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NIGERIA | Domain name industry grows as businesses go online

NIGERIA | Domain name industry grows as businesses go online
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The Nigerian domain name industry is benefiting as more local businesses flock online to promote their businesses to the Internet community.

The Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA), the managers of the country’s .ng Internet domain name, says name registrations peaked at 6,797 at Q1 2017.

“For the month of March 2017, there were a total of 6,797 domain name registrations. This figure is more than the March 2016 registrations of 4,129. This is indeed a remarkable improvement”, NIRA says in a statement showing the domain name business trend among the Internet community.

According to Reverend Sunday Folayan, President of NIRA, “The March 2017 total registration is more than the total February 2017 registration of 5,254. This trend shows the improvement in the number of domain registrations.”

The Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA), the managers of the country’s .ng Internet domain name says name registrations peaked at 6,797 at Q1 2017.
The Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA), the managers of the country’s .ng Internet domain name says name registrations peaked at 6,797 at Q1 2017. Source: NIRA

Folayan also offered an insight into the link between the economy and the local domain name industry when he says “the economic situation in 2016 was quite different from the economic climate in 2017. Nigerians have re-strategized in their plans for promoting their online business and hence there is improvement in the domain name count.”

Meanwhile, NIRA has advised small businesses to embrace Internet branding strategies to attract new customers online and grow their businesses on the Internet.

According to the domain name manager, “Internet Branding is a word often associated with online marketing.”

“You must have heard it, but what does it really mean? Can branding help drive more traffic to a business website and create a number of rabid fans and buyers?” according to the online success tips for small businesses offered by NIRA.

Details of the NIRA’s online brand success tip are provided below:

A brand can be defined as a “trade-name, trade-mark, line, label, make, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.” And over time, this image is associated with a level of assurance, credibility, quality and satisfaction in the mind of the customer.

The brand of a seller can differentiate that product/ service online and separate that organisation from the crowd. To have a wider outreach in this technological age, with so many websites and Internet marketers all vying for customers, it is important to differentiate one’s offer (a Unique Selling Proposition) from that which is offered by the competition. You need a domain name, preferably a .ng domain name to place your brand online. You need a very strong domain name that speaks for itself.

“The advent of the Internet has highlighted that the era of small business branding platforms, the reign of TV, radio, and newspapers, is over. All businesses now gravitate towards the Internet when it comes to business branding and marketing. Business owners need to reach out to the bigger market.”

Commercial activities underway at Ikeja Computer Village, the nation's biggest technology market as Nigeria debates whether or not to devalue to the Naira
Commercial activities underway at Ikeja Computer Village, the nation’s biggest technology market as Nigeria debates whether or not to devalue to the Naira

The advent of the Internet has highlighted that the era of small business branding platforms, the reign of TV, radio, and newspapers, is over. All businesses now gravitate towards the Internet when it comes to business branding and marketing. Business owners need to reach out to the bigger market. The many social media platforms have provided the needed avenue for many small scale businesses to engage their prospective patrons. The larger businesses have also caught the bug and have joined the social media platforms to market their brands. They have realized that people are drawn to the social media platforms and have established a presence on those platforms.

Sunday Folayan, President of Nigeria Internet Registration Association of Nigeria (NIRA) seen at a display of Nigeria's .ng Internet domain name in Lagos
Sunday Folayan, President of Nigeria Internet Registration Association of Nigeria (NIRA) seen at a display of Nigeria’s .ng Internet domain name in Lagos

Establishing a presence on the Internet is important even if you have a physical store. Online marketing provides lots of opportunities. The outreach is more. It has become necessary to create an interactive, regularly updated site or blog on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc. Being active on social media sites will not only increase brand awareness, it will also boost search engines rank of a business website.

NIRA’s Product Branding Strategies and Tips for Small Business

  1. Use of the power of the Internet to promote a brand

With the Internet, the small business entrepreneurs don’t have to spend much to advertise and market their products. The best avenue to increase brand awareness is the Internet.  With little or no budget, it is possible to take advantage of Internet resources for product branding campaigns.

  1. Unique Selling Proposition   

It is advised that brand awareness can be increased and strengthened by focusing on one to two features of a business or product.  For product/business branding, SMEs are advised to identify the best and most saleable feature of their product and use that to formulate the product branding strategy.

  1. Promoting the business

Up-to-date contents should always be available on the company website as it is a strategy to increase brand awareness.  There are several tools and platforms to launch advertising and marketing campaigns on the Internet to strengthen a brand and its online presence.  The internet is a great influential avenue to promote a product and establish a brand.

  1. Leverage on social networking media

Most people have their own social networks so product branding is highly recommended to be carried out on social media platforms.

  1. Consistency in promoting brand online

The best product branding strategy is to ensure that expectations exceed the target market. Have events (promotions, awards, competitions, etc) that keep the brand in the news for positive image.

To build a powerful/strong brand on the Internet, ensure a niche market is created for your brand. Host your website locally to ensure short time frame to resolve challenges. Every business should aspire for strong online presence, portraying the brand as trusted and reliable. With a strong brand, you can enjoy greater recognition and profitability.  It must be noted that the Internet provides a good leverage to a small business for promoting its brand. For your online presence, register your preferred available .ng domain name to ensure you can promote your brand online.

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