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How to Start Digital Marketing Agency in Nigeria – 7 steps

Digital Marketing is the act and science involve in converting prospects into qualified leads or loyal customers. It can also be seen as the use of all marketing efforts or assets to promote and sell products and services with the aim of getting a good ROI.

Digital Marketing Nigeria
courtesy: successdigestonline

When a business does not have an in-house marketing effort to generate leads, develop sales pipelines and convert prospects; digital marketing Agency comes to the rescue. So, a digital marketing agency is a resource firm that provides a wide variety of online marketing services all in one marketing efforts typically for businesses that do not have in-house expertise. The ultimate goal of a digital marketing agency is to promote business and brand, builds customer loyalty, and increase sales.

If your interest is to learn how to start digital marketing agency business in Nigeria, then you’ve arrive on the right page.

The fast growth in digital technology has cause a change in buying process. Brands are now on the lookout for new ways to reach buyers and get heard through the turbulence. If you can start a Digital marketing Agency that will help buyers discovers brands, businesses and builds continuous relationship with them, you’ll make money online big time.

A lot have been written on how to start a digital marketing agency but those pieces of information out there do not address the in-thing which is “how to drive sales”. So in this guide, I won’t just walk you through how to start a digital marketing agency in Nigeria; I will also talk about “how you can convert your prospects into loyal customers”.

Related article: How to Build Online Presence for your Local Business

Digital marketing opportunities in Nigeria

There are vast opportunities for digital marketing in Nigeria. The demand is on the rise, with new opportunities opening up all the time.

Brands are looking for ways to stand out from the competition, and marketers who can balance creativity with critical thinking are gaining ground. Companies are willing to increase their digital marketing budgets, as they have realized the need for digital marketing. Digital marketers now take on roles outside the usually traditional office.

Despite the growing opportunities in digital marketing, starting and running a successfully digital marketing agency business in Nigeria remains a hard nut to crack as there are lots of competitions and too many people already in this business.

For example, you’ll find it hard to compete with the likes of Ziza Digital, CK digital, Crank Digital, Wildfusion and many more. These are digital marketing Agencies in Nigeria who are already at the top of the game. Trying to figure out what would work or not to stand out from the competition can sometimes leave you at dead end. And it can be disastrous to take a painstaking effort to start and get stuck at a point

We’ve been hearing of the need for small businesses to be aware of and implement digital marketing strategies in order to build a strong online presence. That is good but does your building of online presence brings about conversion.

If your marketing interest is to get more people to discover your brand, products and services that you offer.  How does what you do align with their search intent?

That’s a question that needs an answer.

Running a digital marketing agency is not about spending money on ads campaign or the recruitment of new specialist staff? I know some organizations assume that’s the normal standard and so, will not expect anything bigger than that from you.

A digital marketing agency is a business you can’t be an expert at running. You might set up some goals and objectives, and even create a marketing plan to meet the goals and objects. Yet, that will still not do much if you aren’t focusing on converting your audience to customers.

There is only one particular thing that is valuable to every business. And that is customer.

Why? Because customer is what brings sales, not marketing effort or staffs. Customers are the life-blood of any business. That sounds cliché, but it’s true. Customers are the key to every successful business and there is no marketing strategy you’ll adopt that will just convert them right away.

It takes a lot of inbound marketing efforts to convert prospects to customers. You need to set your KPIs correctly to prove that your work is having a positive impact.

It’s important you understands that because generating sales or qualified leads is not that easy and most times it ends up as a fruitless labour. It ends up as a fruitless labour not because digital marketers are not working but they aren’t getting everything right.

This is not an issue of being inexperience or that you’re an expert therefore you can’t fail. Even the big brands don’t get their marketing tactics right, all the time. So, you just have to give it the first shot. If you lose out, don’t give up. Try again.

That’s business for you.

Knowing fully well that the competition is high and the number keep growing from day to day, how can you stand out in the digital marketing agency industry? Well, it’s always easy when you know who you want to target and where you can find them.

