Internet Marketing and Lead Generation in Pakistan

Pakistan and the Internet

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan as it is officially referred to, is a sovereign state located in South Asia. Pakistan covers an area of 307,374 square miles and has a coastline of 650 miles along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman. Pakistan is bordered by Iran, Afghanistan, India and China, and shares a marine border with Oman. With a total estimated population of more than 177 million people Pakistan has more internet users than Canada with an estimated internet user base of almost 31 million people. Although this represents an internet penetration of just 16.78% it still represents a sizable internet marketing opportunity in terms of numbers. Pakistan has a GDP (PPP) of $2,851 and an unemployment rate of 15.4% which may seem low but presents internet marketers with an opportunity to provide budget type products and services or free content that can be used to increase website search engine popularity to capture the high end Pakistani market. Pakistan is also considered as a rapidly developing country with a good potential of becoming one of the world’s largest economies in the 21st century with military rule seeing better economic improvements than civilian. There are reported to be around 7 million Pakistanis living abroad sending back close to US$8 billion every year.

Search Engine Market Share and Search Trends

Search engine market share in Pakistan is dominated by Google Pakistan which has an 81% share followed by Google with a 12% search engine market share. This is followed by Yahoo web sites representing just 3% and the remainder comprising of a combination of various country specific Google sites such as Google UK and Canada. The top search term trends involve Facebook and the downloading of games, You Tube videos and Skype with rising searches including “download Google chrome” at +300%, “Chrome” at +250% and “download idm” and “idm” at +250% and +200% respectively. The abbreviation “IDM” stands for “Internet Download Manager” which is a free downloading utility claimed to be spyware and adware free. These search insights reveal that Pakistan internet users are predominantly occupied with the social media and the download of games, videos and resources to enable the easier downloading of such media. There seems to be an incredibly high interest in Tom and Jerry cartoon games which would suggest an opportunity for internet marketers to develop affiliate sites to promote them, perhaps utilising a free mobile app which includes some game giveaways.

Facebook and Social Media in Pakistan

Pakistan is in just 26th position in terms of Facebook users with more than 5.8 million people which represents a Facebook penetration of 31.84% in terms of internet users. Facebook represents the second most popular search term in Pakistan followed by You Tube and Urdu in 8th position. Urdu is one of only two official languages spoken in Pakistan with the other being English which lends support to the necessity of developing multilingual sites that are optimised for both English and Urdu and that have a heavy Facebook connectivity. Of course, those internet marketers wishing to engage in lead generation campaigns in Pakistan should see Facebook and other social media sites as crucial to their campaigns.

Mobile Internet in Pakistan

In 2009 it was reported that there were 94.6 million mobile phone users in Pakistan and although the number of smartphones used in Pakistan is relatively low, it is increasing due to the introduction of lower priced Android phones. With the soon to be announce 3G licences in Pakistan it is the perfect time for internet marketers to start developing websites and lead generation campaigns ready to take on the demand for high quality rich media that the country will be begging for once 3G is officially launched. The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) have already allocated a frequency spectrum of 35 MHz for 3G but the Ministry of Information Technology (MoIT) have yet to announce the 3G policy guidelines to allow auctioning of 3G licencing. Having said this mobile internet providers have already begun slashing prices of USB internet services down to around 1000 Indian Rupees (£12) a month.

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