 40% = disastrous

Calculate the cumulative score and use score to make decision


  • 100+ score: Retain the product without changing any variable
  • 75-99%: Retain the product but make changes to some variables( as identified in the market feedback)
  • 50-74%: Major changes in both marketing and product concept if the product is to be retained
  • 40-50%: Drop except market feedback show a strong product relevance and positive market perception
  • Below 40%: Drop


Use review channels to gather feedback on:

  • Customer Satisfaction—to gauge how satisfied customers are with the product

And to know whether the product performed to its promise

  • Product Relevance—to gauge whether the product meets a need gap in the customers lives
  • Attitude—to measure customers dispositions to the product–positive or negative and to what degree
  • Product Awareness—to measure (product and its benefits) awareness level in the market

Segmentation & Targeting In Nigeria II

market segmentation

In my last post, I wrote about the need for marketers to segment the market and focus (target) their effort on the ones (segments) they can serve most effectively. A lot of people disagreed with me and accused me of expounding textbook theories that have no relevance in the Nigerian business environment.

To these marketing experts, the best strategy in an undeveloped and data-poor market like Nigeria is to market to the mass market. They cited examples to buttress this point. They also pointed out the absence of real-life example in my write-up.

This post is my response to them. And no theory

One of the most truly competitive markets in Nigeria is the FM radio industry. The competition is particularly stiff in Lagos. This was the market Brilla FM entered a few years ago. Within a year the station became the toast of listeners and advertisers.  Why this instant success? The answer is simple: Brilla FM is not just another radio station; it is a sports station targeted at sports enthusiasts!

This naturally differentiates Brilla FM from other stations and provides it with a potent USP. The implication? Well, if I am a marketer of men’s targeted products, where do you think I will advertise?

Also, into this same very saturated FM market came WAZOBIA FM two years ago and their success is even more profound than that of Brilla FM. The reason is also not farfetched. Half of Lagosians just don’t understand your Queen’s English but most, if not all speak pidgin. And the good WAZOBI FM people (God bless them) understand this. They established a pidgin-only radio station.

The result, WAZOBIA FM is arguably the most listened-to radio station in Lagos.

Anybody still in doubt about the importance of segmentation and targeting in effective marketing in Nigeria

Segmentation & Targeting In Nigeria I

market segmentation

Last April, I was at a British Council Management Express event where a marketing expert was brought to Lagos from the UK to speak on “how to thrive in an increasingly competitive business landscape”. After his lecture, the audience was given the opportunity to ask questions on any [marketing] challenge they were facing. There was this question by a lady who said she was in the business of selling packaged powdered milk. She said her problem was that despite the fact that her milk offered greater value than those of the established brands, people still don’t buy her milk.

A lot of suggestions were given to her, both by the guest speaker and the members of the audience. She was advised to:

  • Price cheaper
  • Package better
  • Employ direct marketing
  • Advertise more

Personally, I believe the prescriptions (even though given with good intentions) were all wrong. Why? Because they all ignored a fundamental requirement for marketing success—segmentation and targeting. She just can’t compete with the big brand in an undifferentiated way. The big brands have more marketing resources and they can easily out price, out advertise and out package her.

Does that mean she cannot successfully market powder milk in the Nigeria? No. But her marketing success will not come by marketing to the mass market – it will only come by her targeting and focusing on a segment of the market. For instance, she can focus on selling healthy milk to people with weight problems. By doing this she would have calved a niche for herself and captured a valuable position in the market.

The point is that you cannot connect with all customers in large, broad, or diverse markets (except your marketing budget is limitless). But you can divide such markets into groups of consumers or segments with distinct needs and wants. And experience has demonstrated that firms that specialize in meeting the needs of one group of consumers over another tend to be more profitable.

Segmentation and targeting are a two-stage process. 

 You first 

(1) determine which kinds of customers exist, then

 (2) select which ones you can serve effectively. 

