Banouto Media, an online platform for news and investigative reporting in Benin, has been adjudged the number one most visited online information site in Benin by New York-based internet giant, SimilarWeb.
SimilarWeb, is a website and mobile application analysis company which updates on monthly basis its data on 80 million websites across 60 countries globally. The websites are ranked using indicators such as number of page visitors, audience and posts effectiveness/engagement. The ranking is conducted both at the country and global level.
For March 2020, Banouto Media, a beneficiary of a Media Sustainability Support from the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) was ranked the most visited online platform in Benin under the News and Media Category with more than 1.5 million visitors. The media organisation which started three years ago featured for the first time on SimilarWeb ranking in 2018. Prior to the MFWA's intervention, Banouto Media had an average of 450,000 page visitors per month.
Early this year, the MFWA under its Sustainability Support to media organisations who demonstrate editorial independence, commitment to standards and potential for growth, supported Banouto Media to adopt tools and resources towards improving its online presence and online revenue generation. The MFWA engaged the services of a Digital Media Consultant who assessed Banouto's online platforms - website and social media; followed by an in-situ training where the Consultant worked with Banouto Media for two weeks on improving brand identity; creating digital videos; setting up a digital savvy newsroom and using social media to effectively engage its audience.
Following the support, Banouto Media adopted digital tools and developed marketing strategies to improve its online presence and revenue generation. It also adopted a social media strategy to improve its audience engagement, introduced a video page on its website as well as a working schedule for the editorial team that takes into account peak times on the Internet so that new content is always available.
In a recent email to the MFWA, the General Manager of Banouto, Leonce Gamaii, expressed gratitude to the MFWA for the sustainability support extended to the media organisation which has contributed to them being adjudged the number one most visited online information site in Benin for the month of March. "... I am happy to inform you that Banouto has been ranked top news and media website in Benin by SimilarWeb... once again, big thank you to the Media Foundation for West Africa for the media sustainability support".
In a follow-up phone call, Leonce Gamaii said "the new web writing techniques learnt during the in-situ training with the Consultant have improved the way we write our headlines; and the better the headline, the easier it is for our reports to appear on google search. Since then we have seen the number of visitors to our website skyrocket".
As a media development organisation, the MFWA continues to support media institutions in the region with needed skills to improve their sustainability and professionalism. "At the MFWA, we know that media sustainability is a major challenge in the region; thus, it is always gratifying to see our contributions make such great impact in the media industry" said Adizatu Moro Maiga, Programme Officer, Media and Good Governance Programme, MFWA.
The MFWA's Media Sustainability Support forms part of activities under its project "Promoting Free, Quality and Independent Media in West Africa Through Capacity Building and Knowledge Sharing" which is being implemented in Ghana, Benin, Senegal, Liberia and Cote d'Ivoire with funding support from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA).
The MFWA has in the past extended the support to Ghana-based Citi FM/Citi TV; and Sierra-Leone-based AYV Media.