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Three things to know about digital marketing in Africa


Internet penetration in Africa is lower than any other continent, at 18%. For this reason, Africa is often left out of the picture by international businesses working on their digital marketing strategy.

However, this continent is considered to be where China was ten years ago, and about to really take off digitally. Full of talent and ideas, Africa should not be ignored by forward-thinking international digital marketers.

Here are three things you need to know about digital marketing in Africa if you want to succeed in the continent.

1. The most digitally advanced nations

When it comes to internet usage, Nigeria leads the way with around 92 million of its 192 million-strong population being online. Egypt comes in second place, followed by Kenya, South Africa, Morocco, Algeria and Uganda. As a whole, the African continent has very low levels of internet penetration. Only around 27% of Africans are online, compared to 77% of Europeans and 88% of North Americans. However, figures show that this is changing, and the growth rate is extremely high compared to other continents.

2. The importance of mobile

The majority of African internet traffic originates from mobile devices, emphasising the importance of having a mobile-friendly website. For example, in Nigeria, 81% of traffic originated from mobile phones and only 16% originated from PCs in 2017. This is partly explained by the fact that mobile internet connections are cheaper and do not demand such complex infrastructures as PC connections do.

3. The most popular channels

Chat apps are big in Africa. WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Viber are all commonly-used platforms which can give great exposure to your content in Africa. The most popular social channels are Facebook (with 75.8% of the market share) and YouTube (15.8%). From the point of view of search engines, Google has the monopoly with the biggest share of the African market (95.5%), followed by Yahoo (2.1%) and Bing (1.9%).

I hope this has given you a useful introduction to digital marketing in Africa. For more in-depth information, read our free guide below.


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Elin Box

Elin Box

Content Marketing Manager at Webcertain
Elin is a Content Marketing Manager at Webcertain. She is responsible for Webcertain's training platform, producing in-depth guides on a range of international digital marketing topics. She is also part of the Webcertain TV team, where she writes scripts for short educational videos and helps with the day-to-day management of the YouTube channel. She also supports the Director of Marketing with a wide range of other marketing tasks, as and when required. Elin is from the UK.

3 Responses to Three things to know about digital marketing in Africa

  1. AvatarPeter says:

    Hi Elin,
    Thank you for the insights in this short article.
    However, I can’t seem to find the free guide you pointed to at the end of the article. Could you kindly point me to it?

  2. Avatarjeremy says:

    Hi,am a start up tour operator from kenya.Am keen on engaging with a consultant on digital marketing strategy for Africa.

    • Elin BoxElin Box says:

      Hi Jeremy,

      I’ve informed the Business Solutions team of your request. They’ll be in touch with you soon to see how they can help you! 🙂


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