Brands today find it difficult to produce creative content on time and at scale. According to Forrester Consulting, 70% of marketers say they devote more time to content creation instead of doing what they prefer. But because of the ever-growing need of consumers, who are searching for more variety and relevance in the content they see online, marketers have no choice but to keep going.
A recent marketing survey conducted by Bynder shows:
Unarguably, it is a well-known truth that the demand for creative content has gone up tremendously. Creative designers cannot keep up with the pace. And marketers seem incapable of meeting tight deadlines owing to the barriers that hold back producing content on a large scale while maintaining a consistent level of quality.
To curb the gap in creative content, brands need to adopt the technology that automates the production, management, and distribution of creatives at scale. And the answer to this growing creative content gap isn’t just producing content on time and at scale, but also managing content to reuse and repurpose to cater to the demand.
This blog probes the primary hindrances that creative teams encounter when meeting content demands, how to address these to liberate creatives, and help them in bridging the content gap.
The reality of advertising today involves heightened consumer expectations, and a greater volume of quality content, which are too numerous for a single team to handle alone. This puts a great burden on traditional creative tools and processes, and tears open content gaps during production.
Which potential roadblocks should you be aware of?
As creatives no longer have to manually work on different versions of each asset for A/B testing, they have more time to measure the results, test and learn, and optimise campaign performance.
For the most part, having translated content for local markets is perceived as an easy win. However, it’s a common pitfall to be avoided.
Content designed for the home market of a specific industry may translate poorly for other markets. Often, it fails to take cultural context into account, and by falling short to addressing market-specific nuances, brands end up alienating regional audiences.
The point is not to steer clear of localised content, but to do it effectively and tailor it truly to their respective markets.
Efficiently tailored and localised content boosts awareness, and aids sales teams in the consideration and conversion of the customer. And how do you do it?
Embed localisation into the core of your content strategy.
Volume and Frequency in Creative Content Production
Whether its artwork, content, video production, or any other creative work, a specific number of assets are needed for marketing campaigns or for promotional work. Can your creative team meet the demand in short periods of time regularly and without compromising on content quality and the quality of work?
Furthermore, how much content is the proper amount of content? How often is too often for content production?
Producing too much or too little are two sides of the same coin, with both creating a gap in content creation, driving you away from your target audience and any goal you may have.
Too much content overwhelms your audience. A common misconception is that increasing content distribution frequency increases online visibility. However, this delivers adverse results. You end up taking attention away from what you want your customers to focus on, diluting any strong message you may have initially posted.
You’re better off posting less frequently and publishing thoughtful content for a greater impact, than sacrificing quality in favour of quantity.
On the other hand, posting too little content does not give your intended audience a reason to return – no reason for Google or visitors to pay attention simply because you’re not actively sharing valuable content.
So how do you close the gap between volume and frequency of content?
And when it comes to meeting client demands, everyone is better off using the right tools to aid in the volume and frequency of design and content work.
Slow Processes Limit True Creativity
Creativity is all about turning new and imaginative ideas into reality. Slow processes during creative content production throw wedges into content creation and execution. Production turns into a grueling affair, and content creators occupy their time going back-and-forth for approvals or manual adaptation of key visuals, when they could be using that time to create and conceptualise.
The need for producing quality content is undeniable, yet we can’t deny that among marketers, agility and speed is an asset in content production, especially during campaigns.
There are several things a team can do to speed up the process while letting creativity flourish:
Pause and think back to the last time you delivered a project on time without any delays whatsoever. Pretty hard, isn’t it? While delays in content production can be caused by many factors like resources, unforeseen circumstances, etc., most of the time, we just overlook the fact that it may just be a content workflow bottleneck.
A process bottleneck is a stage in your workflow that gets more requests than it can process at its maximum capacity, creating an interruption in the whole operation and a domino effect delay on the next stages. Identifying bottlenecks and finding workarounds is essential if you want to prevent further problems and stay on track with your projects.
For content creators, bottlenecks usually occur with sequential workflows, processes that are too complex, with too many moving parts that rely heavily on one to finish before they can proceed to the next. It’s time-consuming, and as we’ve established, we don’t have the luxury of time. Luckily, there are some easy and surefire ways to address sequential workflow bottlenecks:
In most cases, bottlenecks can be quite easy to fix but leaving them untreated can cost you more in the future. Learn to see the early signs of sequential bottlenecks and address them as soon as possible for a better creative process.
Information overload – we all know it, and we all have experienced it. In a world where information is literally in the palm of our hands with the advent of smartphones and the internet, it’s quite easy to be consumed by too many mundane and sometimes irrelevant pieces of data.
Being bombarded by information from the moment we wake up until we fall asleep makes our brain cluttered, making it harder for us to focus and get more important things done. Studies have shown that each person only has a limited amount of attention every day. Using this energy in time-consuming tasks like emails and distractions, or scrolling through Facebook, deplete our supply and eventually results in brain fatigue, leaving nothing left for creative thinking.
There is also a misconception that the more information you consume, the more creative you will be. While there may be instances where a brilliant idea pops up after you’ve watched a video or read an article, this isn’t always the case. Our brain can only process so much information in a day – filling it up with too much data that it can process can do more harm than good. Sometimes, all we need is to step back, relax, and let inspiration come to us.
The energy that we use for our creative process is the same energy that fuels our mundane tasks and information gathering. As creatives, we must know and discern what to do to effectively conserve our energy, so we can have more creative juices left to use to produce better outputs and more “eureka” moments.
The creative process is expensive from every angle. And to stand out amongst the rest of the competition doesn’t make it much easier. Not only is there the macro cost of failing to attract consumers, but there is also the cost of missed opportunities to invest in technology that could make the brand’s processes more differentiated or improve the consumer experience.
Allowing the creative asset management costs to spiral out of control restricts marketers’ ability given lesser available funds for other initiatives that might contribute to the brand’s success.
Stackla’s report on how much marketers spend on average for content per year reveals:
It turns out that having high costs means increased pressure to calculate ROI accurately, while also averting taking needless risks. A study from Kantar found marketers view the importance of their media mix as higher than that of creative quality, although a study on the drivers of profit found that creative quality is second only to brand size in terms of marketing effectiveness.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to the challenge of overcoming creative gaps. By adopting creative automation to your creative assets, you can take back some of the lost time and freedom creatives lack, enabling them to put more focus, experience, and talent on what really matters.
Organisations must be ready and willing to delegate at least some creative power to a broader spectrum of employees. The responsibility must be shared. While creative automation is not completely responsible for producing quality creative executions, it does provide the organisation with proven cost savings and benefits.
As the volume of content that brands need to produce and deliver grows, the number of platforms continue to expand, resulting in consumer expectations to rise. It is essential that brands invest in their creative power to meet future demands. Taking the step now to strengthen creative output will later pay dividends down the road.