It’s more important than ever for small businesses to take advantage of digital marketing to increase their customer base. DNA Brand Architects founder Sylvester Chauke advises business owners to be clear about the audiences they want to engage, as this determines the kind of content they need to be putting out.
MELITTA NGALONKULU: Welcome to the Small Business Conversations podcast, Episode 7. My name is Melitta Ngalonkulu. In this week’s episode, we discuss the importance of content creation for small businesses to grow.
When you hear ‘content marketing’, you’re likely to immediately think about blogs, articles, video, and maybe even social media – but it’s so much more. It is the most cost-effective inbound marketing strategy that can help your business attract new business.
Sylvester Chauke, who’s the founder of the multi-award-winning marketing and brand consultancy company DNA Brand Architects, is joining us today to help us understand what content creation is, and how to make it generate revenue for your business. Sylvester, it’s a pleasure to have you with us.
SYLVESTER CHAUKE: It’s a pleasure to be with you today, yes.
MELITTA NGALONKULU: Sylvester, how does one start to create valuable content for a brand?
SYLVESTER CHAUKE: I have to say that the most important thing about creating this content would be to understand what you are trying to do in terms of your marketing goals. So, if you’re trying to generate leads or build brand awareness, or you want to engage customers, that will determine what sort of strategy you need to put in place.
But ultimately it needs to be content that is connecting with the audience that it’s intended to, and it needs to be able to drive some form of action – whether people click through, engage with that content, and ultimately buy whatever you’re trying to sell.
MELITTA NGALONKULU: Is there a blueprint to creating content for your audience?
SYLVESTER CHAUKE: …yes there is. And, depending obviously on the business type, as well as what the objective is, you need to be clear, number one, about being on multiple platforms. So you need to be not only on Facebook, but Instagram, YouTube, Twitter – depending on what you are trying to drive going forward. So first of all, knowing the platforms that you want to be on, and defining, of course, the marketing goal. So, if you’re trying to get more leads, it’s a little different from you trying to drive awareness. So being able to be clear about the marketing goal would be quite important.
The third thing would be making sure that you post content that is relevant on a daily basis, because many people engage on their platforms once every week or every two weeks, and so on. And that also creates a lag in how consumers can engage with you.
Four, you need to be able to give customers a reason why they would follow your page, and why they would need to continue to follow.
So content that’s exciting, that’s different, that’s engaging, that’s beneficial to the customer is important.
It doesn’t mean just content that is sexy and cool all the time. But sometimes it’s information that’s relevant to the customer that you’re wanting to engage.
And then, I think what also helps is to have automation somehow in your flow of content – so utilising tools that allow you to ensure that you are consistent in your posting and your engagement as you drive your business.
MELITTA NGALONKULU: Sylvester, are there any tools or software that small business owners might use to help them generate content?
SYLVESTER CHAUKE: I think there are many, many, many, many tools, depending on the business type. But two tools that I definitely swear by are Hootsuite and Zoho Social. Those two really allow you not only to manage your content over a period, but they also have diagnostic tools and information to help you see what is most engaging with your audiences – so you know what your audience likes and what your audience doesn’t like. It’s always very helpful to have those kind of insights….
MELITTA NGALONKULU: It’s often said that content is king, but distribution is queen – she wears the pants. So once you have established what content you would like for your business, what are the best ways to get it out there?
SYLVESTER CHAUKE: I think what’s important is being clear about the audiences you want to engage and where they are based, because that will determine the kind of content that you need to be putting out to them. The best way to be able to do that is to really engage with that content. So you have to just put the content out.
I think what most people don’t do right is track and see the engagement of that content with the consumer
…because, ultimately, when you put something out and it creates an engagement and many people ‘like’ and ‘follow’ and ‘retweet’, that means that that content is positive or it’s engaging with that audience. If people don’t engage with it at all, then maybe it’s not ideal. Then you have to think about what adjustments you need to make to ensure that you are focusing more on content that people like, and that more people are of course engaging with.
MELITTA NGALONKULU: I assume that repurposing of content is something that is of utmost importance. Should it be thought out clearly at the initial stage of planning the content, and how should one tackle it?
SYLVESTER CHAUKE: Yes, absolutely. Repurposing the content is something that is very standard and that we do within this space. But obviously a fair amount of repetition is required. There are content pieces that work really well. For example, if it’s Women’s Month … you will see that a lot of content will be very directed at that – and maybe it’s content that you’ve seen before. But it reiterates a particular moment in time.
What’s important for me is relevance over that period. So is that content relevant for that period, for that week, for that day?
That will always ensure that at least the content that you are putting out is not repurposed for the sake of it, but it’s repurposed because it makes sense for that particular moment.
MELITTA NGALONKULU: Does this require a large budget?
SYLVESTER CHAUKE: It will depend on your business – the size of your business, and the kind of products you are selling. Sometimes you want to promote some of your posts so that more people get to see them to drive more awareness and get more audiences to engage with them. So put a little money behind that. And, to be honest, it’s inexpensive.
If you look at Facebook or Instagram, or even YouTube, I think there are so many opportunities to spend a little bit of money to drive it. So it’s not expensive versus the traditional means of communication. I would say it’s probably the best kind of platform and medium for small businesses to utilise to drive their businesses because for very little you can get a lot of good value.
In our business specifically, for example, we don’t really spend a lot of money on these campaigns because we’d rather focus on creating the content that allows for it to grow organically.
But yes, depending on the size of your business, sometimes it is advisable to be able to invest a little bit. It doesn’t have to be a lot in ensuring that your content is being seen by more people. You’re able to track, as well, the content and how it connects. So if you spend a little bit of money, you get more leads and more sales; it means that your strategy is working. And that is something that you would obviously want to continue to do.
MELITTA NGALONKULU: Lastly, how do you make money for your business with content creation?
SYLVESTER CHAUKE: Ultimately, the content that you create needs to be able to move a customer to action. We’ve seen it, for example, around Covid-19, where you are not able to engage with a store physically because it is in lockdown, but you are able to engage with it and still get product and service via social media platforms or online. To be able to ensure that your product is available and your service is utilised is ultimately the goal – that you want to sell your service and product on social media.
Ultimately, you want to ensure that the content leads to a sale and leads to an engagement, depending on your marketing objective. So, if your objective is to drive awareness alone, you want to see more people seeing your work, and seeing and engaging with your posts. If it’s about sales, you want to see more people clicking and purchasing and engaging with you through sales, so that you are able to move your product or your service within that space.
The job of social media is not just to be present. It’s definitely to move to utilisation of the product you sell by your customers.
MELITTA NGALONKULU: Thank you Sylvester, for joining us today.
SYLVESTER CHAUKE: It’s only a pleasure. I have to say that small businesses, in particular, need to be able to use social media to stay relevant, particularly now that we are trying to deal with the challenges we’re facing with Covid-19 and the lockdown in all our territories across the world.
MELITTA NGALONKULU: That was the founder of DNA Brand Architects, Sylvester Chauke, ensuring that we know exactly how to come up with creative content that will bring us new customers.
In the next episode of Small Business Conversations with me, Melitta Ngalonkulu, we talk to Jeremy Lang, the regional general manager at Business Partners, on the importance of small businesses having an emergency fund.
Listen to more Small Business Conversations podcasts here.
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