Suppose you are into selling music. You could sell hip hop, Yoruba, classical, gospel or Islamic music. But you have a higher chance of market success if you focus only on say, Christian music. And the reason for this is not farfetched; it simply makes your marketing more efficient and effective. Everything, from message design, to medium of delivery, and even actual customer interaction will be greatly enhanced by effective segmentation and targeting. As Drayton Bird wrote in his book Commonsense Direct Marketing, even the worst message sent to the right people will do better than the most brilliant message sent to the wrong people.  And Gary Halbert put it even more succinctly when he said the most important advantage in marketing if you were running a hamburger joint was to have a starving crowd.

Digital Marketing In Nigeria, A Strategic Approach

digital marketing 1

In my last post, I promised that the next post will be discussing in details how to go about setting up a professional digital marketing campaign for your brand, from strategy formulation to performance evaluation. This blog post is geared towards doing just that. Even though the title says digital marketing in Nigeria, I belief this approach will work in any market.


Of late, I have been having a series of meetings with prospective clients and one of the first questions I ask at the discovery stage is: “what internet marketing strategy do you have in place”? The commonest answers are “we advertise on Facebook”, “we have employed somebody to manage our Twitter and Facebook account”, “We have banner ads on XYZ sites”…….Little wonder virtually all of these companies are reporting little or no ROI from their online marketing activities.

There are several internet marketing channels that you can utilize to market your business online but, selecting the right one(s) “depends”. Depends on what? That question can only be tackled on the strategic level . But first, let us define what a strategy is:


A plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim. A strategy helps you answer the question, “What are we trying to accomplish?” As can be inferred from this definition, you can see that you can not say you have a strategy if you do not have a clear objective.

Strategy is different from “tactics” which help you answer the question, “How are we going to accomplish our goal?”. A commentator on Jeremiah Owyang blog puts this most succinctly when he said:

“One helpful trick to check if you have a strategy (usually timeless) or tactic (tools/technology dependent in your hand is changing the tools and see if it still applies. For example, a timeless strategy is- “Connect with customers while in our store and increase sales.” If you this is 1901, you’d post large posters and have employees running around and talking with customers. If it is 1987, you’d have electronic boards with specials, if it is 2012 you’d have an HTML5 page or an app that helps you connect to customers and in 2015 you’d fully support Google glasses. The strategy never changed, the tactics did“. 

So, without a clear strategy, your online marketing effort is doomed to failure.   


After choosing your strategy, the next step is to review the range of channels available to you for realizing the strategic objectives. For Digital marketing, the available channels include:

Pay Per Click Advertising 

This involves bidding for placement on search engines. It is keyword-based; meaning your ad appears when relevant searches are made. E.g. Google Adwords and Bing Ads.

Display Advertising

This involves the placement of ads (banners, video, etc) on third-party websites.

Email Marketing

This is the process of collecting email addresses from people and marketing to them via email messages.

Search Engine Optimization

This is the process of earning in the free/organic results of major search engines like Google, Bing, Baidu, Yandex,  etc.

Social Media Marketing

This is the process of leveraging social media platforms (like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn etc) to market to your target audience.

Affiliate Marketing

This involves incentivizing other sites to promote your products in exchange for a share of the revenue they drive.

The list above is by no means exhaustive. 


To also help you in putting the digital marketing channels in proper perspectives and have a framework for understanding the cost and benefit advantages of each channel, we will employ a POE media model  ( which is a slight modification of the POEM model).

The POE model classifies all digital marketing channels into three distinct subgroups: Paid Media, Owned Media and Earned Media.




Paid Media

Outbound Marketing

Earned Media

Inbound Marketing

Owned Media

Nurture, Retention, Advocacy

Core Elements 

Money = Traffic, no money, No traffic


Channels are optimized individually


Landing pages are distinct from main site

Cost is effort


Visibility continues when effort stops


All pages are landing pages

A person is “known”

Email address, customer file, etc.


