Pulse People: Ben Bassey – Director of Content, Pulse Nigeria.

If you have been following Pulse Nigeria on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, then you’re already familiar with the work of Ben Bassey, Director of Content at Pulse Nigeria. Ben’s story seems to be underscored by one word: options. After dabbling in a bunch of creative and entrepreneurial endeavours, he decided to pursue his editorial career full time, and within the editorial niche, he has also dabbled in a number of disciplines. These days, he’s charged with managing the skilled, diverse, and very creative 30-man content team in Lagos, Nigeria, leveraging social media and the web to inform and engage millions of young people who are part of our digital communities. 

In this edition of Pulse People, we speak to Ben Bassey, Director of Content, Pulse Nigeria.

Tell me a little about your background, and how your career came to be:

I have what I like to call an entrepreneurial hustler background. I used to own a fish farm, a music studio, traded forex, and created digital products for sale.  Content then was something I did as a hobby or to promote my products. I occasionally did a few projects for some clients. Plus I wasn’t sure which area of content I wanted to focus on, so I trained and practiced as a music producer, animator, graphic artist, video editor and after effects specialist, etc. It later turned out to be a hidden advantage in my current role. 

What is your role at Pulse?

I manage the super talented and crazy people (which is the default setting with talented people) that create content for Pulse Nigeria. Together with the various content leads, we chart the content direction, execution, quality, and operations of a 30-man content team. I am tasked to oversee this process.

What does your typical day look like right now?

I start my day by visiting the Pulse pages to ensure we have the latest trending stories while also making sure the quality of the posts are on point. I then monitor other media platforms and what is trending on social media. Check my emails, have meetings with my team to chart content direction or whatever project we are currently working on. In between, I do some day-to-day operational stuff.

What was your path to Pulse? And what has your journey been within the organization? 

When I finally decided to pursue content as a career, I told a friend who works here that I was interested in joining Pulse. He told me there was an opportunity but the role was for RSS management, not writing. The JD (job description) fit some elements of selling digital products, so I took the role. It was basically me publishing news wire content in Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya. After a while, I was promoted to lead the Content Hub, where I was still in charge of news wire content, but now had a video and social media team. We created and distributed content across the various Pulse markets in Africa. In 2018, I was promoted to Head of Operations for the editorial team and was in charge of quality assurance, client requests, media partnerships, inbound sales, onboarding, and day-to-day operations. In 2019, I was made Editor in Chief and later, Director of Content.

What inspires you to work every day?

I love to see ideas take life whether it is in the form of content or project management. My current role allows me to explore my creative, entrepreneurial, and organisational skills. It can be hectic a lot of times and there is always some new challenge waiting around the corner but most times it does not feel like work.

What’s the best part about working at Pulse? 

The opportunities to learn and grow are immense. You constantly need to be innovative and you can’t innovate without learning, so it’s an endless cycle of growth. In my role as Director of Content, there are many things that could clog the flow of work, and I’ve come to see those challenges as great opportunities to innovate. I’m grateful for the work culture and environment here because they allow me and my team to colour outside the lines, and really collaborate and arrive at creative and sustainable solutions. It’s the best part for me. 

What do you do when you’re not working? 

This changes over time. For now, it’s watching movies and daydreaming. Daydreaming is the constant here – I like to let my mind wander. It helps me reboot, lol. I also like to shoot some pool or hang out with some friends.

Ahmed Beddy Kane – Graphic Designer and Video Specialist, Pulse Senegal.

Welcome to another edition of Pulse People. We’re speaking with Ahmed Beddy Kane, Graphic Designer, and Video Specialist, working out of Dakar, Senegal with the Pulse Senegal team. From being inspired by his reporter father to finding release in music, sports, and video games, Ahmed shares his passion for video with us, and how Pulse has helped him grow professionally.

Tell me a little about your background.

My name is Ahmed Beddy Kane. I am a video specialist, photographer, and graphic designer. My father was a reporter on the national channel. As a child, he used to give me the camera so that I could film certain activities that were going on around the house. That’s why after the BAC (baccalaureate), I decided to do Multimedia training.

I attended the professional world in license 1 in a film production company. I was there as an intern in video editing. But I also participated in film festivals too. I went through vibe radio Senegal and Expat Dakar. It was through Expat Dakar that I got into Pulse.

Let’s talk about your role at Pulse. What does it entail? What do you do on a daily basis? And how do you manage all the tasks?

At Pulse, I am responsible for making videos, photoshoots, montages, animations, and sometimes designs for clients. Every day I come to see the schedule, to see my tasks if there are videos to do or visuals. But I manage all my tasks with technique and zero pressure.

How much have you grown at Pulse? If you have changed roles, also tell us about that. 

I grew into maturity at Pulse. Pulse also allowed me to find solutions to problems in my line of work, but also things outside the office. At Pulse I’ve learned a lot; I learned how to deal with pressure and stress.

What is Dakar like?

Dakar is good. Life is good here. We enjoy a quiet and rich nightlife. I am an outgoing person, so I’m quite acquainted with the nightlife in Dakar.

What inspires you at work?
I’m inspired by the team spirit and the atmosphere, the work environment. What inspires me in my job is music and sports.

Tell me about your other interests, outside of video.

I am passionate about football, photography, and video games. In my free time, I go to drink tea with friends, train (football) and play the Playstation.

Leveraging local trends for brand growth

In the brand growth and marketing playbook, digital media has become the largest driver by far. It’s no longer a question of whether your brand should be on social media. It’s now a matter of how up-to-date your marketing team is with the latest ways to share content and the latest trending formats. Instagram recently announced that they will concentrate their focus on newer formats that are showing much higher engagement levels on the platform than static photos, namely, video (reels) and creators. They have also indicated that payouts might come next to outstanding creators. Combine this with the meteoric rise of TikTok and micro-video content, and you get a clear picture of the future of marketing, especially to young people. 

Pulse sits at the nexus of culture and digital media and through the campaigns, we run and our digital community-building efforts, we have gained insights into driving growth for our partners by leveraging trends. Here are some tips to leverage local trends to drive growth:

1. Identify influential trends on social media

Keeping your target audience in mind, identify trends that get them to engage, react and comment actively and in large numbers. Being active and actively listening on social gives you an idea of what is popular and trending with your target. Some trends may be very spontaneous and will require you to be quick to jump onto them, while others can be anticipated and properly planned for, for example, Big Brother Naija, a reality TV show in Nigeria that has now become the biggest show in Africa. Overall, you need to be actively listening on social media to be able to pick up on these trend waves. Here are some tools that will help you identify trends that are generating engagement and are relevant to your target:

Google Trends

This is perhaps the most expansive tool with which to track rising trends across all of the internet. You can pick up on a trend on a single social network, and use that information to predict that trend on another platform. This can help you prepare to ride the trend when it eventually hits other platforms. Simply set up Google Alerts for the keywords you want to keep an eye on.

TweetDeck

This tool is worth mentioning because Twitter is an important platform when we discuss the subject of trends. Twitter and now recently, TikTok is where most social trends originate. It is also where trending topics (which may originate from other networks and channels) get discussed the most. There is always an active conversation on Twitter on the world’s trending topics daily. Monitoring conversations on Twitter is then especially important. TweetDeck helps you monitor chosen hashtags and keep tabs on their popularity. 

TikTok’s Discover

The Discover page on TikTok is an incredibly powerful tool for discovering what’s trending on TikTok. And what’s trending on TikTok spills over to other platforms with an increasing frequency. You can quickly jump on the biggest hashtags or find hashtags that are specific to your niche and create content for this. This way, your content can be shared, reshared, downloaded, and engaged with by the people you’re trying to reach. 

CrowdTangle

CrowdTangle is a public insights tool from Facebook that makes it easy to follow, analyze, and report on what’s happening with public content on social media. Among other powerful features, you can analyze trends across thousands of accounts over time and get insights into trend seasons, timing, etc. This tool can also be used to evaluate your own social media activity and compare it to similar accounts/competitors to give you clues about what is working, or not working.

2. Get a good handle/perspective

Having identified a trend to jump on, it is important to pay close attention to nuance and context and think about your angle carefully, especially in the light of the culture of your audience. All too often, there is the always present possibility of a backlash from the audience, if the perspective, timing, or visuals are not right. The key here is not to attract too much attention to the brand, but to be positioned as an ally of the crowd, either helping them access gated or exclusive content, or sharing packaged content they may have missed. 

3. Amplification

When you’re jumping on a trend, you want to make sure that you get the word out and properly amplify your message. 

For most brands, this may mean paid amplification across channels. At Pulse, however, we have a native digital community in each of our markets that is active and engaged. The benefit of brand partnerships with Pulse to leverage trends is that we provide this amplification to millions of young users across Africa with engaging content, allowing your marketing efforts to be noticed. 

