Funny viral videos, heartfelt campaigns to bring back our girls, Jumia and Konga ads following you around the web –these are a few examples of the strong use of digital marketing in Nigeria in 2014.

The year saw a good number of digital campaigns, but a few stood out. So today, I will be sharing with you some of the best digital trends of 2014 and examples of campaigns that made good use of these trends. I will also be sharing my forecast of trends expected to rise in Nigeria in the world of Digital marketing for the next 12 months of 2015.

Many thanks to friends and colleagues for their invaluable input, which helped create this article.

In no particular order, these are the top trends of 2014.

Remarketing and Retargeting


Ever had that weird feeling an advert of that dress or phone you clicked on was following you around the web and you thought it was probably some form of coincidence? Well, it most likely isn’t. This is remarketing. Most common and noticeable examples of these would be Jumia and Konga ads. You most likely visited one of these sites and clicked on a product but didn’t conclude the purchase. Once you leave the site, and you do not clear your browser cookies, these follows you around for a period of time (usually a month) trying to get you to conclude your purchase.

2014 saw a lot of local and foreign brands use this technique to try and win window shoppers over. Google estimated that about 456,781 websites out of around 3 million websites on Google’s Display Network used retargeting and remarketing techniques in 2014  and projections have it that the figures won’t go down anytime soon.

Content Marketing

Content Marketing

Unlike remarketing which had numerous example of brands utilizing it in the Nigerian digital sphere, content marketing had only one memorable example. You may be wondering why a marketing technique with just one major reference gets a place on the list. Well, let’s just say the impact the brand made on the digital sphere was too much to go unnoticed. Content marketing is the creation of content that is used to draw customers to a product or brand. Most times it’s not a direct form of marketing and GTBank’s Ndani.com is a classic example.

Based on GTB’s model driven by creativity and its vibrancy, GTB launched Ndani.tv in 2012 as a project to put Nigeria on the map positively and has become a hit with Nigerian online media with hugely popular programs such as the hilarious Frank Donga’s The Interview Series, Toolz’ The Juice and the most popular and talked about Nigerian Series of 2014 Gidi Up. This has helped put GTB as the most visited Bank website in Nigeria, with a verified Twitter account that has more than two times the followers of the next bank to it and over 2 million Facebook likes. It’s obvious this covert marketing strategy has paid off strongly and also fueled GTB’s social banking platform.

Email Marketing

email marketing

On an average, I receive about 20 mails a day, and it’s not just me. Based on my research and survey, an average smartphone user in Nigeria receives about 10 emails a day. Nigerian marketers are particularly aggressive on this platform and this is because it’s cheap and a method of direct marketing where adverts are brought directly to you. As much as it could be very annoying getting mails from unknown contacts I didn’t sign up with, it’s advantageous for the fact that I can get information delivered to me while I am not even searching for it and that makes life a lot easier.

Celebrity Influence


2014 saw Nigerian celebrities lend their voices to several campaigns such as Ebola but the biggest of them all was the #BringBackOurGirls campaign.

When 200 + girls were kidnapped by the deadly Terrorist organization Boko Haram, the noise on social media from celebrities (and about every other Nigerian) quickly shifted the attention of the international community to Nigeria fueling the highly popular #BringBackOurGirls campaign. Unfortunately, like the #OccupyNigeria campaign of 2012, this goes down as an extremely loud campaign with no positive outcome as our girls aren’t back yet.


Icebucket challenge

Many video campaigns came, but only one ruled them all – and that’s the #ALSIceBucketChallenge.

#ALSIceBucketChallenge was a campaign born in US and intended to raise funds for the ALS foundation but the campaign was so popular on social media that it saw some top Nigerian entertainers such as Don Jazzy and Genevieve Nnaji join in.

Although the Nigeria ALS participation was short lived due to loud amounts of criticism about wastage of water in a country where many lacked, it still ended being one of the most popular campaigns in Nigeria.

Trends to Look Out For In 2015

The trends identified above aren’t going away anytime soon, as a matter of fact, they will only increase. But in the year 2015, other trends and techniques in the Digital world will be on the rise and based on our research and survey here are our projections for 2015.

BBM Advertising Will Be on The Rise

BBM Advert Forward Nigeria

Blackberry announced the addition of an advertising feature to their BBM messaging app early in 2014 for brands looking to leverage on the opportunities of its 160 million registered uses. But it didn’t kick off in Nigeria until late 2014 with Nigerian brands like OLX and GoTV using it for some of their promotions. I believe it isn’t open to all brands yet and details about targeting and reporting is not very detailed yet, but we should be expecting a lot more details sometime in 2015. When this happens, we will definitely have a heavy influx of brands trying to use it to advertise to potential audiences.

In my opinion, BBM has to be very careful about how they go about implementing their ads because I have some serious fears for the intrusion that this will cause. Or else, Blackberry might lose a lot of users if the experience is jeopardized.

Digital Marketing Budgets Will Rise

Digital Marketing Trends 2014

The world of marketing is undergoing the most significant changes since the invention of the television and this is all thanks to the invention of something even bigger which is the internet. Advertising budgets worldwide in 2014 were projected to be about 100 billion dollars by GroupM, a New York-based advertising media company. According to Wall Street Journal, Procter & Gamble, a company with the biggest advertising budget is shifting a majority of its marketing efforts online. WSJ states that Procter & Gamble will spend 35% of its total marketing budget online. Another brand that made the switch a while back was Nike which took as much as 40% of its spending online in 2012. And these figures and brands making the switches will only grow higher. And why is this?

  • More reach and less spend Greater ROI
  • A more precise targeting
  • A better measuring model where changes made can be noticed almost immediately in some instances.

But then, how does this tie back to Nigerian brands? It’s simple. With a GDP making Nigeria the largest economy in Africa as well as the largest mobile device users and the largest internet market on the continent and 8th largest internet market in the world, digital enthusiasts have seen the opportunities that lie ahead in the Nigerian market and the digital experts are on the rise. It’s only expected that the digital marketers will get more aggressive in 2015 and try to win over more brands to embrace digital marketing and there are figures to convince them. As a matter of fact, a lot of Nigerian brands and companies will invest more in acquiring staffs with digital expertise to increase their efficiency and spending.

The Need For Tech Savvy Digital Marketers

The most difficult areas of digital marketing is data analysis. This is because it somehow requires filtering through a lot of complex looking scientific and analytical data and then look into the future and predict where the company’s resources should go. Not only will this be an area of concern, but the algorithms which are the backbones of the world’s biggest digital channels change every few months. Thus the digital market in Nigeria will need digital marketers who are tech savvy. Now, whether or not they are available in the country and if we can rise above the Twitter influencers’ mentality and phase of digital marketers we have right now is another question entirely.

Let’s just watch and see!

One takeaway from all these is the fact that digital marketing is the future of marketing and the time to get on board is now.

Awojide Olumuyiwa is Lead Content Creator at www.sodasandpopcorn.com and Head of Digital Marketing at www.etuodi.com.

Image Credit: Digital Trend

The Cabal Author

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