The popularity of digital marketing has exploded in Kenya, especially on Twitter. It’s almost impossible to imagine a day passing without an issue, event or product being promoted on social media. This popularity has led to the proliferation of so-called digital marketing strategists claiming to have the skills to work wonders on social media and promote brands or events.
The titles in the bios of such individuals boast about their “credentials” and make them to appear as people educated and vastly experienced in the field, but that is rarely the case. Even then, a number of Kenyan social media marketers are emerging from the crowd and making a difference by offering professional services in this segment.
Mr Daniel Maithya, the founder of RoyalTrendia, a digital media marketing, public relations and content development agency, boasts a vibrant social network with hundreds of thousands of followers and a professional network across various economic industries.
A man of humble beginnings, Mr Maithya began his career in digital marketing in 2016 and has made it his main focus, rather than a side-hustle as many do. Very early on, Mr Maithya saw the potential in the industry and immersed himself in thoroughly researching the field, which he still does, and consulting widely in a bid to gain more, up-to-date knowledge in the ever-evolving industry.
Mr Maithya says a digital presence is now a must-have for any business worth its salt as it gives an impression of dynamism and credibility in addition to other core services, like customer care service, advertising and public communications.
“Digital media marketing is neither a new trend nor a strange term for Kenyan businesses,” he says. “It’s a solution that can no longer be ignored. Social media posts provide an opportunity for the public to find your new web content and click through to your site. Whatever your industry, segment and audience, a substantial portion of your customers and leads are on social media.”
Mr Maithya says that one can easily get into the industry as it is not very capital intensive but patience is critical to grow, just like any other career or business. “You can start small by using your phone to grow your brand and get traction if you don’t have all the necessary tools like a laptop,” he says.
He also insists that prospective entrants must do thorough research about the industry and its tools to become credible service providers.
“Know the basics of all the social media platforms before starting social media marketing. Consistence matters in terms of your branding and posting,” he adds. “Know what social media channel works for you and your brand. Some brands work better on Instagram, others on LinkedIn, others might not work on Twitter.”
According to Mr Maithya, one must take a genuine interest in digital media marketing to grow their brand and strive to offer holistic professional services, like consultations and submission of reports. These, he argued, are what will make one entrepreneur stand out from the rest.
“This industry is not just about making a hashtag trend,” he says. “It is about promoting a brand, building meaningful conversation around it, converting leads and giving the client a summary of how their product is perceived. You need to know exactly what the client wants to achieve when engaging you.”
Mr Maithya noted that the industry’s scope for growth means the potential for one to make a decent living from it, as he does, exists and can go a long way in helping to reduce youth unemployment in Kenya.