We’re living in era where internet has become something everyone can access. With smartphones and tablets, people can surf the internet on the go. Hubspot has it that, an average adult spends over 20 hours per week with digital media. That’s good news for people who are proposing to start an online business.

There is evidence that the internet would become a reliable source or goldmine where everyone would likely want to run in search of information.

Yet, these might still not help every business as there are chances that they would not be targeting the right audience and therefore, they will be no conversion. If the right audience is not seeing your brand, products or services then your marketing and sales’ team has a lot of work to do to see that the right audience is targeted.

I promise to show you the best way you can start a digital marketing agency that everyone would convert into your loyal customer.

In all its complexity, I will break it down (step by step) so that you can start a digital marketing agency that’s lucrative in Nigeria

Steps to Start Digital Marketing Agency in Nigeria

Here are steps you can follow to start a digital marketing agency business in Nigeria:

  1. Organize your marketing team
  2. Build your online presence
  3. Tell your brand story
  4. Create your Ideal Customer profile
  5. Set your KPIs
  6. Develop your content marketing strategies
  7. Advertise your digital marketing agency business

Organize your marketing team

The first step to take towards starting a digital marketing agency is to organize your marketing team. If there is anything that should border you most when starting a digital marketing agency, that thing should be your team. This is where most marketing Agencies got it all wrong.

Digital marketing Agency is not a one-man show. You can’t run it all alone. You need a team, not people learning the rules of the game.

It has to be a team that understands your brand’s philosophy.

The kind of team you need should include:

  • Content marketing specialist

You need a content marketing specialist who understands how content fits into your overall digital marketing strategy and do it right.

A content marketer who not only know how to attract prospects, but one who can also move them through marketing funnel to drive more sales.

  • Customer acquisition specialist

You also need customer acquisition specialist (a. k. a “Traffic Masters”).

As a “Traffic Master”, your customer acquisition specialist should be someone who knows how to leverage traffic channels such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, LinkedIn and even content discovery platform to attract visitors and grow your customer base or that of your clients.

  • Social media and community manager

Social media manager will represent your brand on social media, create content or posts; replies comments, answer questions, and much more as it concerns your brand.

A community manager will advocate or boost awareness of your brand on social networks. The community manager will also develop new ways to engage the digital community.

  • Email marketing specialist

The email marketing specialist will focus on building your email lists, drafting emails, and generating leads through written communications.

  • Search marketing specialist

The Search marketing specialist should be someone who knows how to increase your search rankings, drive more traffic and convert your traffic into sales and qualified leads.

Search marketer should also understand that optimization is now based on the user’s INTENT (and not the search bots).

  • Analytics and Data specialist

You need someone who has the ability to collect and analyze data as tool to answer difficult business questions, such as: “Why has our average sales dropped, and what can we do to fix the problem immediately?”

  • Optimization and Testing specialist

Optimization and testing specialist will help your brands and that of your client develop a repeatable optimization process to increase conversions in their sales funnel and landing pages.

If you want to get the best result, you have to cross-train your entire team members, so that everyone will be on the same page, working together.

Build your online presence

Once you start communicating with your audience, you need to have a web presence that will help portray WHY your service is so great No digital marketing agency has ever survived without a strong online presence. Building an online presence is not just signing up on social media or setting up your digital marketing agency website and putting some content on it.

It goes beyond that. It is a vital component of your marketing strategy, no matter what size your agency is.

Strong online presence is important for your inbound marketing as well as for your outbound marketing. You can create quality online content with your inbound marketing that can help you to attract customers even if they haven’t heard of your brand.

With your outbound marketing you can reinforce your brand and what you offer to your target market. That’s what the majority of your potential customers are after. Your team has a lot of work to do when it comes to building your brand online presence and they have to work in synergy for better result.