Move person to initial sale recurring revenue to advocacy



Immediate results


Highly measureable

Ease of testing

Cost effective

Higher quality visits

Helps build trust

Cost effective


Ease of targeting

Loyalty & advocacy



Display Ads


Email List Buying

Daily Deals



Natural Search (SEO)

Social Media

Referrals (Links)

Public Relations


Email, Newsletters, RSS, Autorepsonder

Lead Nurturing


Transaction Emails

Necessary Resources

Media budget

Campaign management expertise


Content Creator

Publishing Platform

Social Media expertise

PR & Blogger

Email Technology

Customer Database

Content creator

Social Monitoring tools





  • Your Company Goal: What are the top objectives of your company’s online marketing effort?
  • Brand Awareness: Your objective is to achieve greater brand visibility and increase the likelihood that consumers recognize the existence and availability of your company’s product or service.
  • Boost Sales: Your objective is to make more sales. Period.
  • Market Education: Your product and service are new (or have new features) and potential customers are yet to realize the problem they need to solve.
  • Available Resources: This could be material or human;
    – Budget: How much do you have to spend on your digital marketing activities?
    – Human and Intellectual: What personnel with what range and level of competence do you have available? This includes Development personnel, Creative personnel, Writers, etc.

Lastly, there are two other primary variables that can be added to the selection process that falls under the realm of strategic market analysis. Namely an understanding of your customers and the competitors. 

If your company has (or develops) a strong understanding of customer needs and behavior, then it will be better able to target those customers to achieve the company goals.

The Definitive Guide To Conversion Rate Optimization For Nigeria E-Commerce Sites (1)

Strategic digital marketing

Two years ago, I wrote a blog post titled “Why Most Nigeria E-businesses Fail”. A lot has changed in the Nigeria e-commerce space since then.   For one, the Nigeria ecommerce space has experienced phenomenal growth with the influx of millions of foreign capital  into the sector. 

While this has deepen the industry in terms of scale, operational sophistication, visibility etc, one rarely talked about effect of this growth is the increasing cost of customer acquisition.

Getting customers to your e-commerce site is now a whole lot more difficult now than it was two years ago. For example, I ran several Adword campaigns in 2011 for a couple of Nigeria e-commerce sitesand my average CPC was never above 30 cent – even for competitive keywords. Now you pay almost a dollar for the same keywords. 

The case with organic search is even worse. In 2011, I remember that with just a little On-Page optimization, you could easily start ranking for your target keywords (and lots of long tailed keywords). Fast forward to 2013 and SEO result is a whole lot more difficult.

Now, with the relatively high cost of getting visitors to your site, it becomes imperative for you to get the most from your site visitors. And for e-commerce sites, that means getting more of your site visitors to buy from you.

The process of getting more result from your site visitor is called Conversion Rate Optimization, CRO. 

CRO is a complex subject that cannot be covered in one blog post. So, I have created  a series of blog posts on Conversion Rate Optimization Tips For Nigeria Ecommerce Sites. 

Below are areas of e-commerce touch point optimization that if implemented, will help your Nigeria e-commerce site eliminate the core conversion roadblocks of usability, friction or anxiety factors.


The first step in optimizing your ecommerce website for conversion is to first of all break the entire user experience into unique experiences delivered at several of the touch points on your websites. Here you will be asking questions like:

  • What is the impression that a user gets when he or she arrives at your online store?
  • What kind of result do users see when they type something in your  product search box?
  • What do you say in your communication to your users when they register, reset password, subscribe or place an order?
  • What happens if a user lands on an ‘out of stock’ product page?
  • Where a user searches for a product that doesn’t exist or out of stock, what happens?
  • What does a user see if he enters an invalid email address during registration?
  • How simple is your checkout process
  • What trust building elements are on your site to reduce cart abandonment ?


1) Promote Your Top-Selling Products On Your Home Page 

Use a blend of sales report and analytical tools like Google Analytics to determine your best performing products & categories. Once these are identified, give them more visibility by promoting them in banner sliders and recommended products.

