Technology

Nation Media Group grows its online platforms in leaps and bounds

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NMG’s flagship portal — www.nation.co.ke — averages 60 million views every month, making it the biggest website in the region in terms of traffic. Illustration/Felix Miring'u

Alex Muema, a property consultant, turned to online advertising platform N-Soko to reach the diaspora and the young tech savvy market.

The entrepreneur, who owns real estate firm Ndatani Property, has closed several deals through digital channels. “The Internet is very effective, especially in connecting to the diaspora,” said Mr Muema in an interview with the Business Daily.

“It is popular with younger buyers who search for property online.”

When the African Child Policy Forum was recruiting a programmes officer, it chose to do it through Nation Media Group’s (NMG) digital platform.

The Addis Ababa-based child rights lobby was overwhelmed when it received more than 150 applications in less than a week.

It is easy to see why firms are increasingly choosing e-marketing to complement traditional advertising such as print media.

NMG’s flagship portal —www.nation.co.ke— averages 60 million views every month, making it the biggest website in the region in terms of traffic. Of these, more than 4.5 million users are classified as unique, a pointer to the estimated number of real people who visit the site.

NMG leverages on the traffic to power its other 15 websites and eight mobile sites which include online classified site N-Soko and travel platform Twende Twende.

N-Soko is an online platform through which users can advertise for vehicles, property, jobs and tenders across East Africa. The site records 1.5 million page views monthly. It has been split into distinct lines to cater for different niche markets —jobs.n-soko.com, properties.n-soko.com, motors.n-soko.com, and tenders.nation.co.ke.

The travel site, www.twendetwende.co.ke, targets travellers seeking flight and hotel bookings.

It has been designed to simplify the process of finding the best travel deals for both business travellers and holiday makers.

Agastee Khantee, NMG’s general manager for digital, said that online platforms provide a cheaper and effective avenue for businesses to reach clients.

“N-Soko fills an important gap in the online classified business as it manages to combine elements of a user-friendly online marketplace with the heritage of credibility and trustworthiness of our online and offline platforms as the Nation Media Group,” said Mr Khantee.

With four out of every 10 Kenyans having access to the Internet especially through mobile phones, online marketing and listing sites are fast gaining currency.

Data from the Communications Commission of Kenya shows that there are 16.2 million Internet users, with mobile data accounting for 99 per cent of the total subscriptions.

Online platforms allow users to list products, jobs and opportunities; connecting sellers and buyers virtually and in real time.

Social media is also emerging as a place to link up with friends and colleagues. Tech savvy entrepreneurs use such networks to exploit business and professional opportunities.

The Nation newspaper also uses its large following on Twitter and Facebook to connect traders while at the same time disseminating news and information.

The newspaper’s Facebook page has two million fans while its Twitter handle has one million followers. The Nation’s premier news site attracts more than 120,000 readers’ comments every month on stories posted online, making it the most interactive news portal.

One major advantage of online advertising is that it is in real time and not hampered by geographical boundaries.

Internet listings can also be tweaked to suit the target market by use of multimedia and language translation.

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