Online Advertising in Kenya-Complete Guide 2022

Online Advertising in Kenya-Complete Guide 2022


Online advertising in Kenya is still something that a lot of marketers and business owners are skeptical about. However, something that we can all agree on is that as marketers and business owners, the most important thing when it comes to advertising is cost-effectiveness and results.

For that reason, we shall take a deep dive into online advertising in Kenya and how by advertising online, your campaigns can be both more cost-effective and deliver better results.

Before we do, here are some numbers to open the conversation on the right foot. As of January 2021, there were over 21.75 million active internet users and over 11.00 million active social media users in Kenya. The number of social media users in Kenya increased by 2.2 million (+25%) between 2020 and 2021. The number of social media users in Kenya was equivalent to 20.2% of the total population in January 2021.

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What is online advertising in Kenya

Online advertising is a marketing strategy that involves using the internet to get your marketing message to the right people at the right time. Online advertising unlike traditional advertising allows you to target the specific persona that you have created for your product or service. 

5 Key Benefits of online advertising in Kenya

Online Advertising in Kenya-Complete Guide 2022Online advertising in Kenya presents a host of benefits that your company can’t get with traditional advertising. Some of these include proximity to your customers, customization and optimization, and more which are discussed below.

1. Proximity to customers

Online advertising in Kenya gives you very close proximity to your customers. Why is this important? Feedback and relationship building. Marketing today is a two-way conversation. Because of this evolution in marketing, online advertising stops being optional. Instead, it now is an integral part of your marketing efforts if you wish to know what your customers are thinking and feeling towards your products and services.

2. Customization and Optimization 

Online advertising in Kenya also allows you to customize and optimize your advertising message.

3. Customization

Online advertising allows you to highly customize your advertising message. How is this possible? With online advertising, you have the power of targeting people based on their demographic, location, age, gender, job title, stage in life, and several other factors.With all these differences in mind, you can create specific advertising messages to suit each Ad group. Moreover, you are also able to customize across platforms. Your Instagram advertising message will be different from your LinkedIn advertising message which will be different from your google search advertisement. 

4. Optimization

One of the greatest benefits of online marketing is its sense of immediacy. You are able to immediately stop a campaign that has an issue or isn’t performing, quickly optimize it, and have it running again in no time. Such a fit would be all but impossible with print and other mass media advertising channels in Kenya.

5. Detailed Targeting

Another great benefit of online advertising is that you are able to target your advertising message to the right people. Unlike advertising on television or on a radio or through print, with online advertising, you can be as specific as you wish with your advertising message.You can target based on location, region, demographic, psychographic, job title, and more depending on the online advertising platform. For instance, you sell high-end sporting goods for men in Kenya. With online advertising, you can target men within the age group of your persona, and target the locations where your target persona lives.Additionally, you can also target them based on their interest. For instance the sports they participate in or watch on the weekend’s example soccer, basketball, or golf.

6. Measurable ROI 

The fourth advantage of online advertising in Kenya is that the return on investment is measured right on the advertising platform. For instance, you own an electronics shop. With Facebook advertising and Facebook Pixel, you can track exactly how much money you made from a campaign.

7. Cost and Time Efficient

The fifth benefit of online advertising in Kenya is that it is more cost and time-efficient. Online advertising costs less both in time and in resources. This is because nothing needs to be printed. You can have your online advertisement running in minutes as long as the creatives like a video, blog, or image are ready to be promoted.Online advertising in Kenya is also significantly cheaper than traditional advertising channels in Kenya. For instance, according to research, a tv ad in Kenya will set you back approximately $7,500 a week. That is Ksh. 843,750.00 a week. Without any way of calculating a return on this ad spend.


Organic versus Paid Online Marketing in Kenya

When it comes to online marketing communication in Kenya, it can either be organic or it can be paid.

Organic Online Marketing in Kenya

What is organic online marketing in Kenya? According to Hubspot, organic marketing is a strategy that generates traffic to your business over time rather than using paid methods. Organic strategies include blog posts, case studies, guest posts, unpaid tweets, and social media updates. Organic marketing uses SEO, social media, and a variety of other channels to increase brand awareness.

Paid Online Marketing in Kenya

What is paid online marketing in Kenya? Paid online marketing is the opposite. This is traffic that you pay for. This is done through a variety of channels. These will be discussed in the ‘types of online advertising in Kenya section.

Most Common Types of online advertising in Kenya

There are several ways for you to reach your customer in Kenya on the internet. Some of these include search engine advertising, display advertising, social media advertising, video advertising, mobile advertising, email advertising, and retargeting or remarketing. 

  1. Search Engine Advertising

Search engine advertising is when you publish your online ads on a search engine like Google, Bing, or any other search engine. Search engine advertisements depend on keywords and are created to target various keywords that your prospective customers may type to find your product or service.For instance, if you own a high-end perfume shop in Nairobi then some words you might target might be perfume shop Nairobi, designer perfume shop Nairobi, etc.

  1. Display Advertising 

The second common type of online advertising in Kenya is display advertising.Display advertising is defined as a mode of online advertising where marketers use banner ads along with other visual ad formats to advertise their product on websites, apps, or social media.

  1. Social Media Advertising

The third type of popular online advertising in Kenya is social media advertising. Social media advertising is when you promote your marketing message through social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, or Pinterest. Social media advertising in Kenya leverages your social media community and then targets other people who may have similar characteristics to your social media following.