This year, for Big Brother Naija, we’re partnering with Showmax and DKT to provide coverage of the show and updates for many people who are not able to watch it all day. This partnership allows the brand’s involvement in such a mega trend to be seen and noticed by our millions of community members, and also provides a platform for the brand’s messages to reach the millions of people who will be watching the updates, benefiting from the partnership and being gently exposed to a new or recurring relationship with that brand. 

If you’re interested in spotlighting your brand and taking advantage of the Big Brother Naija show, please reach out to us here

No matter what industry you are in, dialing into the social conversation and inserting your brand appropriately into these conversations can help you boost brand awareness, bringing you top-of-mind to your target, engagement, and ultimately, revenue. Paying attention to what your audience cares about and helping them connect more with it is a great way to build and/or strengthen relationships with them.

Pulse People: Caren Rotich, Head, Pulse Studio, Pulse Kenya.

The Third edition of Pulse People is here! This time, we’re talking to Caren Rotich. From intern to Head of Pulse Studio in Kenya, Caren Rotich shares her interesting career journey with us and gives us a peep into how she spends her free time, and what inspires her.

Tell us about your background:

I used to love journalism. I wanted to do it on campus (in university). I got into the campus for journalism and I found myself more interested in reporting, writing, and editing. 

So after school, where did you work?

Pulse actually is my first place of full employment, but I’ve interned at different media companies in Nairobi in different roles. My first internship was radio reporting and partly a bit of TV and news reporting, and also some video production (sometime around 2014). And then I went back to campus to do my Bachelors (around 2016) and got into Pulse straight after campus in 2019. 

Tell me about your role at Pulse.

At Pulse currently, my role is Head of Pulse Studio at Pulse Kenya. My job basically is to manage all our client projects from concept to screen, making sure that what we execute as a studio meets and exceeds the clients’ expectations. So basically managing all that, and also budgeting for Pulse Studio, whatever is needed for success in everything that we execute for our clients. I am also involved in the production of all Pulse studio client projects, making sure that my team; Pulse studio (A big shout out to them for the good work they do every day) have a good working environment and a good working relationship with other team members, coming up with video strategy recommendations (On this I have to work closely with operations, sales and even social) for what’s best for our client videos. This is much of what I do on a daily basis. I still do scripting for our client projects.

You have just launched a new studio building for Pulse Studio in Kenya. Can you tell me about that?

Oh yeah, it’s interesting. I’m very excited about it. Currently, I am in charge of it, but moving forward we hope to get someone who is going to help us manage the studio. It’s quite a big space, and we’re hopeful that we’re going to do so much more in that space. So far we’ve done two client executions in our studio. The first TVC (television commercial) has been completed there for Skygarden, an interesting shoot, and I can’t wait for you guys to see it. We also did the first social experiment there for a client (Diageo). It was quite interesting; we had the best cast, and I just can’t wait to see more client executions that are to be done in that space.

So what’s Nairobi like?

This (July) is one of the coldest months in Nairobi. It’s freezing! We even have heaters in the office. But actually, it’s a good place to live, an interesting place to be. You get to learn different things every day. 

I’m just from the countryside, and it’s so warm there. But coming into Nairobi, it’s different. It can also get warm sometimes. The weather is a bit unpredictable.

Tell me about your journey into Pulse.

My career journey into Pulse is interesting. I came in straight after campus in 2019. I just saw a vacancy online. I was one of the student leaders on campus, and we still had our WhatsApp group. One of our lecturers just posted about an internship at Pulse. So, having nothing to do after campus (I hadn’t figured out where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do), I was like, let me just make this application for this internship. If I get it, I can go do some interesting stuff there. So I made the application, and then visited Pulse’s pages on Facebook and Instagram, then I got more interested. It looked like a great place to work, and do great stuff. I had started noticing that digital media was the upcoming trend.

So I got really interested and started praying that I would get the opportunity to join. On January 6, I got an email and a call to join, and I started my internship on the 9th of January. I remember the date because it was a big moment for me. I joined to do video editing for Wochit videos (Wochit videos are a type of video format used in Pulse Kenya at that time) and scriptwriting for News and Lifestyle. I was then retasked with client scripts, so I was handling internal lifestyle and news scripts and at the same time working on client scripts. Slowly I also moved into client Wochits as well. 

After my internship was concluded, I was confirmed as the first scriptwriter at Pulse Kenya. I did more of the client scripting as well as more client Wochit videos and less internal script work. I did that all through till around October 2020 when I got promoted to Project Manager/scriptwriter, where, with the team, I managed to pull off one of the first TVCs (television commercial) that we did (for Golden Africa). I managed the project so well that I got nominated for the Employee of the Month once we completed the project. (All thanks to the team that was involved in the shoot)

In February this year, I got promoted to the role of Head, Pulse Studio. It has been a very interesting journey, and I’m just grateful to the team that saw my potential and much of what I can do and challenged me to take up the role. I remember when I was given the role. I spoke to Leonie (former MD, Pulse Kenya) and told her I was not sure I would be able to manage everything tasked to me, but she had so much faith in me, and she kept encouraging me, talking through every project with me.

What is your inspiration for work?

I’m one person who is inspired by a variety of things. I think what inspires me at Pulse is the team spirit and the culture that we have. We have a culture whereby when you have a challenge or a concern, and you reach out to any colleague at Pulse, at no point will they turn you down. They’ll sit down with you and figure out a solution to what you want to achieve, and you’ll leave there satisfied. You won’t be shy to reach out to people, and you’ll not hold back your ideas, and it’s easier working in such an environment.

Also, Pulse gives you the freedom to be you, and they accept you as you are. That kind of spirit is what inspires me daily, and also being able to know that I am tasked with a team, and part of my responsibility is to manage them, to help them grow, and help them become better in their fields. This is also what keeps me going. (Shout out to the team for the great work that they do)

I am also inspired by different people whose passion I look to. An example of this is someone called Dr. Nancy Booker. She was my lecturer. She’s just done so much in the field of journalism and has now moved into digital media. I look up to her a lot. 

What do you do when you’re not on the clock?

I am one bad introvert (lol). When I’m not at work, I’m probably at my house reading. I do love reading a lot, and I read more novels. I’m not very interested in movies, but it’s something I’m trying to love. Most of the time I’m either reading something or cooking something new, trying out a new recipe. I love doing that. Also, I love going on road trips with my closest friends, outside Nairobi. So those are the three main things I love doing when I’m not at work. When I’m not working I try as much as possible to avoid social media and clear my head with other interesting stuff. 

Youth Consumer Behaviour in Africa: Our Learnings

In 2015, there were 226 million youth (people aged between 15 and 24) in Africa, making up 19% of youth globally. By 2030, 42% of young people worldwide will be from Africa [UN Department of Social and Economic Affairs]. This means that Africa will have about 500 million young people by 2030, not accounting for normal global population growth. Currently, 60% of Africa’s population is under 25, making it the youngest continent in the world in relation to its population [Quartz]. 

To ensure marketing campaigns targeting under 30 year olds are impactful, it is crucial to understand who the youth really are, what their thoughts are, and perhaps most importantly, what factors contribute to their buying decisions. 

With our focus on informing, engaging, and impacting the lives of young people both through our media and the marketing campaigns we execute for our clients, we are at the front seat when it comes to understanding and creating impactful content for young people. Here are some key insights we have gathered about their interests and behaviour.  

1. The internet and social media are their primary source of information and content consumption

While internet penetration across the continent is rapidly growing, the internet and specifically social media have become the main source of information and content consumption for young people who access it. A street survey across Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya with over 2,000 respondents of under 30 year olds, showed that social media is the main touchpoint for news and content consumption for a majority of them. This also fits with the social media consumption patterns reported by We Are Social & Hootsuite’s yearly State of Digital report with social media users from Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya spending over 3h daily on social media on average, compared to a global average of 2h25. 

Our findings also show that they want content that is quick to consume and gets straight to the point. Many users drop off watching or reading content as soon as they are less engaged. In terms of format, video is by far the preferred medium for young users. 

Here is what some young Lagosians had to say about social media:

2. A youth with ambition and aspirations

When it comes to saving and spending behaviour of young people, a notable trait is that they are aspiring to secure financial safety in an overall difficult economic context. Many young people dare to dream big and set ambitious financial goals for themselves. 

This means that while being cost-conscious, there is a rapidly growing market for products (and campaigns) that appeal to the aspirations and goals of the youth. Excluding South Africa, a growing middle class in Sub-Saharan Africa is spending over $400 million per day [Google]

But young people are also saving for the future. A survey run by our team in Ghana revealed that 80% of under 30 year olds have a saving goal they are working towards.

