Plaqad: Nigeria’s Leading Content Trading Marketplace
By Azeez Disu
Plaqad (Plaqad.com), founded in 2017 is a social network connecting brands, marketing professionals and individuals to bloggers, news websites, publishers and social influencers (micro-bloggers), allowing users organise or participate in content trading and publicity placement on listed blogs, websites, and social media services around the world.
Basically, it is designed for individuals and organisations that want to get word out about their products, services and ideas, and for publishers or platform owners who want to earn revenue.
Simply, Plaqad helps individuals, brands and agencies run effective and very affordable marketing campaigns by connecting them with top publishers and influencers around the world.
According to the company, “Brands (large corporates, SMEs and individuals) want to get the best out of what’s happening online. And they deserve to. Publishers want to make enough money to keep their platforms running. They also want great content that’ll keep their audience hooked. Plaqad is connecting both parties in a way that’s never been done before, by building a partnership that ensures audiences get great, amazing content anywhere they turn, brands and individuals put out their content when and where they want, while getting remarkable results from great storytelling.
“Also, bloggers and publishers cut down on how much sales, marketing and non-editorial work they have to do, while earning more money than ever before.”
In the same vein, Gbenga Sogbaike, CEO, Plaqad explained, “Plaqad, by the very model it operates, is not a regular company. We are an internet company at the intersection of media, marketing and technology and because of our digital-first, platform-model orientation, we have built a strong community of influencers, content creators, publishers and other marketing service providers to help brands connect to their target audience in a more measurable, effective and affordable way. The result is that we are able to unlock value on multiple levels for brands.
“We also have the advantage of being backed by industry veterans in marketing, PR and advertising; both on our management team and on our advisory board. Having unfettered access to such a wealth of experience in a major boost for us.”
The platform has already become the go-to platform for content placement and influencer marketing in West Africa. Interestingly, it has also been able to attract patronage from foreign brands in countries such as UAE, US and UK.
Speaking on the core value and operational philosophy of the company, Sogbaike said, “I would say our strong commitment to helping our clients succeed beyond their expectations has kept us going. We simply care about our clients.
“Caring is part of our team culture and that’s very apparent in the way we collaborate with not just clients but also our programme members (influencers, content creators, publishers etc.).
“In the market today, we are the go-to marketing and technology partner for small and medium-sized businesses looking to make the most of their moderate budgets. We go over and beyond for these guys knowing that the small business of today is the MNC of tomorrow.
“So, we intently work with these SMEs to help them grow; and you cannot achieve that if you are only interested in your own profit margin.”
In addition, he stated that the company’s mission and vision centre on uplifting businesses. He said, “Let me restate here that Plaqad has a bias for small businesses. While we partner with the big brands too, our main focus is helping the small guys of today succeed and become the big league players of tomorrow.”
To achieve the set mission, the company decided that it would build the web’s most convenient community-led marketing platform, also build communities that give people the power to directly collaborate and exchange value on multiple levels, and ultimately give everyone – organisations and individuals – the power to make their voices heard, without barriers. “We committed to these in 2017 and these would still be very much be in our DNA for many years to come,” Sogbaike explained.
Great Works Done For Clients
“What matters is that you do great work, and you will definitely be remembered for that for years to come.” Armaan Malik once said.
On some of the great campaigns implemented for clients making great impact as the above quote implies, Sogbaike stated, “While we do not disclose the nature of our partnership with clients, we have successfully implemented some of the biggest and most successful PR and marketing campaigns in the country. We have created magic across different industries from FMCG to even more niche business categories like Cryptocurrency. Just last year, we helped a fintech brand launch its global Initial Coin Offering (ICO). In under 48 hours, the company raised 7 million dollars from buyers across 65 countries.
“However, I must give kudos to the brand team as collaborating with them was very easy and seamless. Even though this campaign ended months ago, I’m still in the dedicated Telegram page for the ICO which is now a major channel for disseminating information to the participants.
“We have run several other campaigns and still do, and we can provide cases studies for brands looking to partner with us.”
Reinventing And Giving Back
Explaining how the company is reinventing itself in a highly competitive market, Sogbaike said, “Innovation is very key for us and that requires significant investment in our people, processes and tools.
“We are investing in our people and positioning the brand to attract some of the best talents in the industry. At the same time, we are also investing in building unique digital tools and products to help individuals and businesses carry out cost-effective marketing.”
On ways of giving back through its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), he said, “First, our influencer compensation report, the first of its kind in Nigeria is contribution to not just the industry but to the society. We believe the lack of a credible research in different sectors of our nation’s economy is a limiting factor for businesses in Nigeria.
“Also, we organise periodic training for students in institutions of higher learning to help them better understand the nature and demands of work, especially in marketing communications. We were at Covenant University just a few months ago to speak to some of their students.
“We also hold and speak at business clinics for SMEs. These clinics offer great resources and insights to the owners of small and medium-sized businesses on the different operational issues they face, especially as it relates to marketing.
“In addition, last month, together with our sister brands ID Africa and BHM, we partnered with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) to raise awareness in the fight against cancer.”
Speaking on the company’s future plans, Sogbaike said, “The next few years in Plaqad promises to be exciting as we plan to expand to other major markets in Africa, Asia, Middle East and Europe. This would help us reach more brands with the gospel of Plaqad and help them grow their businesses through cost-effective marketing. Our goal is to serve 1 million businesses annually by 2022.
“We also plan to expand our programme membership while continuing to develop our people and technology to meet the growing needs of our users globally in line with our core mission of helping businesses get seen, heard and engaged.
“Plaqad is poised to be the leading media and communication technology company in Africa by 2022 with over five million programme members.”