  1. Video Advertising

Video advertising is when you use video to communicate your marketing message to your prospective customers. Video advertising is an engaging ad format to tell the story of your brand using video. Video ad formats encourage conversation and sharing which helps spread your brand’s message further. 


  1. Mobile Advertising

The fifth most popular type of online advertising in Kenya is mobile advertising. Mobile advertising refers to the different forms of ads that you see on your smartphone. Mobile advertising can include anything from SMS offers, banner advertisements on websites, ads on downloaded apps and games, and much more.

  1. Email Advertising

Over black Friday month did you happen to get a message from JUMIA? Or Kilimall? Or perhaps Uber eats? Alternatively, you could have received an email from your bank or your favorite store. If yes then you are already familiar with email marketing. 


The first marketing email was sent in 1978, resulted in $13 million in sales, and kicked off what has become one of the most highly used marketing channels even to this day. Email marketing is simply communicating with your customers or prospective customers via a highly customizable channel.


Through segmentation and personalization, you are able to form meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships with your customers. More importantly, done right, you can generate sales as well.

  1. Retargeting and Remarketing

The seventh most common type of online advertising in Kenya is retargeting and remarketing. Although retargeting and remarketing are similar, they are not the same thing.


Retargeting refers to online ad placement or display ads targeting users who have interacted with your site in specific ways without purchasing. Once a visitor enters your website, clicks on a product, or takes a certain action that you want them to take, a cookie is set in their browser.You can then use this information to “retarget” them with ads based on their interactions once they leave your site. These ads are placed by third parties, such as the Google Display Network or Facebook. They allow your ads to trigger on other sites that your visitors go to.


Remarketing is when you send a targeted ad to a customer who has already purchased your product or service. Remarketing ads are typically used to get the customer to purchase again or to upsell them to a higher product offering. The messaging uses their previous purchase to inform and customize the message.The key thing to note about the difference between retargeting and remarketing is that retargeting is to people who have not yet purchased your products while remarketing is to people who are already customers.


Online advertising in Kenya in 5 simple steps

Online Marketing in Kenya Complete Guide 2022Now that we have covered benefits, paid and organic and types of online advertising in Kenya you might be wondering how to go about it. In this section, we guide you through online advertising in Kenya in 5 simple steps.

1. Online marketing strategy

For your online advertising in Kenya to succeed you need a campaign concept backed by research. Begin by stating the problem you are trying to solve, and then connect this to the audience you are trying to reach.For instance, are people landing on your website but then leaving right away without taking the desired action? You could begin by looking at user behavior on google analytics which is a free Google tool. This tool will help you understand what your customers are doing when they get to your website and also what they interact with just before they leave.You could then come up with a strategy to improve your user experience. The high bounce rate could indicate that the website isn’t user-friendly.You could then launch a campaign driving traffic to your website or landing page after you have improved the layout and observe the traffic behavior on Google analytics to see if it had improved. Online Marketing in Kenya Complete Guide 2022

2. Online advertising budgeting 

The online marketing budget for your online ads in Kenya should be simple. Begin with what you can afford. No need to start with a $1000 budget if that isn’t where your business is financially. The channels you choose are the ones that will have the most say over your advertising budget.Facebook ads are pretty affordable. However, depending on the campaign objective you might want to go with Google even though Google ads might cost you more. 

3. Ad creatives / Production

The third stage of online advertising in Kenya is the creation of the banners, blogs, videos, and copies that will make the online advertisement.This can be as simple or as intricate as you want depending on the budget, campaign objective, and the time you have. When you’re beginning online advertising keep things simple. 


With the help of the Facebook ad library, you can view your competitor’s ads. This way you can ethically borrow ideas for the creatives to use. After your first campaign, you’ll feel more confident with your online ads in Kenya. 

You will also have some ideas of your own about how you want your brand to be communicated to your prospective customers.

4. Online advertising distribution

The fourth step to online advertising in Kenya is to choose the marketing distribution. These are simply the online channels you wish to have your marketing messages on. This will depend on the format of the advertisement as well as your budget.The bigger the budget, the more channels you can distribute your marketing message on. 

5. Online advertising optimization and reporting 

The fifth step of online marketing in Kenya is optimizing and reporting. Online marketing optimization. This is making adjustments to an online ad to improve its reach, its conversion, or its performance in general. Ad optimization could vary greatly from changing the location, the target audience, the budget, or even the ad creative.


Online Marketing reporting

Someone once said that anything that can be measured can be improved. That is the principle we use here. All online advertisements must be reported. This way, you can see where your performance is coming from and you can decide where you want it to go.

Through ad reporting, you can see which ads are performing, which could be performing better, and which need to be stopped.


Most importantly, you see opportunities for improvement and innovation.


With over 21.75 million active internet users in Kenya today, online advertising is no longer optional for advertisers and business owners. However, getting started for the first time can be all too overwhelming. However, with this comprehensive guide for online advertising in Kenya, you should be set.


Although if you’re still feeling stranded feel free to call us for an online marketing strategy call that is completely FREE.

Online Advertising in Kenya

Growthpad Digital Consulting
Growthpad Digital Consulting
We are a digital media and tech consulting firm headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, with operations across East Africa. E: [email protected]   P: +254 701 850 850

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