FlashStock Technology Inc.

Automate creative workflows to reduce the cost of visual content

Brand marketers are always under pressure to produce more and more content. This is partly driven by how people have shifted their content consumption habits and also by what brand managers demand of their creative talent.

Content is how brands establish authority and build connections with their customers. Those connections are primarily made on social and digital channels where consumers can easily access content at their own discretion.

However, making those connections is no easy feat to accomplish. Marketers need to craft messages through content that both reach and resonate with the end consumer. Some brands can be very successful with their content while others struggle to make a significant impact. Those marketers that struggle consequently face greater costs to create content at scale, placing significant pressure on their campaigns to generate results.

According to research from Nielsen, up to 30% of marketing dollars are wasted because content fails to resonate with the intended audience. Nielsen uses the phrase “The 3 R’s” to describe efficient and successful marketing initiatives - Reach, Resonance, and Reaction.

Simply put, effective marketing and advertising is that which reaches your target audience, influences their opinion, and ultimately affects their buying behavior.
— Nielsen

Marketers are expected to create content on behalf of their respective brands, but they need to create the right types of content to establish authority with customers. This is a daunting, time consuming, and often expensive process to scale. At a time when brand managers are eager to reduce costs and increase ROI, marketers need new solutions to create the right types of content without depleting marketing budgets.

Mobile Effect on Content Consumption

To understand how you’ll best engage with today’s consumer, you first need to understand how people primarily consume content. The biggest change in today’s landscape is mobile and the impact of mobile content consumption on effective brand marketing.

Millennial consumption habits are particularly entwined with their mobile devices. Over 90% of 18-29-year-old US citizens own a smartphone and 88% of people aged 30-49 have a device of their own.

Forrester Research Vice President, and Co-Author of “The Mobile Mind Shift,” Julie Ask says the amount of active mobile users presents marketers with up to 30 billion mobile moments to connect with consumers. In fact, Forrester’s “Master Your Customers’ Mobile Pathways” report describes the logical flow of mobile moments throughout the customer lifecycle - from content discovery all the way to brand engagement.

The early stages of these mobile moments are devoted to discovering new content.

When people use their mobile devices to connect with new content, over 90% of those moments are consumed within apps. Many mobile consumers have a handful of popular social and digital apps on their phones where they consume the majority of their content, including Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and a handful of others.

These apps allow consumers to discover new content at their own pleasure. Content is fed into their social news feeds, allowing people to decide which pieces of content are most intriguing. But these feeds quickly clutter up with content from numerous brands as well as personal friends or followers who share posts of their own.

This is why brand marketers require the right types of content with frequency and consistency to connect with their ideal consumers.

You Can Create Content With Your Existing Marketing Budget

Creating content with frequency and consistency is costly from a financial, operational, and time-consuming perspective. But guess what?

You have enough budget to succeed.

Your plans for visual content must respect the size of your marketing budget. But your ability to create visuals is not dictated by the size of your respective budget. Your greatest obstacle is not your finances but rather your workflow.

Traditional creative workflows are no longer competitive or scalable in today’s environment. The established methods to create visual content are incredibly expensive. If your current workflow is based on a traditional creative model, you’re not utilizing your marketing budget as effectively as you should. Your biggest costs within this process are the complexity of the workflow, which subsequently requires more time and money to scale.

Marketers Habitually Spend 50% Of Time Creating Content

Outdated creative processes are slow, cumbersome, and expensive for marketing teams to utilize. In fact, up to 50% of a marketer’s time is spent creating content due to outdated creative workflows that are no longer scalable.

There are many valid reasons why marketers spend so much time creating visual content. One of the most important rationales is that Facebook posts with photos earn 53% more engagement than non-visual social posts. Teams need to create the visuals that will increase engagement on social media, and they need frequent social presences to break through crowded news feeds.

Here’s the thing

In-house creative teams face significant constraints in terms of time and resources to create visual content. As a result, workflows are far from scalable.

To compensate for internal limitations, many brand marketers collaborate with creative agencies to ramp up production of visual content. The drawback with this process is that agency fees can be incredibly expensive, thereby adding significant production costs onto your creatives and subsequently depleting capital from your total marketing budget.

Implement Cost-Effective Solutions to Scale

Rather than stick to the traditional models, you can optimize your workflow with technology. Technological solutions streamline the content creation process to help your team become more agile with how you create content. As you reduce the amount of time you need to spend creating content, you can dedicate your resources towards more scalable programs.

Here are some interesting facts.

Scientific research determined that up to 30% of the neurons within our brains are used to process visuals. Colors used within the visuals are a large part of that image processing, and those colors significantly influence how we choose to interact with brands. In fact, many people make up their minds about a brand within 90 seconds, and as many as 90% of people base their judgments in part on the colors used within the content.

Think about those numbers for a moment. People decide whether to interact with your brand within seconds of seeing your content. Does that sound familiar?

It should because mobile behavior allows people to decide, within seconds, what types of content are worth their time.

If you invest your entire budget in one long-term creative process to develop one piece of content, what happens if it fails to resonate within seconds? People decide that your brand is not worth their engagement, and you consequently lose those prospective customers.

That’s why you need to create a lot of content to continuously interact with people in their social news feeds. You need a process that allows you to create that content at scale in a manner that allows for the most cost-efficient workflow possible.

Technology is your solution. Technology automates the creative workflow and ultimately reduces the costs required to create high-quality visual content.

Leverage Technology and Connect to the Gig Economy

One of technology’s greatest benefits is its ability to knock down silos on an international level. People operating in one corner of the world seamlessly connect with teammates or associates living on the other side of the world to accomplish shared tasks.

Why not utilize technological assets to reduce the costs associated with creating content?

Consider these facts:

Data assembled by the McKinsey Global Institute found that over 54 million people in the US self-identify as independent contract workers. The same study concluded that there are over 159 million documented workers in the US economy. Do the math and that adds up to approximately one-third of the American labor force identifying as freelance employees.

Similar numbers are on record in Europe, specifically the EU-15. Data indicates that as much as 25% of the EU-15 workforce offer their services on an independent contract basis to multiple brands.

There are millions of independent workers operating all over the world. You can leverage the skills of these creative specialists to alleviate the creative workflow from placing too much strain on your in-house marketing team. You no longer need to keep the entire creative process in-house. Leverage technology to connect with these independent contractors and create more visual content in less time.

This model is particularly impressive if your brand requires localized content. Localized visuals help brands form personal connections to various communities. The people who live in those communities inherently understand how to create visual content that will resonate with people who see the content within that community.

Use technology to connect with these creative specialists and streamline the workflow to produce visual content at scale.

Automated creative is the future of marketing. There’s no better way to ensure consistency, scalability, speed, and cost efficiency than with automated creative workflows and data-matching algorithms. Technology’s core capability will connect you to the best creative talent and help you create cost-effective on-brand visual content at scale.

Are you ready to automate your creative process? Listen to our webinar recording on “How to Create More Visual Content on a Limited Marketing Budget” for commercial insights to drive change in your creative process, and how to implement repeatable workflows that save you an abundance in time and operating resources when creating content.