What is Content Marketing? Interview with Zibusiso Mkhwanazi – Part 2

What is all the fuss around Content Marketing? AVATAR CEO Zibusiso Mkhwanazi recently sat down with Media Personality Jeremy Maggs to talk Content Marketing in a very insightful interview. A week ago we shared What is Content Marketing? – Part 1. Today we bring you the second and last part of the interview.

Jeremy Maggs: I understand it (Content Marketing) but it’s also a bit like trout fishing. You have to play with the customer, that individual customer, you have to be subtle. Don’t abuse the relationship. The problem that so many marketers make is once they have that person within the loop in the community, they bombard them, they spam them to death.

Zibusiso Mkhwanazi: Yeah. And the art of it is just provide them with relevant content. It’s like going out to a woman and asking the woman out on a date; you just say all the right things and just wait for her responses and that’s it. So, once you provide the right types of content, you gain that trust relationship between the brand and individual and when they are ready, they will pick up the phone and say “I am interested.”

Jeremy Maggs: Yeah, you are talking about dating woman; I am talking about trout fishing. It illustrates the difference in our age.
So, Zibusiso, how difficult is it to set a strategy for this kind of marketing?

Zibusiso Mkhwanazi: It’s not an easy thing. It’s been around, as I have said, for a while but in the context of social media, where it becomes extra tricky is understanding, it’s identifying people and understanding who they are and their content needs on a daily basis because now the reality is that brands are becoming publishers, yes, but what’s extra tricky is what type of publishers are they becoming and who are they speaking to. So, it’s matching those two things – “So, what are we going to publish?” and “Is it relevant?” So, that entire match is a whole science by itself. It involves tons and tons of software to find relevant and engaging content, things that people have never seen before. We go through an entire research process to get to the right type of content that’s the most engaging and we use tried and tested methods over and over again. It’s something new in South Africa but we are playing around with it and what I am finding is that the market is responding pretty well to it; as soon as you mention it, you grab the attention of the room. I spoke about it at a recent social media conference and basically the consensus really was this was something new that we had never heard before. So, if you ask me, this is the next wave. It’s the growing wave.

Jeremy Maggs: I want to ask you a final question. The relationship them between copy-heavy relevant content marketing and traditional above the line messaging as we know it, there is a golden thread.

Zibusiso Mkhwanazi: Yes.

Jeremy Maggs: What is it?

Zibusiso Mkhwanazi: Now, people might hate me for saying this but I will just be honest. Content will drive above the line messages whether we like it or not because what content does is once you publish relevant content, it gives you the opportunity to listen to how people respond to it and it will indicate what messages people are interested in hearing. So, not what the brands want to say but what the people want to hear, the relevant target market wants to hear and from that listening process, we then pass that to different mediums like above the line and all sorts of other digital platforms, from banners. So, the next time someone puts a banner together, it’s not because we think this is really creative; it’s because this is what people have engaged with, it’s tried and it’s proven. So, it’s about linking the two but you need to listen to the people because the marketers of the past will tell you “It’s all about stats, market, what the market… this research from whoever” but now the research is your actual market and content marketing allows you to gain that insight and pass it on.

Jeremy Maggs: Zibusiso Mkhwanazi, I don’t think anyone’s going to hate you. I think they are going to listen to you. Thank you very much for joining us.

Zibusiso Mkhwanazi: Thank you, Jeremy.

Here is the entire video of the interview