Tell your brand story

Most Nigerian companies don’t know how to tell brand story. I’m not happy saying this but I must say it. Their brand stories are too direct and straightforward. And I don’t like that. A good brand story makes a human connection and helps your brand to stand out from the crowd.

A digital marketing agency story is not that kind of story you write on your website, blog, or even social media. It’s your value and your mission, and how you convey that to your audience -wherever they are.

If you don’t know, people don’t just convert for what you do anymore but why you do them. So, it’s important you set the conversion right away in your brand storytelling.

And how can you do that?

You can do that by creating a brand story that addresses the needs of the people; the story should be genuine and appealing to your audience. If you want to create a brand story that is appealing to your audience, use the GOLDEN CIRCLE rule.

The golden circle rule says start with:

  • Why – Why are you doing what you are doing?


  • How – How will this help your audience? What problem(s) are you solving for your audience or what challenges are you going to help them overcome?
  • And finally,
  • What – What are you offering?

Most Nigerian companies start their story on the other way round, that’s: what >> how >> why (reversal of the Golden Circle model).

And that doesn’t help at all.

As a B2B company, the conversation with your prospects must start with WHY your agency is doing what they’re doing.

Your team can come in to support the salespersons as they begin to have those conversations about HOW they might be able to solve a need the prospect is facing and finally, presenting WHAT solution your company offer.

Remember, the purpose of storytelling is to convert your audience to prospects and customers from marketing funnel through their search intent.

What that means is that you need to clearly understand the connection between sales pipeline and the needs of the audience.

The priority here is your audience and how you can swiftly apply marketing tactics to convert them to sales leads.

A good story is not about your history or what you do but WHY you’re doing what you’re doing. You may think you provide the best digital marketing services within the sphere of digital marketing industry, but that’s not your story.

Storytelling is about standing out, not fitting in.

It’s more about tapping into the emotion and feeling of your audience and prospects to gain their trust and credibility than showing off what you do. That’s important because it makes your audience take a decision they’re about to take and that converts fast. Only a few brands know what storytelling is all about and Nike is just one of them.

Nike brand story never fade. It continues to attract, engage and convert year after year.

Why? Because Nike brand story makes a human connection, create emotions and remain transparent to their audience.

I won’t also forget to mention the brand, Apple.  Apple understands the Golden Circle rule and the power of storytelling. And they always apply that in their marketing messages. A good brand story has no limits on expression, it makes wonders happen.

All you need to do is to connect your services to your story through your brand strategy and then select the right digital channels to convey your message. The digital channel for conveying of your brand story can come in various forms like blog posts, email blasts, webinars, videos, podcast and many more.

It’s left for you to know the right digital channels to convey your marketing message, and what determines that is who you’re targeting. As a digital marketing agency, you’re targeting B2B. So, you need to apply the marketing tactics for B2B buyer’s journey.

Create your Ideal Customer Profile

The next step is to create your Ideal customer Profile. The ideal customer profile (ICP) is your ideal buyer profile, a perfect customer for your digital marketing agency. It is the basic attributes an organization or company needs to have to be successful as your customer.

Or attributes that deems a lead as qualified or unqualified

Before you can create your ideal customer profile, you need to know who your ideal customer is. And you can’t know them if you don’t first set goals and objective to help you accomplish that.

The best way is to keep your company on SMART goals.

Though, that won’t still help you much if you do not apply all necessary inbound marketing strategy, critical thinking and motivations. Think outside the box while acting on your prospect’s emotions. It is until you act on your prospects ‘emotions then will you understand how they behave.

But if you want to get clear understanding of your prospect’s behavior, it goes beyond setting SMART goals. I didn’t say it is not good to set SMART goals but that is not a criterion for knowing who fits your ideal customer profile.

So, how will you know who fits your digital marketing agency ideal customer profile?

The key is to carry out what is called a LEAD QUALIFICATION PROCESS

A lead qualification process is the steps you take to determine whether a prospect fits your ideal customer profile (ICP), ready to be contacted for sales through their actions, and passed from marketing to a qualified lead or sales. There are thousands of potential leads are at the top of their sales funnel but only a small percentage of those leads are your customers.