We asked Lagosians about their saving goals, here is what they had to say:

3. Marketing that resonates with young people

To capture this growing market, brands that have powerful storytelling and are capable of building communities around their products are in a strong position. Users having grown up with the rise of digital expect to be able to interact and associate with their favourite brands online.

When creating content strategies and campaigns, we craft them around three key storytelling principles that are crucial to engage young users: 

  • they should touch their emotions
  • users should be able identify with the stories told
  • the content created should add value by giving valuable information to users

Here are some marketing campaigns that stood out to the young people we asked in Lagos:

4. Online shopping is gaining traction

Young users are increasingly open to purchasing products online. These purchases are however for the most part limited to small ticket items, as trust is relatively low and users are not willing to risk large amounts on products they cannot test or see in person before buying. 

An area we are seeing strong growth in is social media shopping. The number of products being sold on platforms such as Instagram and the number of sellers on these platforms is rapidly increasing. We have identified the following three reasons for this emergence:

  • Setting up a social media page and starting to sell is incredibly easy: platforms are making it easy to set up an account, run very targeted ads for low amounts of money, and services such as Flutterwave store and Paystack storefront enable businesses to create an online shop with payment integration in minutes
  • Social media’s community aspect ensures that good products get trusted recommendations and reviews that other buyers can rely on. Every person recommending a product becomes a micro-influencer for the brand it supports.  
  • Social media platforms make it incredibly easy and cheap to create visually appealing and relatable content that gives a good idea about the products and sellers – from videos showing product use cases to pictures of the business and team behind the product.

Here is what our respondents in Lagos had to say about buying products on Instagram:

To conclude, we believe that the consumption preferences and interests young people display across Africa are not only an indicator of what is to come but are also key insights to already take into account when planning campaigns that should speak to a large audience. With our channels, we have a direct touchpoint with millions of young people every day across Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and Sénégal. We use this to draw insights and recommendations that inform the marketing campaigns we run for our partners. If you are looking for a partner to support your next marketing campaign, reach out to us here.

Pulse People: Eben Nana Yaw Berima Kwao, Head, Commercial Video, Pulse Ghana.

Welcome to another edition of Pulse People, where we talk to Pulse team members in all our markets, highlighting their career journey to Pulse, their growth within the company, and other interesting bits about them, when they’re not on the clock. 

Today, we’re speaking to Nana, Head of Commercial Video at Pulse Ghana. From fine art in secondary school to graphic design, motion graphics design, and a full career in video production and cinematography, Nana’s journey paints the picture of a creative person whose curiosity has brought him closer and closer to the camera. 

Tell us a bit about yourself. 

I’ve always been a creative person. I started my media career as a graphic designer actually. But I often got frustrated when I would hand off designs and the animators would translate my designs and mockups differently from how I had envisioned it. I would do a mockup or a storyboard for a project and by the time it was presented, it would be different from what I originally had in mind. So I got curious about the process, and I moved from still graphic design into motion design. And then in motion design, I ran into the same frustrations with cinematographers and directors. So my journey has really been fuelled by my curiosity, and with each step I was looking for more control of the final result, eventually coming closer and closer to the capturing of content in video. 

And before graphic design?

I did fine art (or what you would call graphic art) in secondary school and won a scholarship to study a diploma in design, and from this diploma, I went on to film school. 

You’ve worked at Pulse before. Tell us about that

Yes. I joined Pulse in early 2014 when it was actually not yet Pulse. It was AllSports at the time. We had AllSports and then we also had Tissu.com.gh, an eCommerce brand, both businesses under Ringier at the time. So that was when I joined. And then in 2015, we transitioned into Pulse. I was actually part of the core setup team for Pulse. I actually came in as a camera person for AllSports, and by the time I was leaving, I was Head of Pulse TV. I was responsible for everything video (at this time social video and commercial video were not yet separated). I left in November 2016. 

Tell us about your current role at Pulse.

Honestly, I like to think that not a lot has changed. To put it plainly, I am still producing videos. That’s still my core task at Pulse. The business’s structure has changed a little, and there is more specialization now. We’re producing our own video content now, and also serving clients with their video needs. 

I’m also looking forward to doing a lot of partnerships. Because of my diverse experience with different industries, I kind of have ideas around some of the problems these industries have, and how Pulse can come in to solve these problems. I would not have been able to approach some of the companies and businesses with these solutions as a freelancer for instance, but we can have these conversations now, and it is much easier for these partnerships to be signed. 

An advantage of having worked here before is that the conversations I need to have internally are much more fluid since I’m already quite familiar with most of the leaders. 

What do you do on a typical day?

Typically, as you would expect, a lot of us creatives find it difficult to conform to norms and so forth. I missed a lot of meetings in my first few days, and I had to figure out a way to stay ahead of that. I now have an NFC sticker on my table such that as soon as I get in, and drop my mobile on it, my calendar for the day pops up. This is typically how the day begins for me, a way to ensure I do not miss any other meetings. I use this to plan my to-do and schedule my activities around those meeting times. I do a lot of ideating, of course, and shooting happens almost every day. I came in as we were about to sign a big client, and immediately got to work on that. Initially, I had to also be the project manager for most of the work the video team was doing, but now we have a Project Manager, and because of her, I have some free time now. 

I also keep an open-door policy.

Tell us about the decision to come back to Pulse?

I’ll say it’s a lot of sweet-talking from Katharina (MD Pulse Ghana). What the structure is right now, is actually something I had pushed for before. Now, we have social video separate from commercial video and handled by separate teams. I was attracted by the clarity and separation of work. It’s exactly how I’ve always wanted the structure to be. I was excited about coming back to the video team that I helped build. It’s a great feeling. I was also motivated by the new direction I’ve seen, and the new business focus. I’m hoping it stays like that.

How has working at Pulse impacted you?

Pulse has helped me build a strong portfolio in this one medium (video). Pulse has helped me focus on that and build it. Now I have a solid career path in video. If I did not work at Pulse, I may not have focused exclusively on it for the length of time that I have. 

What’s your personal inspiration for work?

It’s just the idea of creating something. It sounds cliche, but it actually is the truth. I love creating something that is tangible and can be appreciated by others. I take that client’s idea, and then make it tangible, and offer it back to the client. If I was not doing video, I would be creating something else. It’s just the idea of creating, regardless of the medium. And of course, the need to make a living. 🙂

How do you spend your free time?

Omo, I still create anyway. 😀

I like to help people, to fix things. Any problem I can solve creatively, I would do that. I’m also very very handy, working with wood, making furniture and so on. It could be me using my power tools or sketching an app idea or something. I also have a hydroponic farm. I’ll just always be found building and making things.

Pulse People: Kelechi Odoemelam, Communications Manager

Welcome to the very first installment of our blog series “Pulse People”. On Pulse People, we will share real stories from Pulse team members in all our markets in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and Senegal (with Côte d’Ivoire and Uganda coming up soon), highlighting their career journey to Pulse, their growth within the company, and other interesting bits about them, when they’re not on the clock. 

Today’s post is about Kelechi Odoemelam, Communications Manager at Pulse. Read on!

What is your role at Pulse?

I work as Communications Manager at Pulse. It is my job to showcase and highlight the work that Pulse does internationally to an audience of potential partners. This involves some content creation, social media management, press releases, newsletters, website content design, and some internal communications as well.

What does your typical day look like right now?

On a typical day, I’m creating and sharing content on our corporate platforms and reaching out to colleagues to send in content for the internal bulletin. If I’m on a project at the time, I’m also talking to collaborators and preparing updates. It’s also important to touch base with my colleagues from graphic design and web design to probably share an update or a brief. There’s almost always something I need these guys for. I also sit down with the account management team once in a while to discuss a successful and recently completed project, to get the gist of it so that I can write a compelling case study. By the time this is published, it will be our first edition of Pulse People, and I’m also responsible for that. 

How did you get here? What was your path to your current role?

Well, my background is in Engineering. But I’ve always found myself writing something right from uni. I got into an assistant editor role right after youth service at a small tabloid in Port Harcourt. From there to an advertising agency, an investment banking group, and now Pulse, Africa’s leading innovative media company. 

How did you get into Pulse?

I was looking for other opportunities at the time, and then I got word of the vacancy at Pulse. I sent in my application and then went through two anxious interviews with the decision-makers lol. I really just kept my mind open, and when I got the offer, it was a mix of fear and excitement. You never really know a company is a good fit until you get a taste of the culture.

What inspires you to work every day?

