Use Online for Reach and Offline for Leads

In my experience, digital marketers in the service industry are expected to spend most if not all of their time online. After all, isn’t that what it means to market online?

Yet, I would like to challenge this assumption by stating that digital marketers need to spend a healthy amount of their time offline to reap the full benefits of online marketing.

Allow me to explain.

On the 15th to 16th of May 2018, I attended the East Africa Com conference where I connected and networked with technology leaders and passionate players from leading telcos, banks, media houses and governments. Held at Radisson Blu, the two-day event aimed at connecting the entire East African digital ecosystem to create innovative solutions, educate, create networks and get deals done.

Needless to say, I learned in those two days what would have taken a decade. However, more important, is the impact that the event had on my performance as a digital marketer.

Engagement, feedback and leads; these three words best describe the benefits I reaped as a digital marketer by attending the East Africa com event. Not only was there an increase in engagement online but the event also gave me an opportunity to carry out market research not to mention meet potential clients.

Brenda Mucheke, project manager at ABC, and Mary Rowlatt, CEO at Sauti, discuss how to improve payment transactions for cross border traders at the #EastAfricacom conference

Increase in online engagement

Instead of posting the usually witty and educative posts on our social media platform, I posted happenings of the event while tagging the brands in attendance and other relevant brands. The conversions were crazy. We got retweets from thought leaders as well influential brands from Africa as well as Europe ensuring a wider yet targeted reach.

The reach of our tweets transcended Kenyan boundaries reaching U.K, South Africa, Spain, and the U.S

But the best part of it all is that it made lead generation quite easy. For example, I would introduce myself only to find that the other person had seen my last tweet, checked our company account and figured out what we do. That saved me 40% of the time I would otherwise spend explaining what we do at Legibra. It also made it easier for me to get potential clients as the networks I created would connect me to new networks.

Inset; Delegates and VIPs connecting at the East Africa Com Awards and After-party

Let’s talk about the market research.

During the 2-day event, there was a start-up pitching competition organised by Disrupt Africa. Ten startups competed to win an all-expense-paid trip to Cape Town where they could pitch their startup to Africacom, get a marketing package worth $500 and six months free membership at the Nairobi Garage.

But where do I come in?

Valued at $3.6M with over 754 startups in Kenya alone, I think Kenya’s start up space is worth researching for innovative products. Plus, the beauty of working with startups is that you never know if you are working with the next Apple, the possibilities are endless.

Therefore, I decided to have a chat with the startups to find out what they consider when choosing a web hosting company. The feedback was as surprising as it was exciting.

I look forward to talking to more startups so we can have a bigger sample size to draw accurate information.

Conclusion;

You can spend all your time in front of your laptop posting funny tweets, tagging prospects and following hashtags, but if you never go out to interact with your audience in real life, your online activities won’t add value to your brand.

Whereas online gives you the ability to reach a person in S.A with a click of a button, offline allows you to get primary market feedback as well as connect with potential clients directly. That’s why I think online, and offline should work together to reap the full benefits of digital marketing.

What do you think?