As part of efforts to enable Small and Medium Enterprises to access the global market, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), has given some pointers to SME’s on how they can export their products through digital marketing.
The message was conveyed by the Regional Coordinator, South-West, Mr Babatunde Faleke who represented the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of NEPC, Mr Segun Awolowo, during a two-day workshop organised for the SME’s.
Leveraging digital platforms: According to Awolowo, finance is one challenge that greatly affects the ability of Nigerian SME’s to access international markets. However, with the aid of e-platforms which are made possible by the internet, SMEs can now do large-scale exports from the comfort of their homes as this method does not require huge finance.
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In a related development, a partner at Neukleos, Olubukola Akingbade, during a recent interview with Nairametrics, highlighted some tips for SMEs to leverage digital platforms in the promotion of their businesses. See the tips below:
- Have a website
- Do videos especially on YouTube to boost your ranking
- Have a strong social media presence
- Know who you are as a brand and be deliberate when you put them out on social media.
Awolowo added that SME’s should be effective in their approach because “having a website is not enough, but getting the right impact from the website is the important thing. If they know the right thing to do, they can attract their target customers and also track them.
“Digital marketing also involves market segmentation, where the products are targeted at particular segments of the consuming public.”
Digital marketing strategist, Mr Moses Ololo, also shed light on how small business owners could use digital marketing methods to export products from Nigeria to the outside world and also get the right focus and the right clients.
“You have to have target consumers, people who want to buy the products. You cannot just target everybody. You should be able to know tools to get your products to the countries that are interested in the products.
“If you are targeting a company for instance, you have to target the procurement officer of the company. The tool you can use to get this, of course, is the social media tools LinkedIn, Facebook and others. You can search for them, get their information and send them e-mails.”
Why this matters: As stated earlier, the financial capacity of SMEs is rather too limited to accommodate large-scale exports in Nigeria. Moreover, even if they do manage to load containers with goods, they will have to deal with the challenges that have bedeviled the Nigerian export sector for decades; including delays in getting goods to the port, cost of documentation, and Customs Tariff. This is why there is a need for digitalization.