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Ayodotun Rotimi-Akinfenwa: Instead of the Banner AD, Be the Feature Story



Today, everywhere you go, there’s a business trying to sell you something. Every organization is in the business of marketing; even not-for-profit organizations need to sell their vision. What you find is an avalanche of promotional messages in every nook and cranny of daily life. Gone are the days when you only see ADs while watching TV, or on the pages of a newspaper or magazines. They are practically following you everywhere. On that drive, they are there – with multimedia screens in the cab, in the BRT bus, on the BRT bus. They’re at your office, in your emails, at home, in your apps!

Each individual is exposed to thousands of advertising impressions daily, and have therefore, developed the coping mechanism of tuning out these intrusions.

That being said, we still love our entertainment – TV series and movies- and will dedicate several minutes or even hours per time to enjoying them. Since audiences are paying less attention to ADs and entertainment still holds their attention, it only makes sense therefore, to leverage the latter.

Aside from entertainment, each of us have pain points, areas where we need help. Marketing, as a result, needs to speak to the problems of target audiences; letting them them have what they want instead of directly selling them what we have. I’ll explain.

How many times have we read a book we describe as life changing and sought to hear the author at a conference or buy his CDs?

How many times, have we gravitated to a particular Instagram page because we gleaned so much from it? Businesses are learning to tell stories instead of placing ADs. They are learning to cater to pain points instead of just asking for money. I can’t talk about this without bringing forward the issue of Content Marketing.

The concept of content marketing is not a new concept. It is defined by the Content Marketing institute as follows:

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.

Simply put, add value to your target audience and they will connect with you. It’s the reason, you will see a online headline with “10 ways to make money”, “5 reasons why you haven’t found love yet” etc I bet you, once you follow that link, it will lead to a good enough article and within or at the end of that article are links to a product or service website to solve the problems mentioned in the article.

Back to entertainment, help your target audiences enjoy your message. No one likes to be sold to; instead, they like to be entertained. The Lego film was one big Content Marketing case study. The online Ndani TV and Accelerate TV platforms in Nigeria are indirect but apt examples. GT Bank, looking to expand its influence in the mullennial lifestyle (possibly it’s biggest target audience), has run the Ndani TV platform successfully with over 107,000 subscribers and about 10 different shows speaking to millennial issues and staying a huge part of pop culture. I can say the same about Access Bank’s Accelerate TV. For the same reason, you will encounter SME Fidelity Business programme on radio or an insurance column in the papers by one of the players speaking to the daily issues of their audiences.

You may say: I’m not a big brand, what platforms will help me as a small business?

Social Media
Convert your posts into valuable, consistent stories and tips relevant to your industry, make your followers eager to see your updates. Live videos and “stories “on Facebook and Instagram are all fair game in sharing valuable content with your target audience. Social Media is your PR Machine, use it well. See also my article on this

Package valuable materials for your audiences free and get to subscribe to you mailing list so they will always get emails from you. Share your content via those mails.

Your Blog (within and without your website)
This is another spot you can flex and have fun with stories, tips and all other eclectic materials that actually sell you to your audiences.

Chances are, you cannot afford those ADs and people don’t want to see them anyway, chose a weekly column instead and share content addressing your audience’ issues with subjects such “”How to really lose weight and not starve,  ”what they are not telling you about Real Estate” and other relevant subjects.
E books and books in general: Free or paid, those books go far and remain year-long Ads for what you do.

3 things to remember:

  • Know your audience
  • Create useful, relevant materials to meet their needs
  • Tell stories, tell more stories.

For every product or service you have, tell a story instead around it instead of product features. People like gist, give them something to see.

As a small business, you need to take the control of your own story telling. How? You can create your own cute graphics for daily social media, e- books and presentations that will sell you beautifully using Canva and other Apps at your level. I’ve got you. Attend my Canva Masterclass this November where I teach you how to and more, few days to go.

To find out more, please send me and email [email protected] or find me on Instagram @lifestylehues
I leave you with the words of James o’Brien: ‘Instead of the Banner AD, be the feature story”.

Ayodotun Rotimi-Akinfenwa is a Brand Manager turned Writer, Blogger, Brand/Social Media Consultant, Content Creator. She is founder of , a lifestyle blog where she shares inspiring personality interviews/stories and discusses today’s issues with a slightly eccentric perspective. She's currently running a Canva MasterClass to empower business owners manage their own branding, by designing most of their graphics themselves, saving time and money. Find her on Social Media @lifestylehues on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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