The African Youth, Media and Tech-Entrepreneurship event was hosted via Skype by journalist, editor and entrepreneur Claude Grunitzky. Claude is also the founder of Trace Magazine and True Africa, a media platform dedicated to championing African voices.
When True Africa started in 2015, one of the challenges that Claude and his crew faced was the discovery that most people would rather find content on Facebook than visit the website directly. Also, in 2016, Facebook changed their algorithm and it became more difficult to stand out as a publisher. It was imperative to find a solution, and one of the things that was done was building content systematically to attract more journalists, writers and content creators around the continent. Systematic analysis for natural language process was employed. Google assisted this technology and this attracted new talents in form of journalists and photographers.
In answering a question about content creators what content creators who have limited knowledge on technology can do to build their audience, Claude advised that audience building should be done through Facebook or Instagram rather than Youtube which requires more technical know-how. Facebook and Instagram are more useful for young content creators. If you want to become a writer or publisher, beyond your blog, build an online audience on the various social media platforms.
In measuring the reach and impact of content produced, Google Analytics is an extremely important tool. Google Publisher Connection is also a useful tool. As a publisher and media entrepreneur of repute Claude focuses on quality. He maintains that good grammar, correct spelling, crisp and clear photography are not negotiable when it comes to great content.
True Africa brings writing/content brands to life through a variety of events. The top three sectors that attract the most readership on the platform are sports, particularly football, music and identity. Beauty and lifestyle content also enjoy plenty of readership. In a bid to expand it’s money making sources, True Africa has an in-house ad agency where they create and distribute ads for clients. They also publish sponsored content. However, it is honourable for a content creator to inform the audience that a post or article is sponsored.
True Africa also plans to make money offline by getting sponsors to invest in festivals that will be organized by them. However, if you are just starting out, build your online audience first before trying to get investors to come on board. True Africa also intends to collaborate with strategic media companies like Facebook
Personal Lessons form Claude Grunitzky
-Do not mix family with business
-If you feel you are onto something that will eventually be successful do not be afraid to seek investors
-Find your client based on your content