Without carrying out a lead qualification process, your marketing and sales team will just be wasting time on unqualified leads. And that most likely won’t close a deal with your agency. The Ideal customer profile defines who to target. So, you don’t just start targeting all demographics but only those who fit your ideal customer profile.

Let’s see an example of how your digital marketing agency ideal customer profile should look like:

Industry: Ecommerce

Size: Not specific

Location: Nigeria or Lagos

Interest: SEO, SMM, training, digital ads, content writing.


Now, your first potential Ideal customer profile:

Industry: online grocery store

Size: <500 employees with 200 outlets

Location: Lagos

Interest: SEO, digital ads, content writing.


Your Second potential Ideal customer profile,

Industry:  ICT

Size: not specified

Location: Ghana or South Africa

Interest: Web design, graphics design, and software development.


There’re two listed ideal customer profiles above.  You can go more specific with your buyer persona.

I’m sure it’s pretty simple to figure out who is actually a good fit for your digital marketing agency business based on the company’s ideal customer profile. That’s who will actually want to do business with you.

So, if for instance your marketing and sale’s team is busy targeting the ICT Company, that’ll be a waste of time because the company don’t have the interest of doing business with your agency.

And you can never convert them no matter the inbound marketing tactics you apply.

But the online store company will likely convert because the company is a good fit for your agency based on their customer profile. This makes the company look forward to doing business with your agency.

Once you identify that someone or a company is a good fit for your service, you also need to know how they demonstrate that they’re ready for sales. To measure their sales readiness, you need to identify the actions these people take that correlate with purchasing your service.

These actions could be signing up for your email marketing newsletter, social media engagement, online and in-person event attendance, etc. It is the duty of your sales team to contact your ICP at the right time rather than to start disturbing them at the odd time.

With your ideal customer profile and sales readiness actions, you can build your LEAD QUALIFICATION MATRIX

The six combining parameters for your lead qualification matrix include:

  • Hand Raisers
  • Sales Ready
  • Unready
  • Good fit
  • Bad fit

Here is how you should develop your Lead Qualification Matrix framework:


infographic of Lead Qualification Matrix

Looking at the diagram above, you’ll see that your ideal customer profile good-fit and bad-fit attributes are marked on the Y-axis, and your sales readiness actions are on the X-axis.

When a leads comes in, your marketing and sales team can quickly locate where they fall in, in the matrix in order to nurture them down the funnel more efficiently.

Set your KPIs

Digital Marketing KPIs is simply the Key Performance Indicators. These are measurable goals which help you to track and measure success. KPIs are best way to set expectations and prove that your work is making a positive impact.

It is very important you understand the need to set your KPIs when starting your digital marketing agency business. Non-digital marketers believe that the success of digital marketing activity can’t be measure but your KPIs will prove them wrong.

In fact, it’s easier to measure progress for a digital campaign than an offline campaign. Apart from the fact that you need to set KPIs for your digital marketing agency business, you also need to know that your KPIs may differ slightly from your potential Ideal customer’s KPIs.

So, you have to set your digital marketing KPIs to measure what really matters in a way which both parties can agree on. While some KPIs are channel-specific others relate to overall business goals.

Most organizations usually need KPIs of both types in order to measure both channel performance and the impact on overall goals.

Let say you want to set and measure the KPIs and leading indicators of 5 typical digital marketing channels for an E-commerce client whose focus is on conversions and revenue generation, your KPIs, Leading indicators and digital marketing channels sets up should look like this:

Infographic of how to set KPIs

Sometimes, some clients will first set the KPIs they want to achieve along with budget they want to spend before doing any research to find an expert.

That’s not good as both parties have to reach an agreement on the KPIs to achieve along with the budget they will spend to achieve the desired goals.

For example:

A client asks for 40 conversions with a budget of $1000 but the client’s target keywords cost $10 per click and the site has a 5% conversion rate.