I’m driven by gratitude. I’m grateful to be on a team like Pulse. The one thing that stands out for me is how willing people are to offer help, how flexible the system is, and the fact that it is not a super strict formal environment. Coming from a financial background, it’s easy to understand why I appreciate these things. So I wake up every morning knowing that the team trusts me to deliver on my tasks and that they also support me. In return, I want to put in good work and drive a greater corporate image for the company, a stronger sense of belonging for the teams, and creating conversations with potential partners.

When you’re not working, what are you doing?

My favourite pastime is reading. I’m either reading a novel or a business book or a bunch of articles. Recently, I’ve found that I also enjoy learning new stuff from YouTube.

Pulse Studio showreel – Get in touch for creative/video services for your company!

Check out our new, dedicated Pulse Studio showreel – and get in touch for creative/video services for your company!

Pulse Studio is our brand and content studio: our expert team at Pulse is providing creative strategy, brand development and visual production to clients across Africa.

Pulse has led innovation in the field of video for years: through a strong focus on storytelling and a deep understanding of the target audience, we connect & engage every time. For clients, we produce with international expertise and a large team that is distributed across Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Senegal, and Côte d’Ivoire – and we have partners across many other markets. If you need cutting-edge video services in Africa, think no further than Pulse Studio!

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What we learned from using TikTok for brand campaigns in Africa

TikTok, the video streaming social network, was already gaining traction around the world before the Covid pandemic. The aftermath of the global lockdown, for this platform, was quite literally an explosion in adoption around the world, including Africa. 

In January 2018, TikTok had about 54 million monthly active users. By January 2021, there were about 689 million TikTok users [Source]. Also, TikTok users spend an average of 850+ minutes per month on the app [Source]. 

When one of our leading clients in Ghana was looking to connect with the Gen-Z demographic, we had been thinking about TikTok for a while already, but now we were sure. 

One major rule of inbound marketing is distribution, and for a Gen Z-focused brand, being where the audience was, meant making a move to TikTok. 

And oh, what a move it was. 

TikTok is new grounds – new in the sense that there was no way of predicting how the response would be, how to hyper-target as we would on Facebook and the likes, or even generally, how to go about it.

Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube will use words like ‘connect’, ‘community’, ‘communicate’, ‘listen’, ‘share’ which is an idealistic vision for most social media platforms. But with TikTok, their mission statement is clear – to exploit an unadulterated and shameless goal to entertain.

So, what did we learn?

1. No amount of research will prepare you for it

You can read all the articles that tout “how to do TikTok” for brands, but you can’t be ready for how to do TikTok for brands in the West African context. You have to take a deep dive and apply everything you know.

And as I would put it, it’s “either you drink deep or you taste not” on TikTok – a half-baked approach will surely mean wasted efforts and investments.

2. Use the “Creators”, not the supposed “Influencers”

The massive Gen Z demographic on TikTok, grew up being exposed to hundreds of ads a day (and influencer marketing) and therefore are almost immune to them. This is a generation that will engage with content that aligns with their personal interests, and their personal interests alone. The new generation cannot be wooed by fancy videos or sales-y displays. They have a strong radar for almost immediately knowing when they’re being sold to. And if they think they are, they’ll leave.

We learned this the hard way. Our initial foray in the space saw us using “verified” influencers, but the impact was not as strong as it was when we decided to use a “loved creator” to tell our brand story.

3. Be entertaining and let your be brand subtle

On TikTok, users are going to do things differently with your brand. Things you didn’t know could be done with your brand. If you’re a condom brand, your content using the condom as balloons might be your best-performing, if you’re a rice brand, putting a phone in rice might be the break to go viral.

We’ve found that brand-sponsored content typically performs worse, even on popular creators’ profiles, because this particular audience is more aware and unfazed by ads. The aim here would be to create content that is very relatable to your target audience, and somehow find a way to communicate in the story the usefulness of your brand, while entertaining the audience. If you create a TikTok video, collaborating with a creator, and slap your logo at the end, you will get some views. Just don’t expect massive engagement and/or conversion.

4. Focus on your (or a) niche community

Find your little pockets of highly engaged people on TikTok. This is the way to go on a platform that doesn’t promote the mass-communication that you’d see on other popular platforms. 

Normally, one would expect this to mean less reach but a higher engagement rate, but the reach and impression statistics of niche content are phenomenal on TikTok compared to any other platform.

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TikTok is the place where Gen Z goes to play (right now), so if you have a brand or product focused on this group, that’s a hot tip for you. But remember it’s not easy to keep the attention of the group of people with the shortest attention spans (the average Gen-Z attention span is eight seconds, four seconds less than Millennials. – Sparks & Honey). They are interested in multicultural and diverse subject areas more than any other generation. You have to dig deep. But they are also the most important target group for most brands to engage today. Gen Z is always changing their consumer habits. They soak up the latest and greatest apps, trends, and social platforms making it a consistent race for brands to keep up and innovate first.

As a business in Africa getting into the world of TikTok, understand that it’s not business as usual. On TikTok, you’re not a C-suite marketing executive. You’re a niche creator, deeply passionate about using media to change the world. TikTok says of its platform: 

“Our user-generated content environment creates an atmosphere of authentic discovery. The constantly refreshed For your feed is algorithmically tailored to personal preference, allowing users to spontaneously discover new products – so a new favourite brand or a beloved purchase is only a swipe away.” You can find more insights into how to navigate TikTok as a business in this newly released business guide by TikTok.

Want to find out how TikTok could work for your brand? Let’s get talking here.

The Future of Marketing in Africa: Digital trends in 2021 and beyond

In this article, our expert team at Pulse is sharing six key trends shaping online user behaviour across Africa going forward – and ways your digital marketing strategy can leverage the changing environment.

1. Covid-19 has accelerated and shifted consumer behaviours permanently.

(Image credit – Unsplash)

The pandemic has prompted many users to try new ways of consuming content and shopping. We expect these consumption shifts to outlast the pandemic, as they are an acceleration of behaviours that started emerging pre-pandemic.

To illustrate this, McKinsey’s survey of Nigerian consumers during the pandemic shows that 46% of respondents tried a new digital shopping method since the start of the pandemic, leading to a growth in consumers shopping online of 30% to 65% depending on the category of items purchased. 

The discovery of these new shopping options is led by three main channels:

  • Online ads (33%)
  • Recommendation from family and friends (23%)
  • Seeing someone talk about it on social media (18%)

With these discovery channels, a strong digital ad strategy as well as generating discussions on social media by engaging users and working with influencers is more important than ever. These channels are equally accessible to small businesses and larger brands, giving the opportunity to new products to grow fast online. 

In terms of content consumption, social media remains by far the main touchpoint for online users in our region. According to We Are Social and Hootsuite’s Yearly Digital Report, Nigerians, Ghanaians, and Kenyans spend on average three and a half hours on social media per day, compared to two and a half hours on average globally. In Nigeria alone, 6 million people joined social media networks for the first time in 2020.  

2. Snackable video content is no longer an option, but a must.

(Image credit – iStock Photo)

With the rising time spent on social media, video has become a must to successfully engage users. New video formats have taken the lead with the emergence of platforms like TikTok and the adoption of competing products such as reels on Instagram. 

These short, snackable video formats can be leveraged by brands that are not afraid to be authentic and willing to develop new ways of communicating with their audiences. You can check out Pulse Nigeria’s TikTok channel to see how we have found new ways of telling the news on the channel. 

In order to get started with these formats, we recommend collaborating with creators that have mastered the language of TikTok. These formats are also the perfect medium for user-generated content competitions thanks to their ease of use in creating videos with specific sounds, filters, and effects.

3. Social media influencers connect with your future consumers organically.

(Image credit – Unsplash)

With the emergence of more social media platforms & the growth of the existing ones, we are seeing the rise of a new type of testimonial: the social media influencer / creator.

Whereas the general popularity of a celebrity has an impact on its influence on social media, we are seeing an increasing shift towards a new generation of influencers that have become popular thanks to their exceptional content creation skills, authenticity and virality.

They have often mastered the art of storytelling on social media and can become strong partners to co-create content with brands.  

A subset of these influencers is known as micro-influencers: This new generation of smaller, but keenly followed creators has become more and more popular among fans and marketers: their loyal subscribers are more willing to actively engage with their – and as a partner, your – content. As the smaller influencers tend to occupy more specific market segments, they have an easier time to attract audiences who are genuinely interested in your product or service as long as it fits their niche. This increases conversion and ROI.

Choosing a strong content, management and analytics partner for such campaigns can help reduce administrative burden and keep your own focus on the message you want to deliver.

4. Build direct channels to your consumers, get first-party data and do more with it!

(Image credit – Bakers)

With a general shift towards privacy online, relying on data from Facebook, Google, and other large platforms will not be enough. Users are willing to share their data with brands they love and trust – when they understand the value they can get out of it. 

