State of Digital Marketing in Kenya (Infographic)

Digital marketing in Kenya is still underutilized. If businesses understood the potential it has to help them reach more customers, they would strategize their marketing to incorporate it. Let’s find out what it’s all about.

Digital marketing is advertising delivered through online platforms. This includes websites, email, social media search engines, and mobile applications.

In general, it should mean any advertisement done through digital devices. So besides the internet, TV, and radio can also be considered as digital marketing.

But the two have been in existence since the early 20th century, yet the term digital marketing was coined in the early 2000s, and the skills required of digital marketers focused on internet platforms.

So it’s only logical to use the term in line with internet marketing.

Rise of Digital Marketing in Kenya

Any form of advertising has one goal; to connect with the audience in the right place at the right time.

Decades ago, billboards and newspapers what some of the most effective means of advertising. People found billboards interesting and bought newspapers daily. Companies knew these platforms would get their products on people’s mouths.

Then the internet came, and the world became a global village. People could now access information easier, faster, and from anywhere.

With it came email and social media, which have practically taken over our lives. So it wasn’t a matter of if advertisers will shift into the internet; instead, it was when.

Today over 3.6 billion people use social media monthly, and the number will increase to 4.41 billion by 2025.

Google, the most dominant search engine, processes 3.5 billion searches every day, which continues to grow by 10% annually.

Meanwhile, there are nearly 4 billion email users worldwide, sending and receiving 293.6 billion emails daily.

Only an ignorant marketer can see such statistics and fail to design his advertising strategy to incorporate digital marketing.

Away with the worldwide perspective. Now, let’s look at our country.

Digital Marketing in Kenya Infographic
Digital Marketing in Kenya

Kenya has 52 million mobile connections representing 98% of the population. But considering over 40% of the population is below 18 years old mobile penetration could be much less.

Meanwhile, there were 22.86 million internet users in Kenya in January 2020, representing 43% of the population.

Social media users amounted to 8.8 million, an increase of 13% between April 2019 and January 2020. Also, the average time spent on social media by Kenyans is 3 hours daily.

There are two things I get from this data. First, while internet use in Kenya is beyond its infancy stage, a substantial unmet market still exists. The government end other institutions are working to connect every corner of the country to the internet. This means internet users will continue to increase.

Secondly, 75% of Kenya’s population is under 30, who are considered very receptive and adaptive to technology.

Ultimately more Kenyans will shift to the internet as a source of information, opportunities, and entertainment. The internet will soon become indispensable for many as technology advances to connect more people and devices.

Wouldn’t it be ignorant not to incorporate digital marketing in your company’s advertising strategy with such power and potential it has?

Won’t you be losing out on a huge platform to reach potential customers?

Isn’t it time to start implementing Internet marketing strategies to build your brand and make your company more profitable?

If you think so, good for you.

This article will go through the most effective digital marketing strategies in Kenya.

Before we dive in, it’s essential to implement these strategies one at a time, depending on your target market, and reveal their effectiveness before moving to the next.

Only by doing this will you master digital advertising and steer your company or business to profitability.

Types of digital marketing in Kenya

Customers interact with the internet through numerous channels every day. This digital touchpoints define the types of digital marketing strategies and are as follows 

1. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

SEO is the process of optimizing content in our website to rank high in search engine results. It involves writing content geared towards answering questions that customers are searching on the internet.

For instance, to rank high for the search query how to lose weight, one must write an article that answers this question and, therefore, should include the search query on the article.

Besides, other technical actions such as internal and external linking, on-page SEO, and images’ inclusion make the website more visible to search engines.

Using SEO can massively increase visibility and build long-lasting customer relationships. But it requires consistent work over a long time, making it a long-term digital marketing strategy.

2. Content Marketing 

Effective content marketing serves to educate and inspire customers who are seeking information about something. By offering content relevant to your customers, you can secure a place as a trustworthy source of information and provide a platform to sell your products and services.

For instance, a shoe company can Curate a high-quality article on ways to keep shoes from smelling and, in the process, promote one of their open shoes designed to aerate the feet and keep them fresh.

When a customer stumbles upon this article, they might be inclined to purchase the open-shoes, eliminating the trouble of cleaning shoes regularly.

If implemented well with other marketing strategies, content marketing can ensure a consistent inflow of customers.

3. Paid Search 

If you’ve ever googled something, you must have seen the first couple of search results labeled ad. These are sponsored results, also known as pay-per-click advertising.

As an advertiser, sponsored results charge you for every click they get. Search engine companies collect information on search queries and offer advertisers who design their marketing strategies to meet customers’ needs directly.

To implement them, you must first understand what your potential customers search for and use these search terms to tailor your sponsored ads to the targeted audiences.

You can also redesign your ads depending on customers’ actions and use marketing automation tools to craft unique personal omnichannel ads.

It can, however, be expensive over the long run, especially with highly competitive search terms.

4. Email Marketing.

Companies use email to communicate directly to customers. Due to their personal nature, they are preferred by most for critical and official communication.

Yet, most emails are never opened. To successfully implement email marketing, you must learn to build an extensive subscriber list and send engaging, relevant, informative, and entertaining email campaigns to increase the open rates.

Email Marketing is often used to promote content, discounts, events, and direct users to companies’ websites.

A customer should see the value of opening and reading your emails. That’s the only way email Marketing can be an effective marketing strategy.

5. Social Media Marketing 

Social media platforms can be used to reach customers and promote products and services.

In Kenya, the most popular platforms include Facebook with 44.29%, followed by Twitter with 27.25%. Others include Instagram, TiK ToK YouTube, and Pinterest.

Having an account in each of these platforms and being active to inspire your audience to engage with your content and share can convert them to customers.

Besides, all these platforms have advertising features for marketers to reach customers. With a small budget, one can enhance their outreach and create more brand awareness, which pulls customers who find the services and products valuable.

Considering most Kenyans spend up to 3 hours a day on social media, this strategy is indispensable for any business or company serious with customer acquisition.

6. Affiliate Marketing 

This is a type of performance-based advertising where you pay someone for promoting your product or service on their website or social media platforms.

It involves online link tracking systems that use cookies to store information in a browser, recognize the affiliate and locate the profit share whenever a customer performs a transaction through the affiliate link.

E-commerce companies heavily invest in affiliate marketing due to the returns it provides led by the most popular companies globally and in Kenya; Amazon and Jumia, respectively.

Other Kenyan companies have joined the bandwagon and implemented affiliate marketing to spread brand awareness and acquire new customers.

7. Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing had existed long before the internet. It refers to the use of famous personalities to promote products and services.

However, with the emergence of the internet, influencer marketing has gone on to a whole new level since social media platforms offer direct access to audiences, also known as followers.

Personalities that build a massive following on social media can use their own space to influence their followers’ purchase decisions.

There are very many influencers in Kenya who have different audiences. Choosing an influencer to promote your product or service depends on the type of audience they have.

For instance, a company that sells baby products will benefit from using an influencer whose followers are predominantly mums rather than one whose followers are mainly youths.

The followers likely to be interested in the products are following the mums’ influencer.


Digital marketing in Kenya is still full of opportunities businesses can exploit to reach customers.

Most of these strategies are highly underutilized in companies led by executives rigid to change.

It’s time for marketers to closely scrutinize their goals and adopt new strategies to make their businesses flexible in the face of adversity due to technological advancement.

Companies that fail to adapt to these new marketing methods are likely to fall behind and perhaps lose their customers to more flexible businesses. 

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