2) Offer Multiple Payment Options

This has been one of the main reasons for high shopping cart abandonment in almost all the Nigeria ecommerce store I have worked on. The answer is simple, clearly show all the different ways in which a customer can pay for an order on your site. I will strongly recommend that you have “Pay On Delivery” and, to make it the most conspicuous payment option on your site. This is especially important at this stage of ecommerce in Nigeria when most customers are still sceptical about the credibility of online shopping.

3) Arrange Category Structure By Popularity

The category links in the navigation should be in the ascending order of their popularity. That is the most effective arrangement. The second option is to arrange them alphabetically. 

4) Ensure Site Search Accuracy

Nothing is as frustrating to your customer as searching for a product on your site and getting totally irrelevant result. To avoid this, below are some suggestions: 

  • Implement intelligent search to cover singular, plurals, mis-spells etc. For example, a search for ‘shoe’ & ‘shoes’ should return the same results associated with shoes(s).
  • Implement Auto-Suggestion to help user search for relevant keywords. This is one of the commonest search functionality wherein as the user types his search query in the search box, suggestions are shown. This feature makes it easier for them to find the desired product more quickly.
  • Enable category search option

7) Use High-Quality Product Images

Studies after studies have shown that image is always the first thing that a visitor will notice as soon as he lands on your site.  The quality product image will help your store convert better. Another side to this is that, apart from using quality product images on your site, you should also show as many as we can – from different angles.

8) Pay Attention To Product’s Description

This is one area almost all Nigeria eCommerce sites are guilty. It is wrong to just copy and paste the manufacturer’s description on your product page. The product description is a sales copy and it should be seen in that light. 

Let your description present the product in the most appealing (functional or emotional appeal) way to your site visitor and somehow, also anticipate and address their reservations/apprehensions. A few tips:

  • Use bulleted points to make the information easier for the visitors to digest.
  • Arrange the product features in order of importance.
  • Even though I said earlier that you should write see your product description copy as a sales copy, you should not oversell.
  • users will know if our claims aren’t genuine.

9) Clearly Show The Product’s Delivery TRUE Time

One of the main complaints about Nigeria’s eCommerce sites is the failure to deliver within the promised time. While I understand the temptation to over-promise, it is much wiser to under-promise and over-deliver. This is one of the best ways to build positive word of mouth and referrals about your eCommerce site. 

Not only should you give realistic delivery time, but users should also know when they can expect to receive the product if they order. 

10) Encourage users to leave reviews

You should do this for two reasons:

  • Good product reviews add a lot of content on a product page which is very good for SEO (post-Panda and Penguin updates)
  • Positive customer reviews also make your store more credible and thus improve your conversion rate. 

11) Checkout Page

A lot of cart abandonment happens during check-out. This should not be because, for a user to get to your check-out page, it means he or she is really interested in buying. To stem this, your check out page should:

Security: Make it clear to users that your site is secure and that their privacy will never be compromised.

Transparency: There should not be any hidden charges. VAT, shipping cost, etc should be stated clearly.

-Payment Methods:  I talked about this earlier. All payment methods users can use to make payment for goods bought on your site should be clearly stated (Mobile Money, Credit Cards, Bank deposit, Pay On Delivery, etc.).

12) Simply You Information Forms

Users want the buying process to be over as soon as possible. So, anything you can do to shorten the amount of work they need to do will increase your conversion. start by removing ALL fields that are not absolutely necessary on your forms. It’s not a good idea to make them enter the same information twice.

Also, if a customer has already provided some information in an earlier step, don’t ask for it again in the next step. Automatically pre-fill the fields so that the user doesn’t have to enter them again

It is important you do not confuse your site users. One way he can be frustrated is  if he is not able to proceed because he is missing out filling some information which has not been marked as a mandatory field.  It is important you use asterisk (*) to clearly mark optional fields.

13) Create An Impressive About Page

One of the lesser know factors for conversion rate improvement of e-commerce sites is the “About Us”. A surprisingly large number of users actually go to the About page before they make a purchase from an online store. This is especially so if they are visiting the store for the first time. 