By building a strong first-party data strategy, brands can build a direct communication channel with their users, learn about their needs, and delight them by improving their products and services through this direct relationship.

A first step to do so can be newsletters and SMS campaigns with offers – using existing client databases. Asking for feedback helps you learn what users appreciate most.

5. User-generated content attracts your audience authentically.

(Image credit – Unsplash)

As the name suggests, user-generated content (UGC) is created by your customers and users. Therefore, this material has no direct brand intervention, and its format can be completely different: comments on the brand’s own publications, text and video publications on the user’s own social networks, comments on blogs and professional publications, as well as ratings. Consumers often trust the recommendation of other consumers far more than the ads by the company itself. approach

On social media and on platforms such as Tripadvisor, Twitter and Google Maps, it is one of the most authentic forms of digital word-of-mouth marketing, making it a great way to make brands more accessible and recognizable. Old trends, new perspectives: We know that this type of content is not entirely new. Verbal advertising has always existed, but the social distancing rules and restrictions that everyone faces this and last year have led to a massive increase in UGC. Since many consumers cannot meet and test the product in person, they will check the reviews to determine whether the product is the right decision.

Having a strategy around this phenomenon in a digital-first environment is crucial. While the content is user-generated, a well-placed request for ratings on a platform or a promotion requesting for audience submissions are just two ways that companies can accelerate it.

6. Sell on social media.

(Image credit – Marketing Land

Some recent changes in social media globally have allowed many companies to use their social media profiles as direct sales channels:

With the release of sales catalogs on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, large companies are starting to take social commerce seriously. By 2022, social commerce will become one of the biggest digital marketing trends globally. While the sales catalogs are not live yet in Africa (we will keep you updated!), social can already be used for strong lead generation. Many online shoppers go through social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram or Youtube to research your products and ultimately buy.

Therefore, selling your brand, products and services on social media is more important than ever. Adding a simple link to an online shop to your social media or highlighting ways to get the product customers can see make this a simple exercise. When a simplified shopping experience is provided to buyers, they are more likely to buy. These and other social commerce strategies allow brands to optimize their shopping experience across multiple channels and platforms. 

What is your next move?

The digital marketing trends that we have listed here are not exhaustive. Nonetheless, just by devoting more resources to social media and research around the topics, you undoubtedly will have a better starting point for planning strategic possibilities. The shared hot trends can help you attract more website visits, more potential customers and more sales. At the same time, they can ensure that your customer base is kept up to date. These trends are also important to help you better understand expectations for years to come and how they will affect your broader competitive landscape. And of course: you can get in touch with us if you need a sparring partner to determine your next steps!

Pulse set for pan-African growth with international initiatives & incoming, international management team

With strong media & marketing teams and offerings in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Senegal, Pulse has become an important source of information & engagement to its users and a trusted partner to its clients. With the already announced launches in Côte d’Ivoire and Uganda later in the year, Pulse will be present with platforms and organizations in the six key markets in their respective regions in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Today, Pulse is announcing several international initiatives to support these operations and strengthen its pan-African offering:

  • First, Pulse has re-launched its corporate website under www.pulse.africa. On it, partners, clients and users can find out about the services Pulse is offering; review cases of Pulse media & marketing projects and live chat with a team member about collaborating with Pulse. Based on Pulse’s value to collaborate with local ecosystems, the website’s headline images have been designed by Nigerian artist Victor Veddart.
  • Second, Pulse is tomorrow launching the monthly Pulse Insights-newsletter on the most important trends in marketing, media and digital in Africa today. It is focused on sharing Pulse’s learnings as a leader in the space – to help companies market better & sell more in Africa. It is free and you can sign up here.
  • Finally, Pulse is now available to South African partners with a physical presence in a shared office space in Johannesburg. Companies interested to tap into the wider African market through the media and marketing opportunities of Pulse can meet team members there. You can find Pulse’s presence here.

In addition to these initiatives, Pulse’s Founder & Publisher Leonard Stiegeler is today announcing a newly arranged international management to be fully in place by 1 July to drive further international growth:

Moritz Boullenger will be stepping into the role of Managing Director of Pulse, managing the company and heading both an international leadership team of regional and local Managing Directors and an international coordination team of subject-matter experts. He will be replaced in his current role of Managing Director of Pulse Nigeria by Fiona Weeks, who is joining the international leadership team from her current role as Director of Digital Strategy. Fiona will be supported by Katharina Link, MD of Pulse Ghana, taking on the additional responsibility of MD for West Africa.

Leonard on the appointment: ‘Moritz has successfully led our Ghanaian and then Nigerian operations and built out Pulse’s crucial tech platform. I have full confidence in him to drive sustained growth at Pulse with our team. With Fiona & Katharina in the lead in our biggest markets and region I know we will go from strength to strength.’

As Managing Director of Pulse Senegal & Francophone West Africa, Caroline Mbodj will continue to build up operations and support a new MD to come in later in the year in Côte d’Ivoire. 

In the role of Managing Director of Pulse Kenya & East Africa there will be a change: Leonie von Elverfeldt has decided to transition out of Pulse, after building up Pulse Kenya over the past 4 years. As part of Leonie’s transition, Wamuyu Kiragu will join as new Managing Director for the country and region, also supporting a new MD to come in later in the year in Uganda.

Leonard on the transition: ‘Leonie’s impact in building Pulse in Kenya to be a love brand for our users and partner to our clients cannot be overstated. 

Her hard work, expertise, continuous drive for innovation and energy have built a strong and sustainable base of our Pulse brand in East Africa. Her dedication also shows in her support in winning Wamuyu to join our team: I have no doubt that with Wamuyu’s experience, expertise and network, we are set for continuation of the success in Kenya and the region.’

This international leadership team of Pulse will be supported by the international coordination team, working with all countries as well as international partners and clients. It comprises of the recently onboarded Head of International Business Development, Devon Llywellyn Van den Berg, based in South Africa, and Head of Marketing & Content Growth, Kanyinsola Aroyewun, based in Nigeria, as well as the Head of HR & Admin, Temi Akinya, based in Nigeria. Temi will be promoted to Director HR & Admin as part of the overall adaption – completing an international management poised to enable and support Pulse’s 150+ team members throughout the continent.

Pulse set to expand to Uganda & Côte d’Ivoire

Pulse prépare son expansion en Ouganda et en Côte d’Ivoire

Pulse, leader des sociétés de médias innovants en Afrique, s’apprête à se déployer dans de nouveaux marchés avec sa mission d’informer et d’engager le jeune public, tout en fournissant des services de marketing et de production médiatique avec une équipe jeune et innovante. Nous recrutons actuellement des directeurs généraux pour l’Ouganda et la Côte d’Ivoire afin d’établir des bureaux à Kampala et Abidjan, dans l’optique de démarrer des opérations sur les marchés de ces pays plus tard dans l’année.

Pulse a réussi une solide implantation au Nigéria, au Ghana, au Kenya et au Sénégal, créant la plus grande audience combinée de médias numériques du continent, avec une taille d’audience cumulée de plus de 100 millions d’utilisateurs par mois. Pulse vise à étendre ses plateformes d’information et ses canaux sociaux largement suivis avec des versions locales en Ouganda et en Côte d’Ivoire pour faire écho à la population jeune et avertie du numérique. En tant que fournisseur de services de marketing numérique et de production vidéo, Pulse soutiendra également ses partenaires internationaux et les entreprises locales dans la mise en œuvre de campagnes médiatiques et marketing innovantes sur les marchés.

Leonie Elverfeldt, directrice générale de Pulse Kenya et directrice générale pour la région de l’Afrique de l’Est déclare : « Avec notre marque Pulse et les succès que nous célébrons sur nos autres marchés, nous sommes sûrs d’être également au bon endroit en Ouganda. Le contenu est Roi et la distribution est Reine. Le public et les marques ougandais sont prêts à adopter une marque de contenu millénaire engageante. Permettre aux jeunes du pays d’informer et d’impliquer leurs compatriotes via une plateforme médiatique innovante nous tient à cœur et nous avons hâte de commencer ».

S’exprimant sur l’expansion en Afrique de l’Ouest francophone, Caroline Mbodj, directrice générale de Pulse Sénégal et directrice générale pour la région ajoute : « Je suis plus qu’excitée de travailler sur l’idée panafricaine de Pulse : notre croissance vers la Côte d’Ivoire sera l’occasion d’insuffler une nouvelle dynamique dans la manière dont les contenus et les médias évoluent en Afrique francophone et au-delà ».

