The Media Blog: In praise of BellaNaija’s quiet discipline

2016 has been a pivotal year for BellaNaija.

Every year is probably pivotal for BellaNaija, to be honest, but this year saw a number of marked moves into new territory. Moves, which, because of their steady, consistent nature, went largely unnoticed. Discipline tends to take a back seat to noise, after all.

We talked before about their disciplined but aggressive response to the “video is the future” wave sweeping the net.

But, more than anything, this is the year they fully began to exploit the potential of their weddings brand. If they started to embrace it over the last few years, this year saw them double down and pretty much carry it on their heads.

Consider this; their bellanaijaweddings instagram page has 1.9 million followers. Besides the fact that this is in multiples of what other online platforms have accumulated, it’s also far more eyes than what their original bellanaijaonline page draws, with 339,000 followers.

fullsizerender-4fullsizerenderAs if this isn’t enough, they’ve also quietly spun off their style, beauty and lifestyle divisions into pseudo-verticals, each developing identities and audiences of their own (with instagram followings of 209k, 32k and 20k respectively.)

fullsizerender-2fullsizerender-5fullsizerender-3But weddings still remains the main pivot, as seen in their Aso Ebi Bella feature, “Volume 171” of which they just published last week. It’s an amazing thing, really. Simple to think about – people love weddings, people love to dress up, people love to show up. But there’s something about the BellaNaija brand that just makes it fit perfectly, and we suspect many people are trying to figure out what that is.

It’s likely that something that also led to the success of their BBN (Baileys and BellaNaija) Wonderland event a few months ago, which saw them fete 30 brides over a weekend.

Interesting moves for a brand that, we’ll be honest, we once thought complacent and too comfortable with their position in the media space.

But seriously, if Bella Naija is making these moves, how dare any other media brand not evolve?

The near future will be great to watch.

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