The most frequently asked question pertaining to content creation is how one can become a content creator, and rarely about becoming the most gripping one. Content creation is the process of identifying a new message you want to convey to an audience, deciding which form you want the content to take (i.e blog post, video, podcast, tweet, instagram, advertisement, to name a few), conceptualising a rollout strategy, actually producing it, before proceeding to publish the piece. It then comes as no surprise that the most crucial qualities to becoming one of the best is through effort, discipline, creativity, commitment and of course, consistency. Content creation is by far the single most time-consuming and usually frustrating responsibility for today’s content creators.
WHO IS A CONTENT CREATOR?
At a time when so many people call themselves “content creators,” it is important to clarify who qualifies to be identified as one. A content creator is someone who is responsible for the contribution of information to any media and most especially to digital media. Anyone can report on a topic, but it takes a seasoned content creator to actually reach and move people with their pieces. Understanding your audience, consistency and empathy are some of the traits good content creators posses.
HOW DOES IT APPLY TO BRANDS?
With traditional marketing becoming less and less effective by the minute, useful content now sits at the core of marketing strategies for many brands. Content Marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action for brands. Content Marketing taps into the first two stages of the buying process (1. Awareness, 2. Research, 3. Consideration, 4. Purchase) of a brand, by raising awareness of solutions and educating consumers about a product they may have never considered before. The return on investment for content marketing has proven to be phenomenal for brands when they execute correctly.
Content Marketing: Revlon SA recently collaborated with Cosmopolitan SA to showcase its Colourstay Foundation
As a platform that advocates for excellent content creation, we have the biggest admiration for other content creators. If there’s one thing we would like people to know about content creators, it’s that they are the biggest consumers of content. Secondly, it takes a great deal of time and financial investment to create show-stopping content, but as we always say, limited access to resources such as money should not discourage one from creating. Create until your situation changes. Create until doors swing open.
As the year draws to a close, we saw it fitting to celebrate 2018’s most compelling and groundbreaking content creators. Throughout the year, they truly made the most of modern media, by creating top-notch, thumb-stopping and valuable content.
1. WILL SMITH
The actor, who recently launched his own YouTube channel to explore a new type of creative storytelling away from big movies, said his content must fulfill two categories: joy and life expansion. “Whenever I’m looking at something, I always challenge my team; why is it fun, why is it awe-inspiring, why will it create joy? And then, what is the seed of expansion — why are we putting this out into the world now and how does it improve lives? If you can find those two elements in the story it’s something you can be pretty confident that somebody’s going to need it.” One of his most anticipated content pieces, “The Jump,” showed him bungee-jumping from a helicopter over the Grand Canyon after he was dared by the Yes Theory. The eight-minute clip was shot with no preparation. Everything the viewer sees, Smith is experiencing for the first time. It was as raw and authentic as it can get when it comes to creating content, and the strategy certainly paid off. His views and approach to content creation are exactly what make him our favourite content creator for 2018. “Nothing is more valuable than your gut,” Smith stressed. “The metrics are there to help you train your gut because at the end of the day you have to make the call on the extraordinary. The metrics keep you in the ordinary and keep you from failing more than they help you succeed. Use the metrics but be careful of thinking they’re God — they’re not — the God connection is in you.”
2. KYLIE JENNER
Having just caught up to sister Kim Kardashian West’s 120 million followers on IG, there’s no denying that Kylie Jenner has mastered the art of social media storytelling to further her popularity and promote her $900 million brand. Whether it’s a Snapchat Story or YouTube Tutorial, Kylie has over the years consistently used social media video to educate her community. Her most compelling moments online? – the 21-year-old’s pregnancy announcement video, which officially became the most-liked photo on Instagram — surpassing previous record holders Beyoncé and soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. Kylie’s announcement video has now garnered over 76 million views on Youtube in the 9 months that it’s been up on the platform. Second to her pregnancy announcement video was her Halloween content, a series of 13 Instagram posts, which gained the star over 80 million likes.
3. KEFILWE MABOTE
Award-winning Influencer, Kefilwe Mabote has taken her Instagram content creation to newer heights this year. Whether it’s her attending prestigious events or grabbing a fancy lunch with friends, Kefilwe has mastered the art of visually sharing her experiences with her audience. Some of our favourite moments from her this year have been her way of executing her brand collaborations with the likes of Estée Lauder, Grey Goose and The Macallan. The influencer who boasts over 560k Instagram followers has a way of churning quality, attention-grabbing content to promote brands.
4. SETH SHEZI
KZN-born, Cape Town-based Lifestyle strategist, writer and Influencer, Seth Shezi is one of our favourite content creators in SA. What makes him the best at what he does? Well, the recently crowned GQ Best Dressed Man has earned a reputation for producing can’t-scroll-past-worthy imagery and captivating copy for the likes of Wanted Magazine and Conde Nast Traveller. “My content is inspired by visuals that penetrate me in my most carefree state. So when I travel I’m most at my carefree and relaxed and this is when I’m a complete sponge of inspiration from new sites, films and art, he recently told Glamour SA.
5. AMANDA DU PONT
We can guarantee you that we wept throughout 30-year-old Amanda’s engagement video, which was filmed on the backdrop of the luscious Maldives Islands this year. “As you can see I didn’t suspect or expect this proposal! I thought we were just enjoying our holiday and shooting my Vlog lol. Shawn swept me off my feet in what looks like a movie! He asked and I said yes!! God is so good! Happy to share one of the most magical moments of my life with you xx”, she captioned the post. Just like Will Smith, Du Pont is one of the few actors who have easily transitioned into this space and it’s a wonder to watch!
Other impressive content creators this year include; actress Linda Mtoba, model Blue Mbombo, newly launched The Bar Magazine, stylist Kwena Baloyi and the British Vogue, under the leadership of Edward Enninful.