Les postes cruciaux du directeur général Pulse Uganda et du directeur général Pulse Côte d’Ivoire (FR) sont actuellement ouverts aux candidatures via les liens indiqués.

À propos de Pulse

Pulse est leader parmi les sociétés de médias innovants en Afrique.

Nous informons et engageons le jeune public africain – et fournissons une vaste portée médiatique ainsi que des solutions marketing créatives à nos partenaires.

Les plateformes de médias de masse et les canaux de médias sociaux de Pulse touchent des millions d’utilisateurs chaque mois. Pulse TV est notre label de production de vidéos innovantes, créant des formats sur tous les canaux. Le Pulse Network rassemble les meilleurs actifs et créateurs médiatiques. Pulse Studio est notre pôle créatif de création de marque et de contenu, aidant les clients à exprimer leur propre vision médiatique. Pulse Marketing est le partenaire de marketing numérique à 360 degrés, fournissant des solutions marketing complètes. Quant à Pulse Products, elle est une offre aux utilisateurs de Pulse, activée par sa marque, son contenu et sa distribution multimédia.

Liens :

Pulse (Corporate) – Pulse.africa

Vous pouvez nous suivre sur :

LinkedIn (http://bit.ly/36MEXYo)

Instagram (https://bit.ly/3kmbH1r

Facebook (https://bit.ly/2RtjvSK)  

Twitter (http://bit.ly/2Z5qwfv


Pulse set to expand to Uganda & Côte d’Ivoire

Pulse, Africa’s leading innovative media company, is set to reach more markets with its mission of informing & engaging young audiences – and providing marketing & media production services with its young, innovative team. The company is now hiring Managing Directors for Uganda and Côte d’Ivoire to open dedicated offices in Kampala and Abidjan to start operations in the markets later in the year. 

Pulse has established a strong foothold in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Senegal, building the continent’s largest combined digital media audience, with a cumulative audience size of more than 100 million users monthly. Pulse aims to extend its widely followed news platforms and social channels with local versions in Uganda and Côte d’Ivoire to resonate with the young, digitally-savvy population there.  As a digital marketing and video production provider, Pulse will also support its international partners and local businesses in executing innovative media and marketing campaigns in the markets.

Leonie Elverfeldt, Managing Director of Pulse Kenya and Managing Director for the East African region says: “With our Pulse brand and the successes we celebrate in our other markets, we are sure to hit the right spot in Uganda as well. Content is King and Distribution is Queen. The Ugandan audience and brands are ready for an engaging millennial content brand. Enabling young people in the country to inform & engage their compatriots via an innovative media platform is close to our heart and we cannot wait to start.”

Speaking on the expansion in Francophone West Africa, Caroline Mbodj, Managing Director of Pulse Senegal and Managing Director for the region at Pulse adds: “I am more than excited to work on the pan-African idea of Pulse: our growth to Côte d’Ivoire will be the opportunity to inject a new dynamic in the way content and media are evolving in Francophone Africa and beyond.”

The crucial positions for Managing Director Pulse Uganda and Managing Director Pulse Côte d’Ivoire (FR)  are currently open for applications via the shown links.

Pulse

Pulse is Africa’s leading innovative media company. 

It informs and engages Africa’s young audience – and provides expansive media reach and creative marketing solutions to its partners. 

Pulse’s mass media platforms and social media channels reach millions of users monthly. Pulse TV is its innovative video producer, creating formats across all channels. The Pulse Network brings together top media assets & creators. Pulse Studio is its creative brand & content studio, supporting clients to express their own media vision. Pulse Marketing is its 360 degree digital marketing partner, providing comprehensive marketing solutions. Pulse Products is an offering to Pulse’s users that is enabled by its media brand, content and distribution.

Links:

  1. Pulse (Corporate) – Pulse.africa

You can follow Pulse on:

LinkedIn (http://bit.ly/36MEXYo)

Instagram (https://bit.ly/3kmbH1r

Facebook (https://bit.ly/2RtjvSK)  

Twitter (http://bit.ly/2Z5qwfv

Pulse appoints Chijioke Dozie as Chairman & and adds top executives to its Nigerian team

Lagos, Nigeria – Pulse, Africa’s leading innovative media company, has appointed  Chijioke Dozie as Chairman of its pan-African Board of Directors.

Chijioke Dozie is the Co-Founder & Co-CEO of Carbon, a leading online financial services platform. Previously, Dozie was an investor with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and started and led several companies across Africa. Dozie holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, an MSc Finance from the University of Reading and a BA Economics from the University of East Anglia. He has been awarded as an Endeavor entrepreneur. Dozie’s experience spans across private equity, principal investing, venture capital, entrepreneurship and management. 

Speaking on the appointment, Founder & Publisher of Pulse, Leonard Stiegeler said: “Pulse aims to scale its mission of information and engagement for its young audience across Africa – and we will innovate in media and marketing along the way. I could not imagine a better partner on our board than Chijioke Dozie to achieve these goals. Chijioke is an exceptional entrepreneur and innovative leader with vast experience in building and growing companies. I am looking forward to our continued collaboration.”

Chijioke Dozie commented: “Accurate information and quality engagement are important aspects of young peoples’ lives. Simultaneously, young people across Africa can deliver leap-frogging innovation in media, marketing and production – especially when they are enabled to do so. I am happy to be supporting Leonard and his team on their mission with Pulse.”

In addition, Pulse has just made key leadership additions to its team in Nigeria, including Kanyinsola Aroyewun as Head of Marketing & Content Growth for Pulse, Chuey Chu as Head of Content Partnerships at Pulse Nigeria and Rose Umane, who joins as Head of Digital Strategy for Pulse Nigeria. These additions and appointments are part of the company’s aim to drive growth in various strategic areas:

  • Kanyinsola Aroyewun joins Pulse from She Leads Africa, a digital media company with an African outlook, where she worked as Senior Digital Associate. Kanyinsola will work with the extensive Pulse content team and partners across Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Senegal – to drive the growth of Pulse’s media platforms in all operative markets.
  • Rose Umane joins the Pulse team from her previous role as Head of Digital Monetization and Partnerships at BellaNaija, a Nigerian digital media company. She brings her vast experience to the role of sales strategy – consulting the company’s corporate partners on best-practice media and marketing.
  • Chuey Chu returns to Pulse after a highly successful previous stint with the team. He will lead Pulse Nigeria’s content partnership efforts, engaging influencers and contributors, distribution partners and other external partners. This is in line with Pulse’s aim to build a vibrant content and creator ecosystem around its channels.

Commenting on the new team additions in Nigeria, Moritz Boullenger, Managing Director of Pulse Nigeria remarked: “This is an exciting time for Pulse Nigeria and Pulse as a whole: we have made key additions to our marketing, content and sales teams and are positive about our direction. Together with our existing team members the new colleagues will drive innovation and growth in media and marketing for our users and partners.”

Pulse

Pulse is Africa’s leading innovative media company. 

It informs and engages Africa’s young audience – and provides expansive media reach and creative marketing solutions to its partners. 

Pulse’s mass media platforms and social media channels reach millions of users monthly. Pulse TV is its innovative video producer, creating formats across all channels. The Pulse Network brings together top media assets & creators. Pulse Studio is its creative brand & content studio, supporting clients to express their own media vision. Pulse Marketing is its 360 degree digital marketing partner, providing comprehensive marketing solutions. Pulse Products is an offering to Pulse’s users that is enabled by its media brand, content and distribution.

Links: 

Pulse Website (Corporate) – Pulse.africa

You can follow Pulse on:

LinkedIn (http://bit.ly/36MEXYo)

Instagram (https://bit.ly/3kmbH1r

Facebook (https://bit.ly/2RtjvSK)  

Twitter (http://bit.ly/2Z5qwfv

Pulse Senegal gets verified on TikTok

Le compte Pulse Sénégal est certifié sur TikTok

[Lagos, Nigéria – 15 mars 2021] Pulse, leader des médias innovants en Afrique, a annoncé la vérification de sa plateforme TikTok au Sénégal, l’un de ses marchés. Cela renforce davantage l’empreinte de Pulse au Sénégal et démontre son leadership et ses capacités sur le marché des médias du pays. Pulse Sénégal a commencé ses activités dans le pays en 2015, et depuis lors, elle est devenue l’une des principales sociétés de médias du pays, faisant passer ses communautés numériques à plus de 60 000 abonnés. Pulse Sénégal est désormais vérifié devant d’autres organisations de médias au Sénégal.

S’exprimant sur la croissance de ses canaux sociaux, Caroline Mbodj, directrice générale de Pulse, a déclaré: «Notre équipe continue de repousser les limites au Sénégal et c’est toujours formidable de voir la croissance et la reconnaissance de notre travail acharné dans un futur proche et lointain.

