The stellar line-up of speakers at Content 2013 will be sharing uniquely crafted presentations that address very specific aspects of the content marketing industry. Speaker Zibusiso Mkhwanazi, who’s also a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and the Founder/CEO of AVATAR, speaks to us about the future of content marketing and how storytelling fits into the creation of compelling content and how it’s changing branding as we know it.

What does your role as a “digital entrepreneur” involve on a daily basis?
My day mainly involves planning, leading and management of my agency AVATAR. And as a player in the digital industry, it is also essential for me to remain relevant and on top of all the emerging trends, so my function also involves a lot of reading and research.

How would you define “content marketing” (CM)?
Content marketing is the art of understanding exactly what customers need to know and delivering it to them in a relevant and compelling way.

How does content marketing fit into what you do as a digital entrepreneur?
I find content marketing invaluable as a way to engage and educate potential customers as well as strengthen relationships with existing ones. If, as mentioned above, the content you create is relevant and compelling for the audience you are trying to speak to, then it can be incredibly powerful as a tool.

What are the most exciting developments in the world of CM?
“Newsjacking”: It’s how some brands are hijacking highly searched news stories and directing conversations towards their products. Yes, as mentioned in this article by the Content Marketing Institute, PR agencies have been doing a form of this for years but content marketers are now putting their own spin on it.

Have there been any campaigns in particular (local or international) that have stood out for you?
Like all passionate content marketers, Coca-Cola stands out for me. I really love sharing of stories on the site. For me, they are one of the first brands to have recognised the real value in using compelling content to build brand loyalty.

Are you planning anything exciting this year that you can share with us?
I will remain an advocate for South African marketers to embrace content marketing, which is one of the reasons I am supporting Content 2013 – The Whole Story. I think for stakeholders to remain relevant and on top of this incredibly fast-moving industry we have to create the platforms for debate, discussion and knowledge sharing.

What do you think the near future holds for South Africa in terms of how brands will produce and consumers will (want to) receive content?
Mobile will play an increasingly important role in content marketing. Given the extraordinary reach that mobile has in SA, it will mean that brands will be able to reach out to that many more South Africans.

* Mkhwanazi will be speaking at Content 2013, SA’s first comprehensive content marketing conference, on 25 and 26 February at the Fugard Theatre in Cape Town. For more information: or Twitter: @Content_2013. Join the content marketing discussion by including the hashtag #content2013.