1000 [$spend] ÷ 10[$CPC] = 100 [visits] x 0.05 [5% conversion rate] = 5 [conversions]

From the above, you can see that the budget of $1000 can’t achieve the 40 conversions. This is a trap you don’t have to fall into.

In this kind of situation, all you need to do is to set a KPI of around 5 conversions for that budget and then explain to your client what you can do to reduce the cost-per-click and increase the conversion rate.

Alternatively, you can also ask your client if they would be willing to increase the budget to $8,000 in order to get the 40 conversions they asked for. Setting and agreeing upon KPIs can sometimes require some level of negotiation skills.

Like in most negotiation, you’ll need to learn how to stick to your words. If you can argue your part very well it’ll pay off, for both parties, in the long run. Again, the client you’re negotiating with may push you on the KPI so you will need to be ready to defend yourself.

When setting KPIs, it important you set SMART KPIs. That’s because SMART KPIs is the best way to set out exactly what needs to be achieved. Though, you can hit or miss the target as you either deliver on them or you don’t.

If you discover you can’t hit your KPI it’s important you keep your client posted so that they don’t get any unpleasant surprises.

Develop your content marketing strategy

Without a content marketing strategy, your success or failure in digital marketing agency is just a matter of luck – and you risk all your marketing efforts.

Content marketing strategy is a profile of your key business and customer needs, plus a comprehensive plan of how you will use content to address them.

There are five components your content marketing strategy should include:

  • Mission and goal for creating content
  • Unique values you are looking to provide through your content
  • Description of your audience personas and content maps
  • Your brand story
  • Marketing channel plan

When it comes to driving sales or leads, your content is the key.

At every stage of the buyer’s journey, you need content. You need content at top, middle and bottom of your marketing funnel.

Your content has to stand out no matter the inbound marketing channel you’re using – blog, YouTube, social media or any other.

So whenever your digital marketing agency is set to promote or sell a product, you have to think of what content marketing strategy that would work best for you.

The best option in this regard is to develop a content creation framework.


  • Come up with a content Ideas
  • Have a content timeline
  • Create a workflow
  • Publish your content
  • Promote your content
  • Analyze the results

Content is the single most important tool for driving sales and generating qualified leads. It takes good quality planning to create and distribute content that builds brand awareness, familiarity and purchase intent.

How can your digital marketing agency drive sales or generate qualified leads using content strategy?

Let’s say there’s a new product you want to promote and you’re using a blog post as the channel to reach your target audience. To start, you need to first create a landing page or sales page of the product where you want to drive leads into and get conversion to take place.

That’s page a separate web page and not your blog post. So, you still have to create a blog post for the promotion of the new product. And how can create a compelling blog post for the new product that your target audience can’t say “no” to? Assuming the new product your digital marketing agency is about to promote is an eBook called Viral Copywriting.

So, that means the keyword to target is Viral Copywriting.

Now, you have to carry out keyword research bearing in mind your target audience search intent in order to rank high on search engine for that keyword.

You also need to check the keyword difficulty to know how hard it is to rank for the keyword on SERP. Because you’re just a new digital marketing agency, you may find it so hard to rank high difficult keyword.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t rank for the keywords but your SEO and Search marketing team has a lot of work to do to make it happen.

After your keyword research and keyword difficulty determination, your content and search marketing team have to proceed to check the top 10 SERP ranking for that keyword.

Your team needs to find what these people have done to rank high for the keyword and what to do to outrank them. For example, if the 5 brands that rank high in SERP for that keyword aren’t using videos then you can hijack any of their positions on SERP by adding video to your blog post.

Again, if some of the brands that rank high on SERP aren’t having an in-depth content then you can capitalize on that and write something that is valuable and useful to your target audience. That’s the possible way to outrank your competitors and take their position on SERP.