Alors que le paysage des médias numériques continue de croître sur les marchés africains, Pulse couvre constamment de nouveaux domaines et renforce sa position de premier fournisseur d’informations, de divertissement et d’éducation aux jeunes en Afrique, avec une audience mensuelle croissante cumulant plus de 100 millions de personnes.


Lagos, Nigeria – March 15, 2021 – Pulse, Africa’s leading innovative media company has announced the verification of its TikTok platform in Senegal, one of its markets. This further solidifies the Pulse footprint in Senegal and demonstrates its leadership and capabilities in the media market in the country. Pulse Senegal began operations in the country in 2015, and since that time, it has grown to become one of the leading media companies in the country, growing its digital communities to over 60 thousand subscribers. Pulse Senegal is now verified ahead of other media organizations in Senegal.

Speaking on the growth of its social channels, Caroline Mbodj, Managing Director of Pulse said “Our team keeps pushing the envelope in Senegal and it’s always great to see the growth and recognition of our hard work.I am excited about what we’ll achieve in the near and far future.”

As the digital media landscape continues to grow in Africa’s markets, Pulse is consistently covering new ground and reinforcing its position as the leading provider of information, entertainment and education to young people in Africa digitally, with a cumulative monthly audience of more than 100 million people across markets monthly and growing.

Content Marketing on LinkedIn for B2B Companies

If you operate a B2B company, LinkedIn offers opportunities to connect to new audiences and organizations that you are likely not fully maximizing. Content Marketing is alive and well on LinkedIn, the world’s largest platform for business networking. While the platform is primarily designed for B2B interaction, both B2B and B2C companies can benefit from engaging and sharing with the LinkedIn timeline. 

Long- and Short-form publishing

LinkedIn lets you publish and promote blogs directly on the platform. This feature allows you to connect more with your LinkedIn audience and also increase the reach of your articles short-form content, however, seems to perform better and receive more engagement than longer blogs. So a great strategy here would be to create short updates with insights from a longer article and link to it. That way, you can maximise the attention on that update and use it to drive more eyeballs to the blog. 

Video

Video content across all social platforms has recorded a much higher engagement rate than written content and images, and the story is no different on LinkedIn. For most people, it is easier to grasp something when they see a video about it, and it does not require a lot of effort. Video content should be a crucial part of your LinkedIn strategy. It can drive more engagement and naturally will garner a greater reach. Also go a step further to design videos that speak to the target directly, to fully maximise the reach you will get from video content. 

Share again

If your company has an active blog, then LinkedIn is a great way to reshare all of that relevant knowledge and get more people to see it. Not only does this establish you as a leader in the niche, it also brings new prospective clients from your LinkedIn community to your company website. If you have a conversion tool at the end of each blog post (like an invitation to subscribe to your company newsletter, or a button to request a quote), this can work very well as a lead generation tool.

As with all content marketing channels, the first thing to keep in mind is your target audience. B2B businesses are always looking to target the decision-makers in prospective client and partner companies. Keep this in mind as you create and distribute content across the different channels available to you. This way, you can be sure that your content marketing efforts are going in the right direction.

From no experience to 100k subs, verification status and now the YouTube Silver Play Button. My #PulseGhanaYoutube Story

It was June 2019, I was already settling well in my role as a social video script writer for Pulse Ghana when certain structural changes had been made, and George Salia asked if I would like to manage Pulse Ghana’s YouTube channel as part of my JD. 

If you know me then you know, despite my anxiety and a pinch of imposter syndrome, I am always up for a challenge especially one that promises to be an interesting ride, and so I said Yes!

The mail from Noel Hutchison read “I am very happy to announce our new YouTube Managers across RADP, (now we are Pulse of course) they will balance this new responsibility along with their current tasks”. I was excited. I had no Youtube experience, but I was excited. 

And so it began. At the time I became the YouTube manager for Pulse Ghana we had about 59K subscribers. (plus or minus).

My first task was to optimise old videos that had been uploaded on YT over the month; optimising here means, Thumbnails, Youtube SEO, description, monetisation etc. I was to do this while still uploading videos on Youtube and performing my role as a video scriptwriter.

I had to clean up the page, work on copyright claims etc. If I say it wasn’t hard work I would be lying. When the mail read “balance” it should have been CAPITALISED. There were times there was just too much on my plate, to be honest. I was getting home late yet going to work early just to get a hang of combining YT with my scriptwriting role- without any prior Youtube experience. I tried going through the Youtube certified courses, I failed both times. (I have come this far without it, imagine what I would be able to do with it. The plan is to try and get it off my list this year.)

It wasn’t an easy road: emails, meetings, a lot of changes, then change to the changes; whoever was my emotional support at that time thank you for your work.

By February 2020, my role in Pulse was now Scriptwriter, Copy Writer and YouTube Manager. It sounds like work for three people doesn’t it? Covid made it a lot easier if I should be honest. The personal struggles, work struggles, mental health issues, being home during the Lockdown made it easier.

By June 2020 we had added about +30.5K subscribers to our channel, which means we were around 80K subs and I started my personal “Get to 100K subs in 2020” campaign. Just something to keep my fire burning.

By 9th October 2020, we made it! A HUNDRED THOUSAND subscribers. I was excited. I still am. I wasn’t satisfied, I wanted the verification on Youtube, I wanted the award. I started working on it, communicating with Youtube.

26th October 2020 Pulse Ghana got verified on YouTube. I began the process for the awards in December, I told him (my director) we would get it soon. He wasn’t so sure. I remember him saying it would take a long time. ‘lol’.

23rd December 2020 we confirmed our Silver Play Button with YouTube and the countdown began.

6th January 2021, the mail from YouTube read “Pulse Ghana get ready to meet your Silver Award.” The award arrived on the 8th, and we unboxed it on the 10th.

Is it possible to be over-excited? If it is, then that is me. 

I am excited because of the work, I know I put in, I am excited because even though Pulse Ghana on YouTube is not owned by me as someone kindly brought to my attention when I was jubilating; it is ‘MY’ channel. Yes, it is Pulse Ghana’s Channel, but for the time being, I am ‘her’ guardian (because the channel identifies as she).😏

This is long, if you have gotten here, thank you for reading up to this point. If you haven’t yet subscribed to our YouTube Channel you should. Watch our videos, most of them would be videos I scripted anyway 😂. Like, Share and do not forget to leave a comment and start a conversation with me.

Congratulations to Pulse Ghana. Especially the video team and the content team. It is after all your exciting content that has got people hitting the subscriber button on YouTube.

Cheers to achieving more milestones.


Published by

Yaa Anaglate
Digital Content Creator | Digital Strategist, Pulse Ghana

Pulse Picks 2020 set to showcase the key people, milestones and events of the year across Africa

Pulse, Africa’s leading innovative media company, is set to present the 2020 year-end edition of its Pulse Picks, its showcase of the continent’s key figures and events in different categories. Across its platforms & social media channels in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Senegal, Pulse is trusted by its young audience in the fields of politics, music, entertainment, sports and more. For many years, Pulse’s local editorial teams have leveraged this trust to curate their compilations of the most outstanding players and events in different industries and categories. This year will be no different.

Ben Bassey, Editor-in-Chief of Pulse Nigeria, said: ‘My colleagues in other Pulse markets and I are excited to showcase the people and events that have shaped 2020. This year was unique and challenging – and we will go out with a bang, picking what made it that way.”

The curations are highly anticipated by Pulse’s huge digital communities and will drive high user engagement. Sponsorship of existing categories and bespoke pick offerings will therefore also provide a great opportunity for brands across these markets to access an engaged audience, increase brand awareness and foster brand affinity. 

Speaking on the announcement from a commercial perspective, Katharina Link, Managing Director of Pulse Ghana, said ‘We are excited for the Pulse Picks 2020 because each year, it proves to be one of the strongest initiatives for audience engagement for us, and also a rare opportunity to bring our audience and the country’s biggest brands together, a great visibility opportunity for our partners and clients.’

Interested brands can get in touch with Pulse offices across the continent or via [email protected]

Pulse

Pulse is Africa’s leading innovative media company. 

It informs and engages Africa’s young audience – and provides expansive media reach and creative marketing solutions to its partners. 

Through Pulse mass media platforms and social media channels in its markets, it reaches over 100 million users monthly. Pulse TV is its innovative video producer, creating formats across the channels. Pulse Studio is its creative brand & content studio, supporting clients to express their own media vision. Pulse Marketing is its 360 degree digital marketing partner, providing comprehensive marketing solutions. Learn more about Pulse directly on www.pulse.africa.

