Marketing your business in South Africa

Starting a business or being appointed as a marketing officer or put in charge of a company is a big achievement in life. If you have made the decision to go on your own you are going to need to market and advertise your business to your customers in South Africa or abroad. Marketing in South Africa is slightly different from other parts of Africa or the world. I think it would be a good idea to start right at the beginning and work through prerequisites to marketing a business in South Africa as well as work through some marketing and advertising activities that you will need to do for your business.


Know what your business does

This step sounds silly and you’re probably saying, “how can someone not know what the business does?” Not being able to precisely define what services or products are offered by your business is more common than you think. We see this a lot in our business as a business owner will approach us to create a website, say a garden service, we will start off by asking what services they offer. The owner may reply with things like, “We offer all garden services”. When we ask them to elaborate they may answer, “whatever service the client needs”. You need to be able to define exactly what your business does and what your business does not do. In the example above the owner of the garden service could have answered, “we do only residential properties, and offer a grass cutting service, monthly garden maintenance service, tree felling, astroturf installation, and paving stone installation”. Knowing this is extremely important as it helps you to understand your clients and understand who your competitors are, This leads us into our next step.

Define your customers

Now that you know exactly what services you offer you should define exactly who your customers are. In the example of the garden service, you may define your customers as families that have a small to medium-sized home with a garden, both parents work and had little time to maintain the garden, and are located in the southern suburbs of Cape Town. Know who your customers are will help you to advertise to the right people.

Create a website

Now we get into actually putting your business out there. Start with a website where prospective customers can contact you, see what services you offer, see some pictures of your previous work, and read more about you. Your website should be mobile-friendly, quick loading, and set up for local SEO. It should also be very easy for people to contact you from your website, with contact forms on each page and a WhatsApp button to allow quick contact.

Google my business

Now that you have a website you should set up a Google My Business account. This is free and allows you to place all your information for Google to easily bring up in search results for your business. Here is a link to login with your Google email address, follow the prompts on the screen, and make sure you complete all the information.

Facebook page

Start a Facebook Page for your business. Make sure that you keep the page up-to-date with your latest work and that it has all your business information on it. This is a great way for people to find and share your content.

Network marketing

Join a network marketing group such as BNI. This Group will be a local group for you and a really great way to get referral business and pass on referral business. These groups cost money to join so select the best one for you.


Old school is cool. Don’t underestimate what flyers can do for your business. Someone may receive a flyer in the post and it will sit next to their phone for months but every time they make a call they will see your business. When they are looking for your services you will be the first person they call. Printing flyers is not expensive, we use Webprinter. The South African Post Office will distribute flyers for you, either to people’s homes in specific areas or in PO boxes. It costs around R0.25 per flyer. Here are the services offered by the South African Post Office.

Google Ads

Now that you have done all the above, you may want to push your business a little further with Google Ads. This is a really great way to get your business seen on Google. Search ads place your business at the top of search results for keywords that you choose. This will push people to your website when you’re actually looking for your services. You have to pay for this service so make sure you budget for it in your planning.

Facebook Ads

This is another great advertising platform that really gets results for your business. Facebook Ads allow you to show adverts to people who have already seen your website allowing you to make sure you get the sale. You can also find people who would be interested in your business in your local area. You have to pay for this service so make sure you budget for it in your planning.

Marketing can be hard for any business but making sure that you show your business to people who would be interested in your services is the important part. At Digital Lime Green we can assist with digital marketing strategies or with any single aspect such as web design, Google ads, or Facebook ads. Call us on 087 379 5978 or email on to find out more about our services so you can start marketing and advertising to new customers.