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

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

Pulse Nigeria reaches 2.5 million Instagram followers: Pulse leads digital news media distribution throughout Africa with its growing social community.

Africa’s young population is digital: Youth on the continent are now consuming content and expressing themselves much more across digital and social media platforms than via traditional media channels. At the forefront of digital news media distribution in Africa stands Pulse, an innovative media company. Throughout its countries of operations Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Senegal it is providing news, business, lifestyle, sports and entertainment content to the largest digital community of young Africans. 

Pulse’s approach is innovative in that it is delivering its content directly through all leading digital and social media platforms. It is combining the audience’s wishes for good content accessibility via known channels with their need for trusted news and good entertainment. Pulse is providing its channels to young people, including the local Pulse Editorial teams in each market, to develop and share their insights and views. In addition, Pulse is collaborating with partners and clients to market their products via the channels – and is also helping these stakeholders with their own digital marketing strategies.

One social media platform that has gained a lot of traction among young people in Africa over the last years is Facebook’s Instagram. Initially known for photography and lifestyle posts, it is increasingly becoming a source of information and platform of exchange. And also for Pulse, Instagram is a major platform of content distribution. 

Recently, the Pulse team reached another milestone regarding its own channels on the platform:

  • In Nigeria, its Pulse Nigeria Instagram channel has just gathered 2.5 million followers. This makes it not only the leading news community on the platform in Nigeria, but globally relevant: Pulse Nigeria has reached spot 6 among the most engaged news brands globally (!) on Instagram, according to a 2019 study by Socialbakers.
  • Pulse’s other outlets in Ghana, Kenya and Senegal are quickly growing too: the Pulse Ghana Instagram community is about 1.2 million followers strong, also the leading platform in that country. Pulse Kenya, that was launched later, reaches 196 thousand followers via its Pulse Live Kenya news handle and Pulse Senegal, that was started from scratch earlier in the year, has already reached thousands of followers on the platform.

Anike Fawole, Head of Social Media, Pulse Nigeria in a reaction said “I am extremely proud of everything the team has accomplished. We are all deeply inspired by the response from our online community.”

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