Links:  

  1. Pulse – Pulse.africa

You can follow Pulse’s corporate channels on:

LinkedIn (http://bit.ly/36MEXYo)

Instagram (https://bit.ly/3kmbH1r

Facebook (https://bit.ly/2RtjvSK)  

Twitter (http://bit.ly/2Z5qwfv

Using TikTok for marketing a Ghanaian brand – tips and what we have learned so far about the audience

Last week or so, my team and I launched a TikTok campaign for one of our leading clients. If I am not mistaken, this brand (and our agency) will be the first in Ghana to take a brand-marketing approach to TikTok.

We had been thinking TikTok for this particular brand, even way before the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to move earlier than we’d anticipated.

One major rule of inbound marketing is distribution, and for a Gen Z-focused brand, being where the audience was, meant making a move to TikTok. 

As at 1st January, the app was the 3rd most downloaded in Google’s Playstore in Ghana↱, by February, it was 2nd. It is clear that the Chinese app is making a rise in usage amongst Ghanaians. This is further augmented by how some “celebrities” flooded the platform during Ghana’s short-lived (comparatively) lockdown period.

And oh, what a move it was. 

TikTok is new grounds – new in the sense that there was no way of predicting how the response would be, how to hyper-target as we would on Facebook and the likes, or even generally, how to go about it.

Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube will use words like ‘connect’, ‘community’, ‘communicate’, ‘listen’, ‘share’ which is an idealistic vision for most social media platforms. But with TikTok, their mission statement is clear – to exploit an unadulterated and shameless goal to entertain.

So what have we learned?

1. No amount of research will prepare you for it

You can read all the articles that tout “how to do TikTok” for brands, but you can’t be ready for “how to do TikTok for brands in the West African” context. You have to take a deep-dive and apply everything you know.

And as I would put it, it’s “either you drink deep or you taste not” on TikTok – a half-baked approach will surely mean wasted efforts and investments.

2. Use the “Creators”, not the supposed “Influencers

The massive Gen Z on TikTok, grew up being exposed to hundreds of ads a day (and influencer marketing) and thus are almost immune to them. This is a generation that will engage with content that aligns with their personal interests.

We learned this the hard way. Our initial foray in the space saw us using “verified” influencers, but this impact was not as much as it was when we decided to use a “loved creator” to tell our brand story.

3. Be entertaining and let your be brand subtle

On TikTok, users are going to do things differently with your brand. Things you didn’t know could be done with your brand. If you’re a condom brand, your content using the condom as balloons might be your best-performing, if you’re a rice brand, putting a phone in rice might be the break to go viral.

We’ve found that brand-sponsored content typically performs worse, even on popular creators’ profiles, because this particular audience is more aware and unfazed by ads, so be subtle and not salesy.

4. Focus on your (or a) niche community

Find your little pockets of highly engaged people on TikTok. This is the way to go on a platform that doesn’t promote the mass-communication that you’d see on other popular platforms. 

Normally, one would expect this to mean less reach but a higher engagement rate, but the reach and impressions of niche content still does phenomenally well on TikTok compared to any other platform.

~

Working on Gen Z is hard! They are interested in multicultural and diverse subject areas more than any other generation. But they are also the most important target group for most brands to engage today considering they will make up 40% of all consumers by the year 2020↱.

The main struggle is, Gen Z is always changing their consumer habits, they soak up the latest and greatest apps, trends, and social platforms making it a consistent race for brands to keep up and innovate first.

Want to discuss how to launch your brand on TikTok, learn more about Pulse Africa↱ or say hello.


Published by

Sena Q
Director of Digital strategy, Pulse Ghana

Journalism for social change – A case for the doctors in Abuja

August 26, 2020 – Pulse Nigeria exclusively reports that doctors working in Idu and Asokoro COVID-19 isolation centres in Abuja had not received their salaries for three months. 

August 29, 2020 – Pulse Nigeria reports that more Abuja centres are also owing volunteer doctors working on the frontlines with COVID-19 positive patients.

August 31, 2020 – After three consecutive months of non-payment, doctors in Abuja embark on a strike. 

September 8, 2020 – Pulse Nigeria reports that as a direct consequence of its previous reports, doctors in Abuja have received a portion of their owed salaries. 

September 10, 2020 – President Buhari approves N8.9 billion hazard allowance for health workers, National Association of Resident Doctors suspends nationwide strike.

The Pulse Nigeria editorial team learnt of the fact that despite risking their lives and working on the frontlines of the war against coronavirus in Nigeria, some doctors in certain isolation centres in Abuja were being owed their salaries. After we exclusively reported the story, we got more tip-offs from other doctors and persons aware of the situation. 

They needed to find a way to get the word out anonymously about the situation so that they could protect their identities and safely bring attention to the issue. We quickly learnt that the situation was the same not only in these particular centres but across the city.

After we ran these stories, changes began to happen. On September 8, just under two weeks after the first Pulse exclusive was published, the doctors and nurses contacted us to report that they had begun receiving alerts. Their payments were not complete yet, but it meant that the reports had brought some attention to the issue. 

Two days later, the Nigerian president approved the hazard allowance of N8.9 billion for health workers, possibly triggering the suspension of the NARD nationwide strike. 

We were first tipped off by COVID-19 patients in those initial centres who quickly understood that they were potentially in danger if the unpaid doctors decided to down their tools and leave them to their fate. By bringing attention to the issue, using our platforms to cause questions to be asked of the government’s management of money meant for these doctors, we brought about this crucial response.

At Pulse, we believe in the power of journalism to bring about social change and correct wrongs in society. It is a solemn responsibility that we take seriously and honourably. We will continue to leverage journalism to make our contributions to social change with every opportunity we get. 

Pulse Ghana covers the country’s upcoming elections digitally for the young, mass population

With the Ghanaian general elections slated for December 2020, Pulse Ghana, the country’s leading innovative media company is rolling out a number of initiatives. Pulse’s election coverage is geared towards making the news accessible to everyone – and especially the young, digitally-savvy population, inclined to follow on the internet and through social media.

Election day is expected to be held on Monday, December 7, 2020. Some of Pulse’s election coverage has been activated for months and is focused on providing accurate and up-to-date coverage of the stakeholders’ activities leading up to the polls. This includes breaking down the manifestos of the two main contestants, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and John Dramani Mahama of the NPP and NDC respectively through new forms of social media coverage. And it involves capturing the reactions and sentiments of young people as the elections approach – through video, commentary and more.

For Ghana, the overall media use for these elections is novel: In previous elections, rallies, and other outdoor campaigns were the order of the day for candidates to inform about their agenda. But given the coronavirus pandemic, politicians now have to rely heavily on digital campaigns. Pulse Ghana will lead digital conversations to be part of the public engagement before the election.

Speaking on the election coverage, Katharina Link, Managing Director of Pulse Ghana said “We are excited about the coverage so far and the engagement rates we’re getting from our online audiences. More people are connecting to the conversation on their phones and sharing their views on social than ever before. While social distancing has hindered the possibility of  open rallies, we believe it has also opened up a new platform for social and civil commentary.”

Pulse Ghana’s Editor-In-Chief and Director of Content, Kwame Boakye also said “As one of the few platforms in Ghana to cover the 2016 elections digitally, we are excited about the opportunities this experience gives us at a time when the world and especially Ghana’s political routine is moving online. With the challenge of setting records straight amidst the peak of misinformation, we will continue to deliver true and insightful content around the 2020 elections for our audience with innovative and engaging strategies. We are Pulse and are fully committed to getting the right information to our young and old audience around Ghana’s 2020 elections in various multimedia and easy to consume formats.”

While a number of digital programs have been rolled out already, more initiatives including interview stories, Q&As and election facts are underway as part of the digital election coverage.

Pulse

Pulse is Africa’s leading innovative media company. 

It informs and engages Africa’s young audience – and provides expansive media reach and creative marketing solutions to its partners. 

Through Pulse mass media platforms and social media channels in its markets, it reaches over 100 million users monthly. Pulse TV is its innovative video producer, creating formats across the channels. Pulse Studio is its creative brand & content studio, supporting clients to express their own media vision. Pulse Marketing is its 360 degree digital marketing partner, providing comprehensive marketing solutions. Learn more about Pulse directly on www.pulse.africa.

Links: 

  1. Pulse Ghana – Pulse.com.gh 
  2. Pulse (Corporate) – Pulse.africa

You can follow Pulse on:

LinkedIn (http://bit.ly/36MEXYo & https://bit.ly/3kpsOQc)

Instagram (https://bit.ly/3kmbH1r & https://bit.ly/2ZKxuIi

Facebook (https://bit.ly/2RtjvSK & https://bit.ly/3hAUzDE)  

Twitter (http://bit.ly/2Z5qwfv & https://bit.ly/3mthILS