Brands are making up their content shortfalls by repurposing assets more creatively

Faced with the complexity of today’s digital landscape, marketers are caught in a vicious cycle of low campaign volume, costly production rounds, endless revisions and missed advertising opportunities.

Why did things become so difficult? It’s a combination of antiquated (and often manual) ways of producing content combined with budget restrictions. Brands need more content than ever but they are struggling to meet demands around volume, scale, speed and high-quality output.

This phenomenon can be thought of as a type of content gap, in this case an internal production delta between the amount of content brands need to market and message to consumers and the resources they possess to produce and scale it — and it’s growing greater by the day. According to a Forrester report commissioned by Celtra, 70 percent of brands are already devoting more time to content creation for their campaigns than they would prefer; and for many the content production gap can’t be solved by merely throwing more money or hours at the problem.

So, what does this gap mean for marketers? How can they bridge it? Below are four common symptoms of the content production gap and how marketing teams can fix it.

1. Content output is too low (and the team needs more capacity)

While digital has given brands unparalleled opportunities to deliver personalized messages across platforms, many marketing teams lack the bandwidth to cover all of the ground those opportunities now represent. As a result, brands are failing to deliver against their media and messaging strategy.

Digital advertising goals are nearly impossible to achieve without tactics that can speed up production. For example, according to the Celtra Data Insights team, reusing assets by templatizing creative, rather than creating all of the variations manually, saves 75–80 percent on production time. By introducing automation and separating content from design, teams can design a strong asset and then scale it across numerous variations.

2. It’s difficult to produce excellent creative in the time available

The average person is served more than 1,700 digital ads per month. A marketing team’s signal drowns in all that noise unless it can generate creative that helps their brands stand out. However, when there’s a scant amount of time for getting campaigns out the door, creative quality almost inevitably takes a hit. 

There’s another challenging piece here too: creative consistency. Design, quality and cohesive branding are necessary to maintain this factor across all markets, all the time. Off-brand — or worse, off-putting — content will have an impact on a brand’s bottom line. Conversely, according to a Harvard Business Review report, consistent branding across all platforms increases revenue by up to 23 percent. Similarly, and also from the Harvard Business Review: “A euro invested in a highly creative ad campaign had, on average, nearly double the sales impact of a euro spent on a non-creative campaign.”

When scaling campaigns and content, maintaining true consistency and high-quality creative can be taxing. What can help bridge this part of the content production gap is to look for automated solutions that give teams margins to generate new creative that cuts through noise, all the while controlling for human error, and ensuring that elements like text, style and translations are laddering up. If automation isn’t an option in-house, then the team should look to partnerships that can add technology to the mix.

3. Advertising opportunities are slipping away

Ideally, top-performing marketing teams should take an agile approach where they can test, learn and iterate on creative continuously. In practice though, most are busy just trying to deliver the basics for their media teams and agencies. In those cases, the shortage of content leads to missed opportunities. Marketers end up lacking the capacity to launch campaigns fast enough or try out new concepts.

Again, technology can help, allowing the team to manage the technical side of production easier and faster while granting full visibility onto each campaign asset. When the team isn’t preoccupied with repetitive tasks — when they can cut steps and time spent on feedback rounds, for example, identifying real-time toolsets for editing, commenting and previewing content —  they can better focus on inventive and engaging content. 

4. Your creative is too generic

According to Marketo, 63 percent of respondents are highly annoyed by the way brands continue to rely on the old-fashioned strategy of repeatedly blasting mass messages. Even when a marketing team is satisfied with content volume and creative quality, it still needs to ensure that its ads and messaging include the level of relevancy that consumers expect.

Most companies are well-aware that this is an area in which they can always seek improvement. According to the Forrester study that Celtra commissioned, 61 percent of organizations reported that improving creative relevancy is their organization’s digital advertising creative goal over the next year. However, the more personalization marketing teams add, the more variations those advertisers will need to create to keep up with that strategy. 

Marketers are shifting their focus from improving longer-standing content production methods towards developing new ones entirely. New technology doesn’t just facilitate digital advertising; it establishes a new process overall, one that offers unparalleled production speed. Again, adding technology and strong tech partnerships into these efforts means opening wider margins for creativity and context-rich tactics. Software and platforms have become primary tools that help marketers bridge their content production gaps, empowering them to deliver at the speed of media.

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