What comes to your mind when someone mentions Google? If you're powering through your inbox, it would be GMail. Or might you think of YouTube? Or could you think of content?
The answer will change depending on who you are and what you do.
In advertising? You’ll be more concerned with Adwords and how to ensure that your ads are getting in front of the right audience, at the right time.
If you are a musician, you’ll gravitate towards YouTube and making sure that your video is viewed and shared numerous times.
But one thing is sure: whoever you are, and whatever you do, you have used Google at one point or another. With over 100 billion monthly searches, Google has become synonymous with search. As a result of its popularity and dominance, ‘Google’ has became a verb and was even chosen as the most useful word of 2002.
So who is behind the growth of such a goliath? It's a big question, but if anyone has some answers about Africa's growth, it's Charles Murito, Manager of Google-Kenya, joining Startup Grind Nairobi on April 21st. Get your ticket now!
State of the 'Net in Africa
20-year-old Google has enjoyed massive growth in developed and developing markets, partly due to increased internet connectivity. What else has contributed to the continuing rise of Google? Is it the user experience of their platform? Is it the other services that the company offers? Or is it the abundance of content?
In Africa, more people are becoming comfortable with technology, and they have access to more internet enabled devices. In South Africa alone, internet usage will grow from 710 MB a month to 7.2 GB in 2019. And where South Africa goes, the larger African economies follow.
These internet enabled devices are portable and deliver more personalized information. They also have a wider reach compared to traditional media - like TV, radio and print. This, coupled with declining data costs, spells a bright and lucrative future for digital content creators.
If Content is King, The Internet is the Kingdom
Bill Gates said as much himself over 20 years ago.
As more Kenyans get easier and faster internet access, digital content creators need to deliver information and entertainment that’s relevant to the Kenyan audience - and they are. Over the years, there has been a gradual increase in blogs, portfolios on websites such as Behance, vlogs and more, all targeted to the Kenyan market.
Out of the 10 most watched music videos on YouTube in Kenya, 5 were by East African performers. For Kenyan digital content creators, this means that despite the proliferation of western media, Kenyans are still interested in local content that’s relevant to their lifestyle and culture. Increased internet access enables them to access more information, while at the same time controlling what they engage with, and what they ignore.
Kenyan businesses are leveraging increased internet access to market their services. Simply having a website is no longer enough. To get in front of the 26 million internet users in Kenya, businesses need to have quality content that’s relevant to their audience. They are employing strategies such as SEO and AdWords to not only improve their online visibility, but to also make sure that their content is actionable.
How Did Google Grow in Africa?
Google is nurturing and encouraging this trend by forming partnerships such as Strathmore Digital Advertising Academy with Kenya’s Strathmore University and iLab Africa. The Academy offers world-class training in Digital Advertising to enable local businesses, institutions, organizations, startups and Ad agencies maximize their presence in the Kenyan digital space.
Charles Murito, Google-Kenya Manager, will give more details on the importance of quality digital content at Startup Grind Nairobi on April 21st. Before Google, Charles was Acting MD & Chief Commercial Officer, Programming at Wananchi Group, Zuku. He’s previously held positions as Director, Business Development & Strategy, Middle East & Africa for Turner Broadcasting Ltd. Prior to Turner Broadcasting, Charles also spent time working for Warner Bros. in the US & UK as well as MTV Networks Africa.
According to the Google-Kenya Manager, digital content should fulfill a need and more importantly, it should engage or connect with the audience.
Charles has great pointers for digital content creators. For instance, he puts great emphasis on the user experience. How easy, or difficult, is it for your audience to navigate your content? Are you making it easy for them to read your blog, view your video, share it, like it, tweet it, forward it?
Content creators also need to consider the scalability of their platform. Can you expand on it? What’ll happen when you start producing more content?
The Google-Kenya Manager has quite a lot to share on best practices for creating and publishing quality digital content and the best strategy for online growth. If you're looking to grow your own business footprint in Kenya, don't miss this session.
Join us on 21st April 2016 at Creatives Garage from 6:00 pm for answers to these questions and to learn more from Google-Kenya’s Charles Murito. Can't wait to see you!