It goes without saying then that you should have a rich About Us page. A few tips on how to do this: 

  • Give a bit of information about why your company was started. Please note that this is the place to showcase your “Mission, Vision” or whatever value. Take abstraction out of it 
  • Highlight people behind your company, preferably with pictures
  • Be Authentic

14) Conspicuous Support/Contact Page

It is very important that you have a phone number prominently displayed on your home page. And, your physical office address should be featured on your site as well.  your customers must know that real people are available to help if they’re lost or confused. It is also a trust builder, especially in Nigeria where there is still apathy about online shopping. 

15) Offer A Good Return Policy

If our store’s returns policy isn’t clear, visitors might get apprehensive when buying from our store. Your returns policy should be visible, clear, and buyer-friendly so that people feel safe while shopping with you.

In the second part of this series, I will try to go into the advanced stuff- Split testing, design, information architecture, colour science, etc

The Best Business Advice Ever

Skyline view

There are millions upon millions of business advice. But, beyond the convoluted theories, the best business advice ever can be reduced to a few short sentences:

  • Customers are the most important people in the business- whether they come in person, write to us or telephone.
  • Customers are not dependent upon us- we depend upon them for our living.
  • Customers are not an interruption of our work- they are the purpose of it. They are doing us a favour  by giving us the opportunity to serve to serve them.
  • Customers are not people with whom to argue or match our wits. No one ever won an argument with a customer.
  • Customers are people who come to us because they need certain goods or services. It is our job to provide them in a way profitable to them and to ourselves.
  • Customers are not cold statistics- they are flesh and blood human beings, with emotions and prejudices like our own.
  • Customers are the most important people in this business- without them, there would be no business.

       Very simple set of advice but. the potency is in the simplicity


John Fenton, 101 Ways To Boost Your Performance

Complete Guide To Social Media Marketing In Nigeria

Social media marketing in Nigeria


It is doubtful if there is any serious marketing executive or business owner who has not heard of the enormous business-building opportunity presented by the advent of social media. From blogs to agencies, meeting rooms, one of the staples of marketing prescription for business promotion and building in Nigeria is social media marketing. The buzz about social media marketing in Nigeria notwithstanding, is social media marketing suitable for your business ? and if yes, how can you leverage it to achieve your business goals? 

In this post, we aim to equip you with step by step process for developing, building, and executing a purposeful and result-oriented social media marketing program for your business. The post will cover both the strategic and the tactical aspects of social media marketing.


 First, let us try and understand what the term “social media” means. Social media is media (words, photos, videos, etc.) that is spread through social interaction chiefly using individual communication networks. Popular web-based social media platforms include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, Instagram, etc. Unlike the traditional advertising paradigm that spreads information from one source to many, social media promotes peer-to-peer communication and gives individuals the choice to opt-in, or out, of virtual conversations. With social media, consumers of media turn into producers of media—through photo and video sharing, blog posting, or other forms of content dissemination.

So, social media marketing means actively starting conversations, pushing content, asking questions, driving traffic, and expanding visibility through social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Nairaland, etc).


It is estimated that there are over ten million active social media users in Nigerian. According to Internet World Statistics, Facebook alone has 6,630,200 users in Nigeria as at Dec 31/12. In fact, according to Alexa, five of the top ten most visited websites in Nigeria are social media sites.


By implementing a thoughtful social media campaign you can:

Create Buzz

Buzz is all about riding the current wave of media—and creating buzz means adopting the latest media to promote your message. Today this means leveraging social media. Building a legitimate social media voice and developing influence within your community will create buzz for your business.

Generate Traffic

Having a well-structured social media program will increase the probability that people will pass along your message, product or website through online social networks. This opens the chance of your message being disseminated to new and diverse crowds and thereby help generate new visitors to you.

