Automation has been the buzz word for a decade. It has revolutionized the tech industry, but what about the creative space? With the rise of media platforms, the buzz & engagement around it has also grown significantly.
Due to increased engagement, brands have had to produce a large number of creatives. Massive creative requirements need to be matched by an equally strong design team. Sounds impractical from both a human resource and financial perspective, doesn’t it!
Automation has forced marketing to take the programmatic approach rather than a manual one. “Marketing used to be a creative challenge, but it’s a data challenge now”, said Philip Mehl, the former head of marketing at HSBC.
Traditional marketing automation comes at a cost. The cost of creativity included the design overhead, followed by tedious rework. This ecosystem has let the brand down for eternity as it has proven to be extremely difficult to be creative on a time-sensitive basis, thereby decreasing the connection with the user.
Wondering what automation are we talking about?
Here’s a question –
How do renowned brands like Amazon, Netflix, Nike, etc. reach their large consumer base?
It’s Creative Automation.
It helps you scale up your content generation while retaining the quality and saving time. A study on behalf of Rocketium showed that businesses spent 94% less time with creative automation. It has also proven to go easy on your pocket by reducing 75% of production costs. In spite of all the perks, marketers haven’t yet adopted it on a large scale and here’s why:
- Most of the marketers are not aware of the solution.
- A sceptical perception of their brand value getting diluted.
It is crucial to make sure that your brand stands out. Can you automate creatives and still maintain your brand magic? Let’s walk you through how you can be on-brand even after adopting the solution of automating creatives.
Being on-brand 101:
What does it mean to be ‘on-brand’?
Being on-brand means that you align your creatives with your brand identity to connect with the user. Apart from logos, it is important to include the design language to achieve this close alignment. Take it from Paul Rand, a renowned American Art Director, who said that “Design is the silent ambassador of your brand”. Your brand is a story wrapped around who you are as a firm and what you aim to achieve.
When aligned with a good strategy, on-brand content has proved to work wonders for several renowned companies. No wonder why 73% of the marketers identify brand awareness as the main goal of their content.
Why do you need to be on-brand?
The internet bombards consumers with a lot of information, hence making it difficult to find relevant content. An important insight that many brands overlook is that more volume doesn’t mean more visibility. Being on-brand helps you not only reach your customers but also blend well to get through to them. In a Verizon Media Study, 79% of the consumers said that they would rather see ads that blend into the page rather than obtrusive banners.
How can you get your on-brand content right?
Getting your on-brand content right is simple once you gain a clear understanding of the elements involved. There are 4 primary points to keep in mind:
- Aim to provide value to the consumer by providing them with content they want to see rather than content that you want them to see.
- Communicate your story well to grab the attention of your consumers. 77% of the consumers buy from brands that share the same value as they do.
It is important to include your brand value to ensure authenticity and create an experience that is meaningful to your consumers. Creating on-brand content on a massive scale is the ultimate trick to connect with consumers and also increase revenue.
How to generate on-brand content with creative automation
Step 1: Ideate
Personalized creatives give you a competitive advantage over other brands, unlike any other metric. It is hence essential to maintain a culture of creativity to ensure that your content stands out.
Step 2: Create
Create your own on-brand template and stylize it so that it aligns with your brand identity. Once you include all your brand components, pass the idea into a template to generate creatives at scale.
Step 3: Measure
Cross-functional team collaboration to form an efficient approval workflow. Receive feedback, rework, publish & measure. Experiment by publishing your work for a test round on media platforms and get reviews from consumer response. Although this approach takes more time, it is more effective to churn out the best quality content.
How to maintain consistency using on-brand creatives
As easy as it may sound, maintaining brand consistency can be challenging when you generate content on a massive scale. It is crucial to maintain brand consistency to create long term engagement and loyalty among customers.
Understand your mission
The first and most important step is to understand your core values and how you want your business to evolve over a period of time. A detailed understanding helps in keeping your branding authentic as well as build a strong brand strategy.
Create a Brand Guide
Now that you have understood the core values that the brand should convey, the next step would be to create a brand guide. A brand guide has 11 main elements as follows:
- Brand mission
- Voice, Tone, and Style
- Branded definitions and phrases
- Fonts and Typography
- Signage specs
- Graphic illustrations and Photography
- Media formatting
Once your brand guide is ready, share a copy with all the members of your company so that your branding remains consistent.
Approval process on brand guide, too
The first iteration of your brand guide may not be your final version. It is important to understand how consumers respond to your brand. Along with consumers, inputs from the members of your team can also be useful to iterate the brand guide. To use time efficiently, set up an approval committee, and use online collaborative tools to iterate and finalize the guide.
Update and ensure regular checks
To maintain brand consistency, make sure to follow the brand guidelines. After finalizing your brand guide, make sure that you update the existing branded materials. It is also crucial to perform timely quality checks. Ensure to circulate the brand guide and provide a brief explanation to all departments including:
- Sales team: To explain your brand value to potential customers.
- Product production team: To incorporate your brand guideline during product design.
- Freelancers and third-party associations: Although their encounter may be temporary, they play a huge role in the consumer’s perception of your brand.
- Potential partners: Your partner’s understanding of your core values is important for a successful collaboration.
Although you may have a brand guideline now, ensure that you bring the guideline as close as possible to your company’s core value. The journey of Amazon’s logo iteration is the best example. Their logo has evolved over the past 20 years according to their core value. Hence, iterations are important to arrive at an optimal brand guide. However crucial it may be to follow your branding guideline, it is also important for the brand to move closer towards the core of the organization. Consistency is crucial for a successful branding effort. In addition, chart out a plan to check your brand guideline and creative automation processes.