Now, to write the blog post for your keyword; Viral Copywriting

The title of blog post need to contain your keyword and must be catchy or appealing to the audience. You have to use the conversational style of writing for your write-up and avoid the use of third person point of view.

Ensure your content is in-depth and will serve as definitive guide to Viral Copywriting. Use On-page optimization and interlinking to drive traffic to the landing page or sales page of the new product. If you want fast conversion, apply Call-to-Actions at strategic points in your article.

The call-to-actions to apple include:

  • Learn more
  • Sign up now
  • Contact us now
  • Click here
  • Buy Now

But the call-to-actions to use will depend on the type of web page (landing or sales page) you’re sending your audience to.

Advertise your digital marketing agency business

As a new digital marketing Agency , you need to get people to know about your brand and services

If you want to your brand to get a wider coverage and reach your audience faster, you need to advertise your business.

Running ads campaign is the quickest means to promote and reach your audience. Although once you stop running ads, with time your traffic will drop. Some of the ads you can run to promote and increase your brand visibility include:

You can also leverage Google My Business to get your business featured on Google knowledge panel.

That’s so vital for building reputation for your digital marketing agency business. With Google my business profile link to Google ads supports extension; your business can appear on Google SERP. And that will enhance your credibility and ultimately boost conversion.

When running Google Adwords, there’re two factors that determine your success in Google ads auction system. They include:

  • Relevance(quality score)
  • Bids

To outrank other advertisers your ad copy must meet the search intent of the audience and your bids must also be higher.

Most times, when your competitors discover that there competing bids, they can quickly go and change their bids so it’s very important you keep an eye on your bid in order to remain on top position.

Another important thing you should know,

Your ad can be shown to someone when search for a digital marketing agency but the good thing is that you’ll only pay if the searcher clicks on your ads.

Now, if you’re willing to pay up 5 dollars when people click on your ad (cost per click) after searching for a digital marketing agency and your competitors could only afford 3 dollar cost per click (CPC), you’ll have a higher bid.

That’s means your ads will be leading in the auction slot.

Apart from the bids, Ads relevance (also referred to as quality score) is another important factor for success

Take for instance, someone searches for “digital marketing agency business” and your ad’s title reads “digital marketing agency business in Nigeria”, the search engine will likely prioritize your ad as the most highly relevant to the search query.

But, if your ad’s title reads “digital marketing agency service “, both ad’s title refers to a digital marketing agency, but the digital marketing agency service seems to be less relevant because it’s about digital marketing agency service instead of a digital marketing agency business.

That’s why it’s very important to consider user or search intent when optimizing your ad campaign.

And again, use A/B testing to determine which of your ad copy that’s performing well on two versions of your web page, email, or other marketing asset.

If you’re not A/B testing your ad copy, you may be leaving some money on the table.

You can also apply Split testing but I prefer A/B testing.

A/B testing can save you from a lot of hard work and wasted campaigns by helping to identify campaigns or changes to make to get a favorable result

Other ways to advertise your digital marketing agency business include:

  • Guest blogging
  • Email marketing
  • Direct advertisement
  • Mobile marketing etc.


Congratulations for making it to end of this article!

You’re just a step way to starting a lucrative digital marketing agency Business in Nigeria. I believe you’ve learnt so much on how to start a digital marketing agency in Nigeria following the detail steps above.

So, setting up your own digital marketing agency will no longer be difficult for you. The ultimate goal for every digital marketer is to make conversions. And the summary to the way to make conversion is like this:

  • Start by defining your ideal customer profiles and personas
  • Create story that specifically target those companies and roles
  • Engage them on their terms across all channels — online and offline.
  • Finally, get them converted.

Maximize your marketing skills, if done well; digital marketing agency will be so lucrative for you.

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Now, let’s hear your own idea about digital marketing in Nigeria.

3 thoughts on “How to Start Digital Marketing Agency in Nigeria – 7 steps”

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    Your style is really unique in comparison to other people I have read stuff from. I appreciate you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I’ll just bookmark this blog.

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