Generate Leads

It is customary that in every sector of the economy, there are people at the center of the conversation – the agenda-setters or influencers. Social media gives you the opportunity to win over your industry’s influencers by engaging and building relationships with them. Build and nurture a direct relationship with them and if you are successful in winning them over, these influencers will pitch your company and products online on your behalf in subtle and not so subtle ways. With their blessing, qualified leads will start to come your way.

Join the Conversation

A well-designed social media program will include social listening and with this, you can identify social networks where consumers are already talking about your brand and engage in the conversation to learn how your brand is perceived and accepted. And if you discover that no one is talking about your business, take this as an opportunity to research and test which channels respond best to your product or business; which will invariably help you in focusing your effort on those channels that are most effective for you

Customer relation

Whether you like it or not, your customers are already online. So, it is only logical that you are active in the same community so that you can relate with them better

Competitive Advantage

It is very likely that most of your competitors are doing a very bad job with social media ( In reality most companies are), which gives you the chance to stand out. And the flip side is that, if you avoid social media, you leave a big opening that allows your competitors to capture your audience.

Social Media Examiner recently polled 3,000 marketers to find out what benefits they are deriving from social media marketing. The table below presents their findings:


The way to marketing success starts with a plan. This means before going into tactics, it is important that you devise a strategy for your marketing. The same applies to social media marketing. All successful social media marketing programs are built on a deliberate and well-defined strategy.

The following are the strategic questions you need to answer before you get started:


What are your goals? Are you trying to build awareness for your product or brand, drive traffic to your site, attain leads, or convert leads to customers? It is even possible that you have multiple goals that are not mutually exclusive. Even so, decide which one is your primary goal. This will frame your focus and will drive all other planning decisions.

Target Audience

Who do you aim to reach? Potential customers, current customers, influencers? Before you decide on social media channel or create content, it is important that you define whom you will be marketing to.

Choose your social media marketing channels

 Will your campaign be a comprehensive one focusing on multiple social media sites or will you devote your activities to one channel such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.? You need to decide on which channels will work best you. Of course, this will depend on a properly defined target audience. For instance, if your target audience are undergraduates in Nigeria universities, Twitter and Facebook will probably be more ideal for you than say LinkedIn


What type of engagement will you do? What is the crux of your message? Is it a hook, an offer, a direct product placement, or perhaps a thought leadership lure? What format will your engagement be:  blog posts, photos, graphics, and videos? Are you going to be promoting other brands or only your own? These are all things you need to decide upfront and these should tie back to the goals that you’ve got.

Define a project timeline

Does your plan cover a week, a month, or a year? This will surely affect the frequency and types of messages you plan to deliver.


After defining the goals, you need to find a metric that aligns with your goals and set an ambitious target. Metrics that you can use include: number of impressions, visits, leads, tweets, likes, retweets, etc. 

Track and Monitor

Once a campaign is up and running, determining a return on time and money invested is the obvious next step for any social media marketing effort.

It’s critical to find out just what kind of results your online efforts are having. Has traffic grown with the volume of Twitter feeds? Has the new corporate Facebook fan page expanded the conversion rate and generated leads overnight or taken two months? Social media monitoring answers these questions



  • Monitor the web for conversations about your industry, product and brand. Do so via RSS feeds, Twitter, Google Alerts, and other social media tools.
  • Join the conversation – don’t be promotional, be helpful—and earn trust.
  • Make a personal connection become a face, not just a name. Use the same name (use it always), post a good picture, be as transparent as possible, and always be honest.
  • Offer help.
  • Be Clear: Draft, edit, share internally and revise your content for the best result
  • Expand your network, including fans, followers, and subscribers. Make it easy for people to find you and to join your network.
  • Create relevant and targeted content. Create the right content based on what you are hearing, and be generous with your content and links.
  • Be patient
  • Use Imagery: You have heard that a good picture is worth a thousand words. Well, it is probably worth more on social media. Use images, videos, and illustrations to make any piece more digestible. 

The part two of this post will cover the tactical part of social media marketing in Nigeria in details.