Ghanaian tech startup, OMG Digital has been called the “Buzzfeed of Africa”, creating multi-media content aimed at Africa's 250 million millennials. It already has monthly aggregated content views of over 90 million on social media and 4.5 million website readers since its launch in 2016.
OMG Digital, Ghana, co-founders: Dominic Mensah, Prince Boakye Boampong and Jesse Arhin Ghansah.
We speak to co-founder Jesse Arhin Ghansah about his further plans to expand his brand across the African continent.
What will you do with the seed funding you have been awarded?
The $1.1m we’ve received in seed funding will go a long way to help support the growth of our engineering team, elevate our video creation capacity as well as eventually branch out into a couple more countries. We’re really excited about our growth potential across Africa.
How are you differentiating yourself from other media in Ghana and in Africa?
We stand out primarily by our content and distribution strategy. We were one of the first digital media companies that right from the on-set focused purely on the millennial audience in Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya where we also operate. We set out to create specific local African content, built around our varied interests and cultures that was also genuine, relatable and exciting for millennials; as this has been lacking in traditional mainstream media for a while.
What is your main challenge in rolling out the business across the continent?
Due to the continent’s super-diverse nature, the challenge for us is mainly figuring out the type of content that resonates locally with a specific region, and also determining the most efficient distribution strategy for that said market. Trying to juggle this, alongside other regional operational hurdles at scale is extremely challenging.
Who is your audience in Africa and how do they differ from other global markets?
Our main audience is the African millennial (like us). One of our unique selling points is our understanding that we’re not catering to a ‘homogenous African’. There is no such thing. We realise that our audience in Ghana will not react to the same news and information as someone their age who lives in Nigeria, Kenya or South Africa, for example. We all have different culturally significant messages and this factors into how we engage with and consume content.
What is your core media strategy?
It is fairly simple. We focus on creating content millennials want and try to seamlessly deliver it to whichever mobile platform they presently engage with.
The biggest trend to note in your industry?
Digital media is being consumed primarily on social media in Africa. At OMG for example, our articles and stories are mostly viewed and shared through messaging platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Viber, Twitter and Instagram. Thus, media companies and content creators must build a strong content distribution strategy that is centered around social and messaging apps.
Where do you draw your creative inspiration?
We draw a lot of inspiration from other African content creators and storytellers. By also imbibing ourselves with the local pop-culture and social media scene, we are easily able to create content that resonates and hits home with our users.
How do you make an impact in the industry?
OMG is a defining company in the digital age in Africa. We have embraced the internet as a tool for sharing stories and perspectives. Not only do we produce shareable content for our audience, we have created a platform for global brands to connect with their target consumers through hyperlocal articles, videos, quizzes and other content. We are also making an impact by providing a voice for African youth - speaking to them and representing them in terms they understand and are comfortable with.
How do you inspire others?
By being open, vulnerable and willing to share our failures as well as successes. By being relatable to others, they’ll understand that they are not the only ones with challenges and hurdles.
Your life philosophy?
Learn as much as you can and be a decent human being.
Louise Marsland is currently Africa Editor: Bizcommunity.com; a Content Strategist and Trainer; and Trend Curator for Bizcommunity.com and her own TRENDAFRiCA.co.za. She has been writing about the media, marketing and advertising communications industry in South Africa for over 20 years, notably, as the previous Editor of Bizcommunity.com Media & Marketing; Editor-in-Chief AdVantage magazine; Editor Marketing Mix magazine; Editor Progressive Retailing magazine; Editor Business Brief magazine and Editor FMCG Files ezine.
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