How to Use Demand Generation to Build a Successful Early-Stage Tech Startup in Nigeria
4 min read
When you're just starting out, every lead and customer counts. Demand generation should be a top priority for any early-stage Nigerian tech startup. Here are the essential components of a cutting edge demand generation strategy:
Define your key buyer personas - Who are the customers you want to attract? Clarify your target buyers' goals, pains, and jobs from the start.
Optimize for search
The key to making content work for you is prioritizing quality and quantity. Identify the channels where your target audience is most active and develop a comprehensive strategy around it. Get listed on relevant industry directories. Include your company and product names throughout your content to build your search rankings. Aim for the long tail keywords your buyers are searching.
Build your email list
Offer a helpful lead magnet like an ebook or checklist in exchange for emails. Nurture these leads for as long as it takes you to create a conversion strategy. Customer data is a goldmine, it doesn't matter whether you have immediate plans for an email drip campaign, just keep collecting leads.
Leverage social media
Focus your efforts on the 1-2 most relevant platforms for your specific buyer personas. Post a consistent mix of content, answers, and promotion.
Focus your efforts on the 1-2 most relevant platforms for your specific buyer personas. For example:
For a Nigerian B2B SaaS targeting tech startups, focus on LinkedIn and Twitter. Post a mix of:
Case studies and testimonials from clients
Answers to questions about your product
Tips and guides related to the problems you solve
Announcements about new features and product updates
Post regularly - at least 2-3 times per week on each channel. LinkedIn allows longer form content while tweets should be snappy (280 characters or less). Use hashtags and reply to relevant discussions to build visibility within the Nigerian tech community.
Engage with relevant accounts - like those of VC firms, accelerators, incubators, co-working spaces, and industry groups. Like and comment on their posts to increase the chances of them checking out your content.
Once you start to build a following, promote discounts, free trials, and webinars at the end of helpful posts - but only after providing genuine value first.
For a B2C app targeting Nigerian youth, focus your energy on:
Instagram - post photos and short videos showing how your app works
Snapchat - run contests and promotions within your Snapchat story
WhatsApp - create a public WhatsApp group to share updates and answer questions
The key is choosing where your buyers already are and creating a consistent presence that matches the tone of those platforms.
Create valuable content
Build a blog on platforms like Medium and Hashnode, publish helpful infographics and short videos on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Guest post on Nigerian tech blogs like Founders' Corner, Technext, Techcabal, Techpoint Africa, and Naija Tech Guide. Answer common questions like:
What are the benefits of mobile banking apps for Nigerians?
How can AI and machine learning improve farming in Nigeria?
Which software skills are most in demand for Nigerian job seekers?
Create "How to" guides for your target customers, for example:
How to start an online shop in Nigeria
How to prepare for JAMB using your mobile phone
How to boost sales for your Nigerian SME using social media
Host webinars on relevant topics, like "The Future of Funding in Nigeria". This shows prospects you're an expert worth paying attention to. Sprinkle in some humor to make your content memorable. Jokes around startup struggles, the stress of raising seed funding in Lagos, and daily life in Nigeria can entertain while informing your readers. But avoid stereotypes - keep the tone light and inclusive.
Partner with industry influencers and groups - Connecting with popular bloggers, podcasters and Meetup hosts can expose you to massive audiences for little effort.
Measure and optimize
Track key metrics like website traffic, lead generation and revenue. Analyze what's working and double down, cutting strategies that don't move the needle.
By focusing your energy and resources on continuously generating demand from qualified prospects, you'll set the foundation for a thriving early-stage Nigerian tech startup. But remember, demand generation is an ongoing process that must evolve along with your product and business model.