Why Pop Central is Supporting Nigerian SMEs with Ad Grants while Building a Media Tech Brand – Yinka Obebe
By Yemisi Suleiman
While working behind the scene to give viewers creative, inspiring and entertaining content is primary, supporting SMEs especially at this time of COVID19, is key for Yinka Obebe CEO of Pop Central, the entertainment chanel on DSTV. The media entrepreneur is supporting Nigerian SMEs with Ad Grant for small and medium businesses across Nigeria, the idea he says is to give them visibility, and most importantly a level of verifiability. He tells us more.
What the SME Ad Grant is all about and why Pop Central embarked on the initiative?
The SME Ad Grant is for small and medium businesses across Nigeria. As businesses started opening and coming out of COVID-19 lockdowns, the economic downturn that followed, as a result, prompted us find a way to support these businesses. So, in partnership with FAYA, an Adtech Company, we decided to offer SMEs Ad grants.
The idea is to support by giving them visibility, and most importantly a level of verifiability. When that converts, they make more sales, hire more people, scale up their business and the cycle continues. Advertising attracts customers to a business and increases sales. When consumers see strong and positive advertisements they are more willing to buy and ready to choose the business. On the other hand, this initiative also allows us to play our part in contributing to building the nation’s economy. We believe that an economic ripple effect is guaranteed whenever advertising increases.
What are the criteria that make SMEs eligible for the Ad Grant and how can SMEs apply?
The first and most important thing for us is to ensure the businesses that take advantage of the grant are real businesses that offer the services they advertise. One of the ways to do this is our request for as much information about them, including registration with the CAC.
To apply, simply go to the website. SMEs register and they get an email confirming their approval. They will then be prompted to create their campaign. This includes picking their interests, the spots, dates, and uploading their video promo material. It is essential to put some thoughts into making the promotional video, it’s only 30seconds. Use more visuals (photo or video), fewer texts, ensure to add a call to action.
Is the grant only open to SMEs in Nigeria?
Yes it is open for businesses registered in Nigeria only.
Is there a method that Pop Central is adopting to monitor and ensure that the process of awarding the grant isn’t flawed?
Absolutely, there is a 3 step approval system already built into the platform. So it’s very safe and transparent.
What do you hope to achieve with the SME Ad Grant in the long run?
Firstly, to support as many businesses as possible, secondly, is to help support the economy with what we have. The way it works is that advertising promotes commerce and more of that happens, guarantees a ripple effect on the entire economy.
In the future we have a lot of other initiatives for small businesses, this is the starting point. We believe strongly in maximizing the potentials that small businesses bring to the nation’s economy. They need a lot of education, information, and exposure. Our platform is easily positioned to offer all of that and more.
With the Covid-19 Pandemic hitting hard on SMEs, how have you approached the change as a business leader?
For us, we had to think of how to keep running because we are an essential service, we had to entertain, inform and educate our viewers. So, we quickly learned how to adapt, review our entire process, and maximize efficiency. One would not have thought a good thing could come out of a bad thing. The need for survival got us thinking and we are in fact a more efficient business than we ever were.
How would you describe the working culture at Pop Central and how does creativity fit into what you do as the CEO?
Our mantra is to work hard, play hard and this created a relaxed environment for a lot of very intensive work. My job as the CEO beyond marketing and conversion of every possible lead into money is to constantly show my people the big picture. Our organization is one where everyone knows how we make income and teamwork is king.
What would you consider the biggest challenge this year at Pop Central and what did you learn from it?
For me, this year has been about optimizing our processes to hire the right people, save cost and be constantly encountered as a budding media-tech brand. So, to answer your question the biggest challenge has been people and what I learned is that every business must quickly define its kind of people and never go lower.
‘Poppin by Popcentral’, was one of the top 7 indigenous apps selected by Apple to mark Nigeria’s 60th Anniversary. Tell us about the app and why was it created?
As you might already know we are social TV; we are Digital first. And in fact, we started from social media and having our own VOD platform. So, it is normal for us to continue in that digital path even with TV. We decided to develop our own platform where we can continue to iterate the form to learn and serve our users wherever they are on the go. While TV works great for family and experiencing viewing with friends, we also know that we must be present when they are on the go and not just on social media but on our own platform. The future of Poppin is largely in the direction of creating the best platform out of Africa for our co-creators which sit right in our DNA. We are unveiling more as time goes.
ASST. EDITOR VANGUARD (ALLURE)