Facts About Creative Strategy In Digital Strategy
Now begins the fun part. Now it’s time to take your strategy and build creative messages and ideas that you will communicate through digital. A creative strategy is a long-term approach of how you develop visual stimuli for your brand, product or service. It dictates the theme, looks and feel of all of your assets. The creative strategy should again adhere to the overarching strategy. Doing this ensures that all work is following a specific guide, targeting a specific response and cultivating repeat and specific behaviour.
As previously highlighted consider the budget when developing creative strategy. It is important not to limit your initial thinking but at the same time at some stage, you need to draw the line and be realistic about your possibilities. The key areas to identify in creative strategy are:
Ideas: What content will you make, what will it say, how are you different?
Activations: What will you do that will encourage the consumer to respond, engage and converse?
Visual: What will everything look like, is there a visual theme or guideline?
Narrative: Refer back to the content strategy, what is the story we are trying to tell?
Managing expectations is unfortunately part of the job of any digital marketing manager. There is a myth out there that it ‘is free’. Highly creative, highly technical executions require investment. It is important that you temper your teams’ ambitions slightly. The next steps for your team are to compile a full format list for your content plan. This should be added to your content plan and include not only the copy by the creative requirement of each format but the dimensions and specifications as well.
When looking at how best to utilise your budget, identifying how best to use your creativity is important. At a basic level, static images and a copy can be easy to achieve with very little budget. When you go beyond that as more technicality increases so too do the cost of that. Video can be cheaply filmed on a camera phone but if you require polish to your creative then you might need to consider using an agency or a production company.
If you have higher budgets you should always consider the opportunity of working with an agency. Agencies can give you a diverse set of experiences and disciplines to achieve highly creative and impactful work. Creative that requires lots of detail or engagement will more than likely require expert skillsets to build. Rich media display, 360 are examples of format that require more expertise.
With a clear list of the channels, you will utilize you should then make a list of the formats you will aim to utilize. Each format will come with its own specifications. You must be sure that you can meet those specifications to deliver creative, particularly when you are utilizing paid advertising.
With more technicality comes more resource requirement and also time. If digital is quite new to you then it’s recommended you keep things simple at first. Build up to more technical pieces.
Using this graph, remember to identify what formats are possibly not worth the effort if they will require more resources than they are worth. Remember, if you’re investing in a big piece of work, you should be matching that in paid media to deliver it through paid channels. Things do not go viral on their own, rich media display is costly to make but equally expensive to deliver.
Formats all require different dimensions. Becoming familiar with the formats can be a challenge. The best thing to do has become familiar with the platforms and the formats they offer as you require them. There are thousands of formats. In-display they are delivered in the sizes of pixels e.g. MPU 300X250.
Once you have your creative ideas agreed, the next steps are to begin developing the assets for your formats. The process to establish this list is:
- Identify Channels: What digital channels are you utilising?
- Partners: Are you working with any media outlets, influencers or agencies that can assist?
- Assets: What assets are available to you already? What assets need to be created?
- Format Variables: How many assets can be developed utilizing your creative. There are a number of new dynamic formats that are essentially built using multiple assets. How can you utilize videos and images to build Canvas? Can a video be cut to be used as GIFs, Carousel etc? Images that are developed can also be redeveloped for display advertising.
- Skills and Resources: Do any members of your team have specific skills that can assist? E.g. site development, video production?
The biggest challenge in the asset development stage is maximising the efficiency and effectiveness of your assets. Essentially how can you ‘sweat’ your assets:
- Create assets that can easily be converted to suit other social platforms. Develop creative that is platform agnostic and then tailor it to specific platforms. Examples: 1. Shoot video in the largest quality and consider video being effective as a vertical or horizontal video. 2. Consider how imagery and GIFs can be captured out of video creative
- Converting existing assets into dynamic assets e.g. canvas
- Taking existing visual assets (TV Ads) and editing to suit digital formats and channels.
- Utilizing anything that you built as more content for your site to aid SEO.
It’s important to understand that there might be a lot of formats but in reality there are only 4 areas in which content can be developed:
1.Standard: Text only simply requires some time to write clever copy. However, it should be noted text only is not very engaging. This text can be used as a part of search copy, but also as a part of your social post copy.
2.Image: Images can be professionally shot, but with the quality of photo technology in most new smartphones, there is potential (if required) to shoot your own content. You just need a well lit environment to capture footage. With more budget you can of course involve much more professional image creation. Images can also have text added at a later stage using simple design programs like Canva.
3.Video: Adding video is where things become more costly. Video is something that you can do yourself, but for professionalism and quality, 3rd parties are best used to create a video. Consider what your content is, how long it is and what it will cost. Simple camera work will be cheaper than shoots that require directors, multiple cameras or special equipment which will require more investment.
4.Dynamic Content: This is completely dependent on the type of content but understands some can be achieved cost-effectively by combining assets (canvas) or they require content to be shot using a mobile (Snapchat/Instagram), however, some are more costly and require larger productions (360 Video, Rich Media Display).
There are many different ways to have content developed:
- In-House: More cost efficient but there is a requirement for equipment and skills. As a rule of thumb, if something is simple you should try to develop in-house because your in-house team gain more experience.
- Agency: Most brands will engage an agency to outsource there social media creative work and offer support to their own social team. This adds new costs but can free up time for your team and reduce investment in new staff. If your campaign budget is large, consider introducing an agency into the mix. They often bring a variety of experience and skill to your team and they can produce work to a higher degree of professionalism by involving their own creatives as well as production companies.
- Freelancer: This involves finding someone with a specific skillset and bringing them in to work on specific projects as required. This is sometimes not easy to find but when you build a relationship with a freelancer, you can regularly call on them for support.
- Production Company: For much larger pieces of work, you can go directly to a production company to create a piece of video. Often the best option is to go through your agency because they will have more negotiating power with production companies.
I know you might agree with some of the points that I have raised in this article. You might not agree with some of the issues raised. Let me know your views about the topic discussed. We will appreciate it if you can drop your comment. Thanks in anticipation.
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